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Past Events

Creative Conversation - Artists as Citizens: Art, Politics and Social Change


Moody Performance Hall

Art by its nature has a political element. The subject it’s focusing on, how it is funded, who gets to view it, and the human artist working in an ever-changing political landscape make this element of art’s nature inescapable. Yet, many still assert that art’s primary purpose is to provide an aesthetic experience - unburdened by moral, practical, or civic function. Beyond providing entertainment and creative experiences, artists have the ability to inspire leaders and bring awareness to the public, especially during periods of national turmoil. From Picasso’s Guernica, to Gordon Parks’ social-realist photographs depicting the Civil Rights Movement, to Sunflower Seeds by contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, art is often used as a tool to promote social change. Despite this, the prevailing stereotype of the artist as aloof, isolated, impractical and inconsequential still remains. Are the arts limited to solely representing events and ideas, or can works of art actually influence change? Some argue that to be great, art must be autonomous.

In his seventh and final Creative Conversation, Mayor Mike Rawlings will lead a thoughtful discussion with artist Lauren Woods, who creates works regarding race and history; Mark Lamster, architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture; and Mara Richards Bim, playwright, director, and founder of Cry Havoc Theater Company, on the role of the arts in political conversations and inspiring social change.

Parking is FREE at Lexus Silver Parking courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center. Lexus Silver Parking is located directly across (east) Jack Evans from the Wyly Theatre

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  • FREE!


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2520 Flora St. · Dallas, TX 75201


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