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Arts & Entertainment

Philip Kingston Calls For Transparency From the Dallas Museum of Art

| 3 hours ago

In case you missed it sneak through the news cycle the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Dallas Museum of Art senior curator Gavin Delahunty resigned, leaving only a vague statement released by the museum.

In it, Delahunty seemed to admit inappropriate behavior with an apology — nature of behavior not specified — yet pointed to allegations of said behavior as the reason for his stepping down. No one from the museum will talk, and the statement itself is causing concern for its capacity to silence those who’ve experienced “inappropriate behavior.” It is not clear whether there has been an investigation, although the trade publication ARTnews cited an anonymous source saying there was. Here’s the statement and my original post from Saturday on that part.

[UPDATE, Monday, 1:20 p.m.: DMA Communications Director Jill Bernstein says via email: “The Museum does not disclose information regarding personnel matters. We take any allegation of misconduct very seriously, and draw in legal and other specialized counsel to work with us as needed.”]

Councilman Philip Kingston oversees District 14 and the DMA. He learned of Delahunty’s resignation on Facebook and shared there that he “wasn’t thrilled with the secrecy.” Though he was quick to say he appreciates the DMA’s contributions to the city on the phone with me this morning, he said the scant information released will be insufficient for the council as it decides how to allocate funds in future budget talks. The city of Dallas helps pay to maintain the building and chips in for conservation of the museum’s art. The museum was the largest city-owned cultural benefactor of bond funds in the recent proposition; it received an additional $6 million to go toward rehabilitation projects.

“The statement they released did not inspire confidence,” he says. “I’m not saying I need to know everything right now. To say, ‘We’re conducting an investigation,’– it’s important to give Gavin Delahunty a chance to contest the allegations, if he were contesting them—that would have been fine. But there’s a tone of finality that’s inappropriate.”

Come to think of it, Kingston said, there was no official communication before the departure of the museum’s former director Maxwell Anderson, either.   

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Local News

Leading Off (11/20/17)

| 9 hours ago

Cowboys Lose to Eagles. There was a moment when, even as trash as they had been playing, it looked like the Cowboys might pull off an ugly win. But then halftime came, and that was all over, as the Eagles scored 30 unanswered points. (I’ll be honest. I stopped watching and started writing tweets that involve complicated scenarios that end with me saying “Fellas,” that basically one person laughs at.) Not much else to discuss. Oh, why do coaches wear visors at night? Sub-point: has there ever been a white man who has worn a visor that has hair worth exposing to the elements?

Gavin Delahunty Leaves DMA, Citing “Allegations Regarding Inappropriate Behavior.” The senior curator of contemporary art resigned Saturday, and, as our Lyndsay Knecht writes, the museum’s statement regarding the matter is a bit disingenuous.

One Dies in Downtown Crash. The driver of a speeding 2017 Lexus lost control late Saturday night and rammed into the triple overpass by Dealey Plaza, ejecting a 31-year-old passenger. The passenger was taken to Parkland in critical condition with multiple head lacerations. The driver died at the scene. The photo of the car makes me never want to drive again.

Mavs … Win? Dallas blew out Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, behind a team-record-tying 19 three-pointers. Tonight they play [squints] the Celtics? Well. Let’s get ready to catch that L.

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Commercial Real Estate

Turns Out, The Drever Has Been Posted for Foreclosure

| 3 days ago

After news broke on Monday that Drever Capital Management was in default for a $55 million loan to renovate the 1401 Elm building downtown, it turns out, the building has been posted for foreclosure.

Public filings show that the 52-story former First National Bank tower will be sold at auction on Dec. 5, following default of its loan from GCP Income Opportunities in April. This foreclosure record was filed Monday, the same day as a public record stating that the loan’s original trustee had been replaced with a substitute, an administrative step often indicating foreclosure is on the horizon. D CEO obtained the notice of foreclosure document on Friday.

From the notice of substitute trustee’s sale record: “Notice is hereby given that on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 … the substitute trustees will commence the sale of the property, in parcels or as a whole, at public auction to the highest bidder …”

Though Drever Capital Management statement on Monday did not directly address the foreclosure, a Drever spokesperson reiterated that same statement on Friday in regards to the foreclosure.

“We remain in ongoing discussions with the lender. While we are on track in closing new financing, construction continues and we are looking forward to completing construction on schedule in 2019,” the statement said.

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Politics & Government

No, Really, Mike Rawlings Does Not Want Pete Sessions’ Job

| 3 days ago

Because he’s either a masochist or painfully committed to the idea of bipartisan overtures, Mayor Mike Rawlings appeared this morning on conservative commentator and occasional Dallas Morning News columnist Mark Davis’ radio program.

After some aggressively jocular talk about the recently rescued downtown Holiday Parade—or “Christmas parade,” as Davis is contractually obligated, as a conservative radio host, to call it—and the secret of its as-yet-unnamed new corporate sponsor, there are maybe 10 minutes of chatter about Dallas’ Confederate statues. Skip it. Davis thumps his chest and airs his grievances. Nothing you haven’t heard before. But for a shining 30 seconds, starting at 14:30 in the 8 a.m. hour, we get something interesting.

Davis: Your level of interest, 0-10, in running for Congress against Pete Sessions.

Rawlings: Oh, zero. I talk to Pete. I talked to Pete the other day. I think Pete’s doing a good job for the city of Dallas. I’m a Democrat. I think the Republicans are off-point in many, many areas, so I’m going to be a Democrat. But my first job is being mayor of the city of Dallas, and Pete’s really been a great partner in that.

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Arts & Entertainment

At the MAC, Citizens of the World Get Played In A Golf Game

| 3 days ago

If your pockets aren’t deep enough to land a tee time at the new Trinity Forest Golf Club, let another South Dallas location quell your desires. This weekend, in conjunction with Cedars Open Studios, the MAC opens its latest exhibition, A-Hole in One by El Paso-based artist Angel Cabrales. The interactive outdoor golf-inspired exhibition engages viewers both politically and socially as they knock out a quick nine.

The course sprawls out on a portion of the MAC’s grassy courtyard. Participants “tee-off” from the top of a small hill looking down onto a series of inviting global greens with challenging hole locations. On Cabrales’ course, however, keeping score goes beyond simple birdies and pars and delves into international politics, the military industrial complex, gun culture, and the President’s penchant for Twitter.

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A Nonprofit News Org Is Trying to Track Down Every Amazon HQ2 Bid

| 3 days ago

About a week ago, Muckrock, which describes itself as “a non-profit, collaborative news site that brings together journalists, researchers, activists, and regular citizens to request, analyze, and share government documents, making politics more transparent and democracies more informed,” launched an ambitious project. They would like to get their hands on every city’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. Why? Well, while only one of the estimated 238 bids submitted to the Seattle-based company will be chosen, the news site believes the precedent set by the bidding process will have a big impact on the future of corporate subsidies.

We’ve touched on this topic before, and I speculated that, perhaps, the subsidy math doesn’t pencil out — that the billions of dollars cities are expected to offer corporations are never returned in the form of increased tax revenue. Regardless, local governments around the country appear more than willing to shell out billions in tax dollars to lure a big-name corporate grab. Is this the best way to grow urban economies? Is this the best use of public resources? What message will this frenzy of bidding send other corporations? How long can subsidies grow until the entire racket is baldly absurd? Can you put a dollar figure on that tipping point?

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Arts & Entertainment

You Can Buy a Piece of a Cool East Dallas Pecan Tree

| 3 days ago

Back in March, I wrote about a guy who took a chainsaw to a very cool pecan tree in a park in my neighborhood. (Side note: I filed an open-records request with the Dallas Police Department to get a copy of the police report from that day. More than seven months later, I’m still waiting for that report.) This weekend, I might buy a piece of that tree — if you don’t out-bid me. More than 50 artists are selling their stuff at Art Mart, at the Bath House Cultural Center. Some of them were given parts of the tree that were sawed off and asked to turn the logs into art. They’re calling it the Peavy Landmark Tree Rebirth. A live auction will go down at 4:30 on Sunday. Plan your Cowboys pre-game activities accordingly.

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ALT 103.7 Is Dallas’ New Music Alternative

| 3 days ago

Kicking things off with the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy,” Dallas’ new alternative rock radio station made its debut on the airwaves at 10 a.m. this morning. Prophecy must be fulfilled.

ALT 103.7, operating under the very familiar tagline of “Dallas-Fort Worth’s New Alternative,” replaces the Top 40 format of AMP 103.7, which appropriately signed off with Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” The station, an Entercom Communications joint, arrives almost a year after the demise of 102.1 The Edge, which has since switched to adult contemporary. The, ahem, edgy prerecorded DJ introduction to ALT 103.7 cast some shade at its predecessor, calling the last station to play alternative rock in Dallas-Fort Worth “not very good,” a line that may offend Edge partisans who remember that station’s long gone glory days.

ALT 103.7 is going commercial-free for its first 10,000 songs if you want to tune in for a taste. So far it’s about what you’d expect. Nothing radical, even if M.I.A.’s guitar-free “Paper Planes” was a pleasant surprise. (Did that get alt rock radio play back in 2008?) A little Green Day, a little Linkin Park, something called Judah & The Lion, snippets of “Seven Nation Army” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in between full songs.  Rewind, repeat.

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Arts & Entertainment

From Puerto Rico, Lessons In Sustainability Before Landfall

| 3 days ago

A design and woodworking collective that prioritizes the reclamation of disposed materials, mainly tropical woods, seems like a timely practice in light of Hurricane Maria’s devastation. However, MAOF (Materiales y Oficios, or materials and crafts) has been active since 2014, long before the destruction of this year’s hurricane season. Their work in reclaiming a humanistic relationship to material in a late age of capitalist production has proven to be not only prescient but telling. Maria’s fallout — half of Puerto Rico remains without power, nearly 60 days after landfall —  has shown governmental bodies are not reliable in the organization of labor and community; rather, it’s the people who can be trusted to clean up.

“We knocked on those doors a lot, and now those doors have magically heeled to our powers,” MAOF’s Mario Gracia Otero says.

In the basement of the Owens Arts Center at SMU, a small collective of designers, woodworkers and artists working in reclaimed materials in Puerto Rico discussed their practice last night for a bilingual audience with the aid of an interpreter. The speakers established an understanding of what it means to pursue an intentionally slow, laborious line of work. These intentions were in place before the hurricane, but now they seem only more relevant.

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