Connecting People and Leveraging Opportunity
Jean and Alvin Crawford, who have been married for over 50 years, have two children and three grandchildren, but their informal family encompasses many more—the numerous people whose lives have been changed by knowing them.
Jean Crawford was elected to the Cincinnati Opera board of trustees in 1991, but we have benefitted from the involvement of both Jean and her husband, Dr. Alvin Crawford, over the years. As a trustee, Jean joined with members of the board and staff to develop programming and best practices that demonstrated the Opera's intrinsic core beliefs of diversity and inclusion. With Jean's support, the Opera commissioned Margaret Garner and three new family operas celebrating our diverse culture. Cincinnati Opera's programming has been recognized locally and nationally by the NAACP, Opera America, NEA, and others.
Jean also serves on several boards, including the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the Music Hall Revitalization Company. In addition to being one of Cincinnati's leading arts ambassadors, Jean, a teacher and counselor, has assisted disadvantaged youth at inner-city schools with tutoring and mentoring. She has been recognized with numerous awards, notably the Cincinnati Enquirer's Woman of the Year.
"Diversity is not a black and white issue. It is being able to accept other people's values, then relate and communicate," says Dr. Alvin Crawford, a surgeon, teacher, humanitarian, and recent recipient of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, The Laurel Wreath, and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America. Dr. Crawford has made it his lifelong mission to help people, particularly children. If you ask him what makes him most proud other than his grandchildren, he will tell you it's a toss-up between his work in West Africa, India, the 2007 Diversity Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the 2014 Distinguished achievement Award from the Pediatric Orthopedic Society. He has been honored by the dedication of Chairs in Pediatric Orthopedics, Pediatric Spinal Surgery, and the Crawford Spine Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
Jean and Alvin, avid advocates of Cincinnati Opera, have sponsored artists, encouraged connections, and promoted our organization. In 2007, they demonstrated their belief in the future of Cincinnati Opera by making a planned gift and joining the Society of Angels. We are truly grateful for their dedication and support.