News and Features

Art&Seek Jr: 6 Plays You Won’t Want To Miss This Summer

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Categorized Under: Art&Seek Jr., Uncategorized

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

Like most children, my daughter awaits big, splashy, summer movies with a level of eagerness she reserves only for Christmas, birthdays, and new kittens. Each action-packed trailer she sees makes the anticipation grow that much more. And if that weren’t enough, promoters have now started fusing movie clips with commercials so you’ve got a near constant buzz (i.e. frenzy) leading up to the movie’s opening. The munchkins get so whipped up they’re likely to self-implode like little glitter bombs waiting for the premiere of the summer kiddie blockbusters.

Of course, maximum hoopla can sometimes backfire. Such was the case when we went to see a very “talked up”animated film last Saturday. Although the movie was cute, and we were somewhat entertained, it didn’t even come close to meeting our expectations. It was a shoulder shrugger, which was disappointing given how much we really wanted to LOVE it.

If the cinema is leaving you feeling flat and dissatisfied, give the theater a whirl. And by theater, I mean the kind with actors, scenery, show tunes, and seats without cup holders. Summer is the perfect time to introduce the little kiddles to the magic of the theater. Besides being the original 3-D experience, very often you can find a play for the same price as a movie ticket.

No, you won’t get a Seven Brides for Seven Brothers action figure with your Happy Meal, but instead of hype, plays will leave you with song in your heart and a feeling of utter satisfaction.

Here are a few you for you and the tinies to check out in the coming  weeks.

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Flickr Photo Of The Week

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Categorized Under: Uncategorized, Visual Arts




Congratulations to Fabio Bonasera of Pisa, Italy the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest. This is Fabio’s fourth win in our little contest. He follows last week’s winner Darren Plank of Cathlamet, WA.

If you would like to participate in the Flickr Photo of the Week contest, all you need to do is upload your photo to our Flickr group page. It’s fine to submit a photo you took earlier than the current week, but we are hoping that the contest will inspire you to go out and shoot something fantastic this week to share with Art&Seek users. If the picture you take involves a facet of the arts, even better. The contest week will run from Tuesday to Monday, and the Art&Seek staff will pick a winner on Friday afternoon. We’ll notify the winner through FlickrMail (so be sure to check those inboxes) and ask you to fill out a short survey to tell us a little more about yourself and the photo you took. We’ll post the winners’ photo on Tuesday.

Me ridottoNow here’s more from Fabio.

Title of photo: City Bike Project in Pisa

Equipment: Canon EOS 1100D with Samyang 3.5 / 8 lens

Tell us more about your photo: Hello, my name is Fabio Bonasera of Pisa. Photography is my passion. Thank you for selecting my photo City Bike Project in Pisa. It is part of a series of photos I took while cycling in my city.

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The Lost Murals of Dallas’ Old Municipal Building

Lost Murals from Mark Birnbaum Productions on Vimeo.

A few months ago, workers restoring Dallas’ Old Municipal Building began ripping down ceilings that were added in the 1950s. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports they discovered evidence of something that wasn’t supposed to be there: historic, hand-painted murals from 1934 that were reportedly destroyed.

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The Cliburn Premieres Its Next Generation Of Pianists

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Categorized Under: Culture, Fort Worth Arts, Music

The Cliburn is aiming for a new generation of pianists – kids. This weekend brings the Cliburn’s first international competition for 13 to 17-year-olds. The main Cliburn, held every 4 years, has helped launch careers, and an amateur contest has enlivened off-years. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports, some wonder whether the newest effort is putting too much pressure on musicians too soon.

Listen to the story that aired on KERA FM

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Saturday Spotlight – Putting the Art in pARTy

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Live art demonstration from the 2014 event. (Photo: facebook)

Live art demonstration from the 2014 event. (Photo: facebook)

For this week’s Art & Seek Spotlight, we’re headed to pARTy on Crockett in Fort Worth for live music, art, and an interactive art exhibition. The Rhythmaires kick things off with their blend of swing and rockabilly. Let the kiddos contribute to an art piece while they dance the night away. And when headliner Ronnie Heart takes the stage, three artists will create a collaborative piece of art right before our eyes.

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A New Arts District Plan? Let’s Think Through What Went Wrong With The First One

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The Arts District looking out from the ‘Graveyard of Restaurants.’ Photo: Jerome Weeks

Robert Wilonsky in the DMN‘s City Hall blog reports that, some thirty years after the Sasaki Plan outlined the future for the Arts District, there’s now a request for a whole new revised plan (“At the end of May, Arts District leadership put out the word that it was looking for firms to sock it to the Sasaki plan” — and entries were due four days ago.) The eleven submissions include ideas from Rem Koolhaas’ OMA (co-designers of the Wyly Theatre), Sasaki Associates (again) and SHoP Architects, a Boston firm that was one of the three finalists for the Connected City Design Challenge (remember that? It wanted to find ways to link Dallas’ urban core with its riverfront — somehow overcoming I-35 and the Trinity Tollway).

Catherine Cueller, head of the Dallas Arts District — who, Wilonsky reports, is leaving to direct Entrepreneurs for North Texas — says a selection committee will go through the submissions and get them down to a handful by July 13, when the firms will be asked for proposals.

Why all this now?

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Bruce Wood Dance Project Marks 5 Years With 3 Premieres

Photo credit: Loli Kantor

Photo credit: Loli Kantor

In May last year, the Dallas dance world lost Bruce Wood, one of its foundational members. The topic of conversation many people tried to avoid, but couldn’t, was whether or not the Bruce Wood Dance Project would survive. How would they go on without their inspiration, their father figure, their friend? Two weeks after his death, they persevered through their June 2014 shows at the City Performance Hall, performing as if Wood was carrying them through the show, lifting them higher into the air, making them stronger than they had been before.

While the performance was acclaimed, the question still loomed: Who would take over the Bruce Wood Dance Project?

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John Alexander’s Animal-People Rule The Roost At The Meadows

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John Alexander in his studio with Sailing on the Edge. Photo: Krystallynne Gonzalez

SMU’s Meadows Museum marks its 50th anniversary this year. As part of the celebrations, it’s honoring artist John Alexander, one of SMU’s most significant graduates, with a show called Human/nature. The Ridiculous and Sublime. KERAs Joan Davidow says the title’s accurate — from Alexander’s student years to his latest decade of paintings and drawings.

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Just What The Arts District And Klyde Warren Need! More High-Rise Office Space!

di suvero1

‘Proverb’ by Mark di Suvero. Photo: Jerome Weeks

Well, there will be some ground-floor retail, so there’s that small consolation.

Over on the DMN‘s Biz Beat Blog, Steve Brown reports the corner of Pearl and Woodall Rogers — that little grassy plot with the big red Mark di Suvero sculpture — has been sold by the Dallas Symphony Foundation to the developer, Lincoln Property, the folks who own Two Energy Square and Three Energy Square and Two Turtle Creek  (they’re not real big on clever names).

At any rate, they’re planning a 23-story office tower on that little half-acre and the sale is expected to close in September. The property had originally been acquired by the Dallas Symphony (it was a drive-in bank) with an eye toward “future expansion of its facilities.” According to the DSO’s release, the sale price was $7.2 million — and that money will go to the foundation’s endowment. “Returns on the investments of the funds,” the release says, “are expected to contribute approximately $400,000 per year to the Dallas Symphony.”

What had once been a possibility for a distinctive ‘gateway’ to the Arts District will now be — judging from the illustration accompanying Brown’s story — a big glass box butting up against the back of the Meyerson Symphony Center. The  building will be designed by HKS, the folks who gave us the W Hotel.

The release states the foundation “negotiated the right to review and approve the project architect” and the foundation’s review committee “advised and provided recommendations for the building’s design.” There’s supposed to be a restaurant on the ground floor, a fitness center, plus an “amenity deck” overlooking Klyde Warren Park. And all this will be across Woodall Rodgers from the giant tower that Trammell Crow is planning, the largest in central Dallas.

The di Suvero sculpture, by the way, always reminded me of an old-style metronome, so it seemed fitting standing next to the Meyerson. The title of the artwork is “Proverb,” which means, of course, a “pithy saying or truth.” In this case, that pithy saying would be: “location, location, location.”

Or perhaps “a historically high real-estate market makes its own future.”

Here’s the release:

Lincoln Property Plans Office and Restaurant Development for Land
at Pearl Street and Woodall Rodgers

DALLAS (June 18, 2015) – Moving to take advantage of the city’s strong real
estate market, The Dallas Symphony Foundation has signed a contract to sell a
tract of land in the Dallas Arts District to Lincoln Property Company for $7.2
million. The land was purchased in 1995 for $1.5 million.

The land sits adjacent to the back of the Meyerson Symphony Center at the
corner of Pearl Street and Woodall Rodgers Freeway.

Proceeds for the sale of the land will be used to augment the Foundation’s
endowment, which helps to fund the operating expenses of the Dallas Symphony
Orchestra. Returns on the investments of the funds yielded by this transaction
are expected to contribute approximately $400,000 per year to the Dallas
Symphony, in perpetuity. The sale of the land is expected to close in September.
“The Foundation’s mission is to ensure that we maximize the return on the
investments we are entrusted to manage,” said Scott Hancock, the Foundation’s
president. “The real estate market in Downtown Dallas, and especially the Arts
District, is at a historic high, so it just made good financial sense to put this asset
to the best use for the Symphony.”

Said DSO President and CEO Jonathan Martin: “I believe that the sale of this
property is a prudent decision by the Foundation. It will help ensure the DSO
continues to have the resources necessary to maintain and enhance the
excellence of our organization.”

Lincoln’s preliminary plans for development of the property call for a 23-story
office development that will also include a large restaurant, a tenant conference
center, a fitness center and an amenity deck overlooking Klyde Warren Park. The
development is being designed by HKS Architects.

Before signing the contract to sell the property, the Foundation negotiated the
right to review and approve the project architect and the overall concept for the
development. As part of the review process, the Foundation engaged a Concept
Design Committee including Howard Hallam, DSO Board of Governors’
Chairman Joseph F. Hubach, Jonathan Martin, Brian Ratner, Deedie Rose and Sandi Pei, son of Meyerson Symphony Center architect I.M. Pei. The review
committee advised and provided recommendations for the building’s design,
ensuring that it would not detract from the Meyerson Symphony Center and the
overall aesthetics of the Dallas Arts District. Those recommendations are
included in the current design. The DSO also negotiated the after-business-hours
use of 600 parking spaces to be built as part of the project.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to develop another building along Klyde
Warren Park that is a part of the Dallas Arts District,” said David Pettle, Lincoln
executive vice president. “The Arts District location places tenants within
walking distance to Downtown and Uptown, with convenient access to many of
the City’s finest cultural attractions and amenities.”

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Does Stage Life Trump Gay Life In ‘The Nance’?


Linda Leonard, B.J. Cleveland, Sterlling Gafford and Sherry Hopkins in Uptown Players’ The Nance. Photo: Mike Morgan

In the 1930s in New York City, you could play a flamboyant gay male onstage, but you couldn’t legally be one offstage. Uptown Players is presenting the Texas premiere of the Broadway comedy The Nance. The ‘nance’ is an old term for a campy burlesque stage comic, and as part of the KERA News series In the Studio with Art & Seek, Jerome Weeks talks with actor B.J. Cleveland, who stars in the title role of Uptown’s The Nance.

  • Uptown Players opens The Nance Friday. It runs through July 5th at the Kalita Humphreys Theater.

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