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CAC: Annual Letter: State of the Art 2012

January 2012 State of the Art

An Annual Letter from
the Executive Director and President of the Creative Arts Center of Dallas 

Our mission is to provide a nurturing environment for people to discover, develop and express their artistic visions.  Our vision is to create a place where community arises as we transform the ordinary into the extraordinary through creative experiences. 

Thank You for Getting It!

You Have Come to CAC to Explore,  Create & Inspire

Many arts organizations continue to face a challenging economy – CAC included. We managed to end the year with enrollment nearly what is was in 2010 thanks to many new workshops that became very popular. 

We are grateful that you continue to engage with CAC and our amazing roster of teaching artists and educational programs. You are at work creating art and building community like no other arts organization in the North Texas area.  Some of you come to CAC a little intimated since you haven’t created a piece of art since high school or even elementary school. In the five short years that I have been here, I am seeing many of those same people exhibiting and selling their work in the community -and a few are emerging as working artists.  Each of you is spending your creative energy with like-minded people who share your passion.

I was fortunate to visit the El Anatsui exhibit at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin recently. El Anatsui is an African artist who has spent more than 30 years garnering significant international recognition. In 2002 while walking on the grounds of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he has taught for more than three decades, he found a bag of alcohol bottle caps in the bush. From that discovery became the body of work for which is now best known – monumental sculptures made from thousands of liquor-bottle tops affixed to each other to create a mosaic-like installation.

“In all of my works, I regard myself as somebody who produces data for people to use. The whole idea grew out of art education and one of the things I have come up with is that every individual is creative”.

We Asked You for Your Help

And You Responded

The Rosewood Foundation continued its commitment to CAC with a grant to fund the glass department. We received additional funding from the Texas Commission on the Arts for our unseenamerica program as well as a new collaboration with the Child Abuse Prevention Center. The Office of Cultural Affairs of the City of Dallas funded our membership show which was held at Mary Tomas Studio Gallery and helped launch a new lecture series with the Dallas Arts Dealer’s Association (DADA).

CAC was thrilled to receive continued funding from Clark D. Thomas and Paul F. Thomas of The Thomas Charitable Lead Annuity Trust for our metal department and Camp MetalHead as well as other program departments. We were also thrilled to be the recipient of funds from the American Society of Interior Designers and we hope that this partnership will continue.

Side Show: Costume Art Ball was a success and with more than 200 people attending. It was like a combination of an old-fashioned freak show and “America’s Got Talent”. 

Cultivating Creativity

CAC is Engaged!

The Creative Arts Center of Dallas is a not just an art school but a vibrant community art center that is actively engaged in the community it serves. The Center participated in a number of civic projects last year, including the North Texas Food Bank’s “Empty Bowls” project in which ceramic students and instructors created more than 100 donated bowls. We offered a series of outdoor themed workshops at the Dallas Arboretum. We had our own private docent-led tour of the Dallas Art Fair. During this school year, we have worked with three DISD schools – Truett, Casa View and Guzick – to provide afterschool programming as a partner with Thriving Minds, a program of Big Thought.

Art Brings Transformation

and Builds Community

Thank You for an Amazing Year

Last year, CAC our focus was capacity building. We hired two new staff members, Studio Manager, Sandra Mitchell and Community Development & Education Manager, Courtney Brown. We also benefitted from a terrific summer intern, Vinita Israni, thanks to the generosity of the ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs program. We restructured our entire glass department, bringing three new instructors on. The glass department also had the opportunity to take a week-long educational forum at Bullseye Glass Co. in Portland. We added a new printmaking department as well as a fiber department. This spring we will offer Art History and a Professional Practices course. In additional to hiring 14 new instructors in the past year, we added 23 new classes just this session alone!

Also, be sure to stop by our new gallery area – in the fall we hosted a show which featured several drawing and painting instructors and January 26, 2012 we will open a show focusing on our metal department – featuring both instructors and students work.

Diana Pollak                                                            Sam Daniel

Executive Director                                                Board President

Creating Art and Building Community for over 45 years…


2011 At A Glance 

  • We hired 14 new instructors.
  • We added 23 new classes.
  • We launched our new Gallery space featuring three annual rotating exhibitions.
  • We launched a purpose-driven Advisory Board of arts leaders, advocates and artists.
  • We hired two new staff members: Studio Manager, Sandra Mitchell, and Community Development & Education Manager, Courtney Brown.
  • We have two new interns: Nonprofit Management Intern, Ashlyn Thornton, and Studio Management Intern, Tasha Hobbs.
  • We are developing our Printmaking Department and Contemporary Fiber Arts Department.
  • We are launching our new Scholarship Fund.
  • We hosted the Third Annual Costume Art Ball with over 200 people in attendance.
  • We partnered with the Child Abuse Prevention Center and the Starlight Foundation.
  • We donated over 100 hand made ceramic bowls to the North Texas Food Bank’s Empty Bowls Fundraiser.
  • We offered after school arts programming to three DISD Elementary Schools through a partnership with Thriving Minds of Big Thought.
  • We partnered with the Dallas Arts Dealer Association (DADA) to offer a series of lecture during it’s biannual gallery walks.

Our Supporters

  • The Rosewood Foundation supported our Glass Department.
  • The Thomas Charitable Lead Annuity Trust supported our Metal Arts Department and Camp MetalHead.
  • The Texas Commission on the Arts supported unseenamerica.
  • The Office of Cultural Affairs supported our Membership Show at Mary Tomas Studio Gallery.
  • American Society of Interior Designers supported us through their annual benefit and christmas party.
  • ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program supported Camp MetalHead program.

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