http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-background.jpg
  • Bigotry knocked her down ... but her music knocked back.

    Bigotry knocked her down ... but her music knocked back.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-trailer.jpgmp4:when_i_rise-trailer-1024.mov
  • For Conrad - truly the embodiment of "Amazing Grace" - creativity is essential.

    For Conrad - truly the embodiment of "Amazing Grace" - creativity is essential.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-extra.jpgmp4:when_i_rise-extra-1024.mov
  • Center Point, TX was a "safe haven" for African Americans, with rich musical traditions.

    Center Point, TX was a "safe haven" for African Americans, with rich musical traditions.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-centerpoint.jpgmp4:when_i_rise-centerpoint-1024.mov
  • Conrad's classmate, Robert Mims, believed students generally approved of desegregation.

    Conrad's classmate, Robert Mims, believed students generally approved of desegregation.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-budmims.jpgmp4:when_i_rise-budmims-1024.mov
  • Barbara Smith Conrad in the Rotunda of the Texas Capitol

    Barbara Smith Conrad in the Rotunda of the Texas Capitol

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-01.jpg
  • Barbara Smith Conrad, revisiting The University of Texas at Austin campus

    Barbara Smith Conrad, revisiting The University of Texas at Austin campus

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-02.jpg
  • Barbara Smith Conrad in the Rotunda of the Texas Capitol

    Barbara Smith Conrad in the Rotunda of the Texas Capitol

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-03.jpg
  • Barbara Smith Conrad in the Rotunda of the Texas Capitol

    Barbara Smith Conrad in the Rotunda of the Texas Capitol

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-04.jpg
  • Barbara Smith Conrad, February 2007

    Barbara Smith Conrad, February 2007

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-05.jpg
  • Barbara Smith Conrad as a student at Prairie View A&M University

    Barbara Smith Conrad as a student at Prairie View A&M University

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-06.jpg
  • Headline from the University of Texas Daily Texan newspaper, May 12, 1957

    Headline from the University of Texas Daily Texan newspaper, May 12, 1957

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-07.jpg
  • Entryway arch to the Center Point Cemetery in east Texas

    Entryway arch to the Center Point Cemetery in east Texas

    http://cdn.itvs.org/when_i_rise-08.jpg

The Film

A gifted black music student at the University of Texas is thrust into a civil-rights storm that changes her life forever. Barbara Smith Conrad is cast in an opera to co-star with a white male classmate, fueling a racist backlash from members of the Texas legislature. When Barbara is expelled from the cast, the incident escalates to national news, prompting unexpected support from a pop superstar.

This small-town girl, whose voice and spirit stem from her roots in East Texas, emerges as an internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano and headlines on stages around the world. When I Rise is a testament to finding forgiveness within oneself.

The Filmmakers

  1. Mat HamesDirector
  2. James MollProducer
  3. Michael RosenProducer