Making Dallas Even Better
Here’s a bit of art world news that may not seem to have much to do with Dallas, but may actually have a real impact on how this city’s art scene – and its public art museum – are perceived. Auction behemoth Sotheby’s announced that it is acquiring Art Agency, Partners, a boutique art advisory firm, for $85 million. One of Art Agency, Partners principals is none other than Allan Schwarztman. That’s a name that should be recognizable to anyone familiar with our local collector scene. Schwartzman has been Howard Rachofsky’s art adviser for some time, and he has been influential in shaping that collection into one of the most renowned in the world.
According to industry watchers, Sotheby’s acquisition is an attempt by the auction house to add new revenue streams to its business, particularly by expanding its role in private sales. Sotheby’s stock has been dipping, and auction results have trailed off of late. There’s also chatter of an art market bubble. That’s not surprising in light of a statement buried deep in the NYT article made by an asset manager who states plainly that “The two greatest stores of wealth internationally today — compared with gold in the past — are contemporary art and real estate.” All that equity plowing its way into the contemporary art market have led to years of record-breaking, headline-making auction events. One assumes the party can’t go on forever.
But here’s why this is all so interesting for Dallas.Full Story
DART discusses new downtown line today. Two public meetings today will be held to talk about the second downtown Dallas light-rail route. Which path the route will take is still up in the air: Dallas City Council and the DART board prefer one along Jackson Street as opposed to another proposed route along Young Street. Wood Street is a third option. May the best light-rail route win.
Former Oak Cliff teacher accused of assaulting 7-year-old girl. 65-year-old John Graham Leddy, a former Oak Cliff charter school teacher, was arrested by DPD on the charge of sexually assaulting a girl, 7 at the time, earlier this year. Leddy, who taught bilingual classes at Life School, confessed to the abuse. He met the girl while tutoring her 10-year-old brother after school and assaulted her in different classrooms after bribing her with candy bars. Absolutely vile.
New arts district tower in the works. Lincoln Property is breaking ground on an office high-rise, 25 stories tall, at the corner of Woodall Rogers and Pearl, right next to the Meyerson. It will be 260,000 square feet of metal and glass and is set to open in 18 months. The building will include restaurants, retail areas, and a whole lot of office space—another ironic addition to the Arts District.
Salvation Army receives 95 silver dollars, or $1,400. A Salvation Army red kettle outside a Mansfield Kroger got a larger-than-usual donation this week. Between two trips, a woman gave 95 silver dollars, the equivalent of $1,400, to the outpost. She told the bell ringer that the dollars were part of her husband’s estate. When compared to the Salvation Army’s average net of $300 a day per red kettle, this was a particularly generous gift that will go toward giving Christmas items to those in need.Full Story
Art watcher Greg Allen noticed an interesting sale at a recent Christie’s auction of postwar and contemporary art. Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s Untitled (L.A.), 1991 sold for a record-setting $7.7 million. If you have been to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth at any point in the last few years, you probably know the work. It consists of 50 pounds of candies laid out on the floor. Part of the fun of the piece is that visitors are invited to take pieces of candy. It’s art you can touch and eat, and as a result the piece itself is static and ephemeral. The record price was, in part, an acknowledgement that it is an important work by an important artist, whose career was cut short by AIDS in 1996.
Even though Untitled (L.A.) was on view in Fort Worth for so many years, it was on loan from the Rachofsky collection. It’s that provenance that Allen finds curious.Full Story
Five finalists announced for Dallas Foundation’s good works under 40 award. These five finalists were picked from 75 people nominated for their volunteer work. The winner, along with a $10,000 grant for the nonprofit of his or her choosing, will be announced today. The finalists are Stephen Capuyan, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer; OJ DeSouza, who fund-raised for the Wilkinson Center; John Dickey, president of the Hope Cottage board of directors; Yat Yee “Eve” Fong, a volunteer with Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship; and Jenny Reynolds, president of Dallas CASA’s Children’s Council.
Allie Beth Allman & Associates Realtors bought by Warren Buffett. The investor is adding to his real estate empire with Allie Beth Allman & Associates, a top Dallas real estate firm founded in 2003. The firm was acquired by HomeServices of America Inc., an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. Allman said it was a “great honor” to be approached by Buffett’s company. The Dallas firm will retain its brand name and current management.
Woman in North richland hills stabbed by son’s girlfriend. 36 times, that is. 59-year-old Kathleen Olson was found dead in her apartment bathtub last week after being stabbed three dozen times by her son’s girlfriend, 37-year-old Julie Marie Peterson. Peterson was arrested and charged with capital murder soon after when detectives found Olson’s belongings in her purse. According to an affidavit, Peterson had moved in with Olson to escape verbal abuse from Olson’s son, James. But Peterson and Kathleen Olson had been arguing for several days. Police traced Peterson to a Haltom City hotel.Full Story
At first blush, Darren Woodson and Breana Austin wouldn’t seem to have much in common. He’s a former Dallas Cowboys star safety from Phoenix, and she’s a Dallas native who’s served since 2010 as an administrative specialist with the Texas Army National Guard. Today, though, the pair’s paths will cross when the Cowboys’ newest Ring […]Full Story
Help save lives by shopping (and saving!) at some of Dallas’s finest home decor shops. The 2015 Partners Card allows customers to save 20% at participating shops from October 30 through November 8. This is a fantastic opportunity to visit stores that rarely have sales, such as Grange Hall, or even stores that only offer discounts during Partners Card season, like Coco & Dash. The card costs $70 and 100% of the proceeds go directly to The Family Place to support survivors of family violence. You can purchase a Partners Card at participating card-selling retailers and neighborhood Tom Thumb locations.Full Story
The donation was said to honor Hunt for her longstanding support of the United Way and its foundation, whose endowment stood at a little more than $20 million when the Unite Forever campaign was announced in February.
The Hunt gift represents the biggest commitment to the fundraising drive so far.
“Our grandmother has been an extraordinary example of volunteerism and hard work,” Haven Sands Heinrichs, trustee of the Rosewood Foundation, said in a news release. “To show our family’s love and appreciation for all she has done for United Way and the community, we are making [this] legacy gift in her honor … We are delighted to carry the torch, and hope to inspire the next generation in our community to get involved.”Full Story
Break out your best red-carpet rock look and “Rock the Night Away” to the soulful voice of Hannah Kirby, featured entertainer, at the Junior League of Arlington’s fall gala, October 17, 2015, 7-10 p.m., at the Arlington Museum of Art.Full Story
As Zac mentioned earlier, Fort Worth businessman/philanthropist Richard Rainwater died over the weekend at age 71. Rainwater’s was a rags-to-riches story made tough in the last few years as he battled something called progressive supranuclear palsy. In this March story in D CEO, columnist Steve Kaskovich explained Rainwater’s disease and told how the billionaire was doing everything he could to fight it.Full Story
The Dallas Observer‘s own Cheap Bastard, Alice Laussade, stopped by the Old Monk to talk about her upcoming Meat Fight fundraiser on the newest episode of EarBurner, and she brought plenty of salty language with her. Consider this your mature-content warning. Maybe skip this one if you’re listening with the kids.
Otherwise, on to the notes:Full Story
Jason provided the top-line stats in Leading Off. Yesterday was a great day for North Texas nonprofits. But it was an especially great day for one very special nonprofit. That would be tiny Cistercian Prep, my alma mater. Yesterday, the school received $486,575 in donations, putting it atop of the leaderboard. A little context: there were just 30 kids in my graduating class, in 1988. The school has grown a bit since then, but not by much. It has 346 students in grades 5 through 12. There are only about 1,400 alumni walking the planet. SMU, on the other hand, which landed at No. 5 on the leaderboard in terms of money raised, has about 110,000 alumni, with about 40,000 of those living in North Texas. Pow! Scoreboard!
And here’s where I stop bragging — Go, Hawks! — and point out that I’m just kidding when I say that Cistercian “won.” (Not really.) More than $33 million was raised for 2,022 nonprofits. They are all winners. (Disclosure: my wife’s company does PR for the event. More disclosure: that meant she worked until 2:30 this morning, and, as I said would happen, I fed my kids takeout Thai that included no vegetables while I watched the Rangers game. Even more disclosure: I don’t regret it.)Full Story
Rangers Sweep the Astros. Texas beat slumping Houston, 8-2, on Thursday night behind a six-inning effort from Colby Lewis and a three-run homer by Mitch Moreland. The win expands the team’s American League West division lead to 2.5 games with 16 left to play (including another three-game series in Houston next weekend). The overachieving Rangers are getting hot at the right time and now boast an 84-percent chance of making the playoffs, a 55.6-percent shot of winning the division outright, and a 100-percent chance of winning the World Series, according to every fan walking out of the Globe last night.
Ahmed Sucked Into ‘Viral Vortex.’ That’s how the Morning News describes the onslaught of media attention the Irving teenager arrested for building a clock has endured in the last couple days. Here’s hoping he’s soon raking in some of that sweet, sweet ‘Alex From Target’ money.
North Texas Giving Day Raises $33.1 Million. The annual binge-donating effort for area nonprofits yesterday received 118,667 donations from 71,743 donors on behalf of 2,022 organizations. It’s a record. Give yourselves a pat on the back, everybody.Full Story
Memorial service for Ebby Halliday held today. Dallas real estate legend Ebby Halliday Acers will be celebrated and remembered today at the memorial service, taking place at 3p.m. at Park Cities Baptist Church, 3933 Northwest Parkway, Dallas, TX 75225.
Irving freshman going to the White House. Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving kid who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school, has accepted an invitation to go to the White House after Obama tweeted to him. Clearly, a lot can change in a few days.
North Texas Giving Day sets fundraising goal of $26 million. Today is the seventh annual North Texas Giving Day, which aims to raise money for local nonprofit organizations. $26.3 million was raised last year. The Communities Foundation, which spawned the program, hopes to raise even more this year. There are more than 2,100 nonprofits to donate to, and locations for the event are spread throughout North Texas. Not a bad way to spend (pun intended) a Thursday.
Dallas police department has more surveillance cameras than ever. 90 new surveillance cameras will be installed at Dallas crime hotspots soon. This means that electronic surveillance of Dallas—there are 347 total cameras now—will be twice as extensive as it was just three years ago.Full Story
Inside the Santa Clara Regional Community Center Education Building in West Dallas, more than 100 local elementary students were quietly interacting yesterday afternoon with 30 volunteers from Fluor Corp., the Irving-based global engineering and construction giant. The purpose of the unusual gathering: to pique the students’ interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education […]Full Story
Bobby Abtahi is trending. As Tim mentioned in Leading Off — and as you have surely read in either the New York Times, Jezebel, New York Daily News, Gothamist, or any of the dozens of media outlets covering the story — the lawyer, one-time city council candidate, and Dallas City Plan Commissioner didn’t board his flight from New York to Dallas with Virgin America Airlines. The Iranian-American, scruffy faced after a week on the beach, wasn’t allowed to board when the captain and crew of a flight allegedly stated that they didn’t feel comfortable with him on the plane.
Maybe it was racial profiling. Maybe it was a bizarre misunderstanding. Maybe it was a sprinkle of both. I’ll let other outlets hash that one out. I just wanted to call attention to the classy gesture Abtahi made in the heat of the moment.Full Story
Word went out yesterday to donors and stakeholders of ArtPrize Dallas that the much-touted art festival will not be coming to Dallas after all. The Grand Rapids-based art event has been exploring expansion into Dallas for about a year, an effort spearheaded locally by former Goss-Michael Foundation associate director Ariel Saldivar. In her rather lengthy letter to supporters, Saldivar accuses Dallas and its philanthropic community of not being ready for an event like ArtPrize.
“Despite the visionary understanding of our supporters, there were a few who saw the concept as threatening to the status quo,” Saldivar wrote. “The resistance was especially disappointing since ArtPrize Dallas would have had a tremendous, positive economic impact. Never the less, we made tremendous progress in this effort, and we truly believe that one day our city will be ready for such an inclusive and unique undertaking, but unfortunately, today is not that day.”
It hasn’t been the best week for ArtPrize.Full Story
That photo above is a Google maps shot of a house that sits on the corner of Marlborough Ave. and Davis St. in Oak Cliff. It has more or less looked like that for the better part of five years. The house is the ultimate DIY project. As Rachel Stone reported in the Oak Cliff Advocate earlier this year, Ricardo Torres bought the house in 2008 and set about building his dream home. Torres is a crafty guy. He started from scratch with a plan for a two story home. Then he realized that if he added a third story, he could have a downtown view. You know what would also be cool? A game room. So he tacked on one of those, and the house grew like a drawing in a Dr. Seuss book.Full Story
Ask community leaders Margaret McDermott and Ruth Sharp Altshuler about “the genesis of Dallas philanthropy,” and they’re both apt to point to the attitude of the city’s citizens. Leading by example has always been the guidepost, Altshuler says. And McDermott quotes Mayor Mike Rawlings, who recently told her, “The wonderful thing in Dallas is the […]Full Story
The hospital ID bracelet remained on Brian Gray’s wrist Thursday morning as he sat against a bench in Downtown Dallas’ Main Street Garden. A seizure had landed him in an area hospital three days earlier, an idling effect from his brief NFL career with the Detroit Lions. Despite past successes, a lost telemarketing job and poor timing left 39-year-old Gray on Dallas’ streets six months ago after he’d moved from Los Angeles to help his then-pregnant sister. Gray, searching for normalcy, decided to start his day in the park Thursday when a young couple approached him, asking if they could do something nice for him.Full Story
In years past, the annual Metrocare fundraiser luncheon has been a smallish, subdued affair. This year was different. The nonprofit — which, among other services, helps people suffering from mental illness — landed Carrie Fisher as its featured speaker. Fisher talks frequently about her own struggles with mental illness (she’s bipolar) and past substance abuse. About 500 people packed the Anatole’s Imperial Ballroom (a wonderfully apt name, given Fisher’s most famous role). It was an interesting lunch.Full Story
Tony Romo may be sidelined for eight weeks with a broken collarbone, but two former Cowboys quarterbacks say Dallas may still be on track for a good season. “It’s not all doom and gloom,” said Babe Laufenberg, who played for the ‘Boys from 1989-1991. Hall of Fame QB Roger Staubach agreed—and then some. Romo replacement Brandon Weeden “has a very good arm. He’s just got to get some experience,” said Staubach, who led the Cowboys to their first two championships. “He can do it. It’s more than playing; it’s also mental. It just takes time and experience.
“The defense is playing well. If they can maintain the pace, that helps too,” Staubach went on. “We’re 2-0 now. If we can hang in there through November and be, say, 7-3, or 6-4, and then get Tony and Dez Bryant back for the stretch drive, get some momentum going into the playoffs … That’s what it’s all about then: momentum. So, good things can still happen.”
Staubach and Laufenberg offered their views to a reporter Wednesday at the new West Dallas home of Mary McDermott Cook, who hosted a get-together for the “$25,000 Circle” of the United Way’s Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society for heavyweight donors.Full Story
They lit up downtown and wrapped burgundy bows around the trees in her honor and, at her memorial service Thursday, asked a former First Lady to speak and gave Ebby Halliday Acers more than one standing ovation. Thousands of people in North Texas, it seemed, couldn’t do enough to say good-bye to the woman Laura Bush called “the first First Lady of Dallas.” Maybe that’s because they didn’t really want to say good-bye at all.Full Story
Hi, my name is Tim, and I’m an addict. Every year at this time, on North Texas Giving Day, I compulsively check and recheck the leaderboard to see how my favorite local nonprofits are performing. Let’s just click on over and — hey! What’s up, Cistercian Prep? My tiny little alma mater sits in second place, in terms of total money raised. Go, Hawks! We’re coming for you, Alcuin School.
Here’s where things stand as of 10 o’clock: as a city, we’re on pace to hit the collective $26 million goal. We’re 5 percent over last year’s total at this time of day. Most impressive is the fact that we’ve already eclipsed last year’s total number of nonprofits that received donations. Last year, 1,580 organizations received donations; as of 10 o’clock, 1,691 had already gotten some love. Keep it up, folks. There are giving days all over the country, but ours in North Texas out-raises them all. (Disclosure: my wife does PR for this event. That means she’ll be working way past midnight today. Which also means that my kids probably won’t eat the most balanced meal for dinner, and they’ll eat it in front of the TV, because Daddy will be watching the Rangers.)Full Story
In a room packed with high-octane business people—from Comerica’s Ralph Babb and EY’s Debra von Storch to Mark Rohr of Celanese and Locke Lord attorney Harriet Miers—the Fluor Corp. and some ex-Dallas Cowboys teamed up Tuesday to jump-start the 2015-2016 annual fundraising campaign of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. The occasion was September’s Second […]Full Story