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The 20 Things You Need to Know For 2011

We figured out the people, places, and ideas that matter this year in Dallas. You're welcome.

Creative Time will show the Dallas art community the way.

You might not have noticed that the local arts scene was placed on the proverbial psychologist’s couch in 2010. SMU awarded its annual Meadows Prize to the New York-based Creative Time and gave it a simple task: evaluate the scene and tell us what it needs to thrive. It was an interesting assignment given to an intriguing group. You can’t quite call Creative Time consultants. The art organization is responsible for innovative, engaging, and provocative public art projects, from the legendary Battery Park City Landfill performance art pieces of the early 1980s to the Tribute in Light memorial after 9/11. Placing Dallas under Creative Time’s microscope meant forcing it to be vulnerable and, very likely, uncomfortable.

Creative Time president and artistic director Anne Pasternak says that they will not undertake a single project to conclude their work here, instead offering a list of suggestions for the local scene and holding a conference that will bring in arts leaders from other cities that have figured out ways to accomplish some of the things Dallas needs.

Atop the list is a strong international arts residency program. In addition, Creative Time’s suggestions will include creating more DIY exhibition spaces; establishing foundational support that awards grants for artists’ projects; forging more cross-generational engagement among artists; addressing racial divides in the art scene; fostering more collaboration between universities and institutions; and improving the city’s public art—in particular, supporting public artworks that are temporary. Among the names on Pasternak’s short list to be included in the conference are Rick Lowe, who created Houston’s Project Row Houses, and Tom Finkelpearl, executive director of the Queens Museum of Art. —P.S.