DALLAS: The city just got a little closer, thanks to Dallas Theater Center‘s new Neighborhood Initiative, launched on Sept. 27. The initiative was designed to engage neighborhoods with an historically low level of engagement and participation with DTC, via tailored artistic and educational programming. The first neighborhood chosen was South Oak Cliff neighborhood.
“If we dare to dub our institution after this richly diverse community, then we should have representatives and advocates from all over this metroplex,” says Dayron Miles, DTC’s manager of community and audience engagement. “We realized that the level of engagement in many pockets of our city were very low. The Neighborhood Initiative is a direct response to these findings.”
The Initiative kicked off with a free acting workshop at the local Beckley-Saner Recreation Center; workshops will run to Nov. 1. Other program offerings will include First Fridays, offering every resident in the neighborhood the chance to attend the first Friday performance of every DTC production at a discounted price; Senior Scene, a forum for senior citizens to discuss scene from a DTC play; and area high school participation in DTC’s Project Discovery.
The Neighborhood Initiative will focus on two neighborhoods over a three-year period. It is also part of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’s GrowSouth project, which aims to strengthen South Dallas neighborhoods via infrastructure, educational and artistic improvements.
“By going in and working with community leaders and listening to the needs and wants of the community, we are able to pull our resources to create and expand programs, create opportunities for access and spark civic dialogue,” says Miles. “Ultimately we would like to create authentic relationships with more residents in our community and develop an audience even more representative of our diverse city.”