Arts & Letters Live

Arts & Letters Live is a literary and performing arts series for all ages that features award-winning authors and performers of regional, national, and international acclaim. The series is recognized for its creative multidisciplinary programming—combining literature with visual arts, music, and film—and for commissioning new work from musicians, dancers, and poets, inspired by works of art in the Museum's collection and special exhibitions. The series is celebrating its 29th season in 2020.

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Upcoming Events

Format: 11/18/19

Samantha Power

Monday, November 18, 7:30 p.m.

Location: The Hockaday School, Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Theater
In partnership with World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth 


In her new memoir The Education of an Idealist, Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power traces her distinctly American journey from Irish immigrant to human rights activist to US Ambassador to the United Nations. Heralded by President Barack Obama as one of America’s “foremost thinkers on foreign policy,” Power reminds us how the United States can lead, and why there is always something each of us can do to advance the cause of human dignity. This memoir is a humorous, stirring, and unforgettable account of the world-changing power of idealism and one person’s fierce determination to make a difference. 


Peggy Wallace Kennedy & Donna Wilhelm

Thursday December 5, 7:30 p.m.

In conversation with Krys Boyd of KERA

Peggy Wallace Kennedy, seen as the “symbol of racial reconciliation” (Washington Post), is the daughter of one of America’s most virulent segregationists, former governor of Alabama and presidential candidate George Wallace, who ultimately renounced his views at the end of his life. Wallace Kennedy’s powerful memoir The Broken Road is both timely and timeless and speaks to change, atonement, activism, and racial healing. A Life of My Own follows Donna Wilhelm’s path from a lonely child in an immigrant boarding house to corporate wife and mother, to middle-aged divorcee, and finally to her reinvention as a philanthropist, arts advocate, and humanitarian. This evocative memoir reveals her unique upbringing, diverse work history, family challenges, and journey of personal growth with unbridled honesty and will inspire others to take ownership of their stories.


Erin Morgenstern

Tuesday, January 14, 7:30 p.m.

Erin Morgenstern is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Night Circus, which has sold over 3 million copies worldwide and is currently in development with Lionsgate as both a feature film and a stage play. In Morgenstern’s new novel The Starless Sea, a graduate student travels into a secret underground world—a place of pirates, painters, lovers, and liars—when he discovers a mysterious book buried deep in the library stacks that contains a story from his own childhood hidden in its pages.


Mo Rocca

Wednesday, January 22, 7:30 pm

Moody Performance Hall
Promotional Partner: KERA

Beloved humorist and CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Mo Rocca delivers Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Retelling, an entertaining and rigorously researched celebration of the dead people (and things) of the past who have long fascinated him. Inspired by his #1 hit podcast of the same name, the book includes all new essays on artists, entertainers, sports stars, political pioneers, founding fathers and more, providing an insightful and unconventional account of the people who made life worth living for the rest of us. 


Roz Chast & Patricia Marx

Saturday, January 25, 7:30 p.m.

You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time: Rules for Couples, by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast and writer Patricia Marx, is an illustrated collection of love and relationship advice that will make you laugh, remind you why your relationship is better than everyone else’s, and solve all your problems. Chast’s illustrated memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? won a National Book Critics Circle Award. Marx is a former writer for Saturday Night Live whose work has appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Times


Selected Shorts

Saturday, February 1, 7:30 pm

Promotional Partner: KERA

As one of the premier reading series in New York City, Selected Shorts comes to the DMA with an evening of O. Henry Prize–winning stories. The prestigious anthology recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and continues to publish short stories by a mix of celebrated names and new, emerging voices. A selection of award-winning stories—“Midrash on Happiness” by Grace Paley, “Nayla” by Youmna Chlala, “A Permanent Member of the Family” by Russell Banks, and “Oh Shenandoah” by Maura Stanton—will be brought to life on stage through readings by acclaimed actors.


The Legacy of Little Women

Monday, February 3, 7:30 p.m.

In partnership with Dallas Theater Center 

Enjoy a sneak peek of performance highlights from the Dallas Theater Center’s Little Women before it opens to the public, as well as an in-depth discussion about the play, the iconic novel, its influence, and its legacy. Sarahbeth Grossman (Artistic Producer, DTC) will moderate a conversation with Anne Boyd Rioux (author of Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters) and the director of the DTC production Sarah Rasmussen, who commissioned the play from award-winning playwright Kate Hamill in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the classic novel.


Letters Aloud

Monday, February 10, 7:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand, but with a new themed performance for Dallas audiences, Letters Aloud presents real letters by real people, read by great actors in a two-hour performance. Love Me or Leave Me features letters of loving, longing, and leaving. From awkward courtship to horrible breakups to loves of a lifetime and lifetimes of love, Letters Aloud has it all in missives that range from steamy to sweet from the likes of Mark Twain, Frida Kahlo, Charles Bukowski, George Carlin, Virginia Woolf, Napoleon Bonaparte, and a nice kid who grew up to be Slash. “Reality TV’s got nothing on us!”


Tembi Locke

Tuesday, February 18, 7:30 p.m.

Tembi Locke is a Hollywood actor, TEDx speaker on resilience, advocate, and New York Times bestselling author of From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home, which was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick and is being adapted into a Netflix series, directed by Witherspoon. Author Laila Lalami praises it as “a marvelous memoir about taking chances, finding love, and building a home away from home. In From Scratch, Tembi Locke writes movingly about loss, grief, and the healing miracle of food.” The book includes 16 recipes from Locke’s summers in Sicily. 


Texas Bound

Monday, February 24, 7:30 pm

Compelling stories and passionate acting, all literally from the heart of Texas.”

Southern Living   

Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Allison Tolman of Fargo and Emergence will read “Museum” by Naomi Shihab Nye and “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane” by Jenny Lawson. Christie Vela, Associate Director of Theatre Three and a Kitchen Dog Theater company member, will read “Puro Amor” by Sandra Cisneros. Ruben Carrazana, acclaimed actor, director, and writer, will read “Art of Translation” by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Directed by Tina Parker, Co-Artistic Director, Kitchen Dog Theater.