KERA Arts Story Search

Looking for events? Click here for the Go See DFW events calendar.

Art&Seek on Think TV: Gigi Antoni on Slant 45

by Jerome Weeks 21 Jan 2011 3:14 PM

Amid all of our efforts at preening for the Big Game — pitching North Texas as Open for Business and Ready for Our Close-Up — some substantive good has actually come about. Good, that is, beyond the bump up in retail. Like Slant 45, which may well have been the largest community-service effort in North Texas history. We talk to Gigi Antoni, president of Big Thought, which ran the project.


For months now, North Texas has been sprucing up for the Big Game, cleaning up our act, getting out the welcome mat and the best china. But some substantive good has come out of all these efforts beyond preening and pitching the area as Good for Business, Ready for Our Close-Up, A Classy Place for Everyone to Admire.

Some good, that is, beyond the expected bump up in retail sales and tourism dollars. Chief among these efforts has been Slant 45, which we’ve reported on before. Slant 45’s goal was to get 20,000 area children invested in efforts to help their neighborhoods in whatever way the kids devised (with some adult guidance): food drives, pet adoptions, anti-gang graffiti teams, painting library walls, entertaining patients at hospitals.

In the end, Slant 45 got more than double that number, 44,000 children — along with art exhibitions, a documentary film by Mark Birnbaum (which premieres soon) and a major bash at American Airlines Center to thank everyone. We talk with Gigi Antoni, the president and CEO of Big Thought, the creative-learning organization that ran Slant 45, about the lessons learned — by the kids and by Big Thought.