Dallas Museum of Art announces the 21st anniversary season lineup for Arts & Letters Live, the literary and performing arts series

Arts & Letters Live to host the second BooksmART Festival On June 9, 2012, a Free Event for Families and Children

Today the Dallas Museum of Art announced the 21st anniversary season of Arts & Letters Live, the Museum’s literary and performing arts series. With approximately thirty scheduled events featuring over forty authors and twenty actors and musicians, some of this season’s highlights will include appearances by Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Virgin Suicides Jeffrey Eugenides, National Book Award winners Colum McCann, John Irving, and Maxine Hong Kingston, and recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement Judy Blume.

Widely acknowledged as a major contribution to Dallas’s cultural life, Arts & Letters Live has sold out most of its events since its inception in 1992. Audiences estimated at over 200,000 have attended over five hundred series programs. To date, Arts & Letters Live has featured more than eight hundred authors, actors, and performing artists in its twenty years of programming. Over the years, authors and actors featured in Arts & Letters Live programs have earned thirty-three Pulitzer Prizes, six Academy Awards, over seventy-six Emmy nominations, ten Man Booker Prizes, ten PEN/Faulkner Awards, fourteen Newbery Medals, and five National Humanities Medals.

“Our 2012 season promises an intellectually stimulating, thought-provoking, and entertaining lineup,” said Laurie Stephens, Head of Arts & Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art. “We hope to engage our audiences in unique experiences with authors and performers, celebrating the literary art form.”

From January to June 2012, Arts & Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art will feature award-winning and bestselling authors Maxine Hong Kingston, Jeffrey Eugenides, John Irving, Dave Isay, Sarah Vowell, John Lehrer, Anne Enright, Colum McCann, David Sedaris, and many more. The 21st season will begin with two double-headers. Friday, January 20, authors Luis Alberto and Ayad Akhtar will discuss the common threads of spirituality and multiculturalism found in their work. Saturday, January 21, humorists Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel will perform as the League of Comic Justice, introducing their collaborative new book, Lunatics. Book signings following each of the author events are held at the Museum Store, which stocks titles by each author featured in the series.

One of the most innovative programs, called “Texas Bound” (Texas actors reading short fiction by Texas writers), plays to packed houses and has toured to other cities in Texas, including Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, and Tyler. Well-known actors participating in Texas Bound have included Tommy Lee Jones, Kathy Bates, Larry Hagman, Marcia Gay Harden, Judith Ivey, and Doris Roberts. The series has been the subject of articles in the New York Times, Southern Living, and other national publications. Since 2008 Arts & Letters Live has partnered to re-broadcast current and prior Texas Bound programs through Reading & Radio Resource, a closed radio network serving people in North Texas with visual impairments and learning differences; these re-broadcasts serve an estimated 25,000 people annually.

Texas Bound actors this year will include Constance Gold Parry, Bryan Pitts, Max Hartman, Jane Kaczmarek, Isaiah Sheffer, Michael Imperioli, Barry Corbin, David Lozano, Lydia Mackay, Alex Organ, Peri Gilpin, Brad Leland, and Steven Walters.

Arts & Letters Live’s BooksmART series features award-winning authors and illustrators for the young and young-at-heart. Over the past few years, the series has hosted numerous Caldecott and Newbery Medal–winning authors and illustrators, such as E. L. Konigsburg, Christopher Paul Curtis, Lois Lowry, Kate DiCamillo, Robert Sabuda, Judy Schachner, Jeff Kinney, and Chris Van Allsburg. In 2012 BooksmART authors and illustrators will include Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman discussing their new young adult novel, Why We Broke Up (recommended for ages 13 and older or at parents’ discretion.); Laura Numeroff, author of the bestselling If You Give… series; author-illustrator Marc Brown; and beloved author and recipient of more than ninety awards Judy Blume.

The second annual BooksmART Festival, presented by Chase, will take place on June 9 with a day dedicated to celebrating literature and the arts. Admission to the Dallas Museum of Art and festival will be free and the festival will feature family activities that include authors, illustrators, gallery tours, music, games, artist workshops, and more. Last year 5,500 visitors participated in events with authors including Rick Riordan, Norton Juster, and Laurie Halse Anderson, and award-winning illustrators David Wiesner and Jerry Pinkney. A full list of participants and an event calendar will be posted on the Museum’s website in April 2012.

Tickets are on sale now. Order online or call during normal business hours at 214-922-1818. Prices for BooksmART (children’s and young adult) events range from $10 to $16, regular events range from $15 to $37, and special events (David Sedaris, who will be making his fourth Arts & Letters Live appearance) range from $25 to $65. Discounts are available for members and season subscribers. For details visit DMA.org.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs are its global collections, which encompass more than 24,000 works and span 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Established in 1903, the Museum welcomes approximately 600,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.