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Monday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 20 May 2013 7:58 AM

Today in the roundup: Why Dallas’ super-rich give back, a Fort Worth artist’s major prize and a local actor lands his dream role.


PHILANTHROPY IN THE CITY: It’s pretty obvious that Dallas has a strong philanthropic community. Every new museum and park is named after someone. But did you ever wonder how that giving culture came to be and how it operates? That was the subject of a front-page Points story in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News. It’s got plenty of behind-the-scenes insight from the major players. But Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas of president Richard Fisher pretty much sums it all up. “Dallas has always been a city driven by private philanthropy, with active civic involvement going hand in glove with the accumulation of wealth. Now, with the enormous riches that have come with Texas’ economic boom — not just in oil and gas but in financial and business services, technology, health care and other areas — the levels of philanthropic giving have skyrocketed to levels that would be unimaginable most anywhere else in America.”

AND THE WINNER IS: Fort Worth artist Marshall Harris has been named the winner of the $50,000 Hunting Art Prize. The award is given to Texas artists 18 and up who specialize in either painting or drawing. Harris is known for his life-sized drawings and the details he captures in things like saddles. “I want to take and draw the viewer in to looking at something like they’ve never looked at it before,” Harris tells “That’s the only way I can create, is to really look at something. Sometimes there are shadows within shadows, and that’s what makes things look more dimensional than just a color in a dark space.”

QUOTABLE: “There was the joy of ‘You did it,’ but that wasn’t as significant to me as the relief, the feeling of after five years of chasing, of spending all of my money countless times auditioning, after feeling so close, yet so far, I had finally done it. Then I went back to join my friends, and had to pretend it was a phone call from my mother for what seemed like eternity until we were allowed to make the information public knowledge.”

– Matt Ransdell Jr., on stepping out of a restaurant to receive the call telling him he had landed the lead role in Artes de la Rosa’s In the Heights, which opened Friday. Ransdell tells the story of how he’s chased the part for years on