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Arts & Letters Live 2013 Season

by Stephen Becker 13 Dec 2012 6:00 AM

Essayist David Sedaris, Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Spiegelman, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and novelist Margaret Atwood will all be coming to town in the coming year.


Essayist David Sedaris, Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Spiegelman, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and novelist Margaret Atwood will all be coming to town in the coming year. They are part of Arts and Letters Live’s 2013 season at the Dallas Museum of Art. It was also announced that Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 will be the subject of next year’s Big Read, which encourages Dallas residents to read and discuss a single book.

The season kicks off Jan. 17 with Red: An Inside Look at the Art and Life of Mark Rothko. DMA Director Max Anderson will moderate the discussion that’s tied to the Dallas Theater Center’s scheduled production of the Tony-winning play.

The complete list of Arts & Letters Live programs is below:
17            Red: An Inside Look at the Art and Life of Mark Rothko, 7:30 p.m.    ARTFUL MUSINGS
Immerse yourself in the art and life of Mark Rothko, one of the iconic artists of the 20th century. DMA Director Max Anderson moderates a conversation with art conservator and expert Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, and Joel Ferrell, director of the Dallas Theater Center’s production of John Logan’s Tony Award-winning play, Red.  Actors will perform a brief excerpt from the play before it opens to the public.
18        Michael Ennis, 7:00 p.m.    FRESH INK
Dallas native Michael Ennis is the author of the New York Times bestselling historical thriller The Malice of Fortune, which has been twelve years in the making.  Inspired by the real-life assassination of Juan Borgia, an illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI, and a series of serial-killer murders, the story follows Niccolo Machiavelli and Leonardo Da Vinci as they come together to solve a string of murders.

8    Making Pictures and Other Stories, 7:30 p.m.     ARTFUL MUSINGS
Nic Nicosia is an internationally renowned photographer and filmmaker whose work is owned by many premier museums across the country, including MoMA, the Whitney, the Guggenheim, and the DMA.  He will discuss his artistic process and the stories behind his work.  Philipp Meyer has been named to Granta’s list of “Best Young American Novelists” and one of “20 best writers under 40” by the New Yorker.  He will read an excerpt from his short story inspired by a Nic Nicosia photograph.  The event will be moderated by Sue Graze, the Director Emeritus of Arthouse at the Jones Center in Austin and will also include catalogue contributor Michelle White, Curator of The Menil Collection in Houston.
11    Texas Bound I, 7:00 p.m.     TEXAS BOUND
Actors Reis Myers McCormick, Raphael Parry, Actor to be confirmed, and Stephen Tobolowsky read stories by Reis Myers McCormick, Ron Carlson, Siobhan Fallon, and Stephen Tobolowsky.  USA Today listed Tobolowsky as the ninth most frequently seen actor in movies; his credits include Glee, Groundhog Day, Memento, Seinfeld, and Heroes.
23    Jon Scieszka, 7:00 p.m.     BOOKSMART
Jon Scieszka is the author of laugh-out-loud-funny books, including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, as well as the Spaceheadz series.  He is the founder of Guys Read, a web-based literacy program to encourage a passion for reading among boys, and was named the first-ever National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress.
27    Art Spiegelman, 7:30 p.m.     ARTFUL MUSINGS
Art Spiegelman is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of MAUS, a comic-book chronicle of his parents’ experience during the Holocaust.  His comics are best known for their shifting graphic styles, their formal complexity, and controversial content.  In 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.  At this event he will discuss the history and evolution of comics, all the while explaining the value of this medium and why it should not be ignored.

15    Peter Reynolds, 7:00 p.m.    BOOKSMART ON LATE NIGHT
New York Times bestselling author Peter Reynolds is a stalwart supporter of creativity, encouraging even the most unimaginative readers to take a chance and believe in their unique abilities.  He is the author and illustrator of over 35 books for children, including his beloved Creatrilogy, which includes The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color.  He will share his forthcoming book, The Museum, as part of this family-centric Late Night.

1    Selected Shorts: April Foolery, 7:00 p.m.                                                  TEXAS BOUND
Join us on April Fool’s Day for an evening of wacky tales read by Emmy-nominated actor Christina Pickes (Judy Geller on Friends; Nurse Helen Rosenthal on St. Elsewhere), Tony Award-winning actor Linda Lavin (Alice), and Denis O’Hare, best known for his role as “Russell” in the HBO hit series True Blood; his credits also include Brothers and Sisters, The Good Wife, Charlie Wilson’s War, and Milk.  Selected Shorts is an award-winning public radio series that gave rise to the Texas Bound series 22 years ago.
3    Visual Verse, 7:30 p.m.    ARTFUL MUSINGS
Award-winning poets Paul Muldoon and Nikky Finney will read from their poetry collections, discuss their creative process, and debut a new poem inspired by a work of art in the Museum’s collection. Muldoon will read from his newest collection, The Word on the Street, a book of rock lyrics written to be performed by his band, the Wayside Shrines, a Princeton-based music collective. Finney and Muldoon are both known for being dynamic readers, cognizant of rhythm and voice. After Finney’s National Book Award acceptance speech for Head Off and Split, host John Lithgow declared, ”That was the best acceptance speech for anything I’ve ever heard in my life.”
9    Cheryl Strayed, 7:30 p.m.    WIT & WISDOM
Cheryl Strayed was catapulted into the literary spotlight with the publication of her critically acclaimed memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.  Told with great suspense, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her. Strayed is also the voice behind’s beloved advice column, “Dear Sugar;” a collection of her witty and wise columns has been compiled in the book Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.
15    Elizabeth Strout, 7:30 p.m.    DISTINGUISHED WRITERS    IS
Elizabeth Strout is the author of Olive Kitteridge, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was a New York Times bestselling mainstay.  She is known for her powerful prose and an ability to dissect human relationships.  Her newest novel, The Burgess Boys, tells the story of two brothers whose lives are irrevocably altered when their sister seeks help with the aftermath of a thoughtless prank committed by her teenage son, which is fast-evolving into a scandal.
19    George Saunders, 7:00 p.m.                                              FRESH INK
George Saunders is a modern master of the short story.  He is the author of several short story collections, including CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation.  His forthcoming collection, Tenth of December, is filled with Saunders’ manic energy and stories that are unsettling, insightful, and hilarious.
19     The Big Read Dallas: Ray Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451, 9:00 p.m.    FRESH INK
Program partners: Friends of the Dallas Public Library and D Magazine
Accomplished journalist Sam Weller, author of The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury and Listen to the Echoes, The Ray Bradbury interviews, will discuss the iconic author and share photos, mementos, and artifacts. This program is in conjunction with The Big Read grant by the National Endowment for the Arts; Dallas residents are encouraged to read and discuss Bradbury’s classic, yet provocative Fahrenheit 451 all month long. The book’s 60th anniversary is in 2013; chime in on a conversation about the book’s themes of courage, preserving knowledge, and the importance of the written word.
23    David Sedaris, 7:30 p.m.    WIT & WISDOM
In partnership with the AT&T Performing Arts Center and KERA
Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201
David Sedaris returns for his fifth consecutive year with Arts & Letters Live to read from new and unpublished material. A bestselling essayist and widely popular speaker whose hallmark is his wry wit and distinctive voice, Sedaris relishes the opportunity to share his stories with the audience and experience their reaction. Sedaris’s books include Holidays on Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.  His forthcoming book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, will be released the day of this event.

1    Madeleine Albright     WIT & WISDOM
City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201
Madeleine K. Albright was the first female Secretary of State and, at that time, the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government.  During her tenure, Secretary Albright was known for her strong commitment to democracy, arms control, and human rights.  Since leaving office, she has authored five bestsellers, including Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War: 1937-1948.  Before Albright turned twelve, her native Czechoslovakia was shaken by the Nazi invasion, the Battle of Britain, and the onset of the Cold War.  She masterfully recounts her own experiences and those of her family, in a tale that is both harrowing and inspiring.
6    Texas Bound II, 7:30 p.m.     TEXAS BOUND
Actors Judith Ivey, Cindy Beall, John Benjamin Hickey, and Raphael Parry read stories by Betty Wiesepape, Alix Ohlin, Patricia Highsmith, and Jack Handey.  Ivey, a two-time Tony Award winner for her performances in the Broadway productions of Steaming and Hurlyburly, is currently on Broadway in The Heiress. She is perhaps best remembered for her role as B. J. Poteet on Designing Women. John Benjamn Hickey is a Tony Award-winning actor for his 2011 performance as Felix Turner in The Normal Heart.  He currently stars as Sean in the Showtime series The Big C.
10    Temple Grandin, 7:30 p.m.     WIT & WISDOM
Named “One of the 100 Most Influential People” by Time Magazine, Dr. Temple Grandin is perhaps the world’s best-known adult with autism.  Not only has her life been featured in a HBO documentary, but she has also written several bestselling books on autism, the newest of which is The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum. The DMA is taking a leadership role in museums across the country by offering engaging programs for families who have children with autism.
15    Characters in Color: A Serenade to Chagall, 7:30 p.m.    ARTFUL MUSINGS
Nationally acclaimed musicians and members of Elledanceworks Dance Company will bring artist Marc Chagall’s vivid and whimsical art to life in a one-of-a-kind, one-night-only performance that will weave together music, dance, poetry and Chagall’s own words together into a creative tapestry inspired by the exhibition Chagall: Beyond Color.  In this multidisciplinary program inspired by Chagall’s travels, dreams, and imagination experience the master of mood and mise-en-scène reflected in eclectic music ranging from Fauré to Fiona Apple and Rachmaninoff to R.E.M.
31    Margaret Atwood, 7:30 p.m.    DISTINGUISHED WRITERS
Margaret Atwood is a giant of modern literature — an internationally celebrated novelist, poet, literary critic, essayist and environmental activist. She is the rare writer whose work is adored by the public, acclaimed by the critics, and read widely on university campuses. Her 10th novel, The Blind Assassin, received the 2000 Booker Prize — a prize for which she has received five nominations.  Atwood will discuss her accomplished body of work and her creative process. In conjunction with the DMA’s exhibition The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece, she will also speak on the influence of Greek myth and art on her own work.
4        Revolution!: Joseph J. Ellis and Tom Reiss, 7:30 p.m.    DISTINGUISHED WRITERS
Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author and historian Joseph J. Ellis is one of the nation’s foremost scholars of American History.  His books include Founding Brothers, American Sphinx and his forthcoming book Revolutionary Summer, chronicling the most dramatic few months in the story of our country’s founding.  Tom Reiss is a journalist and author of the critically acclaimed biography The Orientalist and The Black Count, which tells the remarkable true story of General Alex Dumas, the father of novelist Alexandre Dumas, and the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.  The son of a Haitian slave, General Dumas rose through the ranks to command entire armies at the height of the French Revolution.