Texas Commission on the Arts Awards Cultural District Grants Including $500,000 to the Dallas Museum of Art

Texas Commission on the Arts Awards $1.5 Million Through New Grant Program

DALLAS, Texas – December 10, 2015 – The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) announced funding of 20 Arts Respond Cultural District Project grants for fiscal year 2016, including $500,000 for the Dallas Museum of Art’s Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots exhibition. The grants total $1.5 million and will go to arts nonprofits and local government agencies in 11 different cultural districts in Dallas, El Paso, Galveston, Houston, Lubbock, San Elizario, and Wimberley. The grants ranged in amount from $10,000 to $500,000.

“We are pleased to be able to provide such strong support for so many high-profile arts activities across the state,” said Gary Gibbs, Executive Director of TCA. “The substantial work that our grantees are doing not only advances the arts in Texas but attracts visitors and additional dollars to our state and local economies.”

“The DMA is grateful for the extraordinary generosity of the Texas Commission on the Arts in funding this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition,” stated Walter Elcock, Interim Director of the DMA. “We are honored to serve as one of the inaugural grantees of this strategic effort to advance cultural tourism across the state through robust arts and cultural initiatives.”

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots is only the third major U.S. museum exhibition to focus solely on the artist hailed as “the greatest painter this country has ever produced.” The exhibition is the largest survey of Jackson Pollock’s black paintings ever assembled. This exceptional presentation, which critics hailed as “sensational," "exhilarating," "genius,"  “revelatory,” and “revolutionary” on its UK premier at Tate Liverpool, will receive its sole US presentation in Dallas and includes many works that have not been exhibited for more than 50 years.

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots offers critical new scholarship on this understudied yet pivotal period in the artist’s career and provides radical new insights into Pollock’s practice. With more than 70 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints, the exhibition will first introduce audiences to Pollock’s work via a selection of his classic drip paintings made between 1947 and 1950. These works will serve to contextualize the radical departure represented by the black paintings, a series of black enamel paintings that Pollock created between 1951 and 1953. An unprecedented 31 black paintings will be included in the DMA presentation. Exhibiting works from the height of the artist’s celebrity set against his lesser-known paintings will offer the opportunity to appreciate Pollock’s broader ambitions as an artist, and to better understand the importance of the “blind spots” in his practice.

These awards are the first given through the new Arts Respond Cultural District Project grant program. The grants are offered to eligible arts organizations in designated cultural districts for projects that focus on significant cultural tourism efforts through such activities as marketing, infrastructure, and major events. The Arts Respond Cultural District Projects are funded through a $5 million legislative increase for cultural tourism grants in TCA’s budget for the 2016–2017 biennium. The remainder of the funding will be distributed through the grant program for the second year of the biennium. TCA extends its appreciation to the Texas Cultural Trust and Texans for the Arts for their efforts to secure these funds.

The 20 approved grants were among 39 applications reviewed and scored by a panel of evaluators with expertise in the arts, cultural districts, marketing, and economics. Cultural districts are special zones designated by TCA that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community revitalization. These districts can become focal points for generating business, attracting tourists, stimulating cultural development and fostering civic pride. Currently, there are 28 cultural districts in Texas.

About The Texas Commission on the Arts
The mission of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is to advance our state economically and culturally by investing in a creative Texas. TCA supports a diverse and innovative arts community in Texas, throughout the nation, and internationally by providing resources to enhance economic development, arts education, cultural tourism, and artist sustainability initiatives. For more information on TCA and its programs, visit arts.texas.gov.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 23,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum 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. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than two million visitors, and enrolled more than 100,000 people in DMA Friends, a free program available to anyone who wishes to join focused on active engagement with the Museum. For more information, visit DMA.org.

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