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8 Ways to Experience Dallas’ Culturally Diverse Arts Scene

From Latinx and LGBTQ+ theater to dance performances set to Motown, the stories of all Dallasites come to life through the arts.

There’s always something lively happening at Dallas’ Latino Cultural Center.

There’s always something lively happening at Dallas’ Latino Cultural Center.

Courtesy of Visit Dallas

As Dallas grows, so does its diversity, especially among Latinx, Black, and Asian populations. The city also has the largest LGBTQ+ population in Texas. The Dallas arts scene offers a glimpse into these cultures through their distinctive history and stories told through song, dance, theater, and the visual arts. Here’s how you can support these communities and explore Dallas’ cultural diversity through the arts.

Sing along with Dallas’ gay chorus, the Turtle Creek Chorale

Courtesy of Visit Dallas

Dallas’ celebrated Turtle Creek Chorale performs a variety of types of shows.

Courtesy of Visit Dallas

With 38 albums, two documentaries, shows at some of the most celebrated venues in the U.S., and tours through Europe (including a performance for Queen Elizabeth II), the Turtle Creek Chorale is the most recorded male chorus in the world. The group debuted with 30 men at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in 1980 and today performs shows that range from theatrical performances to holiday concerts. Sing along, or simply sit back and enjoy the show.

Catch an LGBTQ+ play in Dallas

Take your seat at the historic Kalita Humphreys Theater (one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s last designs) and get ready to be entertained. Whether staging a Broadway musical like The Prom, or the off-Broadway hit, The Boys in the Band, Uptown Players performs theater pieces that highlight the struggles and triumphs of LGBTQ+ communities. While the stories are about LGBTQ+ individuals, the themes—relationships, family, love, prejudice—are universal.

Contemplate art created by Dallas’ diverse communities

See what’s showing at Daisha Board Gallery, Dallas’ newest contemporary art gallery, which focuses exclusively on work by BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled artists. Founder Daisha Board opened the gallery two years ago to make art more accessible for all. Voted best art gallery in Dallas by D magazine, its exhibition themes range from hip hop to God and include photography, mixed media, performance art, and more.

Enjoy a Dallas Black Dance Theatre performance

Courtesy of Visit Dallas

Dallas Black Dance Theatre performs at its studio or the Wyly Theater, both in the Dallas Arts District.

Courtesy of Visit Dallas

Whether set to jazz, gospel, or Motown, the award-winning Dallas Black Dance Theatre interprets the sounds and themes of the Black experience through contemporary modern dance. Headquartered in downtown’s Arts District, voted the top art district in the country by USA Today readers, the dancers have performed at the Olympics, on Broadway, and on stages worldwide. While you’re in town, catch a live performance at Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s studio or the Wyly Theater, then watch it again via streaming on demand.

See art and history at the African American Museum of Dallas

Courtesy of Visit Dallas

The African American Museum of Dallas shares the history of Black culture in Dallas through its collection of art and artifacts.

Courtesy of Visit Dallas

Go for one of the largest collections of African American folk art in the U.S. Stay for the fascinating collection of found objects from one of Dallas’ historic Black communities, Freedman’s Town, now a packed corridor of bars, restaurants, and retail called Uptown. The African American Museum of Dallas also has hundreds of African artifacts, contemporary paintings, and sculptures that tell the stories of Black culture and history. Located in historic Fair Park and built for the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936, the museum sits near the site of the former Hall of Negro Life, which celebrated the art and culture of Black Americans.

Go to the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas

Dallasites Trammel and Margaret Crow wanted to share their love of Asian culture, so they opened the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas to showcase their collection of more than 600 contemporary pieces of Asian art and artifacts. Today, you can also find out what a 5,000-year-old sake bottle looks like, along with hundreds of other ancient everyday objects including metalware, textiles, ceramics, and more. The Crow’s Montgomery Collection exhibit of mostly Japanese folk art highlights the interconnectedness of function and form while showcasing these artifacts’ craftsmanship and beauty—because why shouldn’t what we touch each day also be pleasing?

Look at what’s inside Dallas’ Latino Cultural Center

With strong angles, bright orange paint, and a boxy purple column out front, the Latino Cultural Center, designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, known for his bold, geometric shapes and vivid colors, isn’t to be missed—nor is what you’ll find inside. The multidisciplinary arts space aims to preserve and promote Latino and Hispanic arts and culture, so you may see a Lucha Libre exhibition or a play along with works by local and regional artists.

Catch a Latinx play in Dallas

Get to know the Latinx community through a production such as, Cloud Tectonics, by Academy Award–winning writer José Rivera, at Teatro Dallas, the city’s oldest Latin-American theater company, which stages classical and contemporary productions from playwrights in the U.S. and abroad. Or go to Cara Mia Theatre, the largest Latinx theater in Texas, for more stories as seen through the Latinx lens, whether it’s a bilingual musical, a comedy show, or a nationally touring production, such as Virginia Grise’s Your Healing is Killing Me.

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