Posts Tagged 'Community'

Volunteering is smART!

Center for Creative Connections volunteer

The DMA is fortunate to have a committed group of volunteers who are dedicated to ensuring our educational programs succeed. If you want to get more involved at the DMA, We are currently recruiting new volunteers for the Center for Creative Connections, Go van Gogh school outreach program, and the Arts & Letters Live speaker series. A formal background in art or art education is not required, we simply seek individuals who are passionate about serving the Dallas community! There is a volunteer opportunity for all interests, so read on for details about each opening.

In the Center for Creative Connections, we seek volunteers who enjoy interacting with the public. C3 volunteers welcome and engage visitors in conversations about art and art making in the Art Spot. C3 volunteers also have the chance to take the  C3 experience to other galleries as a Pop-Up Art Spot facilitator. Volunteers are asked to serve two shifts per month, approximately seven hours, and must attend an orientation session.

Go van Gogh volunteers help teach art programs in elementary classrooms across the city. They encourage students to look closely at works of art in the Museum’s collection and get involved in hands-on art making projects. Interested volunteers must be available to attend bi-monthly training sessions on Tuesday mornings and are asked to teach two weekday programs per month from late September to mid-May.

If you love literature, then becoming an Arts & Letters Live volunteer may be the choice for you! Arts & Letters Live volunteers support speaker events, including BooksmART programs for young readers, by serving as ticket takers, greeters, ushers, and book signing assistants. New volunteers will attend an orientation session in December before the the 2018 season begins.

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Visit our Volunteer page for applications and additional information about each of these volunteer programs or email volunteers@dma.org with any questions. We hope you’ll join us!

Andi Orkin
Volunteer Coordinator for Programming

Friday Photos: Volunteers and “México 1900–1950”

As part of National Volunteer Week, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the amazing volunteers helping to bring México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde to our community. Different volunteer groups have come together to make DMA Family Days a resounding success. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, we’re able to offer art highlights, studio activities, and the Pop-Up Art Spot in the Art of the Ancient Americas Galleries, in addition to free admission to the exhibition on those special Sundays.

What’s more, Go Van Gogh bilingual after school volunteers have helped share the exhibition outside of the Museum through community outreach programs. Here’s a quick look at how volunteers are helping our community experience México 1900–1950.

Are you inspired to get involved? Explore volunteer opportunities at the DMA!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

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Melinda Blauvelt, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1981, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund © Melinda Blauvelt

As a New Orleans transplant, I wanted to celebrate my favorite holiday with you–Mardi Gras! When most people think of the holiday, they imagine excessive eating and drinking, harlequin masks, and colorful beads. But what is Mardi Gras in New Orleans really like and how did the holiday originate?

Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once. 
― Chris Rose, 1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories

In the Catholic tradition, Carnival season starts on the Twelfth Night, also called King’s Day or the Feast of the Epiphany, and runs through Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras comes from the old French, meaning “Fat Tuesday,” and marks the last day of celebration and indulgence before the deprivations of Lent. Carnival season is celebrated across many cultures with Catholic roots, and was introduced to the Gulf Coast of the United States during the French colonial period. Carnival takes on a local flavor wherever the holiday season is observed, including the Samba parade in Rio de Janeiro and the Volo dell’ Angelo in Venice.

Carnival season festivities in New Orleans include parades and masked balls put on by krewes, private social clubs devoted to charitable work and community involvement with their own special regalia and traditions. Revelers will often celebrate in costume. At one time, masking allowed New Orleanians to escape societal and class constraints.

One of my favorite parades is hosted by the Krewe of Muses, an all-female krewe know for their dazzling, often bitingly funny floats and their prized feature throw—glittering, homemade shoes fit for a Grecian goddess. Speaking of throws, it’s estimated that 25 million pounds of Mardi Gras items get tossed from floats in New Orleans every Carnival season! Parade floats often have a special theme, and are worked on year-round in the krewe’s secret hub, or den, until it’s time for the parade to roll. Along with floats, parades include dance troupes and marching clubs, high school marching bands, and flambeaux, or torch-bearing marchers who have been part of Carnival since the first night parades in the 19th century. While there are more than 80 official krewes, the largest and most extravagant parades thrown by the super krewes kickoff the Saturday before Mardi Gras with the Krewe of Endymion. Their motto, “Throw until it hurts,” reflects the over-the-top spectacle of Carnival.

New Orleans owes many beloved Carnival traditions to its African cultural heritage. During the colonial period, many of the enslaved people and Free People of Color in the city came from the Senegambian region of Africa. Their influence on the Gulf Coast can be seen in the region’s cuisine, music, architecture, and unique culture traditions.

Egungun costume, Republic of Benin, Yoruba peoples, Late 20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Pace Primitive Gallery, New York

Egungun costume, Republic of Benin, Yoruba peoples, Late 20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Pace Primitive Gallery, New York

Masquerade and processionals are an important aspect of African culture and the continuum of these traditions can be seen in second lines and marching cultures in New Orleans. Drawing from Nigerian beading traditions, Mardi Gras Indians craft spectacular suits for processionals and performances that take an entire year to create and weigh as much as 150 pounds. While the origin of this tradition is not easy to pin down, Mardi Gras Indians name themselves after American Indians to honor the help they provided for people escaping slavery and to “create an identity of strength and resilience.” There are more than 50 Mardi Gras Indian tribes in New Orleans, and on Mardi Gras rival tribes will meet to compete through costume and song.

While I won’t be celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year, I had to make a king cake, a sweet brioche served during Carnival, for my amazing DMA colleagues to sample. King cake is decorated in the Mardi Gras colors of purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power) to honor the three kings who visited the Christ child on the Twelfth Night. It traditionally includes a hidden plastic or ceramic baby, and the person who finds the trinket must buy the next king cake or host the next party.

king-cake

FYI, calories do not count during Carnival.

After all, in essence, Mardi Gras is about celebrating the sweetness of life with your friends, family, and neighbors.

This Mardi Gras I hope you indulge a little (or a lot!), kick up your heels, and show your community some love. Laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll)!

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Friday Photos: Words of Kindness

February 12-18 is Random Acts of Kindness week, when individuals are encouraged to make the world a little kinder through small acts of good will. In the spirit of giving back, we have many visitors who stop by the Center for Creative Connections each day to leave behind notes of encouragement at the writing activity. We’ve been collecting these responses over the past several months and wanted to share a selection of our favorite notes with you! Click to enlarge each image and enjoy the thoughtful words of our visitors.

We hope you will all make a visit to the Center for Creative Connections soon and write your own encouraging notes. Even the smallest gesture can make a huge difference!

Andi Orkin
Volunteer Coordinator for Programming

 

DFW Faves

Have you ever explored your own city as if you were a tourist? While the Dallas Museum of Art will always be my number #1 spot to spend time in the Metroplex, I thought I would share a few of my favorite places alongside works from the DMA’s collection. You might just discover a new hangout in your hometown!

Klyde Warren Park

Located right across the street from the DMA in Downtown Dallas, this amazing urban park is built over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Pick up something tasty from one of the many food trucks, take a stroll with your pup to My Best Friend’s Park, or enjoy free public programming ranging from dance classes to outdoor concerts and films. What I love most about Klyde Warren Park is how it serves as a gathering space for the community.

Dallas Farmers Market

When I travel, one of my favorite things to do is visit the local market. Happily, the Dallas Farmers Market is one of my all-time favorites with seasonal fruits and veggies, local goodies, and fun events. Visit The Shed at the Dallas Farmers Market on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to buy directly from farmers, ranchers, and artisans (if you’re lucky, you can also enjoy some samples!) The Market is open daily and offers local specialty foods and artisanal vendors. Where else can you pick up locally grown produce, honor Texas music with a Willie Waylon George & Beyonce t-shirt, and take a wine and cheese appreciation class?

The Foundry & Chicken Scratch

I might be in hot water with my colleagues for revealing our favorite lunch spot, but Chicken Scratch is too good to miss! The fried chicken, biscuits, and coconut waffles are all a special treat (we’ve contemplated, but never ordered their big salad bowls…we’ll try them next time…maybe), and the design of the space is comfy and eclectic: shipping containers delineate the boundary of the patio and a stage made out of reused pallets created by Gary Buckner of Stash Design sits outside of The Foundry, the laid-back bar next to Chicken Scratch. Definitely give Chicken Scratch a try – just be sure to leave us a table!

As we move into the new year, I’m looking forward to visiting old favorites and playing tourist while exploring more of the Metroplex. What are your favorite places to visit in DFW?

Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Volunteer Spotlight: Go van Gogh-ing with Terei

With school back in session, we are so excited to jump into a brand new season full of Go van Gogh fun! And we’re very fortunate to have a group of extremely dedicated and talented volunteers who help make these programs possible. This month, we want to shine the volunteer spotlight on Terei Khoury, one of our fabulous Go van Gogh volunteers! Here is Terei in her own words:

How long have you been volunteering at the DMA?  I’ve been on-board volunteering at the DMA for Go van Gogh about a year and a half! I love working with children and tying-in art, creativity, imagination and joy is right up my alley! I’ve also started helping with the Meaningful Moments sessions. My father has fallen victim to Alzheimer’s disease, and helping in the Meaningful Moments program allows me to make a difference in another significant way.

Go van Gogh van

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with Go van Gogh?  It’s hard to say what is most delightful, maybe ALL of this:

  • The DMA staff and their ENTHUSIASM & CREATIVITY
  • The other volunteers and their COMMITMENT & CARE in offering a meaningful program in our schools and summer camps
  • The JOY and ENLIGHTENMENT we see on children’s faces (especially the special-needs children) as they listen, absorb and TAKE CREATIVE action!

What is your favorite Go van Gogh program and why?  Hands-down, it’s “Color My World,” followed closely by “Ordinary to Extraordinary.”

  • In Color My World, it is absolutely extraordinary to see our special needs children experience the hands-on work with clay, paint and tools… it’s just amazing to see the level of excitement and joy this program can bring to some of the children!
  • It’s the thought process and creativity in Ordinary to Extraordinary that is exceptional, and the opportunity to stretch the mind to “go beyond the tube sock”!!

What are some of your other hobbies?  I do a number of volunteer activities: Habitat for Humanity (I’m a Core Volunteer!), Austin Street Center (dinner-coordinator), Reading Partners for DISD helping young readers hone their reading skills, HobbyCrafters creating dolls for holiday distribution, and a bunch of other things like gardening, sewing, and stuff!  I also, most importantly, care for my father who has Alzheimer’s. He’s my priority. I have a wonderful son and husband who also require a bit of attention!


Thank you so much for sharing your time and passion with us, Terei! We’re so thankful to all of our Go van Gogh volunteers for their commitment, time, and energy in bringing art programs to Dallas schools.

If you are interested in getting involved with this exciting volunteer opportunity, please visit the DMA website or email volunteers@dma.org for additional information. We’ll begin recruitment for Go van Gogh summer outreach programs in the coming months, and we’d love to Go van Gogh around Dallas with you!

Andi Orkin
Volunteer Coordinator for Programming

 

Friday Photos: A Better World Is…

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Claire Nilson’s vision for a better world.

What does a better world look like to you? Yesterday I joined my friends from The Stewpot Art Program for an afternoon of music, art, and fun at The Stewpot’s annual talent show in beautiful Encore Park Dallas. And to top it all, my mom is visiting from Charleston and had the opportunity to meet some of the amazing artists who participate in our Stewpot partnership here at the DMA.

The theme of this year’s talent show was “A Better World Is…” Members of the Stewpot community used their outstanding talents to explore their vision for a better world – categories encompassed fine art, spoken word, essays and poetry, voice, and instrumentals. We certainly did not envy the judges! The afternoon included original compositions, powerful meditations on the role each of us plays in creating a better world, and a rocking version of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.”

Suffice to say, we have some amazingly talented members of our North Texas community at The Stewpot! Please be sure to mark your calendar for The Stewpot Art Program’s upcoming show at the Dallas Public Library and check out other opportunities to support this wonderful community outreach program. As one participant observed, “A better world starts when we realize we’re here to learn to be better and make the world a better place.”

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Lindsay O’Connor
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs


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