This year the Festival, organized by The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture in partnership with the Dallas Morning News and produced by CrowdSource and Public City, will join forces with the Dallas Book Festival, organized by Dallas Public Library and Friends of the Dallas Public Library, to create a large, joint festival at City Hall Plaza and J. Erik Jonsson Central Library and the surrounding streets on April 29.
Programming for the event will revolve around the theme of equity, with speakers, interactive sessions and performances designed to address the question: How can we make Dallas a more equitable city with growth opportunities for all its citizens?
T.D. Jakes, CEO of TDJ Enterprises and senior pastor of The Potter’s House of Dallas, says, “It is important for us to bring together folks of disparate economic and social backgrounds to engage in a meaningful dialogue around equity in our city and to elevate the discourse around that which matters most.”
Keynote addresses at the festival will be given by thought leaders from across the country. Their talks will focus on how a city like Dallas can become a more equitable city in five different areas, also known as “city tracks”: the Physical City, the Healthy City, the Educated City, the Cultural City and the Entrepreneurial City.
The Dallas Festival of Ideas held its first event in 2015 and has quickly become a focal point for thought leadership in the city of Dallas. Over the last few years, the Dallas Public Library and Friends of the Dallas Public Library have expanded the Dallas Book Festival, growing attendance from 625 to 4,000 people in just two years. This year, the two events have recognized a unity of purpose—to make Dallas a better city—and decided to coordinate the two events.
“Both festivals are focused on energizing individuals through thought-provoking ideas and encouraging implementation to better our communities,” says Larry Allums, executive director of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. “These festivals will help people take the things they learn and the ideas they generate and empower them to take action.”
The Physical City keynote speaker will be Janette Sadik-Khan, a principal at Bloomberg Associates. The Healthy City keynote speaker will be Andrew Solomon, an author whose books and essays explore the subjects of politics, culture, and psychology. The Cultural City keynote speaker will be Jeff Chang, executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. He has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts and music.
The Educated City keynote speaker will be Nadia Lopez, the founder and principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy, in Brownsville, Brooklyn. She is also a finalist for the 2016 Global Teachers Prize. The Entrepreneurial City keynote speaker will be Douglas Rushkoff, a writer, documentarian and lecturer whose work focuses on human autonomy in a digital age. The closing session keynote speaker will be Yaa Gyasi, author of the highly acclaimed debut novel Homegoing and a recipient of the National Book Foundation 2016 “5 under 35” award.
The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture is a nonprofit educational organization vreated in 1980 as a center for creative and intellectual exchange, providing enriching programs for the public that are grounded in the wisdom of the humanities.
Both the Dallas Festival of Ideas and the Dallas Book Festival are free, but registration in advance is recommended. For information, call 214-871-2440 or visit DallasInstitute.org.
For more stories like this read Natural Awakenings Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex magazine at NADallas.com