Why Marcos Ronquillo Will Never Be Mayor of Dallas

Watch Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings ham it up alongside DMA museum director Maxwell Anderson in an Art Ball remake of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk."

Last night the Dallas Museum of Art held their annual Art Ball fundraiser. As they have in years past, the museum created a parody video intended to stoke chuckles under the tent raised for the black tie hot spot on the city’s social calendar, and perhaps score a little internet buzz in the subsequent days. The video is chock-full of (white) people you should know if you circulate around the halls of power and money and art in Dallas, collectors and patrons, curators and museum administrators, scenesters and socialites. Notably featured is Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who hams it up alongside DMA museum director Maxwell Anderson, who plays the front man in a remake of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” I find the whole thing a little grating and embarrassing, for the museum and everyone involved, though as the DMA’s media relations will surely remind me, I am certainly not in the video’s target audience.

It’s not the first time Rawlings has appeared in an Art Ball video. You may remember the Downton Artsy-spoof shot a few years ago in which Rawlings stars as the servant of an aristocratic family made up the city’s top-tier cultural patrons. In hindsight, it is a curious image to project in light of the ongoing debate over the Trinity Toll Road and the perception that the road’s core support rests in the mysterious shadows of Dallas’ fading oligarchy. As a friend commented, “Ronquillo has no chance of being mayor because he would be so out of place in these Art Ball videos.” What that says about Dallas or how this city works, I’m not sure.


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  • WmBTravis

    Too bad the press has forgotten how to do its job during the reign of Obama I. Substituting hard-nose, fact-based journalism with, what — passive/aggressive jabs insinuating a lack of perceived elitism by someone — is just lazy reporting.

    • stephen

      really? you’re bringing up the president in a local election? you republicans are such sore losers

  • Brad

    Is it because of race, or is it due to privilege, or both? Or charisma? If race, was Ron Kirk involved in this the past?

  • Charles Mann

    Mr. Ronquillo might be less “out of place” than one would think. He’s been a lawyer in Dallas for more than thirty years, and is well-connected in the local legal establishment, which puts him in a position of some prominence. As to the idea of “dancing for dollars”, as Mayor Mike seems all too happy to do, I would like to think Mr. Ronquillo might consider his own dignity as being of some value, if not the dignity of the mayor’s office.

  • Eastside

    Did the file for a filming permit to shoot this?

  • Shocked Not

    Thank you Peter for calling out the elephant in the room. Elitist Dallas, with its elitist events for its elitist clients. Dallas will never become a major arts destination until it begins to include the entire community.

    • RAB

      Really? Like New York does? Or LA? Have your ever read about the goings-on in those arts destination spots?

  • stephen

    what it says about Dallas is that it’s still a racist town where a group of white people think they govern by divine right…I personally would like a Mayor who doesn’t embarrass himself by pandering to a group of well heeled nabobs whose racism is barely hidden

    • Peter Kurilecz

      incorrect use of the term “racist” expand your vocabulary try biased or bigoted instead

  • Jim Schutze

    Can you spell “Bubble?”

  • Peter Kurilecz

    he’s pointing out that what the press has done on the national level has trickled down to the local press

  • Eric Foster

    Such frat house attempts at humor classically illustrate THE BUBBLE. They heavily damaged their own precious art museum building this Fortress of Solicitude for the Art Ball. Anything for tax payer funded night out

  • Ted

    Let me see if I understand the fullness of this journalistic post. Marcos Ronquillo will never be mayor of Dallas, not because FrontBurner and D Magazine might just be something other than an asset to his election, but because an unnamed friend of Peter Simek insinuates that racism will prevent Ronquillo from successfully starring in an Art Ball Funk parody video.

    Could this be more broadly extended to understanding why Dallas can never have anything nice? Like an alp. Or sailfish. Sailfish would be really cool, but, nope, because racism.

  • Dubious Brother

    It is hard to determine if it was a trickle down, a trickle up or did the trickles meet in the middle. One thing for sure, the minor leagues don’t have many prospects for the majors.