Texas Commission on the Arts Awards Cultural District Grants Including $250,000 to the Dallas Museum of Art

Texas Commission on the Arts Awards $4.6 Million through Renewed Grant Program

DALLAS, Texas – September 6, 2019 – The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) announced funding of 43 Arts Respond Cultural District Project grants for fiscal year 2020, including $250,000 for the Dallas Museum of Art’s speechless: different by design exhibition. The grants total over $4.6 million and will go to arts nonprofits and local government agencies in 20 cultural districts in Abilene, Amarillo, Arlington, Canadian, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Galveston, Houston, Lubbock, McKinney, Rockport, San Angelo, San Antonio, Waco and Wimberley. The grants ranged in amount from $5,500 to $250,000.

“We are pleased to be able to provide strong support for so many high-profile arts activities across the state,” said Gary Gibbs, executive director of TCA. “The substantial work that our grantees are doing not only advances the arts in Texas, but it attracts visitors and additional dollars to our state and local economies.”

“The Dallas Museum of Art thanks the Texas Commission on the Arts for their extraordinary generosity in funding this groundbreaking exhibition,” stated Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. “Involving years of cross-disciplinary study and collaboration with designers, scholars, and scientists at the forefront of innovation in art and accessibility, speechless: different by design gives us the incredible opportunity to provide a truly distinct museum experience to our audiences. As the anchor of the Dallas Arts District, we are honored to serve as a grantee of this significant effort to advance cultural tourism across the state through robust arts and cultural initiatives.”

Harnessing the power and impact of design, speechless: different by design offers audiences unconventional multisensory experiences that foster understanding of the varied ways in which we experience the world through our senses. The exhibition presents opportunities for new modes of communicating ideas beyond speech and words by merging research, aesthetics, and innovative new design to explore the vast spectrum of sensory experiences and new approaches to accessibility and modes of communication in the museum setting.

Co-organized  by the Dallas Museum of Art and the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA), speechless: different by design will open at the DMA on November 10, 2019, and remain on view through March 22, 2020. It will debut new work by six leading and emerging international designers and design teams—Ini Archibong, Matt Checkowski, Misha Kahn, Steven and William Ladd, Laurie Haycock Makela, and Yuri Suzuki—whose projects were informed by conversations with specialists from prominent academic and medical institutions. Their site-specific installations and new commissions will create participatory environments and distinct situations in which senses merge or are substituted for one another.

The exhibition is presented in Dallas by Texas Instruments, with additional generous support from the Texas Commission on the Arts and Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne. The High will present the exhibition in Atlanta from April 25 through September 6, 2020.

The Arts Respond Cultural District Project grants are offered to eligible arts organizations in designated cultural districts for projects that focus on significant cultural tourism efforts through activities such as marketing, infrastructure, and major events. The projects use the arts to diversify local economies, generate revenue, and attract visitors and investment. The 43 approved grants were among 59 applications reviewed and scored by a panel of evaluators with expertise in the arts, cultural districts, marketing, tourism and economics. Cultural districts are special zones designated by TCA that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community vitalization. These districts can become focal points for generating business, attracting tourists, stimulating cultural development and fostering civic pride. Currently, there are 43 official cultural districts in Texas.

These awards are the first given through the Arts Respond Cultural District Project grant program in two years, the result of renewed support of the program by the 2019 Texas Legislature. The Arts Respond Cultural District Projects are funded through a $10 million legislative increase for cultural tourism grants in TCA’s budget for the 2020-2021 biennium.

About The Texas Commission on the Arts
The mission of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is to advance our state economically and culturally by investing in a creative Texas. TCA supports a diverse and innovative arts community in Texas, throughout the nation and internationally by providing resources to enhance economic development, arts education, cultural tourism and artist sustainability initiatives. For more information on TCA and its programs, please visit www.arts.texas.gov.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than 4 million visitors, including more than 800,000 in 2018. For more information, visit DMA.org.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.


For more information, please contact:
Jill Bernstein