Happy Monday! Thanks for checking out Art&Seek’s weekly look at the biggest and most important stories in the North Texas arts scene.
Museum Attendance Is Down, But Engagement Is On The Rise (Maybe?)
In 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts reported that attendance at arts museums had dropped 17 percent, despite reducing or eliminating admission fees.
But a new report by the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR), argues that audience engagement – online and in real life – is on the rise. NCAR, which is based at SMU, found total engagement increased substantially due to big growth in virtual participation in digital programs. The report also shows that subscription and membership fees are still a viable revenue stream for some organizations.
The report finds events and programming are being added faster than audience/visitor growth. And the online arts publication Hyperallergic points out that this data does not indicate the duration, depth or quality of engagement. For insights into the those measurements, check out organizations like the Visitor Studies Group and Visitor Studies Association.
A Play That’s Woven Three Wars Together Through The Experiences Of One Family
‘Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue’ is the latest production at WaterTower Theater in Addison. The show by Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Quiara Alegría Hudes weaves together the experiences of three generations of one Puerto Rican family – each with members who served in the US military.
From grandpa to grandson, each character carries emotional turmoil from the things they lived through during wartime. Grandpop fought in the Korean War and used music to get through the toughest times. His son, Pop, met his wife, Ginny, during the Vietnam War. Ginny was a nurse and she inspired Pop’s recovery. But the play’s main character is Elliot, who wins a Purple Heart for an injury sustained in Iraq. He’s in the military because it’s a family tradition. But Elliot’s elders don’t talk about their time in war, so he still feels isolated.
The Dallas Morning News praises the North Texas production for layering the stories in a harmonious way and Theater Jones applauds it for making audiences “feel and see the results of wars at a most intimate level.” Learn more about the show’s star by reading this Q&A from Culture Map Dallas.
You Can’t Ban These Stories
President Donald Trump’s travel ban prompted protests when it was first announced a year ago. Now, the Dallas Observer reports that Deep Vellum Publishing is continuing the protest by releasing an anthology of fiction from the countries that were on the original ban list.
Deep Vellum’s director Will Evans says they’re publishing the stories to give voice to people that were affected by this ban, “The moment is very sensitive, and because the original bans the president has put in place have changed and morphed, the original hateful intent is all still there.”
“Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations” features commissioned writings from authors in Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Sudan.
Other Stuff You Ought To Know
- Dallas Artist Otis Jones, Now In His 70s, Is Suddenly A Hot Commodity In Europe (Dallas Morning News)
- He’s Come Full Circle (Art&Seek)
- Dallas Art Space Ash Studios Found Guilty After Contesting Fine in Eight-Hour Trial (Dallas Observer)
- Denton Votes Against Removing Confederate Monument. (Central Track)
- Dallas Museum of Art Announces New Acquisitions by Blanchard, Mondrian, and Bonnard (Glasstire)
- Dallas Museum of Art Announces New Deputy Director and New Curator (Glasstire)
Other Stuff You Ought To Read
- Why Can’t Dallas Artists Succeed in Dallas? (D Magazine)
- What The Hell’s Going On With The Old Vista Ridge Mall? (Central Track)
- It’s The ‘Year Of The Woman’ At The Dallas Theater Center Next Season (Art&Seek)
- One Of America’s Best Knife Makers Came To Texas To Restart Life And Fight For His Art (Dallas Morning News)
- Race riots. Motown. Jubilee revisits the long, hot summer of ’67 (Star-Telegram)
- How Three Playwrights Are Succeeding in Dallas (D Magazine)
Other Stuff You Ought To Listen To
- Labeled A ‘Terrorist,’ A Black Lives Matter Founder Writes Her Record (NPR)
- The Man Behind ‘Left Shark’ Explains His Viral Super Bowl Moment (NPR)
- For ‘Heaven’s Gate’ Podcast Host, The Cult Story Hits Close To Home (NPR)