Anniversaries often make us want to look back and appreciate what has occurred in years past. That’s exactly what The Dallas Arts District is doing as it celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
To commemorate that milestone, the district has been looking back on its history and accomplishments as well the cultural and financial impact the district has had on the city of Dallas.
“Through continual collaboration, education, community, inclusion and innovation as its core values, the Dallas Arts District has heralded acclaim around the globe and has put Dallas in the world’s spotlight for its exemplary success,” Executive Director Lily Cabatu Weiss said in a statement. “Our goal is to continue developing an urban cultural district that creates a vibrant, healthy, and complete neighborhood for generations to come.”
Celebrating the cultural hub of Dallas
The district arose from a vision by city leaders in the early 1980s.
The adoption of the Sasaki Plan in 1982, and then the official zoning of PD 145 in February 1983, set the groundwork for the 68-acre Dallas Arts District. The opening of the Dallas Museum of Art in 1984 marked the first institution in the newly formed district.
During the succeeding decades, the district saw an outpouring of interest and support from a variety of cultural institutions including The Nasher Sculpture Garden, Dallas Museum of Art, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, The Crow Museum of Asian Art, Moody Performance Hall, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, and the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House.
Today, the district encompasses 118 acres and is the largest contiguous arts district in the nation. It has become the city’s cultural hub and a world-renowned destination for tourists and locals.
Dallas Arts District highlights
The district focuses heavily on enhancing the value of the city’s creative and economic life by engaging and supporting artistic, education, and commercial neighbors through excellent design, practices, and programs, a mission that the district said has fueled it over the last 40 years.
Per the Dallas Arts District, here are some of its highlights:
- Attracting more than 4 million visitors each year, it has more than a $6 billion value, with a $400 million economic impact.
- Six different Pritzker Prize-winning architects have designed signature buildings in the Dallas Arts District, all within an area smaller than a square mile..
- Awarded a maximum 3-star rating by the prestigious Le Guide Vert-Michelin Green Guide
- Ranked third in USA Today’s 10 Best Arts Districts in the Nation in 2021 and 2022.
- Five historic buildings: three historic churches, one historic nationally acclaimed school for the arts, one historic venue that houses Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
- The model cultural district for recent visitors from the Uptown Jeddah Project, Saudi Arabia, Sendai Japan, and The Music Center in Los Angeles.
Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.
Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.