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: 8/12/20

Virtual Summer Book Club: A Tale for the Time Being

Thursday, August 13, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Arts & Letters Live and the Crow Museum of Asian Art are teaming up to offer Summer Book Club 2020. Shared virtually, readers are invited to read together this summer and gather each month via Microsoft Teams video conference. Join us for commentary, connection, and togetherness, as well as the joy of reading. 



Virtual Event: Rebecca Winn

Tuesday, August 4, at 7:00 p.m., available through August 18

 In conversation with Sarah Hepola

Promotional Partners: The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and the Women's Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

 Award-winning landscape designer Rebecca Winn takes readers through a journey of self-discovery in her book One Hundred Daffodils: Finding Beauty, Grace, and Meaning When Things Fall Apart. After the abrupt end of her 25-year marriage, Winn felt untethered spiritually, physically, and emotionally. She then embarked on a quest for meaning, identity, and purpose through gardening, a study of Jungian psychology, and a deep dive into global spiritual practices. Repeatedly compared to poet Mary Oliver, Winn transformed heartbreak into wholeness through communion with the divine in nature.


RESCHEDULED (Virtual): Lauren Akins

Monday, August 24, 7:00 p.m.

Rescheduled Virtual Event 

In conversation with Hoda Kotb

Join Lauren Akins to celebrate her first book, Live in Love, a deeply personal story of her modern family with longtime partner and childhood best friend, multi-PLATINUM-selling performer Thomas Rhett. 

In this hour-long moderated talk, Lauren will offer inspiring guidance from her own experiences on staying in love, balancing children and marriage, practicing faith, and living a life of purpose. Guests will get a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of being married to her music star best friend and the struggle to find her own footing in the frenzy of her husband’s fame. 



Virtual Event: Letters Aloud

Thursday, August 27, 7:00 p.m.

Audience favorite Letters Aloud returns with "All Our Best: Perseverance in Times of Struggle." Enjoy an inspiring evening featuring real letters from real people throughout history (including Frederick Douglass, Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi, Margaret Mitchell, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Jackie Robinson), writing about their experiences in times of pandemics, civil rights activism, and finding hope, meaning, and humor when times are particularly tough.   


Virtual Event: Alice Randall

Monday, August 31, 7:00 p.m., available through September 14

In partnership with The Black Academy of Arts and Letters 

A hybrid of fiction and history, Black Bottom Saints pays tribute to Detroit's legendary African American neighborhood through an inventive pairing of biographies of historical figures with cocktail recipes. Kiese Laymon (bestselling author of Heavy) calls it “easily the most inventive and musical novel I've read in a decade.” Join 20 minutes before the talk for a pre-show Happy Hour featuring Detroit-based mixologists Brian Edwards and Raven Love of Double Strained Collective, who will teach you how to make some of the cocktails featured in the book. 


Virtual Event: Erik Larson

Thursday, September 10, at 7:30 p.m., available through September 17

In conversation with Krys Boyd of KERA 

Erik Larson, master of narrative nonfiction, delivers The Splendid and the Vile, a compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz. Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports, Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year, transporting readers to a time of true leadership, when—in the face when of unrelenting horror—Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together. Larson’s bestselling books include The Devil in The White City and In the Garden of Beasts.


Virtual Distinguished Writers Event: Barbara Kingsolver

Wednesday, September 23, 7:00 p.m.

Award-winning author Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible) will discuss and read from her new book of poetry, How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons), which has been in progress for a decade. This intimate new collection offers reflections on the complicated bonds of family and friendship, everyday acts of living, the natural world, and the redemptive nature of art and poetry, as well as death and transcendence.


RESCHEDULED: David Sedaris

Monday, May 17, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Location: McFarlin Auditorium, Southern Methodist University
Promotional Partner: KERA
All purchased tickets have been transferred to the rescheduled date.

One of America’s pre-eminent humor writers, David Sedaris returns to Dallas for the eleventh consecutive year to read new and unpublished material. He is the master of satire and one of today’s most observant writers addressing the human condition. Beloved for his personal essays and short stories, Sedaris is the author of Me Talk Pretty One Day,  Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls  and Theft By Finding: Diaries (1977-2002), among many others. Calypso, his latest collection of essays, is a New York Times bestseller. Sedaris’s original audio pieces can often be heard on the public radio show This American Life.