News and Features

The Big Deal: ARTsPark Gift Basket Of Tickets

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Mark your calendar for April 5 and make your way down to NorthPark Center for the ARTsPARK Community Info Fair.  This will be the fifth year for the arts get-to-know-you event presented by NorthPark Center and the Business Council for the Arts. ARTsPARK will also coincide with the start of Dallas Arts Week, April 4-14, presented by Mayor Mike Rawlings and the city of Dallas.

At the ARTsPARK Community Info Fair arts and cultural groups from across North Texas will gather under one roof, NorthPark Center, for the opportunity to meet you!  Through free activities, demonstrations, and performances ARTsPARK is a great way for you to interact with about a hundred or so arts and cultural groups.  Win this Big Deal and learn even more about some of these groups first-hand with a goody gift basket of tickets from some of the participating organizations, including tickets to:

  • Dallas Summer Musicals’ Evita 
  • Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra’s Season Finale & Spring Gala, May 18
  • Nasher Sculpture Center’s Soundings: New Music at the Nasher – Stories of Freedom, April 4
  • The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

And since you are already here signing up for this Big Deal, you might also want to take the opportunity to sign up for our other Big Deals – tickets to see the Vida Guitar Quartet in Fort Worth or Dallas, presented by the Allegro Guitar Series, or a season subscription to the Winspear Opera House Recital Series presented by AT&T Peforming Arts Center.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber then take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to win an ARTsPARK Gift Basket.

UPDATE: We’ve got our winners! Be sure to play again next week!

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The Big Deal: Allegro Guitar Series Presents Vida Guitar Quartet

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Whether you win this Big Deal or not, make an appointment to see the last classical guitar concert of the season presented by the Allegro Guitar Series.  As is their practice, AGS brings exceptional artists to perform not once but twice in the metroplex.  The Vida Guitar Quartet, the masterful ensemble from the UK, will perform pieces from Georges Bizet, Benjamin Britten, Manuel de Falla, George Gershwin,  and Adam Gorb.

The Vida Guitar Quartet will be guests of the Fort Worth Classic Guitar Society on April 3 at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. And the Allegro Guitar Society of Dallas will host the Quartet the next day, April 4 at University Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. 

And while you are adding this event to your calendar, you might want to go ahead and sign up for a chance to win our other two giftings – an ARTsPARK Gift Basket of tickets, and a season subscription to the Winspear Opera House Recital Series presented by AT&T Performing Arts Center.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber then take care of that first, then sign up below for your chance to see the Vida Guitar Quartet.

Update: We’ve got our winners! Be sure to try again next week!

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The Big Deal: Winspear Opera House Recital Series Season Subscription

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This next Big Deal is actually three Big Deals in one. The sole winner of this Big Deal will receive a season subscription to the Winspear Opera House Recital Series.  That’s three different evenings of virtuoso performances by today’s foremost artists enjoyed in the intimate, acoustically-designed Winspear Opera House.

Coming up first in the series will be pianist Khatia Buniatishvili.  The BBC’s “new generation” artist will grace the stage on April 8. Acclaimed violinist Itzhak Perlman, known just as much for his exuberance and charm, as well as his talent, will follow with a concert on May 4. Lastly, celebrated pianist Andre Watts will conclude the series on June 2.

And while you are contemplating who should accompany you to each recital, go ahead and sign up for our other Big Deals this week – tickets to see the Vida Guitar Quartet presented by the Allegro Guitar Series in Fort Worth and Dallas, or an ARTsPARK Gift Basket of tickets, courtesy of NorthPark Center.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber then take care of that first, then sign up below for your chance to win a season subscription to the Winspear Opera House Recital Series presented by AT&T Performing Arts Center.

UPDATE: We’ve got our winner! Be sure to try again next week!


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The High Five: Former SMU And NBA Player Was Reported Dead – But He’s Not Dead

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Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A former SMU basketball player isn’t dead; DART light-rail expands to D/FW International sooner than expected; there’s a lime shortage; and more.

  • Former SMU and NBA basketball player Quinton Ross had to ease the fears of friends and family members after he was erroneously reported dead. Ross lives near Dallas and was attending Monday night’s NIT game between LSU and SMU. He said he woke to a phone loaded with messages from people concerned about his well-being. “My phone was going crazy,” he told The Associated Press. “I checked Facebook. Finally, I went on the Internet, and they were saying I was dead. I just couldn’t believe it.” The New York Post ran a story Monday on its website identifying Ross as a man found dead and buried on a city beach. The newspaper later corrected the story. After playing for SMU, Ross played seven NBA seasons with five teams, mostly with the Los Angeles Clippers.
  • Want to get to D/FW International Airport without driving?  By the end of the summer, that will be possible for Dallas Area Rapid Transit riders. On Aug. 18, DART will open a five-mile light rail extension that stretches from DART’s Belt Line Station in Irving to Terminal A at the airport. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports: “Morgan Lyons, a DART spokesman, says this final expansion of the Orange Line will be completed under budget and several months early. ‘What this provides literally is a one-seat ride from downtown Dallas into Terminal A,’ Lyons said. ‘We think it is going to be incredibly convenient not only for convention goers, people coming into town to do some work, folks needing to be connected to the world and people who want to work at the airport.’” If you’re traveling from Tarrant County, you’ll have to wait a few more years before getting rail service from downtown Fort Worth to the airport’s Terminal B.
  • More than 20 food truck owners say the process to get a permit in Dallas is too difficult and they’re trying to get city officials to change ordinances that restrict where food trucks can operate. The Dallas Morning News reports that the vendors have formed the DFW Food Truck Association. “Allison Catalani, owner of new dessert food truck Vegan Noms, described the permitting process a few months back as ‘time-consuming,’ ‘strenuous’ and ‘nerve-racking,’’ the News reports. The group has set up an online petition. One vendor says the goal isn’t to complain, but to open up the streets.
  • The Dallas Museum of Art’s Arts & Letters Live series welcomes authors Claire Messud and Meg Wolitzer tonight at 7:30 for “The Ties That Bind,” a discussion on their careers and new works. Messud will discuss her newest novel The Woman Upstairs and Wolitzer will share insight from her new novel The Interestings at 7:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and to buy tickets.
  • Your happy hour margarita may start to cost more: There’s a lime shortage. “Think about what that means for Mexican food alone: limes are used in practically everything, from margaritas to ceviche to guacamole,” KUT in Austin reports. One restaurant general manager in Austin told KUT that he goes through at least one case of 100 limes a day – it used to cost $14. Last week, each case was up to $99. Why has the price skyrocketed? The answers are international. Some Mexican lime growers say crops are often burned instead of being paid so little by drug cartels. Others point to floods that have curbed lime production. And there have been crop plagues. But a professor told KUT that it’s also a matter of supply and demand: more people want limes, while fewer limes are being produced.
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Art&Seek Jr: Welcome Spring With These 4 Family-Friendly Activities

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.

This past weekend I got the bright idea to paint my bathroom. What seemed like an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy job, turned into a huge mess that killed our entire  weekend and is currently in a state of limbo because of peeling paint issues. Our house looks like a crime scene because of the fallout created from this one teensy project. Seriously, if my sister were to let herself into my house today, she’d call the police and start looking for the bodies. It’s that bad.  The truth comes out; I’m no Bob Vila.

There was one little bright spot in the whole painting fiasco. A sure sign of spring floated in the window while I was trying to rid the house of paint fumes. No, it wasn’t a robin’s song or a stray dandelion seed, it was one of those huge, dangly-legged, mosquito-like bugs. Some people call them mosquito hawks, but I think they’re actually called crane flies. We call them “cat potato chips” in our house because the cat loves to eat them. Anyway, as I saw the little insect flutter in the window I knew that the best days of Texas weather were upon us. Sadly, he got stuck in the fresh paint and then the cat ate him, but never mind, spring has finally sprung!

Herald the changing of the seasons with one of these kid-friendly activities.

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The High Five: NFL Getting Greedy, Piggish, Mark Cuban Says

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Mark Cuban vs. Jerry Jones on the NFL; a local journalist wants Bruce Springsteen to pull her onstage; look at the Final Four floor; and more.

  • Mark Cuban says the NFL is getting greedy by trying to expand TV games beyond Sundays and Mondays. The Dallas Mavericks’ owner said he believes the NFL is 10 years away from implosion. “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered,” Cuban said. “And they’re getting hoggy. … When you got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns against you.” That prompted a response from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. “I respect Mark,’’ Jones said. “But with all due respect, I know more about pigs than Mark does. I was taught as a Razorback to be lean and mean, not a little fat pig.” Jones says an expanded TV schedule has boosted interest in the NFL. (ESPN/The Dallas Morning News)
  • The cleanup continues in Galveston Bay after an oil spill over the weekend. A collision between a barge and a ship caused as many as 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil to spill into the Houston Ship Channel and Gulf of Mexico. Here’s a look at where things stand. The Texas Tribune reports that the spill will take an economic and ecological toll: “The type of oil that spilled — a marine fuel oil known as RMG 380 — is black, sticky and particularly heavy. That means that instead of evaporating from the surface of the water like gasoline would, much of it will sink, persisting in the environment for months or even years. While this heavier oil is not acutely toxic, it can smother wildlife, to devastating effect.”
  • In Fort Worth, volunteers are transforming donated wedding dresses into angel gowns for babies who have passed away. Lisa Grubbs is the founder of NICU Helping Hands. She told WFAA-TV: “There’s something hopeful about that start of life, about a wedding, and to me, it’s that full circle. This child who is so loved by its parents, being wrapped in love by a bride.” Grubbs’s husband is a specialist for premature babies. She started NICU Helping Hands to help support parents. The death of a child is a sacred event and should be honored, she told WFAA. A single wedding dress can make a dozen of the angel gowns, the station reports. Many look like satin or silk christening gowns for baby dolls.
  • Vanessa Quilantan with the Dallas Observer is on a mission. She wants Bruce Springsteen to pull her onstage when he performs in Dallas April 6 as part of the 2014 NCAA March Madness Music Festival. She lists her five reasons here. One reason: It would fulfill a childhood dream. “I am starting the #princesainthedark Twitter campaign (the name of which is a reference to my own Twitter handle and longtime nickname, Pronail Princesa),” Vanessa declares. “My goal is to get the attention of the increasingly social media-active Mr. Springsteen, in hopes that he will make my wildest of dreams come true (no weird stuff though, just dancing).” Bruuuuce! Help make Vanessa’s dreams come true.
  • Speaking of the Final Four, what does it take to make the Final Four floor for the upcoming games in Arlington? Find out in this cool video from Connor Sports aka “the official court supplier of the NCAA Men’s Final Four.”
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Should White Rock Water Theater … Close Its Doors?

water theater 3editNear the Bath House Cultural Center on White Rock Lake, there’s a large semi-circle of poles standing in the water. They’re part of an environmental installation designed as rest stops for birds. It sounds peaceful enough, but artists, lake activists and neighborhood groups are sharply at odds over the bird roosts. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports what’s really triggered the dispute is the city’s lack of maintenance of the artwork.

  • Lakewood Advocate story
  • KERA radio story:
  • Online story:

It’s called the White Rock Lake Water Theater. Forty-three metal poles and 20 light poles arc across the water near the shore. There are also stone pillars on land with metal plaques detailing the kinds of turtles, cormorants and gulls attracted to the little amphitheater.

But the light poles haven’t worked for years. Neither have the solar panels and batteries that were supposed to power them at night. Floating lily pads, designed for turtles to use, were lost early on. Currently, many poles are rusted, some are leaning over, and some plaques are badly scratched.

These days, people often think the Water Theater is just the remains of an old, collapsed dock. In fact, its solar panel is built on a diving platform that’s a leftover from when the Bath House was really used for swimming.

Rich Enthoven is president of the volunteer group, For the Love of the Lake: “Having dilapidated material, art that’s past its lifespan, something that looks like it’s decaying – we don’t think that’s good for White Rock Lake.”

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Remembering Larry

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Categorized Under: Theater

6153949702_dbfe8d410aThe memorial service for longtime Dallas actor-director Larry O’Dwyer, who died Feb. 28, is this evening at 6 p.m. at Theatre 3. The public is welcome.

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The High Five: Longview To Controversial Rocker Ted Nugent: Thanks, But No Thanks

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Brian Hull made a "Let It Go" cover video that's gone viral. (Photo credit: YouTube)

Brian Hull made a “Let It Go” cover video that’s gone viral. (Photo credit: YouTube)

Have you seen the North Texas college student’s “Let It Go” video?; Longview parts ways with Ted Nugent; Fort Worth is getting trashy; and more.

  • The East Texas city of Longview has paid $16,250 to end contract negotiations with controversial rocker Ted Nugent, who was under consideration as the headliner for Longview’s Fourth of July celebration. Longview’s payoff came after Nugent’s earlier comments and song lyrics became an issue during a campaign swing with Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott. A city spokesman told the Longview News-Journal the controversy surrounding Nugent was just one factor that led the city to call off negotiations. The amount paid was about half Nugent’s performance fee. Mayor Jay Dean said Nugent’s act didn’t fit with the family-oriented program the city wanted. In January, Nugent called President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.” The comments resurfaced when Nugent campaigned in February with Abbott, who said he didn’t endorse the language. (Associated Press via Longview News-Journal)
  • The city of Fort Worth is doing some dumpster diving. Fort Worth dug through about 800 barrels of trash and recycling containers last week from 400 households in an effort to get more recyclables out of the landfill, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Among the discoveries: sticky soft drink cans, rotting heads of lettuce, working electronics, legless baby dolls, messy pizza plates and rotting flowers. “Getting more recyclables into recycling carts not only saves the city money, but it will also extend the life of the city’s landfill,” the newspaper reports. “So the city spent $37,500 to hire Action Research, a consulting firm recommended by Keep America Beautiful and based in San Diego, to take a closer look analyzing the trash.” Fort Worth sends about 22 percent of trash and compost to be recycled, far short of its goal of 40 percent, the Star-Telegram reports.
  • Larry McMurtry, the legendary Texas writer, will appear at the Dallas Museum of Art in May. The Dallas Morning News reports: “McMurtry, who will be joined onstage with collaborator Diana Ossana, will be discussing his soon-to-be-released novel The Last Kind Words Saloon. Jake Silverstein of Texas Monthly gets the honor of interviewing them. The event takes place 7 p.m. May 7 in the museum’s Horchow Auditorium.” Tickets are available here.
  • NPR’s Steve Inskeep recently traveled along the U.S.-Mexico border — from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean – to explore how the two countries are linked and how they’re separated. NPR reporters have also been pursuing stories of people, goods and culture crossing the border. Stories have been airing on NPR in recent days. Catch up on the Borderland series.


  • Brian Hull, a student at Dallas Baptist University, heard about a contest in which contestants were encouraged to create their own cover of the hit song “Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen.” Hull is a Disney nut, so he sang the song using 21 voices of various Disney characters. He posted the video on YouTube earlier this month and it’s gone viral – more than 8.3 million people have seen him sing various voices, including Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Sebastian, the lobster from “The Little Mermaid.” The folks at Disney saw the video and they’ve apparently offered Hull an audition. Hull told The Dallas Morning News that the audition offer is a “dream come true.” Before Disney contacted him, Hull talked with WFAA-TV:  “Have you ever had a feeling like you’re in a dream, and you’re just not waking up? That’s definitely what it feels like.” Hull said his favorite character to voice was Winnie the Pooh. D Magazine did this Q&A with him. And in case you’re one of the few people who haven’t seen the video, here you go – “Let It Go:”
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The High Five: Attention Young Accordion Players! Get Ready For The Big Squeeze

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The Prada Marfa public art installation was vandalized earlier this month. (Photo Credit: Rita Weigart/Marfa Public Radio)

The Prada Marfa public art installation was vandalized earlier this month. (Photo Credit: Rita Weigart/Marfa Public Radio)

Five stories that have North Texas talking: The Prada Marfa has been vandalized; a man is accused of stealing from the widow of slain Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle; attention young accordion players; and more.

  • Attention young accordion players! Texas Folklife presents the eighth annual Big Squeeze accordion contest for up-and-coming musicians at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Dallas Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. It’s open to Texas accordionists 21 years and younger. Contestants may register on site or in advance by calling Texas Folklife at 512-441-9255 or online. Various tryouts are being held around the state this spring. Nine finalists will be chosen from the various tryouts and will perform in Austin on April 26 – at that time, three grand prize winners will be selected: polka, zydeco and conjunto. The winners will perform at the annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival in Houston in June. Learn more about the contest:


  • A Waco-based artist has been accused of vandalizing the Prada Marfa public art installation in West Texas. The Texas Department of Public Safety says Joseph Magnano was arrested Tuesday near Wichita Falls on a criminal mischief warrant, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. The Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Office said the building near Valentine, about 35 miles northwest of Marfa, was found plastered with paint and posters on March 11. The site opened in 2005 designed to appear like a retailer of expensive Prada shoes and handbags. Since then, vandals have targeted the site numerous times. Marfa Public Radio has been following the story. But some are suggesting that Prada Marfa was designed to “deteriorate and suffer abuse” — Glasstire explores that issue.
  • A man who worked private security for the widow of slain Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle is accused of stealing her credit card and making more than $6,000 in charges, Midlothian police documents show. WFAA-TV reports: “Spencer Coursen faces two counts of credit or debit card abuse, a state jail felony punishable by up two years in prison. Taya Kyle told authorities that Coursen was hired as private security for a book tour for several months last year. She said that during that time, he had access to the home and stayed there on occasion.” Chris Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range. Many considered Kyle a hero for the lives he saved in Iraq, but when he appeared on KERA’s ‘Think’ in 2012, he described himself as a normal guy. “I’m no different than everybody else; I just did a different job,” Kyle said. “I’m your average, every day, next door guy.”
  • Air Force One is in Fort Worth for a paint job. One of the president’s planes landed at Meacham International Airport in Fort Worth Thursday. The aircraft has undergone a year’s worth of maintenance, a Boeing spokeswoman told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The newspaper reports that workers will “refresh the unmistakable three-toned blue details and the lettering ‘United States of America,’ said Eric Sharman, deputy chief of public affairs for Joint Base Andrews, where the planes are stationed.”
  • The woman responsible for bringing an Islamic art collection to the Dallas Museum of Art was featured this week in The New York Times. The DMA hired Sabiha Al Khemir in 2012 to create an Islamic art program. For the next 15 years, the museum will be home to nearly 2,000 Islamic art objects. Al Khemir was an ideal choice to boost the museum’s Islamic art collection. “She had also produced the catalog for an Islamic art exhibition at the Louvre, taught at the British Museum, consulted for the Metropolitan Museum and produced TV documentaries in Britain, among other accomplishments,” the Times reports. She’s become a senior adviser at the DMA. “Nur: Light in Art and Science,” opens March 30.
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