The Dallas Festival of Ideas Invites Community Members to Help Improve Our Future


(DALLAS) – National keynote speakers will lead an immersive and engaging discussion on the future of Dallas alongside city leaders and community members Feb. 27-28 during The Dallas Festival of Ideas, which is made possible by Bank of America, presented by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and The Dallas Morning News, and produced in part by CrowdSource.

The Dallas Festival of Ideas urges community attendance to create a passionate and informed discussion on how and what will shape the next century in Dallas. The two-day event will begin Friday, Feb. 27 at the Dallas City Performance Hall by highlighting each of the five ideas for a world-class city: The Physical City, The Cultural City, The Innovative City, The Political City and The Educated City.

“This festival is about unveiling the next big idea, and taking that idea and applying it to Dallas,” said Bob Mong, editor of the Morning News. “The Dallas Festival of Ideas is about channeling progressive action. Something tangible will come out of this festival and I’m looking forward to the results.”


Keynote addresses and panel discussions on the various ideas will be delivered at multiple locations in the Dallas Arts District by nationally known speakers and Dallas-area panelists on topics that are essential to the future of Dallas, concluding with actionable next steps to improve the city. Free family programming will also be available at the Winspear Opera House Saturday, Feb. 28, from 9 a.m. until the closing ceremony.

  • The Physical City, led by New York City architect, developer and planner Vishaan Chakrabarti, will focus on how we can integrate nature in building and involve youth in planning for the future (Dallas City Performance Hall, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.).
  • The Cultural City, led by award-winning writer Luis Alberto Urrea, will highlight how we can express ourselves through food, music, art and the humanities to create a more vibrant and diverse city (Crow Collection of Asian Art, 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.).
  • The Innovative City, led by digital innovation and foresight strategist Rahaf Harfoush, will explain how we can unlock creativity and embrace innovation in concert with what is already successful (Meyerson Symphony Center, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.).
  • The Political City, led by prolific writer and senior editor of the Atlantic Ta-Nehisi Coates, will highlight how we can engage the youth in the political process and reduce the polarities of race and class (Dallas Museum of Art, 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.).
  • The Educated City, led by New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Green, will focus on how we can build toward a great urban school district (Booker T. Washington High School, 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.)

There will also be a free panel open to the public focusing on “How can Dallas attract and retain its creative talent?”, introduced by Mayor Mike Rawlings and led by Southern Methodist University’s Zannie Voss (Booker T. Washington High School, 1 p.m.).

Bishop T.D Jakes will close the Festival at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28 at the Winspear Opera House.

“This festival brings a diverse group of high-profile, global thought leaders to collaborate with Dallas leaders, as well as those in the broader public realm who want and deserve a voice in the future of their city,” said Dr. Larry Allums, executive director of the Dallas Institute. “Our goal is to ignite and challenge our community to create plans that improve Dallas by using ideas from all ages, cultures, ethnicities and walks of life.”

On the festival’s opening night, each keynote presentation will be followed by an interpretive performance from local artists and performers.

Tickets start at $30, and two-day passes are available for $90. Students with a valid school ID will receive a 50 percent discount. To reserve your tickets or for more information, visit or call 214.871.2440.

About the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization with a 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders.  Created in 1980, The Dallas Institute is a center for creative and intellectual exchange, providing enriching programs for the public that are grounded in the wisdom of the humanities, laying the foundation for Dallas to realize its full potential for cultural excellence.   The Dallas Institute is located at 2719 Routh St., Dallas, Texas 75201.  For information, call (214) 871-2440, or visit

About The Dallas Morning News

Established in 1885, The Dallas Morning News is Texas’ leading newspaper and the flagship newspaper subsidiary of A. H. Belo Corporation. It has received nine Pulitzer Prizes since 1986, as well as numerous other industry awards recognizing the quality of its investigative and feature journalism, design and photojournalism. Its portfolio of print and digital products reaches an average daily audience of more than 1.1 million people and includes online news and information sites; iPhone, Android and iPad apps; Al Día (, the leading Spanish-language publication in North Texas; neighborsgo (, a consumer-generated community news outlet; and Briefing, the free, home-delivered quick-read. In addition to the editorial drivers within the Morning News, CrowdSource ( was created as an independent business division to assist event organizers and producers with its operational, marketing and promotional needs. To advertisers, the portfolio of products is represented by DMNmedia (, the marketing solutions group of The Dallas Morning News, Inc. For more information about the publication and its entities, visit

About CrowdSource

CrowdSource is a Dallas-based events company that partners with local, regional and national organizations to engage audiences by creating impactful consumer experiences. As part of The Dallas Morning News, CrowdSource owns and produces events ranging in scope from entertainment and sports to education and the arts. For more information, please visit

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