A variety of food trucks will be on hand for hungry folks at Arts District Pride. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Museums offer an evening of a wide variety of entertainment options to celebrate Pride

DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer

Pride will be celebrated in the arts district tonight (Friday, June 17) with live performances, a dance party in the Nasher garden, film screenings, art, dance, games, gallery tours, drag shows and more. And if the last pre-pandemic Pride event in the Arts District was any indication, about the same number of people will be attending tonight’s event as were in Fair Park for the parade.

What’s missing from Arts District Pride? The blazing sun. The event begins at 6 p.m. and continues till midnight downtown in and around the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Crowe Museum of Asian Art and along Flora and Harwood streets.

Also missing are banks, insurance companies and other corporations. The sponsor list instead includes organizations like the Texas Commission on the Arts. The North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Dallas Voice are about as commercial as the sponsor list gets.

The community stage at the corner of Flora and Harwood streets will be a focus of entertainment. Uptown Players will take the stage at 7 p.m. with a medley of music from some of their shows. That’s followed by the Abounding Prosperity set promoting Dallas Southern Pride and Juneteenth events happening through the rest of the weekend, a performance by Dezi-5 and a grand finale with Jada Pinkett Fox.

More entertainment takes place in the galleries of the DMA where Flexible Grey Theatre Company will premiere Bridges: Texas and T, fourth in a series of interview plays featuring trans and gender-nonconforming actors.

Vendor booths at Arts District Pride give visitors a chance to interact with creators displaying their work. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Films include Hollywood hits like Victor, Victoria at the Nasher and, at the DMA, No Straight Lines about the rise of five queer comics. Jeannette, showing at 10 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium, tells the story of a competitive bodybuilder and queer single mom struggling to cope with a trauma after surviving a mass shooting.

Stacey Lizotte of the Dallas Museum of Art said the museums are ramping back up all of their programs, including late night events, and this year’s Art District Pride will offer both new programs and some of the most successful parts of previous events.

Tours of the museum will be led for the first time by members of the DMA’s Teen Advisory Council. Those tours include one that explores post-war abstraction and another that visits works in the collection that include images of dogs and cats. One tour investigates unconventional materials used in various pieces in the collection by Basquiet, Rauschenberg and Bochner. Pride and Self-Expression gives participants a look at Lady Godiva by Anne Whitney, Bamana mud cloths and Monet’s The Water Lily Pond.

A self-tour guide to five queer artists in the DMA collection can be picked up at the client services desk. It’s an interesting way to tackle the museum’s massive collection by looking for specific paintings or other artistic creations rather than just going from painting to painting, room to room.

Arttitude will be back with new artists, poets, dancers and visual artists, Lizotte said. They’ll present a showcase of African-American women speaking to issues of identity, culture and social climate and honoring Juneteenth. B. Randall hosts Lyrik Hunter, Haley Colbert, Lyrique Jaye, Danielle Ellis and Shukee.

“We’re delighted to continue our partnership with Resource Center for the Kiki Ball,” Lizotte continued. To make it more participatory, audience members will be invited to come up on stage and walk the runway themselves.

And new arts groups will be part of the activities. This year the Dallas Opera joins Arts District Pride.

Librarians from the Dallas Public Library will be on hand with books and recommendations. They promise to be radical librarians who don’t believe in banning books but believe in making appropriate recommendations.

While entrance to the DMA is free, tickets will be required to enter the current Cartier exhibit of fine jewelry.

Lizotte recommended for those interested to spend some time admiring and examining the detail work and craftsmanship of the Cartier masterpieces collected from around the world for the exhibit. Tickets are $25.

Visitors relax on the lawn while listening to performers at Arts District Pride 2019. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

At the Nasher, the Pride Dance Party begins at 6 p.m. with Johnny B33. Pride After Dark begins at 8 p.m. with periodic live performances. Or if you prefer to watch dance, Anita Martinez Ballet Folklorico opens the evening on the community stage.
Gallery tours will be offered hourly from 6:30-9:30 p.m., and admission to the Nasher is free for the evening.

The Crowe Museum teams up with University of Texas at Dallas to present a program at 7 p.m. on Coming Out: Living Authentically as LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Coming out for AAPI people “can require a different approach because of cultural norms or traditions that emphasize duty to family and community” that can make the coming out process complex to navigate.

Take photos with Temoc, UTD’s mascot. Or participate in Xone, “a handcrafted, love-driven zine designed and curated by queer people of color.”

Outside the Crowe, Common Ground Games will be teaching new board games while offering mocktails.

And tour both the Crowe and Nasher collections.

Along the streets, there will be food trucks, a drink station and vendors. And both Abounding Prosperity and Resource Center will have their HIV and STD testing vans outside the DMA’s entrances.

“You can register to vote both inside and out,” Lizotte said.

On Sunday, in conjunction with Arts District Pride, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is offering free admission to the permanent and special exhibitions as well as screenings of the film Harriet.