DALLAS – TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) in Dallas recently announced the 2017 recipients of the TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and the TACA Bowdon Family Foundation Artist Residency Fund. Six arts organizations will receive grants totaling $150,000 to create new works or to fund artist residencies.
The 2017 New Works Fund grantees are:
- 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
Launched in 2012, the TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund was established following a hosted discussion on the importance of developing new artistic works for the vitality of the North Texas community. To date, the New Works Fund has provided $500,000 in grants to support 14 adventurous, risk-worthy new works including Bruce Wood Dance’s Journeys and Deferred Action, a co-production of Cara Mía Theatre and Dallas Theater Center. The New Works Fund awards up to $100,000 annually to support the development and performance of innovative new works of music, dance and theater in Dallas County.
In 2015, TACA developed the TACA Bowdon Family Foundation Artist Residency Fund in response to the 2014 edition of its annual arts-related symposium, Perforum, during which members of the local arts community expressed a need for more support of unique artist-community engagement opportunities. To date, the fund has distributed $200,000 to seven projects including the Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera and Dr. Sandra Snow residency at the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas. The fund awards up to $50,000 annually to support the development of innovative artistic residency programs in Dallas County. It also expands upon TACA’s continued efforts to foster meaningful interaction among arts organizations, artists and the greater community.
The 2017 fund-winning performing arts organizations include:
- Dallas Black Dance Theatre, with choreographer/filmmaker Juel D. Lane
- TITAS, with The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company
- Junior Players, with Sara Romersberger, theatre professor
A panel of local and national artists and arts managers narrowed applicant organizations through a highly competitive application and review process. Then, local nonprofit and arts experts interviewed representatives from finalist organizations before making funding recommendations. Panelists selected the recipients based on the innovativeness and merit of their project, the inclusion of artistic collaborations, and the quality of engagement of target audiences.
In addition to these two funds, TACA provides general operating and project-related grants to nearly 50 performing arts organizations each January. In its 50 years, TACA has distributed more than $28 million to 162 arts organizations.
About the 2017 Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund Recipients:
Dallas Black Dance Theatre
Uncharted Territory: Body of Evidence, choreographed by Bridget L. Moore, will examine the characteristics that separate different cultures. Presented from the perspective of the Outsider, the piece is a self-reflection of Moore’s travels throughout Asia. The piece explores the impact a viewer’s culture has on their perception of other cultures and how those cultural perspectives are informed. Its goal is to acknowledge and accept cultural differences in an effort to achieve a better understanding of others.
Dallas Theater Center
This new work, “penny candy,” enlists local playwright Jonathan Norton who says that penny candy has its origin in the Pleasant Grove community located in southeast Dallas where his family ran a neighborhood “candy house” in the late 1980s. The candy house is a common fixture in poor communities with limited access to grocery stores. Today, the term “food desert” is used to reference poor communities with limited access to proper grocery stores. Mr. Norton wrote the play to honor his parents and a part of African American culture unfamiliar to those outside of low-income urban communities.
Dallas Children’s Theater
Named Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet, this new work will be an original play co-produced with Cara Mia Theatre with music produced in cooperation with authors Roxanne Schroeder-Arce and María F. Rocha, with music by Héctor Martínez Morales and choreography by Evelio Flores. Seeing one’s own story on stage is an experience every child deserves to have. Unfortunately, for the oldest group of Native Americans in Texas, the Coahuiltecans, their 13,000-year contribution to Texas history has been erased, lost in the mix of cultures. This production celebrates these indigenous cultures and invites all young people to think about their own heritage.
About the 2017 Bowdon Family Foundation Recipients and Residencies:
Dallas Black Dance Theatre
This residency will engage the Dallas community with dance in a new way–through video and film at locations beyond the theater. Choreographer and dance filmmaker Juel D. Lane will be an artist-in-residence over two weeks. The residency will happen in Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s rehearsal studio, at site-specific buildings, and on social media.
This residency will engage The Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC) and will include two performances and two post-performance Conversations with the Artists. Local high school and college students can participate in an Open Master Class led by KCDC dancers and faculty as well as an Open Audition that will include scholarship opportunities to attend KCDC’s Summer Intensive at the International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’Aton. TITAS Presents will additionally host a special community event with KCDC.
Junior Players will enlist theatre professor, Sara Romersberger, to lead efforts for the Transformation Project, an initiative that the nonprofit collaborates with the Dallas Independent School District on by working with high school students during the school day and within an educational setting. The organizers instruct students in the basics of dance genres, stage combat, skilled movement work and exploring the current challenges that they and/or their communities face. Through the program, topics of social justice, morality and freedom of expression are explored. The works that the students produce challenge both their moral and social principles and those of the surrounding communities.
About the Jurors:
Matt Albert, Chair, Department of Chamber Music, University of Michigan
Sarah Allen, Associate Professor of Music Education, Southern Methodist University
Laura Barbee, Adjunct Faculty Member, The School for Classical & Contemporary Dance, TCU
Steve Birch, Managing Director, Flying Crown Land Group
Stephen Brown-Fried, Theatre Director, Yale School for Drama, The New School for Drama
Stefany Cambra, Founder and Artistic Director, Proper Hijinx
Emily Ernst, Theater Artist
Greg Fulkerson, Professor of Violin, Oberlin College and Conservatory
Dean Gladden, Managing Director, The Alley Theatre
David Grogan, Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Arlington
Zac Hammer, Dance Instructor, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts
Sam Holland, Professor and Director of Music Division, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU
Emily Hunter, Dance Teacher, Booker T. Washington High School
Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Chairman of Education, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Parisa Khobdeh, Dancer, Paul Taylor Dance Company
Peter Kupfer, Associate Professor of Musicology, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU
Emily Lyon, Literary Manager, BEDLAM
Jennifer Mabus, Dance Artist, Texas Christian University
Becki McDonald, Theater Artist
Cassie Meador, Executive Artistic Director, Dance Exchange
Kristy Morrell, Chair, Winds & Percussion, University of Southern California
Jonathan Norton, Playwright
Jack Reuler, Artistic Director, Mixed Blood Theatre Company
Suzanne Smith, Founder and Managing Director, Social Impact Architects
Ebonee Thomas, Musician
Brandon Tijerina, Director, Rowlett High School Eagle Theatre Company
Christopher Trevino, Professor and Technical Services Associate, The University of Texas at Dallas
Carlton Turner, Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director, Alternate ROOTS