Here's Something to Be Excited About: StoryCorps Is Coming to Dallas

It's a pop-up storytelling adventure.

History is built on stories. Often, it's the stories of politicians who impact the world or scientists who impact daily life, but our personal histories are built around our own stories -the ones you tell your friends and family. Those are the kind that StoryCorps is traveling across country to gather: the stories that matter to you.

In a partnership between KERA and the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the StoryCorps MobileBooth will park in Dallas for a month, collecting our stories. Since 2003, this air stream trailer has been collecting stories of Americans to archive them in the Library of Congress and air portions of them on National Public Radio. It arrives in Dallas November 20 to park outside the Information Center in the arts district through December 20.

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Crash the Party at the Texas Association of Schools of Art This Week

Pedro Velez, Chicago and San Juan PR artist and critic, 2014 Whitney Biennial participant

At this year's Whitney Biennial, the museum invited three curators from outside of the museum to work on the acclaimed exhibition. The goal of the biennial is to present the work of contemporary emerging American artists. And in 2014, only one curator was from New York; the other two brought their expertise from Philadelphia and Chicago. The goal behind that was to bring in knowledge of art outside of New York, to "de-center" the exhibition, if you will.

The Texas Association of Schools of Art has nothing to do with the Whitney Biennial, technically. But for its conference this year, it took this idea of "de-centering" to heart, with the goal of taking a look at how the American art world is changing, and whether or not Texas and the central U.S. are becoming increasingly relevant. Oh, and to fully explore the conference's theme of "Off Center," TASA invites curious outsiders to crash the party.

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Remembering Matthew Tomlanovich


Actor. Teacher. Director. Voice Coach. Mentor. Poet. Matthew Tomlanovich wore many hats, but one that always seemed glued to his head, was friend. After battling a MRSA infection in his spinal cord for six months, Tomlanovich died Sunday.

I could give you his bio: "Over 30 years of experience working in the theatre as an actor, director, and vocal coach. He taught at several universities and conducted workshops in the United States and England. He held a BGS from Oakland University, an MFA in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts, and a Masters of Arts in Vocal Studies from the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. He taught at Southern Methodist University, Cal-Arts, The Actor Training Program at the University of Utah, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Dallas, London's East 15 Acting School and Central School of Speech and Drama, and was an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. He spent many years acting on local stages, and performed with The Irondale Ensemble Project, at various Off-Broadway theaters, the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, the St. Petersburg Salon (Russia), the Garden Grove Shakespeare, among others. He also had many film and television appearances under his belt. He was diagnosed with a MRSA infection in his spinal cord on April 3, 2014."

But this is not what makes a man. This is not how Matt would want to be remembered for. He would want to be remembered for his mentorship and his work for the community that he loved.

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They're Voting on White Rock Theater Thursday (Y'Know, the Poles That Turn Birds Into Art)

Lauren Smart
The view from the Bath House Cultural Center.

Public art in Dallas is a complicated world. In front of City Hall, we have a Henry Moore sculpture; then, this year, the city offered 50 measly dollars for artists to yarn bomb parking meters. Like a lot of things in Dallas, the cost of maintenance and preservation looms more ominously than the wrecking ball. New and ephemeral trumps stalwart and preserved. But this is not about my feelings toward the city of Dallas' interests, or lack thereof, in creating a sustainable, history-rich community; it's about a series of poles that poke out of White Rock Lake.

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Big Plans for South Dallas' Cedars Include an Artist Residency, Studio and Soda Fountain

Lauren Smart
The view from the future Cedars Union.
There's an energy percolating in downtown Dallas. Well, not downtown, exactly. South. In a neighborhood known as The Cedars. On the heels of the Alamo Drafthouse announcing it will make its first Dallas home on Lamar Street, murmurs of other new developments are cropping up. Some remain merely rumors; others are taking actual steps toward becoming real.

Take for example 1201 S. Ervay, a large brick building that once housed the Boedeker Ice Cream Co. Currently home to an office supply company, the building was recently acquired by the Bowdon Family Foundation for a project they're calling The Cedars Union.

"It will be a one-stop shop for artists," says the foundation's executive director, Robert Hernandez. "We're still putting all the particulars together, but the idea is that there will be two components: an artist-in-residence program and space and tools for artists to use."

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By Reshaping Red Arrow Contemporary, the Stafford Sisters Might Just Be Gamechangers

Bye, Bye Dragon Street.

Saturday night, the Stafford sisters open their final art exhibition on Dragon Street. Aptly titled, Always and Forever, it's a show revolving around memento mori - or objects that warn or remind of death.

But their gallery isn't dying; it's growing.

"We had two options, we could close or we could change," says Erin Stafford. "We decided to change."

For three years, Erin and Elissa Stafford created some of Dragon Street's more engaging programming at Red Arrow Contemporary. The shows, which varied from an Austin printmaking shop to Anne Ferrer's blow up sculptures, never fell into a particular aesthetic or genre. It was always engaging, but never felt like a commercial gallery. Which is why they knew they needed to evolve.

Earlier this year, they announced plans for a curator-in-residence program, and now they have their sights set on Trinity Groves for late 2015. When they reopen, they intend to be a nonprofit that includes live/work studios, educational initiatives, and exhibition space. To make that happen, the sisters embark down a road lined with paperwork and fundraising, but if they can make it happen, they believe it will be well worth the investment.

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The Broad City Ladies Are Coming to Dallas in November


Ilana and Abbi, America's favorite young bitches who've puff-puff-passed slacker comedy to females, announced today on the Broad City Facebook page that they're bringing their jokes to Dallas next month.

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Help This Poor Man: Where Have All the Pinball Tables in Dallas Gone?

The Pinball Festival took place in Dallas suburbs earlier this year.

Where is my Playboy pinball? Where is my Harley Davidson? Where have all the pinball tables gone?

Look, I'm asking for a friend. With the recent shuttering of July Alley, he's found himself despondent. He's having to literally twiddle his thumbs with the loss of his beloved pinball tables.

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At Denton's Serendipity on the Square, It's All About the Imperfections

Jeff Amano
Shop owner Claire Amano (center) helps customers transform their pieces.
America's "Horse With No Name" spins on an old fashioned record player and a scented candle burns at the checkout counter. I jab an old, wonky paintbrush into ivory chalk paint and start sweeping the color onto a small, totally white, wooden side table. It should take on a more Moroccan air when I'm done, I'm told, after the blue and green paints are applied along with a light brown wax. "The wax is where the magic happens," says Claire Amano, the owner of Serendipity on the Square in Denton, where I'm taking a shabby chic painting class with five other painting newbies.

For 40 bucks, customers get to pick a piece of furniture from Amano's collection of more than a dozen (or bring in their own small piece), use as much chalk paint and wax as they want, and take home a newly designed piece to keep. Because the European chalk paint has such a high concentration of chalk (35 percent), no sanding or prep is required, and the entire process takes only two hours.

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Rick Steves on Israel, Palestine, and Smoking Pot


By Monica Hinman
"People used to say 'Bon Voyage", comments Rick Steves at the beginning of our phone conversation. It was a way to express excitement and adventure, instead of "Have a safe trip," which suggests fear and danger. Why such an ominous farewell?

Travel is safer than ever but when was the last time anyone wished you "Bon Voyage"? Has technology changed the way we think about travel and our world? To Steves' mind, the answer is yes. He suggests that today a sensationalist news industry capitalizes on crises and presents 'caricatures' rather than human beings, contributing to a sense that the world is a dangerous place. In his latest television special, The Holy Land: Israelis and Palestinians Today, Steves introduces the viewer to "average citizens, not radicals," attempting "to bring empathy for the people of this complex and confusing place."

And he'll be at the Winspear Opera House at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to talk about his latest adventures.

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