‘Rise Above: Tuskegee Airmen & WASP’ Exhibit
To celebrate Memorial Day weekend in an extraordinary way, Lakeside Chautauqua is honored to host the ‘RISE ABOVE: Tuskegee Airmen & WASP’ traveling exhibit from May 25-29. This free Commemorative Air Force exhibit brings to life the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) through an immersive theater experience that inspires all to rise above adversity to achieve their dreams.
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black military pilots in the United States. They fought for America even though they had no civil rights in their own country. The Tuskegee Airmen are best known for their extraordinary efforts in the air war of World War II and for challenging the stereotypes that had kept black Americans from serving as pilots in the U.S. Armed Forces.
At the same time, women aviators in America, eager to serve their country, proposed a radical idea – that they could fly modern American combat aircrafts in support of the war effort. Military leaders suggested women lacked the strength and agility to fly such aircrafts. However, these women sought to overcome these perceptions and prove they could assist their country in a time of great national need.
Immersive Theater Experience
History and aviation enthusiasts of all ages will have the unique opportunity to step back in time with the ‘RISE ABOVE’ exhibit. This fully functional mobile movie theater features two compelling original short, 30-minute RISE ABOVE films that tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen or the WASP, as well as the obstacles they both overcame to be able to serve their country during World War II.
The immersive experience is housed in a climate-controlled 53’ semi-trailer with expandable sides and equipped with a ramp and hydraulic lift to ensure access to all. The trailer can comfortably accommodate 30 guests for each showing. Inside, guests experience the inspiring story of the Tuskegee Airmen or WASP. Because of its dynamic 160-degree panoramic screen, the film creates the feeling of being in the cockpit and soaring above the clouds.
From May 25-29 near the Lakeside Schoolhouse, the exhibit will take place:
– Wednesday, May 25: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. & 4-7 p.m.
– Thursday, May 26: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. & 4-7 p.m.
– Friday, May 27: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. & 4-7 p.m.
– Saturday, May 28: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
– Sunday, May 29: 1-5 p.m.
All welcome to Opening Reception on May 27
Please note: Due to weather, the Opening Reception has been moved to the Train Station Patio.
All are invited to attend an Opening Reception at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 27 at the Train Station Patio.
Lakeside Chautauqua President & CEO Kip Greenhill will welcome guests and introduce featured guest, Harold Brown, Ph.D., a retired U.S. Army Air Force Officer who served during World War II as a combat fighter pilot with the 332nd Fighter Group, best known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
Dr. Brown’s P-51C aircraft was shot down in the European Theatre of World War II, and he became a prisoner of war. He was flying a P-51C east of Bruck, Austria. His flight path took him over anti-aircraft emplacements that shot his plane down. He was surrounded by German citizens who then attempted to lynch him before a German constable intervened and took him to a prisoner of war camp. He was one of 32 of the Tuskegee Airmen to be captured during the war.
Following his retirement from the military, Dr. Brown earned a doctorate degree and became Vice President of Academic Affairs at Columbus State Community College. He retired from academia in 1986. Dr. Brown and his wife Marsha S. Bordner, Ph.D., wrote Keep Your Airspeed Up: The Story of a Tuskegee Airman, a memoir about his World War II service, and published it in 2017. He will sign books at the reception.
Admission & Parking
To attend this free community event, ask for the ‘RISE ABOVE: Tuskegee Admission Pass’ at the Lakeside gates upon entering. Pass is valid for 90 minutes and includes parking in the South Gate Parking Lot but does not include access to any other Lakeside programming or activities. Overflow parking is available at Danbury Schools, a short walking distance from the South Gate Parking.
For individuals traveling from out of town, overnight accommodations can be made at historic Hotel Lakeside and the Fountain Inn in Lakeside. Rooms start at $109. To make a reservation, visit lakesideohio.com/accommodations.
About CAF Rise Above
The CAF Rise Above is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first Black military pilots and their support personnel, and the Women Airforce Service Pilots. The CAF Rise Above educational initiative is a threefold outreach program, including a fully restored WWII-era P-51C Mustang, the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen; the Rise Above traveling exhibit 53′ mobile theater featuring the original panoramic film Rise Above: Red Tail and Rise Above: WASP; and resource materials for teachers, parents and youth leaders.
About the Commemorative Air Force
Founded in 1957, the Commemorative Air Force has amassed more than 170 WWII aircraft – the largest collection of vintage military warbirds in the world. Through the work of more than 11,000 volunteers across 83 units, the CAF’s educational outreach programs reach an estimated 20 million Americans each year, providing unique, compelling, hands-on access to history.