Finding Culture in Downtown Dallas

Have you felt cooped up for the last few months and are now busting to discover your city again? That need to connect with culture and the arts has you wondering what to do. It’s been a while and things are opening up again in Downtown Dallas. Whatever suits your cultural taste, there is something here for you.

Let’s start with the Arts…

The Arts District is a hub of culture in the heart of Downtown Dallas. Visitors can delight their senses with one or more of the many options available to them in this mecca of the arts.

The Dallas Museum of Arts, or DMA, welcomes guests back for its beautiful exhibits and features that are guaranteed to pique your artistic side, stretch your imagination, and soothe your spirit. If you have visited the DMA before, you know what we are talking about. If you haven’t made that trip yet, the time is now to see what all the fuss is about. Check for updated hours and visitor requirements.

Like the DMA, the Nasher Sculpture Center is a feast for the eyes through art and sculpture. On the grounds of the Nasher, you will find an incredible collection of contemporary and modern sculpture throughout. Five different pavilions make up the main building to house some breathtaking art, while the garden outside is home to some beauty of its own with sculptures “planted” for all to view. Pay a visit for yourself and make it a stop while exploring Downtown Dallas.

If music is your muse, then the Winspear Opera House and the Meyerson Symphony Center may call to your soul. The Winspear Opera House, as well as Strauss Square, are included in the AT&T Performing Arts Center, and features a variety of music and dance performances for the public in the coming weeks and months. Strauss Square will offer outdoor performances and Winspear Opera House has a few events planned in the coming months with limited capacity for your entertainment. Please plan ahead for your visit to remain in accordance with current requirements for admission to events.

The Meyerson Symphony Center is featuring many virtual performances during this time of altered arrangements. However, there are some programs that will be performed with no intermission, and be composed of smaller, socially-distanced orchestral ensembles. These programs will allow an audience of only 50-75 guests. Again, make your plans according to the updated guidelines of the facility.

Let’s brush up on some history, shall we…

The Crow Collection of Asian Art is a beautiful oasis of contemporary and ancient pieces spanning the vast history and locales of a rich Asian culture. Nestled in the Trammell Crow Center, visitors will find art and history at every turn that will amaze and inform each and every guest. Admission is free, but plan ahead for your visit for current guidelines for patrons.

It’s an easily recognizable structure overlooking Woodall Rodgers Freeway. That’s right, it’s the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Again ready for visitors, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is an interactive experience of sights and sounds for all who enter. Exhibits are ever changing to meet the interest of all of its guests, so as you make your plans, find out what exhibits are being featured. As always, check their website for updated information on guest requirements and hours of operation.

For the true history buff, the Sixth Floor Museum is the spot to be. One of the most visited spots in Dallas, this is the home to everything JFK in regard to that fateful November day in 1963. Tour, learn, and explore this informative museum and make your own decisions as to how things happened that day. Read the guidelines for the reopened Sixth Floor Museum before making your visit.

Another significant museum that is open to the public again is the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum in the West End. Discover each wing of the museum as it presents the history of events, from the Holocaust to Human Rights to the Pivot to America. An educational experience for both history enthusiasts and those who just want to learn more about the past through the scope of human rights, and the struggle to defend those affected and recognize the efforts to rise from a difficult past. Check the guidelines of the museum for hours of operation and other requirements before your visit.

On the Lighter Side of Downtown Dallas…

Now that you’ve discovered art and history, it may be time for a little fun when it comes to culture in Downtown Dallas. They say the city can be a jungle and they may be right. In the heart of Downtown lies the Dallas World Aquarium awaiting your exploration and adventure into an amazing world filled with creatures from the animal kingdom and more. Fun for the entire family, the Dallas World Aquarium offers education and amazement as you are surrounded by creatures from across the globe. It’s so much more than just an aquarium; it’s a treasure of animals from amphibians, reptiles, and mammals from places like Borneo to South Africa, and beyond. Get all the info you need as you plan your journey, to make the most of this extraordinary expedition.

Don’t forget to get a bird’s eye view of this amazing city by making your way to historic Reunion Tower and visiting the GeO-Deck. From high above the Emerald City, 470 feet to be exact, you can experience a breathtaking view of Dallas and its surrounding areas from any spot on the 360-degree observation deck. Visit day or night for a different vibe of your skyline. Ask about a romantic evening experienced at new heights with the Love is in the Air package. From field trips to family adventures, or special occasions, or just to be a tourist in your own town, discover Dallas from a new perspective. Plan your visit in advance and learn the guidelines and updated hours of operation.

Visit Dallas’ park like no other as you explore Downtown. Klyde Warren Park at the northern edge of Downtown is an oasis of fun and relaxation with a view of Downtown all its own. With something for every member of the family, including the furry ones, Klyde Warren Park is 5.2 acres of adventure and solace. Kids will love the Children’s Park and your canine fur babies can frolic in the My Best Friend’s Park. There is always something to do in the park, from yoga classes to movie nights to exercise, it’s all here. You can make a day of it too, as food trucks are lined up to offer some of the best tastes Dallas has to offer within footsteps. Plan your visit for details on safety updates, programs, parking, and other info you may need before you arrive, and then enjoy!

Now, mark your calendars and go!

As more and more places begin to reopen and allow visitors to enjoy and explore Downtown Dallas, always remember to prepare for your visit by checking the website of the facility or location you plan to attend. A quick rule of thumb is that almost every place is under some version of the current guidelines of Timed Reservations Only – Masks Required – Limited Hours of Operation. Keep those in mind, then get out there and have some fun rediscovering your city. Be a tourist again and enjoy Downtown Dallas!

For more information on arts and culture events and places to visit, check out the Dallas Arts District website.

Holiday Lights – Downtown Style!

It’s that time of year again, and the sights and sounds of the holidays aren’t forgotten in Downtown Dallas. Dallas is known for its cityscape, skyline, and beautiful lights anyway, and the holidays crank it up a notch. There may be a giant eyeball Downtown, but your eyes may feel that big with the lights you will experience during the holidays.

Things are getting started soon as Deck the Plaza, a Dallas holiday tradition, will return for 2020 with a bit of a twist. Visitors and holiday light connoisseurs are invited to join in a contactless, holiday drive-thru experience with a celebration of lights at City Hall Plaza. The Deck the Plaza light extravaganza goes from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21st.

The parade of vehicles will begin at City Hall Plaza on Marilla Street. Drivers will make their way through City Hall Plaza to experience holiday entertainment and a festival of lights, leading up to the 35-foot holiday tree. This will surely be a sight to behold. To add to the experience, Classical 101.1 WRR-FM will again participate in the celebration for 2020. Drivers can tune in to the radio station during the drive-thru to enjoy some festive holiday music and messages of good tidings from a few Dallas dignitaries. Plan ahead for your visit for all details and requirements for the event, so you can enjoy it safely.

While Downtown, you may notice a tree made out of car parts. That’s right, car body parts! The Neiman Marcus Car Tree was commissioned in 2003 and was displayed in the Neiman Marcus Flagship store. Since then, it moved in 2012 to its current home in Pegasus Plaza. It’s a sight to be seen with its construction from car trunks, tail fins, taillights, and more taken from thirteen classic cars. The parts were taken from cars made between 1949 and 1962. Some of the lights are also from a vintage school bus. This display is a photo op must for car enthusiasts and holiday light fans alike.

Another favorite from the Neiman Marcus Legacy Holiday Collection is the collection of Butterflies at Belo Garden. The beautiful metal sculpture of eight LED-lit butterflies is on display at Belo Garden through December 31st.  The highest butterfly’s pinnacle ranges about 18′-20′ above the ground.  The flagship Downtown Neiman Marcus store was the former home of these picturesque butterflies from 2005 – 2010.

Many other fantastic sights await you during the holidays in festive Downtown. Visit Main Street Garden to witness their gorgeous holiday tree, featuring 3,000 bulbs, 10,000 mini lights, and 450 ornaments…quite a display! Can you count them all? Sip on a hot cocoa and give it a try!

Don’t forget the many hotels and plazas who also have amazing trees and lights on their premises, such as The National shown in the photo above! The Adolphus Hotel displays a giant holiday in their lobby and the Statler Hotel is home to a beautiful tree as well.

As you explore Downtown, make sure you cruise by AT&T Discovery District to see their tree and lights. Klyde Warren Park always gets into the holiday spirit with their own towering tree to make Dallas proud. Not to mention, the Omni Dallas Hotel and Reunion Tower are both always lit for every occasion and the holidays are no exception.

Whether you’re walking around or just taking a drive through the Downtown streets, enjoy every visual treat Dallas has to offer. Wind your way all over the Downtown area and make your own yuletide discoveries and find your favorites. Dallas is such a beautiful city lit up at night most of the year anyway, but the holidays become a wonderland during this sparkly season. And be sure to share and tag your photos of these beautiful lights with #MYDTD. Happy Holidays!

Open Call for Proposals: Downtown Art Wall Project

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to artists/artist teams interested in creating unique artwork on an art wall in the Downtown Dallas area.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. created a steel frame art wall that is placed at a Downtown Dallas park, and is requesting artists interested in creating work for the wall to submit their interest. The selected artist(s) will create work on sheets of plywood, which will be installed by DDI staff and expected to be exhibited at a Downtown Dallas park. At the end of the installation, the art piece will be owned and managed by Downtown Dallas, Inc. This includes, but is not limited to, full rights to share the art piece with other organizations, parks, and neighborhoods in the 360 Plan.

OVERVIEW AND PROJECT GOALS
The intent of this project is to transform space and engage the public through a new place-based work. Artists are asked to propose projects that will be fully unveiled on June 21, 2019; however, artist’s/artist team’s project will have a visibility element in the neighborhood for 3-6 months depending on how the work holds up in the Dallas summer heat. In keeping with the nature of this project, Downtown Dallas, Inc. encourages innovation and experimentation within the bounds of public safety and being setting appropriate. This is an opportunity to work in a space not otherwise allowed and to engage the city and neighborhood in your work.

PROJECT GOALS
• Beautification of Downtown Dallas parks • Commission a public art wall for DDI that is engaging and interactive • Create more awareness of Downtown Dallas parks. • Reflect a sense of the Downtown Dallas neighborhood identity in the work.

Deadline to Submit: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. CST Artist Fees: $2,000 Installation Date: June 21, 2019

Additional information and application: Call for Artists Downtown Dallas Inc. Art Wall

2018 installation:

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ABOUT DOWNTOWN DALLAS, INC.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. is the principal advocate, champion, and steward of 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 • Foster innovation and technology in all aspects of the urban experience.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Open Call for Proposals for Downtown Art Wall Project

Deadline to Submit: THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2018, by 5:00 p.m. CST

Artist Fees: $1,500.00

Installation Date: June 20, 2018

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to artists/artist teams interested in creating unique artwork on an art wall in Pegasus Plaza in the Downtown Dallas area.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. has completed construction of a steel frame art wall that will be placed in Pegasus Plaza for the next 3-6 months, and it is requesting artists interested in creating work for the wall to submit their interest. The selected artist(s) will create work on sheets of plywood, which will be installed by DDI staff and expected to be exhibited at Pegasus Plaza. The artwork should be semi-permanent in nature, with an expected life span of 3-6 months. All materials used in the production of the piece will become the property of DDI upon installation.

Please click HERE to download the Application and read more about the project.

Open Call for Proposals: Downtown Dallas Art Wall Project

Deadline to Submit: Monday, June 4, 2018 by 5:00pm CST Artist Fees: $1,500.00 Installation Date: June 20, 2018

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to artists/artist teams interested in creating unique artwork on an art wall in Pegasus Plaza in the Downtown Dallas area.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. has completed construction of a steel frame art wall that will be placed in Pegasus Plaza for the next 3-6 months, and it is requesting artists interested in creating work for the wall to submit their interest. The selected artist(s) will create work on sheets of plywood, which will be installed by DDI staff and expected to be exhibited at Pegasus Plaza. The artwork should be semi-permanent in nature, with an expected life span of 3-6 months. All materials used in the production of the piece will become the property of DDI upon installation.

ABOUT DOWNTOWN DALLAS, INC.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. is the principal advocate, champion and steward of 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

* Foster innovation and technology in all aspects of the urban experience

OVERVIEW AND PROJECT GOALS

The intent of this project is to transform space and engage the public through a new place-based work. Artists are asked to propose projects that will be fully unveiled at a Start of Summer lunchtime celebration on June 21; however, artist’s/artist team’s project will have a visibility element in the neighborhood for 3-6 months depending on how the work holds up in the Dallas summer heat. In keeping with the nature of this project, Downtown Dallas, Inc. encourages innovation and experimentation within the bounds of public safety and being setting-appropriate. This is an opportunity to work in a space not otherwise allowed and to engage the city and neighborhood in your work.

PROJECT GOALS

* Beautification of Pegasus Plaza while the Magnolia Hotel undergoes construction and temporary fencing is in place.

* Pilot a new public art wall for DDI.

* Create more awareness of Pegasus Plaza.

* Reflect a sense of the Downtown Dallas neighborhood identity in the work.

The selected artist(s) will be expected to work collaboratively with the Downtown Dallas, Inc. staff and contractors to approve the final design of the public artwork. The artist will be responsible for designing and fabricating the work and participating in installation. DDI will be responsible for providing and delivering the plywood to the artist’s studio; picking it up upon completion; and installing in the art wall frame at Pegasus Plaza.

The selection panel will be open to a wide range of ideas, but there are several fundamental aims of the project that the selected artists/artist teams should keep in mind, while designing artwork for the site. These include the importance of:

* High aesthetic merit of the work

* Overall safety of the design

* Low degree of maintenance of the work

Artwork should be appropriate and responsive to the pedestrian-oriented streetscape environment.

BUDGET

The budget available for artwork (inclusive of artist fee, design, fabrication, drawings, and documentation) is $1,500.00 for the work. DDI will provide the plywood, transportation for the plywood to and from the artist’s studio, and installation of the piece.

ARTIST ELIGIBILITY

Eligible artists must be 18 years or older and reside within 20 miles of Dallas. Please note: The selected artist/artist team must be available to begin design work immediately (summer 2018). Artist/artist team must also be available to manage installation of the artwork, tentatively scheduled for the evening of June 20, 2018. The artist must also be available to participate in a lunchtime event on June 21, 2018, where ideally, he/she will put the finishing touches on the painting on site once it’s installed.

PUBLICITY SUPPORT

Downtown Dallas, Inc. will promote the artist on its website, in print materials, media releases, and public efforts. Selected artists are expected to be cooperative in publicity and media opportunities.

DIMENSIONS AND PROJECT SPECIFICATIONS

Art Wall: 14’ Long x 9’ Tall Paintable Surface (Plywood): 13’ 3” Long x 8’ Tall

Plywood will come in 3 sections. The wall is only viewable from one side once installed. Please remember the wall will be installed outdoors at Pegasus Plaza, so the paint selected needs to be able to weather the elements and direct sunlight for three to six months.

ARTIST SELECTION CRITERIA

Applicants must demonstrate the following qualifications and qualities:

* Ability to work collaboratively with other design professionals, stakeholders and staff.

* Experience working with durable materials specific to the outdoor environment.

* Ability to understand a locale’s sense of place, and design in a context-sensitive manner.

* Demonstrated successful creative, innovative, and effective approach in comparable projects.

* Excellent communication skills.

* Possess a proven mastery or skill in at least one artistic medium.

* Experience or knowledge of artwork installation of public artwork.

Selection will be based on:

* Description of the project you would like to undertake, including your media and desired approach to location;

* The quality of your work, as demonstrated by your visual materials;

* Past successful creative, innovative, and effective projects;

* The relativity between your project, the site, and the chosen category proposed under;

* Your ability to meet the requirements of the installation period and the proposed project with the budget requested.

SELECTION PROCESS

The selection panel for this project will consist of staff and board members from Downtown Dallas, Inc., as well as its art activation contractor as deemed appropriate. The selection panel and advisors will review the submissions and recommend artists and alternates for commission. The artists will work closely with staff from Downtown Dallas, Inc. to finalize design. Once approved, the artists will proceed with fabrication and installation.

*New works commissioned by Downtown Dallas, Inc. require that Downtown Dallas, Inc. be listed as the commissioning organization.

SCHEDULE (subject to revision)

Request for proposals issued Thursday, May 24, 2018

Deadline for artist submissions Monday, June 4, 2018

Review of proposals/interviews Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Artists chosen/put under contract Friday, June 8, 2018

Fabrication commences Friday, June 8, 2018

Installation Wednesday, June 20, 2018 (Evening)

Public unveiling & “finishing touches” onsite Thursday, June 21, 2018 (Lunchtime)

De-installation 3-6 Months Following Installation

~~~~~~~~~~~ I M P O R T A N T I N S T R U C T I O N S ~~~~~~~~~~~

* Please do not use staples or submit your application materials in notebooks or binders.

* Websites may not be substituted for images.

* Applications received after 5:00 p.m. Central Time on Monday, June 4, 2018, will not be considered.

* Rain or Shine: When developing a proposal, consideration should be given to the fact that the work will be outdoors and subject to the elements, and in a high-traffic area.

MAILING OR DROP-OFF ADDRESS: Downtown Dallas, Inc. Attention: Juan Galvan/Art Wall Project Bank of America Plaza 901 Main Street, Suite 7100 Dallas, TX 75202 Main Tel: (214) 744-1270 EMAILED SUBMISSIONS: Galvan@downtowndallas.com together@ensembleXD.com

HOURS: Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. CST

QUESTIONS: Juan Galvan (214) 707-0605 Galvan@downtowndallas.com

APPLICATION FORM

The following application form is a REQUIRED part of the Downtown Dallas, Inc. proposal process and must be included with all proposals in order to be considered. (If you are proposing more than one project complete one form for each proposal).

Name of Group or Artist: _______________________________________________________________________

Name of Neighborhood Collaborative (if relevant): __________________________________________________

Requested Funding (total project budget is $1,500): ________________________________________________

Name of Primary Contact Person: ______________________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________

Phone(s) (specify best number): Work________________________ Home__________________________ Cell_____________________________

Email: ____________________________________________________________________________________

Website: ____________________________________________________________________________________

Checklist: I have enclosed/attached all of the following required documents (detailed description of each on next page).

______ Letter of Interest _______ Itemized Budget

______ Professional Resume _______ Images of Proposed Work for this Project

______ Images of Past Work _______ Professional References

Where did you hear about the opportunity? ________________________________________________________

S U B M I S S I O N R E Q U I R E M E N T S

1. Letter of Interest

Please describe your interest in this project and general approach to an artwork installation of this type, describing your proposed design concept, including preliminarily identified materials, approximate dimensions, anticipated fabrication and installation methods, and requirements for long-term maintenance and care. Include an approximate set-up and strike schedule for your proposal that must fit within allotted installation timeline of June 20, 2018. Also include any additional site needs such as electricity during installation. Entire letter should be no longer than one (1) typed page.

2. Itemized Budget

Please include a detailed, itemized budget based on the amount of money required to complete your proposal. Budget should include, where applicable: artist fees; all supplies and materials; equipment rental; labor. Volunteers may be requested but should not supplant the minimal number of individuals needed to complete the installation); technical support (lighting, sound, projection, etc.) and crew; workshop expenses; transportation.

Note: Downtown Dallas, Inc. does not pay for administrative expenses, capital expenses (purchase of equipment) or insurance. Downtown Dallas, Inc. will provide the plywood for the piece, as well as drop off/pick up of the plywood.

3. Professional Resume

Please provide your resume or outline your experience as an artist (no longer than four (4) typed pages). In the case of a team application, please include resumes for each team member.

4. Images of Proposed Work for this Project

Please provide 1–5 images of your proposed concept for this project, as hand-drawn or digitally created rendering, on paper (hard copy) or in digital format (.jpg). If paper (hard copy), please restrict size to 8 ½ x 11, mounted on a piece of foam core, cardstock or cardboard backing in a protective sleeve. If digital (.jpg or PDF), please restrict dimensions to a maximum of 800 x 600 pixels, and a minimum of 720 x 480 pixels. Please keep formatting simple and do not include fancy fonts, colors, transitions, sound or other “extras.” Please keep total size for the PowerPoint/Keynote/PDF presentation under 2 MB, or it will not be viewed. The presentation should be submitted to Downtown Dallas, Inc. by emailing it to together@ensembleXD.com and/or included on a jump drive with the rest of the physical proposal.

5. Digital Images of Past Work

Please provide up to 10 digital images of past work in a PowerPoint/Keynote/PDF presentation with images in priority order of desired presentation. Images within the PowerPoint should have maximum dimensions of 800 x 600 pixels and minimum dimensions of 720 x 480 pixels. Each PowerPoint slide must include (at minimum) the artist’s name, title of the work, medium and size. Additional information, if applicable, could include site, commissioning person or agency, and budget. Installations or 3-dimensional work may be illustrated by multiple images. Please keep formatting simple and do not include fancy fonts, colors, transitions, sound or other “extras.” Please keep total size for the PowerPoint/Keynote/PDF presentation under 2 MB, or it will not be viewed. The presentation should be submitted to Downtown Dallas, Inc. by emailing it to together@ensembleXD.com and/or included on a jump drive with the rest of the physical proposal.

6. Professional References

Please provide the names and contact information of three individuals with whom you have worked or who have commissioned your work in the past. Actual letters of reference are not required.

All proposals must be emailed, hand delivered or received by mail by June 4, 2018, 5:00 p.m. Central Time. Faxed or incomplete proposals will not be accepted.

Downtown Dallas is the absolute best playground for families

Downtown Dallas may swell with professionals during the workday, but there’s more to the area than just business (eating and shopping, for example). Families can find an abundance of activities — most of them free — that are guaranteed to keep little ones entertained.

Museums are a great starting point, with the majority participating in Kids Club, which hosts six arts-and-crafts-based events a year. Nasher Sculpture Center encourages artistic exploration at Target First Saturdays, as does the Crow Collection of Asian Art with its Asian Adventure, also on the first Saturday of each month. Dallas Museum of Art mixes it up with First Tuesdays, which is aimed specifically at children 5 and under, while an extensive list of classes and workshops keeps everyone engaged.

The Art Lab at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science gives youngsters an extra hands-on experience during their visit, while Discovery Days is something the whole family can look forward to. You can even museum-hop, riding the free D-Link bus around downtown.

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Perot Museum of Nature and Science offers an Art Lab and Discovery Days for its younger visitors. Photo courtesy of: Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

 

The D-Link will also whisk you over to the Dallas Farmers Market, where you can enjoy live music each Friday while you shop. The student and volunteer-tended Mama Ida’s Teaching Garden makes nutrition, math, and science fun, and partners with North Texas Food Bank to donate its harvest to Dallas’ homeless population through Family Gateway. On the second Saturday of each month, Walkabout with a Chef lets an expert guide you around the market, sharing recipes and explaining how best to shop for ingredients.

Another free form of transportation around down is the M-Line Trolley, a nostalgic streetcar that links downtown and its Arts District to Uptown and the West Village.

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Ride the M-Line Trolley between downtown and Uptown. Photo courtesy of: Dallas CVB

Over at Old City Park, Dallas Heritage Village brings history to life, re-creating our city from 1840-1910 through authentic buildings and furnishings. Every second Wednesday of the month is Nip and Tuck’s Barnyard Buddies, a program for little historians where they read a story, do an activity, then explore the village.

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Target First Saturdays at the Nasher Sculpture Center combine artsy activities with fresh air (when weather allows). Photo by: Hilary Schleier

Reading is only one of the pastimes at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, though sometimes that does come with a side of boogie woogie for kids six and under. Music classescrafts, and Sunday family movie matinees are all on the monthly calendar, ensuring that you and your family will never be at a loss for something fun to do in downtown Dallas.

Meet Deep Ellum Arts Entrepreneurs Katherine & Bruce, The Local Arts Entrepreneurs Behind UnderMain Theatre

In Summer 2016, Downtown Dallas, Inc. sponsored a contest for locals to create Dallas experiences Live Like a Local, with a series of winning #mydtdcontest experiences launching this fall on the Guidrr app. As part of this effort, local Dallas downtown small businesses also gave away fun prizes and perks to winners. One supporting business was Undermain Theatre, with their very own #mydtd story.

What do Frank Lloyd Wright and an underground fall-out shelter have in common? Both are key parts of the many-layered story of Undermain Theatre.

Most Dallasites have never heard of Undermain, an authentic indie culture outpost in hip Deep Ellum. Located in a small side street off Main Street, just around the corner from local food, coffee and street art — Undermain is the brainchild of Katherine Owens and Bruce DoBose, who have run this arts not for profit for more than 33 years.

 

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Katherine Owens and Bruce DiBose have run Undermain Theatre for more than 33 years.

 

Today a key part of Deep Ellum’s vibrant and growing arts scene, many patrons of the theater don’t know it used to be an old fallout shelter. “In fact, our logo is inspired by the fallout shelter symbol,” says Katherine, “and the name “Undermain Theatre” comes from literally being ‘under Main’ street.” Another fun fact: The Undermain Theatre has the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright seats.

The launch of the whole project so many years ago was a bet on the Dallas cultural scene, says Katherine. “The arts scene was already well developed. We saw a crowd that enjoyed and was interested in intelligent theatre. So we opened Undermain Theatre to address an underserved audience of people who enjoyed literary poetic tradition in American Drama. We wanted to showcase new playwrights that needed to be exposed who were more experiential in their works,” shares Katherine. “These plays were not available for audience consumption in Dallas and we wanted to change that.”

Katherine recalls they found their first two scripts from the Dallas Public Library (Theatre of Wonders and Word Plays) as a way to get started – and the rest they say, is theater history. She personally loves this Dallas Morning News quote about the not-for-profit: “When Undermain tells you they’re going to show you a good time, you better believe it!”

When speaking about about Undermain, Katherine gets philosophical. “It’s just a rehearsal until you have the audience,” she says. “And every season, we’re looking to grow that audience, and share more theater experiences with Dallas locals.”

This season, four original plays will be performed during the fall and winter. Matthew Paul Olmos’, so go the ghosts of mexico, part one closed October 8, and 10 out of 12 by Anne Washburn starts November 9.

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Bruce DuBose and Blake Hackler performing in part one of three-part play ‘so go the ghosts of mexico.’ Photo: Katherine Owens

For Katherine, Undermain isn’t a business, it’s a labor of love and a commitment to growing the local Deep Ellum community. “It can’t be a business when it’s what you love to do,” she says. “We are more than just a theater. We are also a way to support the businesses in and around Deep Ellum.” Her hyper-local tip? She loves All Good Cafe but also gives a shout-out to Pecan Lodge, Baker’s Ribs and Murray’s Coffee Shop.

We asked Katherine what gets her and Bruce most excited about owning a business in downtown Dallas. “Firstly, people are super nice,” she says. “And, it’s a walkable part of town, where everyone knows each other and looks after each other. The arts community is sophisticated, smart, and supportive. Here in Deep Ellum, there’s a genuine desire to grow the Dallas Arts community.”

This led Katherine to talk about her passion for growing the Dallas arts scene arts even more, especially for those who visit as tourists and for locals who could have more cultural experiences downtown. “If artists knew that the Dallas arts community was as alive and well that more would stop and tour here,” she says. “Just like people go to Austin for a night to see a show and do dinner, Dallas can be done in just the same way – particularly around the arts and Deep Ellum.”

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There are four plays featured in the 2016-2017 season (www.undermain.org)

“Just like people go to Austin for a night to see a show and do dinner, Dallas can be done in just the same way – particularly around the arts and Deep Ellum.” ~ Katherine Owens

To experience Undermain, take advantage of the 2016 season, (note: there are several discounts currently available for students, seniors, and KERA members. Rush tickets are also available to those that subscribe to the mailing list).

For 2016-2017 season tickets, click here: http://undermain.org/season-tickets/. The season will showcase four talented and original playwrights. Season passes can be purchased here: http://undermain.org/season-tickets/season-pass

SKYLINE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS CREATE PUBLIC ART INSTALLATION FOR MAP’S FERRIS PLAZA PROJECT

Community Reception, Saturday, April 9, 2:00 – 5:00 PM,

Ferris Plaza, South Record Street, Dallas 75202

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DallasISD students from the Skyline Architecture and Building Trades Clusters have created custom designed furniture, inspired by the Trinity River, for Ferris Plaza in downtown Dallas in a project created by Dallas art organization, Make Art with Purpose (MAP). This MAP project was produced in collaboration with Downtown Dallas Inc., and funded with generous support from Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, ART CON, Downtown Dallas Inc., the Beck Group, and Osborn Contractors Inc.

 

Over the past year the 57 students researched the history of the site, studied the surrounding context, and then produced a series of design proposals that were evaluated by the entire team of students and design professionals from the partner organizations, including Dustin Bullard, Vice President of Cityscape and Urban Design.

 

The scheme that was selected consists of thirteen concrete furniture pieces that will weave through the park beneath the Live Oak trees along Young Street. Based on the meandering contours of the nearby Trinity River, the furniture includes tile mosaics based on the seasons, which are inlaid into the concrete benches. The students worked with tile artist Cassandra Emswiler Burd on the mosaic designs. The focal point of the installation is a two tier, 6 foot diameter circle with a mosaic map of downtown Dallas highlighting the historical significance of Ferris Plaza and the park’s relationship to the Trinity River.

 

Founded and led by artist Janeil Engelstad, Make Art with Purpose collaborates with artists, designers and architects to produce projects that address social and environmental concerns. Working across disciplines, MAP projects include communities as partners in the production of the work, directly engage the audience to participate beyond the role of passive observer and involves creative collaboration from museums, schools, government, business, NGOs and other partners.

 

The Skyline Architecture and Building Trades Clusters are a part of the Skyline Career Development Center at Skyline High School, the nation’s first magnet high school.

 

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.

 

OPENING NIGHT CELEBRATIONHall Arts

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

Friday, April 15

HIGH SCHOOL DAY

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.
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SIGNS OF HUMANITY SCREENING

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

A SALUTE TO THE MUSIC OF JOHN WILLIAMS: DALLAS WINDS PERFORMANCE

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.

SCREENING OF E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL & HENRY THOMAS Q&A

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.

FREE OUTDOOR SCREENING OF THE LABYRINTH

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.

24390158211063080CENTERPIECE SCREENING & GALA: QUEEN OF THE SOUTH

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

TALK/SHOW PANEL: SMALL TO BIG

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

TALK/SHOW PANEL: VIRTUAL REALITY

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