The Arts Community Alliance (TACA) is giving the Dallas Arts District a big boost for upcoming projects. The non-profit announced the recipients of the Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and Bowdon Family Foundation Artist Residency Fund.
They’re awarding a total of $150,000 in support of new works from five organizations: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Children’s Theater, Junior Players, and TITAS. TACA doesn’t disclose the amount of the individual grants.
2017 New Works Fund awardees:
- Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Uncharted Territory: Body of Evidence, choreography by Bridget L. Moore
- Dallas Theater Center, Penny Candy, by Jonathan Norton
- Dallas Children’s Theater, Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet, a co-production with Cara Mia Theatre, written by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce and María F. Rocha, music by Héctor Martínez Morales, choreography by Evelio Flores and directed by Robyn Flatt
2017 Artist Residency Fund awardees:
- Dallas Black Dance Theatre, with choreographer/filmmaker Juel D. Lane
- TITAS, with The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
- Junior Players, with Sara Romersberger, theater professor
Here’s a bit from some of the winners:
Dallas Black Dance Theatre
This year, Dallas Black Dance Theatre has received funding for two projects: Uncharted Territory: Body of Evidence by DBDT’s artistic director Bridget L. Moore and a residency with choreographer Juel D. Lane.
Lane and Moore danced together for the Ron K. Brown Dance/EVIDENCE company in New York.
“I’ve seen Juel’s work over the years and have seen him grow and develop as an artist,” Moore said. “He has a very unique style. I definitely wanted to have him be a part of this project.”
Moore’s new work is an expansion of a duet commissioned by TITAS for DBDT’s Spring Celebration series performance last season. It was Moore’s first season with DBDT since being appointed in January.
“[The support] is huge,” she said. “I think — with this new transition — it really helps with funding some of the new work that I’m interested in doing. Especially with Juel coming in, it supports the vision of some of the initiatives I’m trying to push. Particularly going out and making art more accessible to the community.”
Lane says he is hosting workshops with DBDT focused on introducing the community to dance on film through the lens of social media.
“We’re letting them use their smart phones to film themselves and putting the videos online on Instagram and Facebook,” he said. “It’s giving them an introduction to dance on film where they feel like they’re part of that process.”
Junior Players will use the funds to advance their Transformation Project, recruiting SMU theater professor and fight choreographer Sara Romersberger to lead the program. The Transformation Project is a collaboration between Junior Players and DISD, and it teaches high school students to use dance as a way to explore personal and community challenges.
Dallas Theater Center/Jonathan Norton
Dallas Theater Center received funding to help produce a new work by local playwright Jonathan Norton. Norton’s Penny Candy is inspired by the neighborhood candy houses located in poor communities without access to grocery stores.
“Jonathan Norton’s ‘Penny Candy’ represents another opportunity to deepen socio-economic and political conversations in North Texas,” DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty said in the release.
Norton has been a rising star in North Texas’ theater scene, and some of his works include My Tidy List of Terrors, Mississippi Goddamn, and Takin’ it to the Roots.
TACA has been quietly injecting funds — $28 million, to be exact — into local arts organizations for a while; they’ll be celebrating 50 years at a black tie gala this Friday.
They created the Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund in 2012, contributing $500,000 to works like the Dallas Theater Center and Cara Mia Theatre 2016 co-production Deferred Action. (Donna Wilhelm also supported the creation of Art&Seek.)
In 2015, TACA introduced the Bowdon Family Foundation Artist Residency Fund. That resource has funded projects like The Dallas Opera’s Women Conductors program.