News and Features

The Big Deal: Nasher Sculpture Center Passes

Photo: Nasher Sculpture Center

Photo: Nasher Sculpture Center

The Raymond and Patsy Nasher sculpture collection is the one of the foremost collections of modern and contemporary sculptures. Rotating pieces of the collection are on display at the Nasher Sculpture Center located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. Mattise, Picasso, Moore, and Miró are but a few artists represented in the collection that spans the late 19th century to the present. Win these complimentary passes for two and visit the sculpture garden anytime this year.

Take advantage now to also sign up for our other offering this week – tickets to the Dallas Theater Center’s premiere production of Stagger Lee at the Wyly Theatre.

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

UPDATE:  We have our lucky, lucky winner! Thanks to all for playing.

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The Big Deal: Dallas Theater Center Presents ‘Stagger Lee’

Stagger Lee Logo DTC 600

This week the Dallas Theater Center will begin previews of a brand new musical, Stagger Lee. Playwright, Hip Hop theater artist, and DTC’s artist-in-residence Will Power created the musical based on the mythical characters in the folk song “Stagger Lee.”  As the characters struggle for their piece of the American dream a moving story of love, freedom and sacrifice unfolds. The tale is infused with tunes spanning a century of musical genres from folk, jazz, blues, rock ‘n’ roll and hip hop – all composed by Power and co-composer, Justin Ellington. Complementing the story telling team is New York based and award-winning choreographer, Camille A. Brown. Stagger Lee runs from Jan. 22 through Feb. 15 at the Wyly Theatre. Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Jan. 27 performance.

After signing up here, take a moment to survey our other Big Deal this week, passes to the Nasher Sculpture Center in the Dallas.

And take a moment to explore Art&Seek’s digital storytelling series Stagger Lee: Making a Musical 

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

UPDATE: We have our winners. Thank you all for playing with us!

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Art&Seek Jr: 4 Winter Boredom Busters

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.

About this time of year is when the winter doldrums come knocking at the door.  Sure winter can be fun, but it can also be a whole lot of boring for some  kids. The hoopla of the holidays is over and it seems like spring break is ions away. If it weren’t for the occasional late winter ice storm the tinies would have nothing to look forward to.

Fear not! The Junior’s got you covered.  Here are a few picks guaranteed to chase away the winter blues.

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Bringing Martin Luther King Jr.’s Words To The Page – And The Stage

MLK Symposium 397 (2)Larry Allums, Jonathan Rieder, Willie Pearl Mackey King, Jonathan Norton, Derrick Sanders and Will Power in the post-play discussion of The 67th Book of the Bible. Photos: Jonathan R. Strange

  • Norton is part of KERA’s State of The Arts Panel on creative process and the cultural landscape at the Dallas Museum of Art on Thursday. Find out how to attend.

Last night a sold-out crowd at Dallas City Performance Hall saw a new play about Martin Luther King, Jr.

They didn’t see the man himself portrayed onstage. In the drama, The 67th Book Of The Bible, King is onstage only in the famous letter he wrote from Birmingham Jail in 1963 – or, rather, not ‘wrote’ so much as scrawled hastily on bits of toilet paper, grocery bags and newspapers. The reverend’s words — smuggled out from jail — must be quickly yet carefully deciphered by King’s chief of staff Wyatt Tee Walker and Walker’s young assistant Willie Pearl Mackey. Flattening the scraps, piecing them together and poring over faded “chicken scratches” is how the civil rights activists interact with their leader in the play.

That mechanism – casting King not as an icon but as a sum of the sweaty, urgent, barely legible pieces of what would become his landmark defense of the civil rights movement – is a credit to Dallas playwright Jonathan Norton. In a panel discussion after the play, director Derrick Sanders wrapped an arm of encouragement around the young writer.

King is often portrayed as a black Jesus, a noble icon, and the activists behind him are often revered as pious heroes. Norton shows the Southern Christian Leadership Conference workers and their dangerous, messy workaday lives in Birmingham, Alabama, without ducking the conflict within the ranks.

MLK Symposium 215 (2)

Kenneisha Thompson as Willie Pearl and Vontress Mitchell as Wyatt Tee Walker in ‘The 67th Book of the Bible.’

“I’ve raced up and down the same back roads with you and Dr. King with the Ku Klux Klan fast on our tail!” Mackey, portrayed by Kenneisha Thompson, yells after trying to resign her post, fed up with Walker’s dismissive tirades.

“I’ve been locked up in jail – same as you! And for all I’ve done, you still call me child and talk to me like I’m a child and treat me like I’m less than!”

“Less than what?”

“Less than YOU!”

Looking at activism through the lens of conviction rather than power is a theme in the play — as it was in the panel discussion. The real-life Willie Pearl Mackey King was in the audience for the play’s debut. Larry Allums, director of the Dallas Institute of Humanities And Culture which commissioned the play, headed up the panel and asked her about her bosses.

“You were with incredibly great people,” he said. “Did it strike you at the time that you were?”

“Absolutely not,” Mackey King quipped. “I had a job, I was glad to have a job. And I was trying my best to keep it by trying to please Dr. Walker. I’m a country girl. I’m not used to being around a lot of important people, okay. So no, that was irrelevant to me.”

Time spent with the SCLC workers informed Norton’s vision for his drama. There’s one key moment he confessed to imagining, though. It’s in the last few lines of the play, when the exhausted Rev. Walker – played by Vontress Mitchell – stops deciphering the passage he’s working on.

“I dreamt that King didn’t make it out,” he confides to his assistant. “I dreamt that I was the one who had to call Coretta. I saw cities on fire, our people were angry.”

“And as their anger grew the fire spread, and spread. They hunted our children down. I saw our sons murdered in the streets. I called out to King, but he was gone. And no one remembered his name.”

Of course, King was released from jail, and spoke feverishly days afterward. But he did eventually die. (In fact, Walker arranged his funeral.) And there were riots. And black lives, black sons, are still being lost in the battle for civil rights.

Allums prodded Norton about his “extreme” ideas about what King might be up to today, if he were still alive. In a column for the Dallas Morning News, Norton wrote that King would speak out for activists fighting against police brutality and advocate for LGBT issues – and questioned whether Reagan would have made it to the White House, had King’s life been spared.

“When we look at what’s happening now in Ferguson and New York and with so many of the young people – particularly the young activists fighting back and standing their ground in a very different kind of way – I feel that if [King] were alive today, he would remind many of my generation that there was once a time he was considered a young troublemaker as well,” Norton said.




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Flickr Photo Of The Week

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Categorized Under: Visual Arts


Congratulations to Jochem Herremans, of Antwerp, Belgium, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest. Jochem is a first time winner to our contest; he follows last week’s winner Matt Harvey .

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 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.

1Now here’s more from Jochem.

Title of photo: Dreaming of Pinguins

Equipment: Nikon D3200, with a Sigma 17.0-70.0 mm lens

Tell us more about your photo: I live in Antwerp a city located in Belgium. I’m 35 and I have 3 children.The photo was taken during an event called ‘China Lights’. It is a beautiful event located in the local zoo where Chinese artists made a fairy tale-like paradise with illuminated and moving animals. The girl in the photo with the white cap is my daughter. She loves penguins! And she was blown away with the illuminated ones. She just stood there for about 5 minutes, all excited! In the background you have the illuminated penguins. On the left you have some light flowers. I tried to get her emotions in the photo.


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Saturday Spotlight – A Flea Market with a Twist

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Categorized Under: Uncategorized


For this week’s Art & Seek Spotlight, we’re headed to Lee Harvey’s in Dallas for an art and fashion extravaganza, “The Eyes Have It!” The performance troupe Contre-Culture is putting on this pop-up flea market featuring art, a fashion show, and theatrics. You’ll also enjoy music by Lily Taylor and David Wallace Fargason.


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Talent Scout: Dallas Observer’s Lauren Smart On 100 Creatives And 2015 Masterminds

jeff gibbens justin ginsberg

Jeff Gibbons and Justin Ginsberg are two of the Dallas Observer 2015 Mastermind winners. Photo: Can Turkyilmaz/Dallas Observer

The Dallas Observer announces its annual Mastermind awards, recognizing six artists or groups who’ve made a splash in the last year. The weekly is also wrapping up a year-long project, a list called 100 Creatives. Lauren Smart, arts editor at The Observer, tells KERA’s Anne Bothwell how difficult it was for the staff at the weekly to narrow the field.



Lauren Smart

How did you decide who would make the list?

I really started when I decided what 100 Creatives was going to mean.  We came up with this phrase, cultural entrepreneurs. What made a cultural entrepreneur? And when we started to talk about it, it was usually people who were doing something in addition to their own art practice. Anyone creating their art, but then also using that creativity to spark artistic practices in other people.

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Cedar Fever? We Get A Tour of Where The MAC Is Headed Downtown

back entrance1The back entrance on Gano Street for what’s officially known as 1601 South Ervay. All photos: Jerome Weeks

In October, Claude Albritton III, co-founder of the MAC, the McKinney Avenue Contemporary in Uptown, announced the MAC would be moving. The arts venue with its galleries, cafe and theaters would become something like an arts village in the Cedars area south of downtown. Albritton recently gave KERA’s Jerome Weeks a tour inside the South Ervay street location.


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The Big Deal: Goya: A Lifetime of Graphic Invention At The Meadows Museum

Photo: Meadows Museum

Photo: Meadows Museum

In honor of their 50th anniversary, the Meadows Museum will be presenting a series of exhibitions and programs that will continue through 2015. One of those special events includes the current exhibition Goya: A Lifetime of Graphic Invention.  More than 200 works by the great Spanish painter and graphic artist are on display.  Sign up for a chance to take a friend to the exhibition on view until March 1, 2015.

If you appreciate this Big Deal, you might also want to take the opportunity to sign up for our other Big Deal this week, tickets to see the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of Lalo & Schumann featuring cellist Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to see Goya: A Lifetime of Graphic Invention at the Meadows Museum.

UPDATE: We have our winner. Thanks for playing.

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The Big Deal: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Presentation Of Lalo & Schumann

Photo: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Photo: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

International cellist Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas will make his US concerto debut with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under the adept baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya. First up in the program will be Edouard Lalo’s very imposing Cello Concerto. It will then be followed by another rarely-performed romantic piece – Robert Schumann’s uplifting 2nd symphony. Win this Big Deal and your pair of orchestra section seats will be good for the Jan. 30 performance at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.

Perhaps the thought of listening to the Spanish cellist live will have you in the mind to sign up for our other Big Deal this week, passes to see Goya: A Lifetime of Graphic Invention a special exhibition at the Meadows Museum on the campus of SMU.

PLEASE NOTE: Only Art&Seek e-newsletter subscribers can win the Big Deal.  If you are not a subscriber take care of that first, then sign up below for a chance to see Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas perform with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

UPDATE: We have our winners. Thanks for playing.

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