News and Features

Thursday Morning Roundup

By Design: The DMN takes a look at CityDesignStudio and its leader, Brent Brown. The office is best known for its work on a development plan for West Dallas, and for taking all stakeholders, including local residents, into account. Will the small office  that “plays above its weight” make a lasting impact on the design of Dallas? The new Sylvan Thirty project between I-30 and Ft. Worth Avenue may test that. “I think they are absolutely the future,” says developer Monte Anderson, who restored the Belmont Hotel and worries its views may be blocked by the new project. Some residents are also complaining about the development. Anderson says he’s a studio fan “but what worries me is whether they will be able to stick to their design principles and not be influenced by political pressure.”

UPDATE: Unfair Park has something of a blow-by-blow account of Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting/quarrel among the Sylvan Thirty developers, CityDesignStudio, West Dallasites and area stakeholders like Anderson over what is turning out to be something of a test case for whether CDS’s approach and the city’s Special Purpose District will hold up.

ArtPlace: Orchestrated by the National Endowment for the Arts, an unusual collaboration between private foundations, commercial lenders and government institutions will help fund 34 projects designed to stimulate economic recovery through art. ArtPlace is distributing $11 million in grants and $12 million in loans, with the average grant around $350,000 reports the New York Times.

So in St. Paul the program will help underwrite efforts to stage more than 100 arts projects along a new light-rail line. In Detroit a stretch of Woodward Avenue will gain a music center, pedestrian greenways, improved museum space and a new building for start-up companies. And P.S. 109 in East Harlem will become a home for 90 artists and their families as well as 13,000 square feet of space for community and cultural groups.

Additional details about the program are expected today. The Times reports that proposals for a next round of funding are being accepted through Nov. 15. Piece doesn’t mention Texas recipients, but we’ll check today.

UPDATE: The only project funded by ArtPlace in Texas — so far — is one for the Houston Grand Opera’s community initiative, Home + Place.

Begin singing: Music critic Scott Cantrell spotlights Joshua Habermann, who makes his debut as director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus this weekend.  The San Francisco native received his master’s and doctoral degrees from UT-Austin. Cantrell writes in the Dallas Morning News:

Habermann has a hard act to follow. David R. Davidson, who led the chorus from 1997 until his death in 2009, was a charismatic and beloved figure. But Habermann, at 42 tall and slender, with TV-ready smile, exudes his own blend of enthusiasm and California ease.

Giving: It’s Get Up and Give Day in North Texas. Your contributions to any of hundreds of arts and other non-profits go twice as far thanks to a one-day matching gift established through Donor Bridge. (More from Jerome on this here and here.) Full disclosure: Art&Seek/KERA/KXT are among them.

Getting: Have you entered to win Free Night of Theater tix yet? You can do that here for a few more days.