This week’s Dallas Art Fair continues to gain stature in the global caravan of art events. But folks in Dallas are discovering—much like Miami has over the last decade—that once the traveling party departs, there’s little effect on the health of the local arts. D Magazine’s Front Row blog has a long, fascinating post on the growing interest in building Dallas’s ‘cultural capital’ through events like Dallas art week:
April has become the epicenter of Dallas’ arts and culture calendar. You can blame the good weather, as well as multiple arts organizations trying to build on each other’s successes. Things really started to coalesce in the month of April after the Dallas Art Fair launched, in 2008. Along with the Art Fair, there are major openings at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Contemporary, and the Power Station, as well as the Goss-Michael Foundation’s MTV:ReDefine, a glammed-up art auction. April offers Dallas its moment as a minor stopover on the international art circuit. And that’s just the visual art. The Dallas International Film Festival runs this month, as does the USA Film Festival, both bringing their usual slate of celebrities, and there are major dance, music, and theater events as well. In all, Dallas is a pretty hip and happening place every April.
But the post goes on to point out that local university SMU ranked Dallas 157th as an arts city despite all of this perceived investment:
The report criticized Dallas’ top-down financial investment, arguing that by concentrating on generating philanthropy from a handful of wealthy individuals, we fail to engage broader-based community support, resulting in a city that pours a lot of money into a small cross-section of our culture.
The New Dallas Myth: Dallas Arts Week and the Self-Flattery of a Would-Be ‘Cultural Capital’ (D Magazine/Front Row)