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Things to Do in Dallas, Texas
Arts and culture
Internal view of Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House
Arts and museums
The Arts District in the northern section of Downtown is home to several arts venues and is the largest contiguous arts district in the United States. Notable venues in the district include the Dallas Museum of Art; the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, home to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Dallas Wind Symphony; the Nasher Sculpture Center; and the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, also in Downtown Dallas, is a natural history and science museum. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, the 180,000-square-foot (17,000 m2) facility has six floors and stands about 14 stories high.
Venues that are part of the AT&T Dallas Center for the Performing Arts include Moody Performance Hall, home to the Dallas Chamber Symphony; the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, home to the Dallas Theater Center and the Dallas Black Dance Theater; and the Winspear Opera House, home to the Dallas Opera and Texas Ballet Theater.
Not far north of the area is the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University. In 2009, it joined up with Madrid's Prado Museum for a three-year partnership. The Prado focuses on Spanish visual art and has a collection of Spanish art in North America, with works by de Juanes, El Greco, Fortuny, Goya, Murillo, Picasso, Pkensa, Ribera, Rico, Velasquez, Zurbaran, and other Spaniards. These works, as well as non-Spanish highlights like sculptures by Rodin and Moore, have been so successful of a collaboration that the Prado and Meadows have agreed upon an extension of the partnership.
The Institute for Creation Research operates the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History, a creationism museum, in Dallas. The former Texas School Book Depository, from which, according to the Warren Commission Report, Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963, has served since the 1980s as a county government office building, except for its sixth and seventh floors, which house the Sixth Floor Museum.
The American Museum of the Miniature Arts is at the Hall of State in Fair Park. The Arts District is also home to DISD's Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a magnet school that was recently expanded. City Center District, next to the Arts District, is home to the Dallas Contemporary.
Deep Ellum, immediately east of Downtown, originally became popular during the 1920s and 1930s as the prime jazz and blues hot spot in the South. Artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, and Bessie Smith played in original Deep Ellum clubs such as the Harlem and the Palace. Today, Deep Ellum is home to hundreds of artists who live in lofts and operate in studios throughout the district alongside bars, pubs, and concert venues.
A major art infusion in the area results from the city's lax stance on graffiti, and a number of public spaces, including tunnels, sides of buildings, sidewalks, and streets, are covered in murals. One major example, the Good-Latimer tunnel, was torn down in late 2006 to accommodate the construction of a light rail line through the site.
Like Deep Ellum before it, the Cedars neighborhood to the south of Downtown has also seen a growing population of studio artists and an expanding roster of entertainment venues. The area's art scene began to grow in the early 2000s with the opening of Southside on Lamar, an old Sears Roebuck and Company warehouse converted into lofts, studios, and retail.
Current attractions include Gilley's Dallas and Poor David's Pub. Dallas Mavericks owner and local entrepreneur Mark Cuban purchased land along Lamar Street near Cedars Station in September 2005, and locals speculate he is planning an entertainment complex for the site. South of the Trinity River, the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff is home to a number of studio artists living in converted warehouses. Walls of buildings along alleyways and streets are painted with murals, and the surrounding streets contain many eclectic restaurants and shops.
Dallas has an Office of Cultural Affairs as a department of the city government. The office is responsible for six cultural centers throughout the city, funding for local artists and theaters, initiating public art projects, and running the city-owned classical radio station WRR. The Los Angeles-class submarineUSS Dallas was planned to become a museum ship near the Trinity River after her decommissioning in September 2014, but this has since been delayed. It will be taken apart into massive sections in Houston and be transported by trucks to the museum site and will be put back together.
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