The festival kicked off on Friday, February 27, 2015, with a two-hour signature event at the Dallas City Performance Hall that celebrated ideas both visually and intellectually. Following interpretive performances from local artists and performers curated by Will Richey of Journeyman Ink and David Rodriguez of Dr Gorilla, ideas for five “Cities” were unveiled in 15-minute presentations by a keynote speaker.
The Dallas Institute and The Dallas Morning News, in association with planning groups consisting of over 40 Dallas leaders and visionaries, created a program format for Saturday, February 28, that allows speakers and guests to take the ideas generated on the Friday night, and discuss in increasing depth how to bring these new perspectives to Dallas.
The Physical City
The Physical City team imagined the future of our city’s capacity for bridging differences, healing divisions, and making connections by: integrating nature and the built environment; creating “people climates” throughout the city; involving both youth and experience in planning; listening to our diversity of voices as we build, from professional expertise to lived experience at the street level.
| Moderator: Jeff Whittington
Executive Producer/Host, KERA
Panelist: Maria Loveland Schneider
| Panelist: Arturo Del Castillo
Senior Urban Designer, citydesign studio
With thanks to the support of:
The Cultural City
The Cultural City team’s starting point took the common critique “we’re never quite there” as our city’s cultural strength: in all areas—arts and humanities, fashion, food, etc.—always striving for higher levels of balance in a diverse city; of channels of expression for all citizens; of encouraging both “high” and popular cultures.
Keynote speaker: Luis Alberto Urrea
| Moderator: George Getschow
Writer in Residence, University of North Texas
| Dual Keynote: Chris Vognar
Culture Critic, The Dallas Morning News
| Panelist: Teresa Coleman Wash
Executive Artistic Director and Founder, TeCo Theatrical Productions
| Panelist: Jin-Ya Huang
The Innovative City
The Innovative City team explored the role of innovation in: addressing social problems; unlocking creativity; reaping benefits of millennials’ role in innovation; retaining local talent; fostering a “leading edge” mentality while honoring traditions; navigating new forms of media and communications as they emerge; mining and advancing the capacities of digital culture.
With thanks to the support of:
The Political City
The Political City team took as its primary focus the following areas: engaging youth in the political process; educating and empowering the immigrant and minority groups for the politics of a liberal democracy; mitigating the polarities of race and class; looking for ways to diminish the income gap between rich and poor; building a strong middle class.
Panelist: Lee Cullum
The Educated City
The Educated City team assumed a primarily but not exclusively teacher’s eye view of current and future issues in urban public education: the role of the teacher; effectiveness of the reform movement; high-stakes and other kinds of testing; uses of technology; charter, magnet, and choice schools; pre-K education; the business model; social and economic factors.
| Moderator: Dr. Dan Russ
Professor, Gordon College
| Dual Keynote: Dr. Claudia Allums
Director, Louise and Donald Cowan Center for Education
| Panelist: Alfonso Correa
Teacher, School for the Talented and Gifted
Panelist: Onyema Nweze