Michele The Intern’s Summer Block Party picks

DAD intern Michele Loftus gives you her “Must See, Must Hear, Must Taste” list for this Friday’s Summer Block Party.

Summer already feels like it’s here so you know what that means…it’s time for the Arts District Summer Block Party! Join us this Friday night (June 17th) in the Dallas Arts District from 6pm-midnight. I’m giving you the goods some of the evening’s highlights, including where to eat, what to see, what to do, and some great deals that are not to be missed. Continue reading

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A chat with DSO’s head of Operations Department about his history at the DSO and their plans for the future.

DAD intern, and music student at Wheaton College, Johanna Fleisher recently sat down with Dallas Symphony Orchestra head of Operations Department, Mark Melson, to learn about his work and how DSO has artistically changed over the years. The DSO has been an integral part of the Dallas Arts District for many years and continues to makes plans for bringing art and music to the Dallas community. Continue reading

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Twist and Shout causes Beatles fans to “Come Together” at the Meyerson

by James Wallace

Beatlemania invaded the Dallas Arts District last night, as Twist and Shout – the aptly named Beatles tribute band – plugged in and turned it up to 11 at the Meyerson Symphony Center presented by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. And a twisting and a shouting there was, as young and old alike were literally dancing anywhere they could – in their seats, at the lip of the stage, and even up and down the aisles – as was the case for one particular fan who was really feeling the “Revolution.”

But hey, why not? After all, we are talking about the music of what is arguably the most influential, well-known, and well-loved band in the history of music. As front man (and McCartney carbon copy) Tony Kishman stated from the stage, Twist and Shout provides an experience to relive the magic of the Fab Four as well as the opportunity to experience something new, hearing songs live that the band never got around to playing in such a way. And that’s just what the night was; a night of old and new, for those who saw the Beatles live when they were young and, even if just for this one night, were transported back in time to what it was like to be a screaming, dancing (and maybe even crying) fan. And for those who are young now but are just as inspired and in love with the music of The Beatles as their parents.

If The Beatles set out to make people “Come Together” with their music, then Twist and Shout continues the pilgrimage.

This is exactly the type of entertainment you can’t find anywhere else in DFW but the Dallas Arts District. You can enjoy a meal at a hip new (and delicious) boutique burger joint like The Commissary at One Arts Plaza then take the complimentary Art Cart over to the show. You don’t even need a “Ticket To Ride!”

Stay tuned to TheDallasArtsDistrict.org for more performances like this, as well as all other events in the Arts District. There’s something for everyone on every night!

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10 Dallas Arts District Events During The Week Of The Big Game

Football! Junk food! Loud noises!

If you need a break during the chaos of this football-centered week, be sure to stop by the Dallas Arts District.

Here’s our 10 suggestions that will entice locals and visitors alike:

January 24-February 7

1. ) Tei An Rooftop Lounge Open til 2AM
5:00pm-2:00am

Tei An, the award-winning Japanese restaurant, will open its exclusive rooftop lounge to the public for a limited time.  The rooftop lounge will be tented and heated and offer a beautiful view of the Dallas Arts District to diners.  More Information

February 1

2. ) First Tuesdays at the Dallas Museum of Art
Price: FREE!
11:00am-5:00pm

Enjoy family activities such as story-telling, arts-making and performances.  More Information

February 3

3. ) Thursday Nights Live at the Dallas Museum of Art
Price: $10 Adults, $5 Students, $7 Seniors
5:00-9:00pm

Live jazz music, performances and more! More Information

4. ) Yoga in the Galleries at the Crow Collection of Asian Art
Price: $15 for public, $10 for Friends of the Crow Collection; FREE for Crow Collection Wellness Members
5:45-6:45pm

Experience the calm of Yoga in the Crow Collection galleries. More Information

February 3-5

5. ) Premiere Percussion with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Price: $17-$113
8:00pm

Jaap van Zweden and percussion ensemble D’Drum come together to perform several works, including the premiere of Gamelan D’Drum by Stewart Copeland, drummer from The Police. More Information

February 5

6. ) Dallas Arts District Architecture Walking Tour
Price: $10 Adults, $5 Students, $5 Seniors
10:00-11:30am

The Dallas Arts District and Dallas Center for Architecture present an architecture walking tour of the district on the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month.  More Information

7. ) First Saturdays at the Nasher Sculpture Center
Price: FREE!
10am-5pm

Enjoy family activities, including scavenger hunts, art-making and sculpture demonstrations.  More Information

8. ) AdventureAsia Family Day at the Crow Collection of Asian Art
Price: FREE!
10am-5pm

Enjoy family activities, including face painting, story-telling and more.  More Information

9. ) Arts & Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art: Tony and Lauren Dungy
Price: FREE!
3:00pm

Join former coach of the Indianapolis Colts Tony Dungy and his wife Lauren as they discuss their newest children’s book, You Can Be a FriendMore Information

February 6

10. ) One Arts Plaza Restaurants Celebrate The Big Game
5pm-2am
Screen Door, Fedora, Jorge’s and Tei An will feature The Big Game and stay open late for those who wish to continue the festivities!  More Information

For more information about the Dallas Arts District, including museum hours, dining, hotels and parking, visit TheDallasArtsDistrict.org.

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A Chat About State of the Arts at the Dallas Museum of Art with KERA’s Jeff Whittington

The State of the Arts series at the Dallas Museum of Art only has a couple more events as it closes its second year. The series is a content partnership between KERA’s Art & Seek and the Dallas Museum of Art. I sat down with Jeff Whittington to get some insight into the series.

What is State of the Arts?

State of the Arts is not your typical lecture series. We bring together two people in the arts world with different backgrounds. The idea is to try and create something conversational and unexpected. We bring together artists, musicians, and arts administrators, many of whom have never met each other, and end up with these amazing stories as a result. One of my favorites was last September with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Jaap Van Zweden and artist Trenton Doyle Hancock. They are both two completely different people, but were really interested in meeting each other. Jaap told a story of how he first started playing music, he was inspired by some traveling musicians that he saw and expressed an interest in playing violin to his parents, but his parent’s didn’t want to invest too much in case it was just a whim. So Jaap’s first violin was rented. You find out things in this series that you wouldn’t otherwise if you heard these individuals speak at a traditional lecture event, such as the fact that Trenton Doyle Hancock plays the drums every single day.

Jeff Whittington, Jaap van Zweden and Trenton Doyle Hancock

How did the State of the Arts series get started?

State of the Arts was started in 2009 as a response to the upcoming opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in October 2009. The Dallas Museum of Art had an exhibition, All The World’s A Stage, to celebrate the opening, and wanted to create a lecture series that would discuss where the Dallas arts are headed now that the AT&T PAC was opening. We wanted to include fine arts, theater, opera, creative arts administrators and more. Our first event featured Veletta Forsythe Lill, Executive Director of the Dallas Arts District, and Ann Williams, Founder and Artistic Director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre, both women who have been intricately involved in the Dallas arts scene for many years.

A lot of the first season was focused on programming: How do you plan, respond to the audience and program? This season has focused more on how audiences respond to art.

What is your favorite past conversation?

Each conversation has been completely unique. One of our events was with Charles Santos, Executive Director of TITAS and a former dancer, and Arlington Jones, a musician. These two individuals had never met before, and it was absolutely fascinating to hear them discuss the creative process and how they each respond to audience reactions in their own art forms. One of our earlier ones included visual artists Tom Orr and Frances Bagley, who designed the set for the Dallas Opera’s 50th Anniversary production of Nabucco, and Kim Campbell, a musician and Executive Director of the Dallas Wind Symphony. They discussed how they approach preparation and presentation for their respective art forms. I think my favorite was the one with Jaap Van Zweden, he had this amazing idea of creating artwork as performance and performance as artwork. How much does the audience have to understand to appreciate the art form? Jaap had a theory, a way he approached his work, to just let it all go once you get onstage. The countless hours, the problems encountered, the stress, just let it all go.

Why is this different from other lecture series?

My goal as a moderator is to get the two guests talking to each other, and ultimately to get people talking about the arts and what’s happening in the arts in North Texas. The result is a series of amazing moments. This is not so much a lecture series, but more a series of conversations that are intended to bring together artists and those passionate about the arts, engage the audience and challenge the way we see the arts by presenting the arts from various points of view.

Our upcoming conversation on January 13 includes Annette Lawrence, an artist featured in the Big New Field: Artists in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium Art Program exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art, Brian K. Trubey, an architect with HKS Sports Entertainment Group who worked on Cowboy’s Stadium and Charles Wylie, Dallas Museum of Art curator and member of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium Art Council. Here, we will explore the role of public art. Public art creates challenges, you have control to an extent, but there are many factors you can’t control, which can be a really great thing and a bit unnerving all at the same time. The art at the Cowboy’s Stadium raises a lot of questions. We will explore the original idea, the process and the result. To date, Cowboy’s Stadium has had 1 million people attend events, 1 million people attend tours, and 3 million total visitors. How does the art affect them? Do they understand the art? Do they even need to understand the art to be affected?

Who would you recommend to attend this series?

I feel that these conversations are important to anyone who cares about the arts and preserving arts and culture in the North Texas community. The themes we are tackling are essentially the same across all areas of the arts. The speakers are top leaders in the arts, from performing artists and curators to arts administrators, having thought-provoking conversations about the arts. Why is this kind of conversation important today? Because there are fewer and fewer places where art is discussed in a public forum like this. I am paraphrasing Gene Jones, but she once stated that “Sports and art are alike… they’re a respite from the routine and the hard work that we do everyday”, and that’s why they are so important in our culture.

You can learn more about State of the Arts at DallasMuseumofArt.org. Admission to State of the Arts is included in general admission to the Dallas Museum of Art

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The 11th and 12th Day of Christmas: A Couple of Belated Gifts

If you’re like me, you end up doing a bit of your holiday shopping after Christmas.  The last two on my list are my grandparents and brother-in-law, both of whom I will see later on this week, so I didn’t have to actually get their gift before Christmas (which takes a bit of pressure off my holiday shopping!)

My grandparents are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year, so I really wanted to get them a kind of romantic gift to celebrate this milestone.  The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is presenting Russian Romance January 13-15 with tickets starting at $28.  I got them 2 tickets at $31 each for a total of $62.  They really enjoy attending the Symphony and this will be a special night that they can spend together to celebrate their anniversary.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra Store has a ton of great gifts for both serious and casual music lovers.  My brother-in-law plays a little piano, guitar, and you can always catch him singing in the car at the top of his lungs.  He just moved into a new apartment and cooking for himself for the first time.  I found a great apron at the DSO store that says “Treble in the Kitchen” ($24.95) and paired it with a set of microphone-shaped kitchen tongs ($12.95).

 

Now he can rock out in the kitchen (and hopefully not burn his dinner in the process).  Total cost for this gift is $37.90.

My Christmas shopping list is finally complete!  Here’s a recap of all the gifts I got for my list:

  1. Younger Sister – Coloring Mat from the Lotus Shop at the Crow Collection of Asian Art – $27
  2. Parents – Tickets to TITAS’s production of KODO Drummers of Japan – $38
  3. In-Laws – Tamales from Jorge’s – $40
  4. Older Sister – Tickets to the Dallas Museum of Art’s Gaultier Exhibit – $40
  5. Husband – Tickets to the AT&T Performing Arts Center Lexus Broadway Series production of Young Frankenstein – $60
  6. Cousin – Dallas Arts District Membership – $65
  7. Aunt & Uncle – Tickets to Arts & Letters Live, Julie Burstein – $60
  8. Sister-In-Law – Book Everything That Can Happen in A Day and 7-Year pen from the Nasher Sculpture Center$39.50
  9. Brother – Tickets to Dallas Theater Center’s Dividing the Estate – $30
  10. Best Friend – Tickets to Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Cultural Awareness Series – $20
  11. Grandparents – Tickets to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Russian Romance – $32
  12. Brother-In-Law – “Treble in the Kitchen” apron and microphone-shaped kitchen tongs – $37.90

My mission for this list was to find all my gifts in the Dallas Arts District and to keep them under $50.  I spent a bit over $50 for some gifts, but spent less on others.  The average price of my gifts was $35.78, keeping me well under budget.

Hope you enjoyed my shopping journey and enjoy the rest of the holidays!  Happy New Year!

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The 10th Day of Christmas: A Gift for My Friend, Tickets to Dallas Black Dance Theatre

My best friend absolutely loves contemporary dance.  She took a few dance classes in college and since then has been obsessed with any form of dance, but especially appreciates contemporary dance.  So finding the perfect gift for her was pretty easy: tickets to see Dallas Black Dance Theatre.  Their Cultural Awareness Series is coming up in February, and tickets start at just $10 (that’s the same price as going to the movies, only you get so much more for your money!)  My friend also keeps talking about taking some classes after work or on the weekends, but has never gotten around to doing it, so maybe once she sees the DBDT performance, it will inspire her to take some classes at Dallas Black Dance Theatre as well.

Phew!  Only two more to go, and Christmas is sneaking up fast!

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