Destination 2016: Dallas

On a recent evening at Dallas’ Nasher Sculpture Center, lively crowds of young professionals and families gathered along the travertine walls of a manicured sculpture garden. They staked their claims with picnic blankets on a beautiful lawn surrounded by masterpieces by Auguste Rodin, Alexander Calder, Joan Miró and Willem de Kooning—as well as food carts serving everything from homemade buttermilk fried chicken to savory tacos. Later in the night, after acoustic guitar duo The O’s performed a set, attendees to this artsy festival under the stars settled into their blankets to watch a showing of The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Urban Innovation
Downtown’s transformation into a cultural district has revitalized long-neglected neighborhoods.
Civic Leadership
Legislators and private citizens work together to enhance Dallas’ cultural attractions.
Cultural Life
World-class museums, galleries, private collections and art fairs make Dallas a global leader in the arts.
This scene might be typical of Brooklyn or Los Angeles, but Dallas? To the city’s detriment, some people still associate it with the Texas clichés popularized decades ago by television shows such as Dallas and The Yellow Rose. Tourism officials admit that visitors arriving in search of Texas kitsch might be disappointed to find more designer boutiques and gleaming skyscrapers than cowboy boots and 10-gallon hats. But this sophisticated destination is determined to dispel such myths once and for all by becoming a cultural powerhouse.

Trade and commerce built Dallas, first through cotton and oil, then more recently with banking, tech and healthcare. The city remains a flourishing business capital—home to more Fortune 500 companies than any city in the U.S. except New York and Houston, and a major concentration of jobs and wealth. But it is Dallas’ arts scene that is winning international buzz today, and its cultural institutions are shaping its future. The city has transformed its skyline and downtown core with modernist architecture, expansive arts complexes and green spaces, and world-class museums and private collections.

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