News and Features

CinéWilde, The Texas Theatre’s New LGBT Film Series

The Texas Theater is kicking off a new LGBT film series on January 10th.  Our friend and event organizer Daniel Laabs sent over this press release:


CinèWilde, the Texas Theatre’s new repertory LGBT film series, kicks off this Friday January 10th at 8pm with the 1990 documentary “Paris Is Burning.” The event will feature a pre-show talk with local drag personalities including (Rodd Gray aka Patti Le Plae Safe), “Paris Is Burning”-themed cocktails and an open- floor runway show where anyone can walk.

CinèWilde seeks to share quality lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender films that reflect the full spectrum of the queer experience including race, gender, age, and socioeconomic status.

Each month the Texas Theater will host a special screening of a topical LGBT- themed film and host an educational talk-back session with special local guests describing the cultural significance of each film. Some screenings will also help raise funds to help give back to local LGBT organizations.

Our inaugural screening will be a newly restored 35mm print of Jennie Livingston’s 1990 Documentary film “Paris Is Burning” which chronicles the mid- to-late 80s New York City ball culture as well as the the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it.

In spirit of late 1980s ball culture, we will be throwing a Community Ball. The concept is that “Everyone Walks” so we are inviting all to come and participate in the runway activities. Drag Categories will be determined by participants (so making up a new category of drag is absolutely acceptable) and at the end of the Ball our Judges will be awarding trophies.

The Texas Theater has long been dedicated to screening films from LGBT directors and with queer themes. CinèWilde marks the theater’s first foray into bringing the LGBT and other local communities together to explore how sex, gender and sexuality play into the culture at large.

Break down of Inaugural Event on January 10th

8:00 PM – Sign in table opens for Ball participants, all those who wish to walk the runway should sign up prior to the start of the Ball

8:30 PM – Open Discussion CinèWilde Organizer Daniel Villarreal, Rodd Gray (Patti Le Plae Safe), and Chaaz Paulandsandras

9:00 PM – CinèWilde’s presentation of Jennie Livingston’s “Paris Is Burning” on a newly restored 35mm Print

11:30 PM – The inaugural CinèWilde Ball “Everybody Walks” commences… so come prepared to strut, stomp, walk, vogue, etc.

Website and event info:


CinèWilde is…

Daniel Laabs
Programmer & Organizer

Daniel Villareal
Programmer & Organizer

DR Hanson
Programmer & Organizer

Barak Epstein
Director of Texas Theatre

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Crow To Spread Its Wings – Again

frontageeditWhere the Lotus Shop currently resides (right – next to the red Buddah, by Liu Yonggang) — and where it will be, left, in the white ground floor of Belo Pavilion. Photo credit: Jerome Weeks

Liu Yonggang’
Liu Yonggang’

The Crow Collection of Asian Art is spreading its wings once again. Last year, the Arts District museum completed its takeover of the plaza around the Trammel Crow Center, creating its own sculpture garden there with some BIG sculptures.

This week, officials with the Crow announced the museum will fashion a new, larger entrance and add new gallery space. The new gallery will open in the fall for an exhibition, Fierce Loyalty,  which will feature the Crow’s recent acquisition, a suit of Japanese samurai armor from 1730. (It may open just about the time Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection closes at the Kimbell — so it’s going to be a samurai autumn in North Texas.)

The new entrance and gallery will be where the museum store, the Lotus Shop, is currently — with the entrance now coming straight off the sidewalk. The shop itself will move across Olive Street to become a pop-up storefront in the Belo Pavilion, the shop tentatively re-named the Pearl. The museum’s plans are so new officials say they can’t release even a ballpark budget estimate.

lotus edit



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Jazz Educators Swing Into Dallas


Bart Marantz

The Jazz Education Network is holdings its national conference at the Hyatt Reunion this week. Organizers expect 3,000 teachers, musicians and students. Bart Marantz will be one of them. He’s Director of Jazz Studies at Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. The schools graduates include Roy Hargrove, Erykah Badu and Norah Jones. But when he stopped by KERA’s studio, Marantz told me that things are different for today’s students.

  • Listen to the interview that aired on KERA FM:

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  • You can attend performances and clinics at the Jazz Education Network at the Hyatt Reunion tonight through Saturday. Details at the end of this post.

Here are some highlights from our conversation:

The music business has always been tough. But talented kids who want to pursue a music career face a new kind of challenge.

“Today we are so saturated with incredible musicians who have come through, not the street, but the classroom. And then they’ve blossomed into great musicians. So this is what we’re producing now. There is a huge amount of great musicians available to the industry. So it’s a bit scary.  It’s a lot different than when Roy, or Nora, or Erykah were coming up. They had a much better chance of hitting it big. But this is one of the things that I really love about what I do. We feed the industry.  We have eight kids [graduates] with 31 Grammys. But you probably haven’t heard of the majority of those kids.

“If you look during my era, it was all based on big bands. That’s what I played on. And that’s gone. We teach kids now, in the classroom, the American Songbook. And that’s how they’re going to earn a living. Playing in trios, quartets and quintets.

Marantz has been teaching for more than 30 years. How’s teaching jazz different today?

Read More »

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Flickr Photo Of The Week

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Categorized Under: Visual Arts

photo of the week 600x420 postCongratulations to Mark Birnbaum of Dallas, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest! Mark has won our contest before; his last victory came in June of 2013. He follows last week’s winner, KT Shiue.

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 Monday to Sunday, and the Art&Seek staff will pick a winner on Monday 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 Wednesday.

Now, here’s more from Mark:

Title of Photo: Tree People / Cowgirl

Equipment: iPhone 5s

Tell us more about your photo:  My sister was in from Santa Fe for Christmas weekend so I took her to the Bishop Arts (District). We wandered into Fête-ish and found a tree decorated with these wonderful mermaids and mermen. After a few touchups in Lightroom, I had a whole new circle of friends!

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First Look! In His New Video, Jaap Visits The ‘New World’

This season has seen the Dallas Symphony use the national and even international luster it’s gained through music director Jaap van Zweden to promote its concerts — by promoting the conductor. In its series of YouTube videos, The Maestro’s Choice, the DSO has employed Jaap as pitchman and guide in what amount to “illustrated program notes.” The best of the bunch so far have gone beyond the usual background of a composer or individual work to have van Zweden discuss his feelings about Dallas for the DSO’s JFK memorial concert, the technical and musical challenges of Brahms’ Violin Concerto and why Mahler’s Fourth Symphony has special meanings for him.

In the latest video (above), the maestro discusses Anton Dvorak’s New World Symphony, which the DSO plays Jan. 16-18 at the Meyerson. This one is more conventional than the previous videos, with Jaap sticking to the kind of info one can find in a typical program or liner note. Too bad because just when Jaap makes an interesting point — how Dvorak combines African-American and Bohemian sounds — he doesn’t turn to the score, as we might expect, but moves on to how the orchestra needs to be tight and prepared so it can improvise comfortably and freely.

On the other hand, we do get to hear how the Dutch pronounce Dvorak. You probably don’t want to attempt it. Because: tongue sprain. And flying spittle.

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The Big Deal: Ballet in Cinema – ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ At The Angelika Film Center

"The Sleeping Beauty" Photo by Damir Yusupov

“The Sleeping Beauty”
Photo by Damir Yusupov

The Angelika Film Center continues its Ballet in Cinema with the Bolshoi Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty.  Long before Walt Disney worked his magic on this children’s fairy tale,  ballet master and choreographer  Marius Petipa and Russian composer Tchaikovsky worked together in 1890 to tell the storybook romance.  Their collaboration produced one of ballet’s most charming and famous classical ballets.

This production of The Sleeping Beauty, captured in HD, was one of the first performed in the newly renovated Bolshoi Theatre and features American dancer David Hallberg as Prince Desire. Hallberg is the first ever American principal dancer for the Bolshoi.  For this Big Deal we have a pair of tickets for the screening on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas.

And while you are signing up for this Big Deal you might also want to sign up for our other Big Deal this week, tickets to see the Elvis Lives! tribute concert at Bass Performance Hall.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber yet then take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to see The Sleeping Beauty at the  Angelika Film Center in Dallas.

UPDATE:   We have our winners. Come back next week for more Big Deals! 

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The Big Deal: Elvis Lives! At Bass Performance Hall

Elvis poster big 400It has been close to 40 years since Elvis’ death and for many people he is still reigns as “the King.”  Today the enigmatic Rock and Roll icon continues to intrigue audiences of all ages.  If you have never had the opportunity to experience the Elvis phenomenon in person then here is your chance.

The tribute concert Elvis Lives! will play at Bass Hall on Jan. 16 and one lucky Art&Seek e-newsletter subscriber will receive a pair of tickets to the theatrical event.

Elvis Lives! is a multimedia and live musical journey across Elvis’ life. The concert will feature finalists from the worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.  And there will also be a tribute to Ann-Margret, billed early in her career as the female version of Elvis Presley. Meow! 

But before you go off and dust off those blue suede shoes don’t forget to sign up for our other Big Deal this week – admission for two to the Best of the Bolshoi’s The Sleeping Beauty screening at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber yet then take care of that first, then complete the form below for a chance to see Elvis Lives! at Bass Hall.

UPDATE:  We have our winner! Thanks for playing.

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The High Five: ‘I Am Trying To Adapt’ — As The Music World Changes, T Bone Burnett Stays Busy

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Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: a Dallas-to-Houston bullet train is closer to reality; a cheetah cub at the Dallas Zoo has died; luxury home sales are booming, and more.

  • Variety profiles Fort Worth’s very own T Bone Burnett, the singer/songwriter and producer. He’s busy these days. Variety reports: “He has taken on another music exec producer role for HBO’s forthcoming ‘True Detective’ series starring Matthew McConaughey, and has begun working on ‘The Basement Tapes … Continued,’ an album and film documentary that will resurrect 16 previously lost Bob Dylan lyric sheets from 1967, turning them into new songs and recordings, involving Dylan and some of today’s most acclaimed artists. In addition, Burnett will launch Electromagnetic Recordings, a label venture with Capitol Music Group that will feature a roster ranging from Gregg Allman and Jerry Lee Lewis to the upstart band Mini Mansions, all under Burnett’s production helm.”
  • Kamau, the Dallas Zoo’s beloved 6-month-old cheetah cub, died Tuesday afternoon from pneumonia. Kamau and his brother, Winspear, became sick last week and were treated around the clock by veterinary staff, the zoo reports. Winspear is recovering and in stable condition. Kamau, who was smaller, became gravely ill Tuesday. Zoo staff tried to resuscitate him. Kamau, pronounced ka-MOWH, died at 2:15 p.m.


  • A Texas agency is hiring a seismologist as part of an effort to tackle a sudden increase in earthquakes in areas with significant oil and gas drilling activities. The Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that regulates drilling, said Tuesday it is hiring a seismologist after holding a contentious meeting with residents in Azle. The town, northwest of Fort Worth, has seen an increase in drilling activity in recent years, and is also in an area that has experienced dozens of earthquakes. Catch up on KERA’s earthquake coverage here.
  • Sales of North Texas homes costing $1 million or more boomed in 2013. Why? Credit confident consumers and out-of-state buyers, D magazine says. That’s according to luxury-home Realtor Erin Mathews, a principal at the Mathews Nichols Group in Dallas. “Luxury lot sales in Highland Park and University Park—those lots in the $1 million to $3 million range—have just gone crazy,” Mathews tells D magazine in an item posted on its Frontburner blog. There have been lots of teardowns in the Park Cities because many homebuyers discover it’s not feasible to renovate what they’ve bought, Mathews said.


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Art&Seek Jr: Art, Magic, Music, No Batteries Required

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.

By now most of the “must have” Christmas presents the kids couldn’t live without have (a) been broken, (b) played with until they’re nearly broken, or (c) deemed, “not that fun” and discarded to the back of the closet.  There’s also (d) returned, which was the fate of Rose’s Flutterbye Flying Fairy doll. In the commercial for Flutterbye, she gracefully hovers above your hand and then magically twirls through the air. Sadly that’s not the way it went in our house Christmas morning. Our Flutterbye Fairy didn’t happily flitter on my child’s hand, but instead flew off wildly like a crazed kamikaze pilot before crashing into the Christmas tree. The second try didn’t go any better. Even the cat ran for cover as Flutterbye careened through the air, hit a wall and then sputtered and flopped about on the floor like a giant sparkly locust. I convinced Rose that Santa clearly had an elf that was sleeping on the job, and he wouldn’t care if we took the (psycho) flying fairy to Target and got another toy. Santa and Target have a mutual trade agreement, you know.

As bad as she was, Flutterbye reminded me that it’s not the toys that make a great Christmas, it’s the memories. Flutterbye gave us those in spades. Here’s the Junior’s weekly list of memory-makers–no batteries required. Read More »

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Vickery Meadow: When A Neighborhood Becomes An Art Project

ratcliff1 whtie cube

Inside one of Trans.lation’s White Cube galleries at Vickery Meadow.

People from 120 countries live in Vickery Meadow, and 27 different languages are spoken in the neighborhood of ’70s apartment buildings, not far from North Park Mall.  Houston artist Rick Lowe has been working on an unusual project there for more than a year, commissioned by the Nasher Sculpture Center.  I spoke with one of Lowe’s collaborators, Darryl Ratcliff, who is artist-in-residence at Vickery Meadow. He says that ongoing workshops, monthly markets, and most recently, three outdoor public galleries, are adding up to create art that is much more than the sum of its parts.

  •      Market: The next Trans.lation market is Jan. 18 at  1 p.m. at 6327 Ridgecrest Road
  •      Galleries: The three White Cube galleries  (two are white, one’s green) are open all the time on Ridgecrest Road. Look for them in front of buildings at 6026,  6318 and 6466 Ridgecrest.
  • Listen to the interview that aired on KERA FM:

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  •  Can Art Transform Vickery Meadow? D Magazine’s Peter Simek tackles the question.
  • Listen to Rick Lowe tell Think‘s Krys Boyd about the Vickery Meadow project, and another of his efforts, Project Rowhouse, in Houston.
  • Dallas Morning News visited Vickery Meadow for a piece about the Trans.lation project Sunday.

Some background and excerpts from our conversation:

Lowe’s “piece” is one of 10 commissioned by the Nasher Sculpture Center for Nasher Xchange,  a collection of public artworks positioned throughout Dallas to mark the museum’s 10th anniversary. The official title of the Vickery Meadow work is  “Trans.lation.” Lowe and a group of many collaborators have been working in the neighborhood most of the year, planning, meeting neighbors, running workshops. This fall saw a series of monthly “markets”.  Sometimes, they are more traditional markets, selling residents’ artwork. But there has also been “Lucky Pot,” 17 women from different countries sharing traditional dishes with neighbors.   And “Vickery Meadow’s Got Talent,” 27 acts performing for about 500 people.


Darryl Ratcliff

“There doesn’t need to be a literal interpretation of the word [market]“ says Ratcliff. “It’s really about how do we facilitate these cultural exchanges inside the community and also with the greater Dallas community as well.”

Last month, the newest feature,  White Cube Galleries, opened. These three outdoor cubes – two are white, one is green – are accessible 24-hours.

“They’re meant to be these community spaces where we can bridge the high-end art world and the community world and bring the two together,” says Ratcliff.

What makes it all art?

“When you look at social practice, there’s one way to think of it, aesthetically, is that there’s the thing.  It’s these worskhops, it’s these White Cubes, it’s these markets. That’s one thing and you can evaluate how successful that is. But then there’s this bigger thing that [these components] gesture toward. And in this case, it’s the idea of public space, it’s this idea of cultural exchange.  Hopefully as the project developed, all the little parts that we do, when you look at it from a holistic standpoint, they’ll make this symbolic gesture of how we can better think about the issue of exchange and public space. And that is the art.”

What kind of reaction are you getting from residents?

Ratcliff says the project’s engaged about 1,000 residents in one way or another.  He mentioned the women who participate in the art workshops are especially connected to the project. Most of them, he says, do 90 percent of their creative work at home. But the workshops are popular “because it provides the space for them to talk to another woman from Vietnam, from Nepal from Iraq, that doesn’t really exist anywhere else in their lives that feels safe to them. ”

 What’s next?

The Nasher project – and its funding – ends in February. But the collaborators are looking for a way to keep it going. So’s the community.

“It’ll be really interesting to see…if the arts community in Dallas sees that as  worthy to invest in and continue this type of work here,” says Ratcliff.

“In a normal art world, the gallery world, we have a show and then it’s over. We sweep the floors, we take the work down and it’s time for the next show. If it’s a bad show, whatever. With work like this, it’s not quite that easy because you’re really dealing with people’s lives. You can’t just take the work down and sweep the floor.”

One woman who had heard that the workshops might go away began crying, “expressing how much it meant to her to have this place, where people are so open. And that moment really impacted me, that realization that ok, you’ve come in you’ve provided spaces for people’s lives. Just pulling the plug like that can sometimes also be disruptive.”


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