A Dream Come True: The Dallas Arts District

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Model Downtown Dallas with Proposed Arts District, c. 1979 © Dallas Museum of Art
1979 Bond Campaign Advertising Ephemera © Dallas Museum of Art
A Dream Come True: The Dallas Arts District
Curated by: Jacqueline Allen

1717 North Harwood
Dallas, Texas 75201
September 25th, 2009 - January 31st, 2010

United States
Tuesday and Wednesday: 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Thursday: 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas
photography, video-art


The Dallas Museum of Art opens up its archives to present a special exhibition celebrating the completion of the Arts District, which began just over 25 years ago when the DMA moved to Harwood Street from Fair Park. Archival images, ephemera, and media clips illustrating the establishment and growth of the Dallas Arts District will be on view this fall in the Museum’s first floor Concourse. The growth of the Museum—both in the size of the collections and in its expanded programming—will be presented chronologically, along with an Arts District “time line” showing the arrival of the other cultural institutions, culminating with the October opening of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.

In the late 1970s, after the first in a series of successful bond elections, City of Dallas planners joined Museum leaders and a consortium of nonprofit management groups and formed the foundation of the Dallas Arts District. In 1984, the Dallas Museum of Art became the first cultural institution to move downtown, joining the Belo Mansion, Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, St. Paul United Methodist Church and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Additional performing and visual arts members followed, establishing their homes in the 68-acre, 19-block neighborhood that is the Dallas Arts District.

To provide visitors with a framework in which to place each Arts District “resident,” A Dream Come True will include architectural renderings, construction-in-progress still and video photography, footage of media interviews, and opening-day documentation.

A Dream Come True is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and curated by Jacqueline Allen, The Mildred R. and Frederick M. Mayer Director of Libraries and Imaging Services.