About Us

Series Summary

Widely acknowledged as a major contribution to Dallas’s cultural life, Arts & Letters Live has been a sellout at the Dallas Museum of Art since its inception in 1992.

  • Audiences estimated at over 200,000 have attended more than 500 series programs, offered locally or on tour.
  • Five broadcasts on public radio, three on the internet, three books, and four audio publications have greatly extended the series’ reach.
  • To date, Arts & Letters Live has showcased over 300 regional, national, and international writers, often in combination with performing or visual arts.
  • Texas Bound® features readings by Texas actors of short fiction by Texas writers.
  • Well-known actors participating in Texas Bound have included Tommy Lee Jones, Kathy Bates, Thomas Gibson, Larry Hagman, Marcia Gay Harden, Judith Ivey, G. W. Bailey, Barry Corbin, and Doris Roberts. The series has been the subject of articles in the New York Times, Southern Living, and other national publications.
  • Programs featuring distinguished writers have included Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning novelists Carol Shields, Michael Cunningham, John Updike, Michael Chabon, Art Spiegelman, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Richard Ford, to name a few.

Other major authors participating in the series have included Ernest Gaines, Grace Paley, Anne Lamott, Margaret Atwood, Sherman Alexie, Edwidge Danticat, Sandra Cisneros, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Ann Patchett, A. S. Byatt, and Ha Jin, Salman Rushdie, Augusten Burroughs, Sue Monk Kidd, Anchee Min, Frances Mayes, Alexander McCall Smith, Jonathan Safran Foer, Arthur Golden, Myla Goldberg, Azar Nafisi, Barbara Kingsolver, David Sedaris, Ian McEwan, Wally Lamb, Tony Horwitz, and David Grann. In addition, the series has celebrated poets including Billy Collins, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, Rita Dove, W. S. Merwin, and Seamus Heaney.

Arts & Letters Live is recognized for its creative programming, including a program featuring the writings of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald read by Natasha Richardson and John Benjamin Hickey; an unconventional night of humor with Dave Eggers (author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) and Neal Pollack; tributes to Texas literary giants Katherine Anne Porter, Cormac McCarthy, and Larry McMurtry; as well as other interdisciplinary programs combining music, film, and literature.