The Mayor of Dallas recently hosted an arts discussion in respect of Dallas Arts Week. The meeting was a good start to a discussion that I hope will be continued. Although many thought provoking topics came up, there wasn’t enough time to include all the questions (and maybe even answers) that were on the tips of the tongues of the local talent sitting in the audience. The driven point seemed to be how could Dallas become the next art mecca, like Austin, or NYC? Also, what should Dallas be doing to convince the young, up and coming creatives to do their thing right here in Big D? After all, as it was mentioned during the discussion, the money is here. So, where are all the artists?!

Silly Dallas! We're right here, living in your backyard and supporting your very own cultural centers that have struggled with budget cuts. We're right here, conspiring at this very moment to volunteer time and talent that will meet in a borrowed warehouse for no other reason than to present a charitable contribution that will support other creative organizations. We're right here, organizing our own co-ops and collectives in hopes of promoting culture and inspiring the arts in your neighborhoods. We're right here, setting up shop at the art fairs, at the local coffee shops, on social media sources, and any other venue that will allow us to share our talents with you. We are right here.

Certainly there is always room for more visionaries, and nothing makes a community more exciting than the opportunity for growth. Creative people get that, and are inspired by that word…opportunity! Perhaps the best way to bring in fresh faces and to convince the younger artists to stay, is to begin by appreciating and recognizing the deep rooted talent that is already planted in Dallas. Those who proudly call themselves Dallas artists and are at this very moment creating, collaborating, submitting, volunteering, donating, learning, teaching, writing, painting, dancing, sculpting, sketching, composing, performing, working day jobs, paying taxes, buying supplies, bartering, and always… testing and stretching their wings. Perhaps it's only a little respect  that's needed to prevent them from flying elsewhere.

Sherry Houpt
4/25/2013 08:27:05 am

Excellent point about respect for the Dallas artists who have been developing careers and practicing their art for many years in Dallas! The Bath House Cultural Center, Latino Cultural Center, and Oak Cliff Cultural Center, have histories of showing that talent. We need more venues,supported by the City of Dallas, to provide access for established artists and emerging artists to exhibit. The artists await opportunities.


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