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The City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs is marking its 20th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, the office and many of the city’s cultural organizations are planning a month’s worth of discounts and freebies, all aimed at further raising awareness of Dallas’ varied cultural offerings.
And you get some new ways to stretch your arts and entertainment dollar.
Beginning today, the Office of Cultural Affairs will offer what it calls 20 Days, 20 Deals. Through May 8, the office will put up special offers on its website, dallasculture.org. Some 26 discounts will be available throughout the four weeks. But Monday through Friday, one new deal will go up each day.
These include free open houses at the city’s cultural centers, a free festival of short films by black filmmakers, 20 percent off tickets to the Dallas Museum of Arts’ King Tut exhibition and free attendance to the Junior Players summer camps. Some restrictions may apply to the different offers (like a limit on the number of tickets you can get). On the final day, May 8, discounted tickets will be available to the opening night in October of the Winspear Opera House — featuring the Dallas Opera’s production of Otello.
In a prepared statement, Maria Muñoz-Blanco, director of the Office of Cultural Affairs, said, “The arts are a critical part of the spirit and identity of a community. The Office of Cultural Affairs is well aware that the arts also support creative business industries, cultural tourism, and the academic success of our children, who will lead this city in the future. We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone in our history.”
In 2008, more than 2100 diverse programs were offered and more than 400,000 citizens and visitors were served by the Bath House, Ice House, Latino, and South Dallas Cultural Centers. The Office of Cultural Affairs also facilitated the national program, Free Night of Theater, and partnered with Thriving Minds and Dallas Independent School district for a groundbreaking arts education initiative that provided more than one million hours of creative arts instruction. In addition, the Public Art program owns and maintains a collection of more than 300 works of art, most of which are in spaces accessible to the public, and the OCA also operates the City’s classical music station WRR 101.1 and City Channel, and promotes public awareness of the City’s role in the art
Follow the jump to learn more about the cultural centers’ open houses, including a free organ recital at the Meyerson Symphony Center.
Free Open Houses at Dallas Cultural Centers
For each week of OCA’s month-long celebration, a different Cultural Center will host a free open house event to welcome Dallas citizens and visitors.
APRIL 11, 2009 – Ice House Cultural Center
10:30am – 1:30pm — Kids Arts Fest
Fun, free art workshops for kids! Activities include: Painting Party, Ages 4-12; Precut wooden figures serve as the canvas for our young artists (10:30-11:30am). Collage Making, Ages 8-15; Students create a collage with visual depth and texture and can bring photos or their favorite magazines to use (11:30am-12:30pm). Art Casting, Ages 8-15; Using plaster and casting materials, students create a 3-D work of art (12:30-1:30pm). Space is limited; please call to reserve your child’s space or for more information (214-670-7524)
APRIL 17, 2009 – South Dallas Cultural Center
8pm – 3am — Short & Sweet Film Festival and Jammin’ at the Center
Black Cinematheque Dallas and SDCC present the annual Short & Sweet Film Festival with films shorts by Black local and regional filmmakers. Also, the best straight-ahead jazz jam session in North Texas. Always smoke-free, always free! Musicians are invited to sit in with the Jammin’ house band led by Shelley Carrol. (Film Festival at 8 pm; Jammin’ jazz at midnight. Call 214-939-2787 for more information).
APRIL 18, 2009 – Bath House, Ice House, Latino, and South Dallas Cultural Centers
10am – 8pm — DADA Spring Gallery Walk
This interactive event allows art lovers to engage in stimulating discussions, socialize, and visit the Bath House, Ice House, Latino, and South Dallas Cultural Centers, as well as the other 32 Dallas Art Dealers Association member galleries, museums, and non-profit art spaces.
APRIL 24, 2009 – Bath House Cultural Center
Spring Art Mart
Come get a bit of wonderful art for yourself and your friends at the Bath House’s Spring Art Mart. Paintings, sculpture, photography, pottery, ceramics, jewelry, cards and other unique creations will be featured along with food, music, a silent auction and much more.
The Art Mart benefits the Bath House Cultural Center’s year-round visual and performing arts programs – so it’s a purchase that benefits all of us.
APRIL 25, 2009 – Latino Cultural Center
12:00pm — Dichos Exchange
Árbol que nace doblado, jamás su tronco endereza. Translation: A tree that grows crooked will never straighten its trunk. Camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente. Translation: A shrimp that falls asleep is carried away by the current. The exhibition, Dichos: Words to Live, Love, and Laugh By features a unique Latin American tradition of painting buses with sayings and tag-lines. Dallas Latinos continue this tradition by sharing dichos (sayings) with younger generations. The LCC invites you to come and join in sharing our traditional dichos. (Call 214-671-0045 for more information).
MAY 11, 2009 – Meyerson Symphony Center
12:30pm — Organ Recital
Experience a demonstration of the Lay Family Concert Organ followed by a tour of the beautiful Meyerson Symphony Center. Mary Preston, Resident Organist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, will demonstrate the legendary Lay Family Concert Organ. Tours are made possible and coordinated by the Greater Dallas Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. (Call 214-670-3600 for more information).