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Dallas Museum of Art Announces 22nd Season of Arts & Letters Live

The Dallas Museum of Art announced the 22nd anniversary season of Arts & Letters Live, the Museum’s literary and performing arts series. With approximately twenty scheduled events featuring over thirty authors, actors, and musicians, some of this season’s highlights include appearances by Pulitzer Prize winners Joseph J. Ellis, Art Spiegelman, Paul Muldoon, and Elizabeth Strout, Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood, and the first female Secretary of State, Madeleine K. Albright.

Widely acknowledged as a major contribution to Dallas’s cultural life, Arts & Letters Live has sold out most of its events since its inception in 1992. Audiences estimated at over 230,000 have attended 540 series programs. To date, Arts & Letters Live has featured 870 authors, actors, and performing artists in its more than twenty years of programming. Over the years, authors and actors featured in Arts & Letters Live programs have earned thirty-seven Pulitzer Prizes, six Academy Awards, over seventy-nine Emmy nominations, ten Man Booker Prizes, ten PEN/Faulkner Awards, fourteen Newbery Medals, and five National Humanities Medals.

“We’re thrilled with the star-studded lineup of authors, artists, and performers featured in our 22nd season—they range from the witty David Sedaris and Jon Scieszka to the wise Madeleine Albright and the iconic Margaret Atwood,” said Carolyn Bess, Director of Programming and Arts & Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art. “There’s something to fit everyone’s taste, no matter whether you prefer literary fiction, nonfiction, memoir, humor, history, biography, poetry, short stories, art, music, or dance. Woven into all of Arts & Letters Live’s programs is an emphasis on and celebration of the creative process; these experiences allow you to hear the inside scoop from authors and performers about how they came to write a particular book or choreograph a new dance inspired by art.”

From January to June 2013, Arts & Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art will feature award-winning and bestselling authors Margaret Atwood, Madeleine K. Albright, Art Spiegelman, Temple Grandin, Elizabeth Strout, Joseph J. Ellis, David Sedaris, and many more. The 22nd season features numerous ties to the DMA’s collection as well as to special exhibitions presented at the Museum, including commissioned poetry inspired by the collection and an Artful Musings performance inspired by the upcoming Chagall: Beyond Color exhibition. The season begins with one such connection on January 17 with DMA Director Maxwell L. Anderson moderating a discussion on artist Mark Rothko’s art and life and the production of the Dallas Theater Center’s Red with Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Director of Conservation at the Whitney Museum, and, Joel Ferrell, Associate Artistic Director at the Dallas Theater Center.

To coincide with the DMA’s return to free general admission and the launch of the DMA Friends & Partners program on January 21, 2013, several events are free this season for the first time: Fresh Ink, presenting new work by acclaimed and emerging writers on Late Nights at the DMA, and BooksmART, featuring award-winning authors and illustrators of children’s literature. Book signings following each of the author events are held at the Museum Store, which stocks titles by each author featured in the series.

One of the most innovative programs, called Texas Bound (Texas actors reading short fiction by Texas writers), plays to packed houses and has toured to other cities in Texas, including Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, and Tyler. Well-known actors participating in Texas Bound have included Tommy Lee Jones, Kathy Bates, Larry Hagman, Marcia Gay Harden, Judith Ivey, and Doris Roberts. The series has been the subject of articles in the New York Times, Southern Living,and other national publications. Since 2008 Arts & Letters Live has partnered to re-broadcast current and prior Texas Bound programs through Reading & Radio Resource, a closed radio network serving people in North Texas with visual impairments and learning differences; these re-broadcasts serve an estimated 25,000 people annually.

Texas Bound actors this year will include Reis McCormick, Allison Pistorius, Stephen Tobolowsky, Linda Lavin, Denis O’Hare, Christina Pickles, Judith Ivey, Cindy Beall, and John Benjamin Hickey.

Arts & Letters Live’s BooksmART series features award-winning authors and illustrators for the young and young-at-heart. Over the past few years, the series has hosted numerous Caldecott and Newbery Medal–winning authors and illustrators, such as E. L. Konigsburg, Christopher Paul Curtis, Lois Lowry, Kate DiCamillo, Robert Sabuda, Judy Schachner, Jeff Kinney, and Chris Van Allsburg. In 2013 BooksmART authors and illustrators will include Jon Scieszka discussing his Spaceheadz series; Peter Reynolds, the author and illustrator of over thirty-five books for children, including his forthcoming book The Museum; and Robert Sabuda, the “prince of pop-ups,” who orchestrates major feats of paper engineering in his quest to bring to life literary classics in a new way.

Tickets are on sale now. Order online at or call during normal business hours at 214-922-1818. Prices for BooksmART (children’s and young adult) and Fresh Ink events are free, regular events are $35, and special events (David Sedaris, who will be making his fifth Arts & Letters Live appearance) range from $25 to $65. For details visit

About the Dallas Museum of Art

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 22,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, the Museum welcomes more than half a million visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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