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.

Book tickets online or call 214-922-1818.

To become a Season Supporter, call 214-922-1280.

Love these events and want the best deal? Become a DMA Member and you’ll get $10 off the public ticket price (excluding the David Sedaris event), free garage parking at the DMA, and discounts in the DMA Cafe and DMA Store.

Are you in a book club? Sign up to receive our DMA Arts & Letters Live newsletter for book clubs!

Upcoming Events

Format: 2/19/18

Conspirare

Wednesday, February 21, 7:30 p.m.

Conspirare is a Grammy-winning and internationally recognized choir with a reputation for “expanding the boundaries of choral performance” (Wall Street Journal). In 1998 Matthew Shepard, a young gay student at the University of Wyoming, was kidnapped, beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die. Approaching the 20th anniversary of Shepard’s death, Conspirare’s Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson composed Considering Matthew Shepard, which earned a 2017 Grammy nomination and a standing ovation at Boston Symphony Hall, and features nearly 30 singers and a chamber ensemble. Johnson weaves together a wide variety of soulful and poetic texts in creating a performance that the Washington Post praised by saying, “[It] demonstrates music’s capacity to encompass, transform and transcend tragedy.” Audiences describe this work as “brilliant,” “innovative,” and “gripping.”  

details

Amy Bloom

Monday, February 26, 7:30 p.m.

White Houses, a triumph of historical fiction from author Amy Bloom, tells the story of the unexpected affair be­tween Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena “Hick” Hickok, who meets the future first lady in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign. As their connection deepens into intimacy, “Hick” moves into the White House, where her status as “first friend” is an open secret, as are FDR’s own lovers. Additionally, “Hick” comes to know Franklin not only as a great president but as a complicated rival and an irresistible friend. Amy Bloom is a National Book Award final­ist, a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee, and author of the New York Times bestselling novels Away and Lucky Us

details

Texas Bound I

Saturday, March 3, 7:30 p.m.

Veteran Dallas Theater Center actor Chamblee Ferguson will kick off the evening with a humorous piece by Steve Martin. Sally Vahle, who recently appeared in the world premiere of Miller, Mississippi at the Dallas Theater Center, will read “Cleaning Your Gun” by Laurie Lynn Drummond. Kitchen Dog Theater company member Liza Marie Gonzalez will read “Everything Is Far from Here” by Cristina Henríquez, recently published in the New Yorker. The evening will also feature “Half of What Atlee Rouse Knows About Horses,” an award-winning story by Bret Anthony Johnston, the new Director of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

3:00–5:00 p.m.: Short story writing workshop led by author Bret Anthony Johnston, using works of art as inspiration for writing.

details

Maria Shriver

Tuesday, March 6, 7:30 p.m.

Peabody and Emmy Award–winning journalist and producer Maria Shriver shares insight into the wisdom gleaned through her life’s journey in her latest book, I've Been Thinking . . .: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life. In this moving and powerful book, Shriver shares tips on how to navigate the stress of everyday life. Hoda Kotb, co-anchor on The Today Show, says, “If you are feeling stuck, lost, or you just need a pick-me-up, this is the book for you. Shriver’s wisdom will fill you up.” Deepak Chopra praised the book as “thought-provoking, spirited, a deep and personal message to help one discover a meaningful and joyful life.” 

details

Elizabeth Kostova

Sunday, March 18, 2:00 p.m.

Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian was the first debut novel in US publishing history to land at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in its first week on sale; it has sold more than three million copies and been translated into 40 languages. Her new novel, The Shadow Land, follows a young American woman who travels to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping to heal from the loss of her brother. Shortly after arriving, she discovers an urn filled with human ashes and sets out to find its owner, an endeavor that leads to uncovering the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by oppression, and evolves into a meditation on the painful history of an entire country. Pulitzer Prize–winning author Richard Russo hails the novel as “thrilling.”

details

Texas Bound II

Monday, March 19, 7:30 p.m.

Theater, television, and film actor Ashley Wood kicks off the evening with a piece by Colum McCann, “What Baseball Does to the Soul.” Jeffrey Schmidt, Artistic Director of Theater Three in Dallas, will read “Stranger on the Bridge” by Julia Heaberlin and “Ash” by Thomas Adams. Tony Award-winning Broadway, film, and TV star Julie White will read “Leaving Cloud Drive” by Marjorie Kemper. Audience favorite G. W. Bailey, perhaps best known for his roles as Sergeant Rizzo in M*A*S*H, Lieutenant Harris in The Police Academy films, and, most recently, Detective Provenza on TNT’s Major Crimes, will read “West of Nowhere” by Harry Hunsicker. 

details

William Middleton

Wednesday, March 28, 7:30 p.m.

William Middleton’s Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil is the first biography about the influential couple known as “The Medici of Modern Art.” The Menils cre­ated an oasis of culture in their Philip Johnson–designed house, hosting everyone from Marlene Dietrich and Renée Magritte to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns. In Houston they built the Menil Collection, the Rothko Chapel, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, and the Cy Twombly Gallery, and provided underwriting for the Contemporary Arts Museum. With unprecedented access to private family archives and personal interviews, Middleton has crafted a vivid behind-the-scenes look at the famous couple who shaped Texas culture and the 20th-century art world through civil rights support, art patronage, and public gallery innovations. 

details

Lidia Bastianich

Friday, April 6, 7:30 p.m.

Promotional Partner: KERA

Bestselling cookbook author, Emmy Award–winning television personality, and successful restaurateur Lidia Bastianich discusses her heartwarming memoir My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food. Raised in Pula, a formerly Italian city turned Yugoslavian under Tito’s Communist regime, her family is ultimately forced to flee to Trieste, Italy, where they spend two years in a refugee camp before moving to the United States—a hugely formative experience in Lidia’s life. Told with her hallmark warmth and gusto, this memoir details her close-knit family and her passion for food, which ultimately leads to multiple restaurants, many cookbooks, and 20 years on public television as the host of her own cooking show, Lidia’s Kitchen

details

Luis Alberto Urrea & Francisco Cantú

Sunday, April 8, 2:30 p.m.

This event will pair two powerful authors exploring the border both in fact and fiction. In The Line Becomes a River, Francisco Cantú, a former US Border Patrol guard, makes urgent and personal the violence our border wreaks on both sides of the line. Cantú is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and 2017 Whiting Award, and is a former Fulbright fellow. Luis Alberto Urrea’s novel The House of Broken Angels is the definitive Mexican-American immigrant story of a beloved and ailing patriarch, Miguel Angel De La Cruz, who summons his entire clan for one last birthday party. Teeming with brilliance and humor, Urrea’s indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. 

details

Danielle Allen

Monday, April 23, 7:30 p.m.

Danielle Allen was award­ed a 2002 MacArthur Fellowship for her ability to combine “the classicist’s careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist’s sophisticated and informed engagement.” Featured on the front page of the New York Times, Allen’s Our Declaration reinterprets the promise of American democracy through our founding text, combining a personal account of teaching the Declaration line by line with a vivid evocation of the colonial world. Bestselling author Andrew Solomon praises Allen’s 2017 memoir, Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A., saying, “In this narrative of freedom and incarceration, education and disadvantage, rehabilitation and punishment, Danielle Allen paints an unforgettable portrait of a cousin she loved. The pacing is brisk and novelistic, but the message is large and clear: we need urgently to reform the system through which we process juveniles who commit crime, because the cur­rent system perpetuates the very injustices it was designed to address.”

details

Pages