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The Dallas Arts District is one of the most important cultural hubs for visual and performing arts in the city. Overflowing with museums, performance venues, and great dining and nightlife, it is the city's premiere creative destination. See what you can discover over the 20 blocks that make up this jewel of our urban life here in Dallas.
This neighborhood features some of the city's most prestigious and fascinating museums, including the Dallas Museum of Arts, Nasher Sculpture Center, and Crow Museum of Asian Art. All are located within an easily walkable distance from each other.
The most famous of the bunch is probably the Dallas Museum of Art established in 1984, and for good reason; it showcases over 23,000 works of art created over a period of 5,000 years. This museum also hosts incredible cultural events like Jazz Under the Stars and Arts and Letters Live. Best of all, admission is free, with few exceptions for special events and exhibits.
Nasher Sculpture Center is known not only for its works of art but also for its architecture. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the two-story center also includes beautiful gardens that frequently host events throughout the summer. Explore the halls of Nasher Sculpture Center to observe the works of artists ranging from Matisse to Willem de Kooning.
Last but not least, the Crow Museum of Asian Art has become a local favorite. Its exhibits seek to bring an understanding of Eastern art, culture, and philosophy to the West, a mission that also guides the events hosted here. Attend any of the Tai Chi, yoga, and meditation sessions the museum arranges, or show up to observe a Chinese New Year celebration.
Locals who want a more scientific exhibit should check out the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. If you're wondering what kind of science the museum covers, the answer is almost everything. The building itself is hard to miss, as its unique modern architecture stands out among its surroundings. It features eleven exhibit halls that cover everything from dinosaurs to astronomy to meteorology and robotics.
The best part is that the museum is suitable for all ages since it also provides great interactive learning exhibits in addition to displays. Take the whole family here to marvel at the wonders of our natural and scientific world, on earth and beyond the stars.
Experience a night of highbrow entertainment at the Winspear Opera House, home to both The Dallas Opera and the Texas Ballet Theater. You can also catch excellent performances of Broadway productions here without having to travel all the way to New York.
As with many buildings in the Dallas Arts District, the architecture of the building can be just as impressive as the art within it; in this case, the Winspear Opera House won the 2010 Architectural Awards from the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology. The opera house is located within the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the home of several other venues dedicated to artistic expression, including the 575-seat Wyly Theatre.
Several acclaimed dance companies, showcasing the versatility of the city's artists and the diversity of its people, perform at the AT&T Center's venues. Besides the ballet company mentioned, two notable companies that perform here are the Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico. Both put on frequent, moving performances featuring an eclectic mix of dance styles from ballet and jazz to Latin and modern.
Music lovers will also want to visit the Morton H. Myerson Symphony Center. Built to accommodate over 2,000 audience members, the gorgeous symphony center is the home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which performs crowd-pleasing events throughout the year. The conductor, Fabio Luisi, is an internationally renowned Grammy Award winner that leads the orchestra through a wide array of musical genres, from enchanting classical music to pop concerts.
What's more beautiful than experiencing arts and culture outdoors on a warm Texas summer night? The Dallas Arts District has several spaces where visitors can stroll through beautiful works of art or enjoy performances.
One of the most prominent spaces is the KPMG Hall Arts Plaza and Sculpture Walk between Ross Avenue and Flora Street. Walk through to see acclaimed works of art from Texas sculptors and artists worldwide.
Two big outdoor gathering places are located within the AT&T Performing Arts Center complex. Strauss Square, which accommodates over 2,000 people, is a frequent location for concerts and other musical events. Nearby Sammons Park accommodates visitors who want to relax and picnic on the vast lawns during the day and those who want to attend one of the many smaller performances held here.
Those who want a peaceful break in a natural setting can head to the 5.2-acre Klyde Warren Park, located between the Arts District and uptown Dallas. This urban oasis is an incredible space, constructed on top of a recessed freeway and featuring hundreds of plants indigenous to the area. You may wonder how this ties in with arts and culture. Well, the park isn't just for walking and relaxing; it hosts many events, including dance and yoga classes.
There is no shortage of dining and drinking places within the Dallas Arts District. Opt for budget, delicious cuisine on the go by visiting the food trucks stationed at Woodall Rogers. Though the trucks can alternate, they usually feature a lot of Italian dishes, including pizza, street food, and gelato.
You can always book a table at Ellie's Restaurant & Lounge at the HALL Arts Hotel for a romantic evening or special event. The hotel's restaurant provides upscale, continental cuisine and some of the best cocktails. Since Napa Valley inspires the dishes, you can also count on finding some exquisite wines on the menu.
Have you spent time in the Dallas Arts District? If you have a museum, venue, or other special events you love, please contact us at Planet Ford Dallas and let us know, as we would love to feature it in a future post.