Dallas After Dark
How Dallas’ Arts District burns the midnight oil
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 16:11
Museums aren’t just for kids anymore. In the heart of the Dallas Arts District, museums host hours of entertainment long after the sun goes down.
The Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and Crow Collection of Asian Art regularly stay up for music, movies and culture. Visit the Dallas Arts District at dallasartsdistrict.org for more information.
Late Night at the DMA
People nodded their heads and tapped their feet as the smooth syncopations of Shelley Carrol and his vintage Selmer saxophone flowed through the crowded atrium. The audience was finally feeling “the groove.”
“When your friends ask you what you did tonight,” Carrol said, “you tell them you went to the best jazz club in the Metroplex.”
The audience, standing around black tables filled with empty cocktail glasses and wine bottles, ruptured in applause. But they weren’t at a jazz club—they were at a museum.
“Tonight was my very first time at the Dallas Museum of Art period,” SMU senior George Williams said. “I’m not too much exposed to jazz, but it was a really great experience to finally get out of the bubble, living at SMU.”
“Jazz in the Atrium” is part of Thursday Night Live, a special late night event at the Dallas Museum of Art. Museums in the Dallas Arts District have adjusted their programming to captivate a wider audience-- audiences looking for an after-hours cultural excursion.
“Late nights, Thursday Nigh Live brings in more diverse audiences then a typical day at the museum,” Carolyn Bess, director of programming at the DMA, said.
“Thursday Night Live” is one of the DMA’s most popular events.
Every Thursday, visitors can enjoy live jazz, drinks, full-service dining and late-night entry to exhibits from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Bess says these programs to bolster museum membership, box office sales and special exhibition attendance.
The headline events are often featured on blogs and on the news, increasing the museum’s public exposure. But attendees get a lot more in return.
Richland College student Wale Adesina wandered the many galleries with a large black camera around his neck.
The aspiring Nigerian hip-hop artist found inspiration in the paintings, culture and atmosphere. He lingered in a special “Form/Unformed: Design from 1960 to the Present” exhibit.
“It’s pretty cool being here,” Adesina said. “I came with my friend and his girl and will probably come again.”
On Friday “Late Nights,” a number of lectures and talks are included with admission.
These monthly events run from 6 p.m. to midnight and include a film screening, live DJ and social network face-off. The next museum late is Sept. 21.
“[You] just get a new perspective of Dallas nightlife,” Williams said. “They have many great works of art from the authentic African art, to Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh and everything in between. I definitely recommend it.”
Educators and students with a valid Texas school ID receive free admission to the museum on Thursdays.
General admission is $10 for adults on Friday. Visit the Dallas Museum of Art online at dm-art.org for more information.
‘Till Midnight at the Nasher
The Nasher Sculpture Center, directly across from the Dallas Museum of Art, will also be open late on Sept. 21.
The center opened its door to visitors in 2003 and since then has hosted a number of programs including “Till Midnight at the Nasher.”
“It’s really a one of a kind evening where you get to explore the Nasher at night,” Social Media Coordinator Julius Pickenpack said.
Visitors spread out across the Nasher Sculpture garden to enjoy a live concert by local musical talent and a film screening sponsored by the Dallas Film Society. Indie-rock band Telegraph Canyon and Raising Arizona, starring Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter, will be featured at the next event.
“You can listen to a great movie, meet with your friends and get culture with modern artists,” Pickenpack said. The night also boasts big eats.
Attendees can pre-order picnic baskets stocked with fruit, salads, artisan cheese, gourmet crackers, and specialty breads from NasherCafé by Wolfgang Puck for $40. NasherCafé and an outdoor bar are also stocked with wine and no-alcoholic beverages for purchase. No outside food or drink is allowed at the Center.
“Sometimes we do get people trying to be sneaky and bring stuff in, but our guards are pretty good about stopping them at the door,” Pickenpack said.
Normally, tickets to the museums are $5 for students and $10 for adults. But on these special nights, through corporate sponsorships entry is free.
Whether you choose to visit the DMA or Nasher Center, Pickenpack assures you’re in for a good time.
“We kind of see it as a big family,” Pickenpack said. “The [Dallas Arts District is] an oasis for Dallas people to escape.”
Visit the Nasher Sculpture Center at nashersculpturecenter.org for more information.
Crow Collection After Dark
A few steps from the Nasher Sculpture Center is The Tramell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art. The collection will be joined by a new exhibition, “On the Silk Road and High Seas,” on Sept. 21. To celebrate, Crow will be open until midnight for “Crow Collection After Dark.”
The Silk Road’s origins date back to around 200 B.C. The thousand-mile route linked Eastern Asia to Europe for a variety of commercial trading. Chinese silk was the most popularly traded commodity on this route. To honor the collection, the Crow has transformed their gallery into a Silk Road Lounge.
Visitors will be “be transported to Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean with a different artists and performers” all night. Guests can join in the musical activities with “Karaoke After Dark” hosted by DJ Mark Ridlen.The art activities, “Horsing Around” and “Exploring Clay,” provide creative types with an outlet during the late night event. A complimentary Asian Beer Tasting is also available for adults of age.
“Crow Collection After Dark” provides a Friday night opportunity to be transplanted to a foreign land. Activities run for select scheduled times, but free entry lasts all night. For more information, visit crowcollection.com.