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Community, General, KERA TV, News Releases 95

Dallas/Fort Worth, SEPTEMBER 8, 2013: The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture has announced that the premium all-day tickets are now on sale for the November 2, 2013, symposium, “Understanding Tragedy: the Impact of the JFK Assassination on Dallas”. The one-day symposium will take place at The South Side Ballroom in Dallas, TX.  With only a limited number of all-day tickets available, the Institute and its program partners, The Dallas Morning News, KERA TV and KERA 90.1 FM, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the Ochberg Society for Trauma Journalism and UNT’s Mayborn School of Journalism, are urging the public to sign up early for this one-of-a-kind opportunity to join 16 of the nation’s leading voices in exploring how the assassination impacted the city of Dallas from four perspectives: Journalism, Politics, Arts & the Humanities and Religion. All-day ticket holders will be the only audience members to participate in the intimate roundtable sessions with the keynote speakers.  Morning, lunch and Focus Forum tickets will go on sale at a later date.  Watch for details.

The Dallas Institute also announced that the line-up of speakers and panelists is now confirmed. Headlining the event for Journalism will be legendary broadcaster Jim Lehrer; for Politics will be author and public intellectual Stephen Carter (named by Time Magazine as one of the 50 leaders of the next century); for Art & the Humanities will be National Book Award-winning poet Nikky Finney; and for Religion will be Peabody Award-winning journalist and revered writer Richard Rodriguez. Pulitzer Prize winning author, screenwriter, playwright and journalist Lawrence Wright will participate in a special lunch program which will focus on his personal experience of the assassination.

“The JFK50 Symposium will be a day of abundant thought and rich dialogue,” said Bob Mong, editor of The Dallas Morning News. “This is the time for Dallas to stand up and tackle this anniversary with poise and self-assurance. All of us at The Morning News are looking forward to this day as being one of our nation’s headlining events of the year.”

In looking towards the symposium Jim Lehrer added: “I look forward to being part of a meaningful discussion of what was for me and others the most traumatic outside event of our lives.  When President Kennedy died in Dallas those of us who lived here were particularly shaken. What is the state of our shaking now—50 years later? That will be one of the central questions that will be on the table and in the air at the symposium. I can hardly wait to hear the answers—my own as well as those of many others.”

The itinerary for the symposium will follow this format:

10:00 a.m – 11:30 a.m – Morning Session

Journalist Lee Cullum will moderate a 45-minute discussion with the keynote speakers on how not only Dallas but the world was affected by this tragedy. The remaining 12 panelists will then join the conversation in a lively seminar style setting.

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m – Lunch program

Pulitzer Prize-winner Lawrence Wright, a Dallas high school student in 1963, will speak about his personal recollection of the assassination. Jim Lehrer will then join him for a facilitated conversation.  A boxed lunch will be provided and is included in the ticket price.

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m: Focus Forums

All-day and Focus Forum ticket holders will gather in separate rooms with the keynote speakers and panelists to drill down into each of the four focus areas:

Journalism: Keynote: Jim Lehrer.  Moderator:  George Getschow (Mayborn School of Journalism)

Panelists:  Lee Cullum (KERA); Hugh Aynesworth (The Dallas Morning News); Michael Granberry (The Dallas Morning News)

Politics: Keynote: Stephen Carter.  Moderator:  Dr. Randy Gordon

Panelists: Senator Kay B. Hutchison; The Honorable Mike Rawlings; Margaret Spellings (CEO, George W. Bush Presidential Center)

Art & the Humanities:  Keynote:  Nikky Finney.  Moderator:  Krys Boyd

Panelists:  Dr. Gail Thomas (CEO, The Trinity Trust); Will Power (SMU, Dallas Theater Center); Dr. Fred Turner (UT-Dallas, Nobel Prize Nominated Writer and Poet)

Religion:  Keynote:  Richard Rodriguez.  Moderator: Dr. Daniel Russ (Gordon College)

Panelists:  Rev. Dr. Zan Holmes (St. Luke Community United Methodist Church), Fr. Rudy Garcia (Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe)

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m:  Roundtables

For all-day ticket holders only – an exclusive opportunity to watch the speakers and panelists delve even deeper into their subject areas

4:30 p.m:  Conclusion and Reception

Available only to all-day ticket holders and sponsors

Dr. Larry Allums, executive director of the Dallas Institute said: “We’ve organized this program so that award-winners and nationally recognized experts can converge with local leaders to address the assassination in a way that hasn’t happened before. We will drill down into it, ponder, think and talk about it.  Ultimately we want the audience to experience an opening up, perhaps a catharsis, so that memories and emotions relating to the assassination can be given their due, looked at directly and possibly purged after 50 years. The symposium will be unique among the many events dealing with the assassination. It will truly be a day to remember and our all-day ticket holders will be the ones who will be able to fully grasp the event in its depth and entirety.”

All-day tickets are now on sale at and Individual tickets for premium location seats start at $250 with an early bird discount for tables seating four people starting at $1,000.  When purchasing an all-day ticket each audience member must select which Focus Forum and which Roundtable they would like to attend.   All-day ticket holders will also have access to two panels presented by the Ochberg Society which will take place between Noon – 2:30 p.m. at the Sixth Floor Museum on Friday, November 1, 2013.  For more information on these panels please visit

For more information on the JFK Symposium, visit or call 214.871.2440. For information on The South Side Ballroom visit


Contact: Emily Hargrove

Phone: (214) 981 8820 / (214) 808 6876