DIFF Does Dallas Arts District #DIFF2016

Check out what’s happening during DIFF 2016 in the Dallas Arts District! It all begins with four days of film, fun and “festing” during DIFF Opening Weekend, April 14-17, presented by One Arts Plaza with support from Downtown Dallas Inc.

Full blog post from DIFF here.

Thursday, April 14

OPENING WEEKENDPastedGraphic-1opening-weekend-sponsors-1

Presented by One
Arts Plaza with support from Downtown Dallas Inc.



7:00PM at the City Performance Hall with support from The Hall Group

Friday, April 15


Sporting their High School Day T-shirts sponsored by SMU, attendees will descend uponKlyde Warren Park before being split into groups and directed to various Dallas Arts Districtvenues including the Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas Museum of Art, The Nasher Sculpture Center.


7:30 PM Dallas City Performance Hall
Special Presentation of SIGNS OF HUMANITY benefiting The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, a shelter here in Dallas

Saturday, April 16


2:00 PM Dallas City Performance Hall
dallas windsA Q&A with Dallas Winds Artistic Director and Conductor, Jerry Junkin, will follow as the Hall is prepared for a special screening of Steven Spielberg’s family classic, E.T. the EXTRA TERRESTRIAL.


3:00 PM Dallas City Performance Hall
Texas native Henry Thomas, who played Elliot in this Spielberg classic will participate in a Q&A after the screening.


7:30 PM Klyde Warren Park
In honor of the late, great, musical genius David Bowie, who wrote and composed the entire soundtrack for THE LABYRINTH along with starring in the film, the cult classic will play at the Festival during a special FREE outdoor screening at sundown.


7:30 PM Dallas City Performance Hall
Special Presentation Screening of new locally shot, USA Network television series Queen of the South

Sunday, April 17


12:00 PM The Nasher Sculpture Center
Independent Dreams on Studio Budgets
Moderator: James Faust


1:30 PM The Nasher Sculpture Center
Storytelling versus Immersive Experience
Moderator: John Wildman


Downtown Dallas, Inc. Recognizes Robert Decherd with Chairman’s Award



More than 1,300 business, civic, and community leaders joined us on March 7 for our 2016 Annual Meeting & Luncheon at the Omni Dallas Hotel. It was another great day Downtown, as we were joined by presenting sponsor Southwest Airlines, who gifted the entire audience with 2,500 Rapid Rewards points! Additionally, DDI CEO John F. Crawford, formerly serving as President and CEO, announced a leadership transition plan naming Kourtny Garrett as President.


The 2016 Board of Directors was approved unanimously and Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) then honored Robert Decherd with the Chairman’s Award. The award recognizes Decherd’s efforts to help stimulate and maintain a vibrant environment and promote community involvement in Downtown Dallas.


“On the subject of ‘we’re all in’, I am particularly thrilled we were able to honor Robert with the Downtown Dallas, Inc. Chairman’s Award. The DDI Chairman’s Award was created to recognize a company or individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to, and significantly impacted the progression of, Downtown Dallas. Few can parallel the efforts of Robert Decherd” said John Crawford, CEO, Downtown Dallas, Inc.


After spending his career dedicated to A.H. Belo Corporation and Belo Corp, Robert Decherd is now Vice Chairman of the Board of A. H. Belo Corporation, the oldest continuously-operating business in the State of Texas. Decherd is also Chairman of the newly created Parks for Downtown Dallas foundation, formerly the Belo Foundation, whose giving emphasis is urban parks and planning. He and his wife, Maureen, established The Decherd Foundation in 1993 and that foundation pursues similar giving objectives.


Mr. Decherd’s civic contributions to Downtown are vast, significantly advancing planning and public space efforts for more than three decades.  In 1991 he was a part of the creation of The Dallas Plan. Between 2002 and 2005, he chaired the Inside the Loop Committee, facilitating the creation of the Inside the Loop Report, Emerald Bracelet Plan, CBD Comprehensive Transportation Plan, and the first Parks Master Plan for Downtown. In 1988, he was named an Honorary Member of the Texas Society of Architects for distinguished service in Dallas over time, and received an American Institute of Architects “Citation of Honor” in 1981 for his work to establish the Dallas Arts District. In 2012, Mr. Decherd received the Kessler Award from the Greater Dallas Planning Council for the breadth and scope of this work.


From 2000 to 2014, under his direction, Belo Corp and Belo Foundation invested a combined $14 million in mostly Downtown projects highlighted by Belo Garden, The Dallas Plan, Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe Bell Tower, Downtown Parks Master Plan, Ferris Plaza, Inside the Loop Report, Lubben Plaza, WFAA Plaza, and 912 Commerce Beautification.


Most recently, in 2013, The Decherd Foundation funded a comprehensive update of the 2004 Downtown Dallas Parks Master Plan, and it was announced just at the end of last year that the future focus of the Belo Foundation would rest on the advancement of parks with the creation of the Parks for Downtown Dallas foundation, a $30+ million matching grant fund to further the work of the 2013 master plan.


More specific to this award is a fascinating history. Robert’s father, H. Ben Decherd, served on this organization’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee during our founding years in the late ‘50s and ‘60s. He was quoted as saying, “A strong organization is needed to take the lead and follow through in achieving Downtown improvements.” Robert continued his father’s legacy in 1980, joining the then-Central Dallas Association Streetscape Task Force that produced one of the earliest urban design plans for Downtown streets. He continued his leadership with Board of Directors and Executive Committee roles, as well as serving as Vice Chair, Planning and Implementation Committee Chair, and Downtown Improvement District Chair. I don’t think it’s overstating to say that a tremendous amount of what you see Downtown today is the result of Robert Decherd’s dedication to planning and design in the center of our city.


Downtown Dallas, Inc. and the Board of Directors thank Robert for his dedication, leadership, and the legacy he is leaving for future generations to improve Downtown Dallas.

Guest Blog from Local Hub: Rider Profile: Safety Patrol Officer Corbin Phillips

Full post here.
With Local Hub being located in Deep Ellum, Downtown is our gateway to Oak Cliff, Design District, Uptown and The Cedars. Downtown Dallas, Inc. had made great strides in building a vibrant community of residents and businesses in the downtown corridor.  That includes hiring a team of safety patrol officers on bikes who make sure people are safe, give directions to the best places to eat and drink in downtown, escort office workers to their cars who may be working late, and occasionally race another cyclist to the next red light. These are the good guys who make sure Downtown is a nice place to live and visit.  Our next rider profile is safety patrol officer Corbin Phillips. DSP Phillips was kind enough to let us hang out with him during one of his shifts and answer a few questions.  Check out his profile and give him a thumbs up next time you roll through downtown.
Q. How long have you been riding bikes?
A. Since I started working with Downtown Safety Patrol in March of 2014. Before that it had been over 10 years since I had been on a bike. It took a few weeks to get over being SORE from the extensive training course, provided to us by Dallas Police Department, but after that its very rare that I am not on bike. I even sold my car and bought a fixed gear as my main transportation for outside of work.
Q. How many miles a day do you ride while on duty?
A. On average, I will clock 20 miles in a ten hour shift. If the day is slow, I will hit upwards of 30 miles. It all depends on what’s going in Downtown.
Q. There are a lot of people who would love to have a job where they ride bikes every day. Why did you become a safety patrol officer?
A. I tried the 9-5 behind the desk job for a while, but couldn’t stand being stuck inside on a sunny day. I have been in Downtown Dallas for 6 years and started calling Downtown home, so I wanted to find a job where I was active and also making a difference in the community. Safety Patrol gave me just that. I ride all day, meet people from all of the world, gain relationships with the core working groups in the CBD, and help make Downtown a safer place. Couldn’t ask for more!
Q. Downtown is one of our favorite places to ride our bikes because there are a lot of stop lights and traffic is slower. What is your favorite part of Dallas to ride your bike?
A. Downtown is a great place to ride, weather you’re riding on Main Street or in front of City Hall weaving in and out of their pillars. My favorite spots are the areas that challenge me, whether it be climbing the dirt walking trail by the Running Bulls(Pioneer Plaza – 1428 Young), riding up the abandon garage by the Convention Center(323 Hotel St) or the giant hill leading to Klyde Warren Park (near 1616 Woodall Rodgers Fwy). If it makes my legs burn than I enjoy it. But outside of work, I enjoy riding through Deep Ellum, Katy Trail, or over to Trinity Groves. But, nothing beats just getting on the fixie and finding your own routes.
Q. Since your job is outdoors and year round, how do you prepare for riding in the heat and the cold?
A. Being born and raised Texan, the heat doesn’t bother me too much. I primarily wear dry fit shirts and drink as much water as I can during my shift.
For the cold- being born and raised Texan- I can’t STAND the cold. So for those days were its 40 degrees(that doesn’t included the wind chill from being on the bike) I layer as much as possible. I use Under Armor’s cold gear leggings and top, a wool face mask, glove liners under my work gloves and two or more pairs of wool socks (at the same time). On top off all that I have my duty jacket and liner with my thick pair of BDU uniform pants. Like I said- I hate the cold.
Q. What is your favorite restaurant or hidden gem in Downtown Dallas?
A. La Popular Tamale House in the Farmers Market(1010 Pearl St.), you will almost always find me there on Saturday morning with two chorizo and egg tacos(it’s an addiction!!). My favorite hidden gem is Vertigo 12(211 N Ervay) Nolan and his team there are some of the most awesome Dallasites I have ever met. Go there get a beer, a haircut, and attempt to beat a high score on their old school Galaga Arcade machine.
For more information on Downtown Dallas, Inc. and all there is to see and do in Downtown Dallas, visit www.downtowndallas.com.

DDI President Kourtny Garrett Talks the Future of Downtown!

What’s new, Downtown?! Join Bisnow and our expert panelists as we discuss the hottest redevelopment projects, new developments, and everything in between. We’ll also tackle Downtown’s emerging tech scene, transportation, and the impact of Klyde Warren Park on Downtown redevelopment!

As always, come early to enjoy a great breakfast and plenty of networking time with friends and colleagues. We’ll see you there!

More info and tickets here: https://www.bisnow.com/dallas-ft-worth/events/other/Future-of-Downtown-438

Where to eat in Dallas right now: 10 best new Downtown restaurants for lunch

Full article here.

For those who like to meet for lunch in downtown Dallas, things have never been better. And by “better,” we mean new places, opening all around the central core. You’ll always have your classics like the Zodiac at Neiman Marcus, but if you’re hungry for what’s brand new, here’s the list.

Black Ship/Little Katana
A sibling to the Little Katanas on Travis Street and at Galleria Dallas, the Omni location is the new project of LK Concepts and Dallas businessman Odes Kim. In addition to tuna towers and mega sushi plates served on ornately carved wooden boats, the menu features Japanese, Korean, and American touches on dishes such as miso-glazed sea bass and Wagyu New York strip steak.

Cafe Izmir
The just-opened downtown location of this Greenville Avenue favorite has its classic items, including the hummus of which it is very proud, plus some new offerings. Diners can get “bowls” with a protein, choice of saffron rice or salad, and a side of vegetables. It also offers baked flatbreads and pide (pies), an arugula salad, Izmir house fries, doner (thinly shaved lamb and beef), and many sandwich options.

Coal Vines
Latest branch of this local chain from colorful restaurateur Joseph Palladino hits the lunch market hard. At dinner, it follows the pattern of its siblings in Uptown Dallas, Addison, Plano, and Southlake, with wine service and a sit-down experience. But at lunch, it goes fast-casual, emphasis on fast, serving pastas and $8 personal pizzas in basic flavors such as pepperoni, in a few minutes.

Grill & Vine
Open at the newly renovated Westin Dallas Downtown, Grill & Vine does an updated reinterpretation of the classic bar and grill, with a tavern design, following the example set by the first Grill & Vine, which debuted in the Bay Area in 2013. The tavern-style launch menu includes the specialty, smoked brisket eggs Benedict, plus pulled pork on brioche sliders, deviled eggs, sweet potato bisque, steel-cut Irish oats, and a Caesar made with kale.

One of Dallas’ favored Mexican restaurants celebrates its downtown debut in mid-March with a menu that includes Tex-Mex staples along with new, more upscale Mexican items. Think seafood, including ceviche and fish tacos. There’ll be a full bar, so that means margaritas. (There’s another Herrera’s by a different family member on Sylvan Avenue.)

Latin Deli
Second branch of the charming Lakewood-adjacent restaurant sits across from the JFK Memorial, near El Centro College, where it serves dishes from Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. The sandwiches are winners, especially the Cuban sandwich, a trademark item. There’s coffee and breakfast tacos in the morning, as well as beautiful, house-made cupcakes in unique options such as tres leches and sweet corn, which you can feel free to eat any time you like.

NOLA Brasserie
Upscale but casual, featuring a blend of American and Creole favorites, NOLA is a unique concept in Dallas, as most restaurants with New Orleans cuisine are lower-scale concepts offering po’ boys and fried fish. The menu includes fried oysters with coleslaw and hush puppies, and gumbo with rice. In the ’60s, this location was home to the only Dallas branch of Brennan’s, the famed Creole restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

Purple Onion
Modest home-cooking restaurant moved from Irving Boulevard into a space at Field and Main streets that was previously the Original Italian Cafe. The menu includes P.O. signatures such as chicken-fried steak, chicken and dumplings, and pot roast, plus a huge salad bar and pizza by the slice.

Spice in the City
Get health-conscious to-go food at lunch and dinner with Indian, Pakistani, and Malaysian spices and flavors at this canteen located in the former Fuse kitchen at the Dallas Power & Lighting building. Sample dishes might include grass-fed steak saag gosht, a Pakistani dish, atop a cashew and raisin pulao (spicy rice). They’ll open in the lobby and poolside patio space in June.

Tutta’s Pizza
Former food truck concept makes the big step to a real-live restaurant, in Dallas’ upwardly trending West End. It occupies the location that used to be Dick’s Last Resort, a large space with an enviable patio, where it serves pizzas and sandwiches such as the Italian Hot Date with pepperoni, spicy calabrese, ham, bacon, spinach, and tomatoes on house-baked bread, served with house-made chips.



Dallas Wings Head Coach Fred Williams and Guard Erin Phillips to Participate

For Release:  Immediate

DALLAS (March 8, 2016) – Basketball season is winding down and that means that March Madness will soon be upon us.  To celebrate the sport of basketball and the NCAA Women’s Basketball Dallas Regional, we would like to invite basketball fans to show your love for the game on Dallas Dribbles to Work Day on March 14 at Klyde Warren Park from 11:30am-1:00pm.

Fans can come to Klyde Warren Park to participate in the Dribble and shoot a video in the park to be posted on their favorite social media platforms.  Head Coach Fred Williams of the WNBA’s Dallas Wings and guard Erin Phillips will be at Klyde Warren Park and will join people in their videos.  Tickets will be given away to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Dallas Regional and a deejay will provide entertainment.  Fans can also stay for lunch and visit one of the famous food trucks.

Dallas will be hosting the NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional at the American Airlines Center on March 26 & 28, the prelude to the 2017 NCAA Women’s Final Four that will be played in Dallas.

For fans who can’t make it to Klyde Warren Park, it’s really easy for you to participate in Dallas Dribbles to Work Day.  All you need to do is to have a short video taken of yourself dribbling a basketball either at work or just about anywhere you’d like to do it.  Then post the video on your favorite social media platforms with the hashtags #WFinalFourDribble and #DallasBIGWins.  It’s as simple as that!

Join us on March 14 at Klyde Warren Park or post your own video.  Let’s show the basketball world that Dallas loves its hoops! Go to www.ncaadallasregional.com for more information.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Announces Kourtny Garrett as President

Leadership transition announced at today’s Annual Meeting & Luncheon

March 7, 2016 – At today’s Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) Annual Meeting & Luncheon, CEO John F. Crawford, formerly serving as President and CEO, announced a leadership transition plan naming Kourtny Garrett as President, effective immediately.

The plan calls for Crawford to remain CEO of DDI until January 1, 2017, at which point Garrett will also assume the CEO position. Crawford will become Vice Chairman of DDI and continue on the Executive Committee.  The transition plan was approved unanimously by the DDI Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

“When I accepted the position as President & CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc. in 2007, I committed to several key goals for the organization, increasing our membership and outreach, making DDI financially secure, creating a leadership team second to none, and positioning the-then-50-year-old organization to take on the next 50 years,” Crawford stated at the luncheon. “Most recently, this mission has included working with our Executive Committee to create a leadership transition plan.”

The plan has taken several considerations into account, particularly timing and the right process to identify DDI’s next leader who will follow Crawford after a decade in the position.  Crawford assumed the role in 2007 after serving as the organization’s Chairman of the Board. His 35 year history in real estate, economic development, and Dallas civic and business leadership is seasoned and highly regarded, including activity in the greater Downtown Dallas area that dates back to the development of CityPlace and Bank of America Plaza and serving as Board Chair for organizations like the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, and Greater Dallas Planning Council.

“Downtown is not the place it was 50 or even 5 years ago – nor is this organization. Our strong business foundation is now complemented by a complete urban environment filled with residents, parks, restaurants, entertainment, and culture. Dogs are walked; families are raised; and innovation is born. This is the Downtown Dallas of the future. And we have determined that Kourtny is the right leader to move us into the next era.”

Garrett, who has served in many roles with DDI over the last 13 years, most recently was named Executive Vice President in 2012. “I take this job very personally,” says Garrett. “I’ve been a city-girl since before I even knew what that meant, and I’ve often said that my passion for Dallas – why I’ve stayed here in an otherwise nomadic industry of city-building – is the opportunity inherent in our culture to give anyone a chance to be a part of what shapes it.”

Garrett’s career spans 15 years in the development of livable communities. She has forged millions of dollars’ worth of public-private partnerships, led DDI’s advocacy, policy, urban planning, marketing, and place-making initiatives, and currently spends a significant amount of time leading the Downtown Dallas 360 plan and DDI’s education agenda.  Jim Greer, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Oncor and DDI’s current Chair of the Board, commented, “From producing some of Downtown’s most notable events, to advancing some of DDI’s most complex urban policy platforms, Kourtny brings an unparalleled breadth, depth, and skillset to this position.”

Garrett is also involved in advancing urban policy at federal and international levels through work with the International Downtown Association, in which she has served in several Board and committee roles, and the German Marshall Fund as a Marshall Memorial Fellow.

Locally, Garrett currently serves on the AIA Dallas, MATA, Dallas Heritage Village, and Dallas Arts District Boards, as well as the Dallas Arts District Infrastructure Committee. She has formerly been a Board member of the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Friends of the Santa Fe Trail, Dallas Film Commission Advisory Committee, and City of Dallas Marketing Task Force. She is a 2009 Leadership Dallas graduate and also in 2009 was named to the Dallas Business Journal’s list of “40 Under Forty”.

Prior to DDI, Kourtny gained experience on the development and general management team at Southlake Town Square, and directing community relations initiatives for Children’s Health.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors from Austin College and is nearing completion of an MA in Urban Affairs from UTA.

“I’m grateful to John, our Executive Committee, and Board for their support and confidence, and to our phenomenal team who keeps me excited and inspired every day. Over the years, so much of our success is due to partnerships, and I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of a community of organizations and individuals working toward the betterment of Dallas,” Garrett said in closing.


About Downtown Dallas, Inc.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. is the primary advocate, champion and steward for Downtown, effecting change by developing  strategies, setting targets and mobilizing resources that:

  • ·         Stimulate a vibrant and sustainable Downtown environment
  • ·         Improve infrastructure
  • ·         Enhance economic competitiveness
  • ·         Create a culturally inclusive urban center
  • ·         Position the area as a global destination

Our program areas include:  public safety; capital improvements; maintenance; economic development; public policy; planning/transportation; and marketing. For more information, visit www.downtowndallas.com


Kourtny Garrett Biography

John Crawford Biography