Shakespeare suggested that to put on a show you need only a “green plot” for a stage and a hedge to act as a dressing room. Perhaps. But isn’t it more fun to do so across 68 acres of a $354 million performing arts complex? This month, Dallas marks an important milestone toward the completion of an idea more than three decades in the making: a downtown Arts District. On October 12, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts kicks off a weeklong celebration to honor its grand opening, with performances in and around cornerstones old (the DMA, the Meyerson, the Nasher) and new (the Winspear, the Wyly). To mark the occasion, we review what works and what still needs work. We take you backstage for a look at the architects of change. And we celebrate the people whose money and vision have given our city this gift.

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