Culture, Arts & Recreation
Dallas citizens and visitors enjoy and experience the benefits of vibrant, innovative, and diverse cultural, arts and recreational opportunities.
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The Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) fosters support, partnerships, and opportunities for Dallas citizens, visitors, artists, and arts and cultural organizations. The Office of Cultural Affairs works to enhance the vitality of the City and the quality of life for all Dallas citizens by creating an environment wherein arts and cultural organizations thrive and people of all ages enjoy opportunities for creative expression and the celebration of our community’s multicultural heritage.
The Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) continued to increase accessibility to arts and culture offered to Dallas residents in FY 2012-13. Dallas Cultural Centers annually host the Thriving Minds Summer Camps for young people grades 3 to 12. The Summer Camps offer students the opportunity to work with professional artists in a variety of disciplines including visual art, theater, music and film. In the summer of 2013, 203 young people completed the program.
Performers included comics Louis C.K., Bill Burr and Jim Gaffigan and musicians Melissa Etheridge, Emmylou Harris and Tyrese. The Majestic hosted 68,083 patrons in FY 2012-2013. The OCA continued its efforts to maintain the historic venue, upgrading the HVAC system with new controls and motors in a number of units.
Dallas City Performance Hall hosted more than 120 events in its inaugural year. Some of the best attended events included Turtle Creek Choral, Bruce Woods Dance Company, Arts and Letters Live and the Fine Arts Chamber Players. City Performance Hall was also the location for the Mayor’s Arts Week Conversation, Reading Partners Spelling Bee, A Conversation about Race and the Theater Communication Group and American Choral Directors Association conferences.
The I.M. Pei-designed architectural icon and home to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra presented numerous events including the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, Vogel Alcove’s An Evening with Sarah McLachlan, The Black Academy of Arts & Letters’ Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement Concert, and the American Chorale Directors Association 2013 National Conference.
In June 2012, the OCA released the findings of the Arts and Economic Prosperity in Dallas research study. This was the first year that Dallas participated in this national effort, and the first time an economic impact study has been conducted focusing solely on the Dallas arts and cultural sector. The study found that the arts and cultural sector in Dallas has annual expenditures exceeding $322 million, supporting 11,227 jobs.
A total of 11 new works were added to the Public Art Collection in FY 2012-13 including the White Rock Hills Library, Cotton Bowl at Fair Park, Fire Station #50 on Walton Walker Expressway and the Latino Cultural Center. New commissions were installed at Love Field resulting in local, regional and national media coverage.
The Bath House Cultural Center marked its 31st anniversary with a season of multicultural events, including the Senior Matinee series presented by One Thirty Productions, and the acclaimed Festival of Independent Theaters. Gallery exhibitions included Día de los Muertos and John Kingerlee: Turning to the Light; an exhibition of paintings by John Kingerlee. Through a season of 16 exhibitions, 386 local, regional and international artists were represented at the Center.
The Latino Cultural Center (LCC) 2013 LCC Signature Series featured performing arts events, cultural festivals, visual arts exhibitions, and monthly family arts and craft day sponsored by Target. The LCC continued its partnership with Texas Folklife presenting the annual Big Squeeze accordion competition. Grammy Award-winning artist Leonardo “Flaco” Jiménez played a concert after the competition. The LCC hosted the annual Hecho en Dallas art exhibition featuring regional artists and celebrated its tenth Anniversary in September 2013 with a gala and community festival.
Celebrating its third anniversary in August 2013, the Oak Cliff Cultural Center continues to strengthen its community partnerships and its role as a showcase for art and culture. Community involvement has increased dramatically with heavy influences on programming from artists in the neighborhood. An expanded music program now serves more than 95 students and includes classes in guitar, bass and percussion.
The South Dallas Cultural Center (SDCC) hosted 12 exhibitions featuring the work of African American artists. In partnership with the University of North Texas and SMU, SDCC presented the documentary film Soul Food Junkies and a Dallas Weekly-sponsored a book signing and Q/A with Lynette Norris Wilkinson, whose book Untold: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew raised money for those still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina. The SDCC/Thriving Minds Afterschool Program saw an increase in participants and Big Thought/Thriving Minds Culture Out of School Program featured classes, seminars, and workshops.
Park and Recreation
Park and Recreation provides quality programs and access to safe and well-maintained park facilities throughout the city. In 2013, new trails, parks and improvements to existing facilities gave visitors an eclectic selection of leisure opportunities. Klyde Warren Park became the city’s newest downtown recreation and entertainment venue, while nature enthusiasts flocked to the Great Trinity Forest Gateway and Horse Trails Park to experience its unique natural settings. After a yearlong renovation, L.B. Houston Golf Course reopened as Luna Vista. Other recreation centers getting new looks and amenities were Harry Stone and Samuell-Grand. New spraygrounds were also opened at Willie Mae Butler and Beckley-Saner parks.
A recycling Initiative was implemented in FY2012-13 and new recycle containers were installed at trailheads and athletic fields. Parking lot and trail striping is another initiative implemented in FY2012-13. Park Maintenance Services manage and operate six warehouse operations to insure the workforce is equipped with necessary equipment, supplies and materials. Each warehouse underwent an internal financial and inventory review in FY2012-13.