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Art Transforms

The arts transform lives, communities, minds, youth, families and dreams

TACA believes in the transformative impact of the arts and their ability to ignite intimate conversations that demonstrate respect, offer exploration, examine personal challenges, celebrate diversity and tender hope, joy, understanding and laughter. 

Here is our collection of real stories by real people about why the arts are important to them and how the arts have transformed their lives.

Made possible with the transformative support of

Logo from The Louis L. Borick Foundation

"Before art, my life had no meaning. One of the things that I love about art is it reminds you that nothing exists without history and context. Everything that is and ever was has a story. Everything comes from something and somewhere. When I look at art, especially art that I love, it reminds me that I am alive and was born for a reason."

Nestor Eduardo Estrada
Executive Director
Teatro Dallas

Dance has not only helped me come into myself physically but has assisted me in becoming a more disciplined individual in every aspect of life. Not only dance, but art has transformed my life in more ways than I could have even expected. Coming from a performing arts high school and pursuing arts in college, I continue to use music and dancing as a way to connect and form relationships. It has also allowed me to heal others share my story, conveying passion and joy. If it weren’t for my art, I truly believe that I would not be in the place that I am today, as it has opened many opportunities for and has inspired me to do the same for others.

Arlesia Grace McGowan
Chamberlain Ballet

young African-American woman smiling

"I don’t go to the movies very often. In fact, I hate going to the movies. The reason is that I’ve been spoiled by theater… and dance and music and visiting galleries and museums. Every time I attend an arts event I make new friends. Something about the experience encourages me to engage with the person sitting next to me – or waiting in line at the bar – or checking out the lobby display. And that never happens when I go to the movies. And even though I will never see these people again there is something about that fellowship that is valuable, shifts my perspective in a different way, and stays with me long after the ride home. Art teaches empathy and builds bridges."

Jonathan Norton

young African-American actress

“I earned my MFA in Acting from Brown/Trinity, but during my training, I discovered a deep passion for directing. Both my acting and directing training have encouraged me to invest in the observation of human behavior, which I find to be endlessly fascinating. Through directing in particular, I continue to strengthen my critical thinking and analysis skills and ultimately my person and my point of view. Who I am and where I stand. What I stand for. I have found theatre to be instrumental in my quest to expose, question, and even combat our fears as well as the ways in which we fail when our fears get in the way of our underlying desire to love. It is an honor that I do not take for granted that I get to make a living speaking my truth.”

Tiffany Nichole Greene
Dallas Theater Center

"To me, performing arts are more than just entertainment for me to observe in a theater, museum, or art space, but a way of being. I have been dancing since I was three and I have never wanted to do anything else. Without dance I would not be the person I am today. I love that I can express myself through movement and that it can be a healing mechanism at the same time. Dance was the one thing that stayed constant in one of the hardest times of my life. Dance and the arts are my passion and have gotten me to where I am today. I am forever grateful."
Cassidy Pinkston

smiling woman against a bright green backdrop“Visual art has the power to encapsulate ideas. In forty years of teaching, I have found no better way to spur authentic conversation than to gather students around an original work of art. It often begins with one simple observation that, when unpacked, opens up a deeper conversation about perception. As students experience the variety of ways that individuals understand the same work of art, they dive into dialogue about the topics that are central to our shared humanity. Whether my students are grappling with race as they view Melvin Edwards’ sculptures, tackling politics in Kathryn Andrews’ Run for President, or finding humor in cultural traditions through Tom Sachs’ Tea Ceremony, the Nasher Sculpture Center never fails to inspire valuable civil discourse.”

Becky Becker Daniels
Teaching Advisory Board
Nasher Sculpture Center

"Prior to becoming the Artistic Director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre, I spent three years as a Visiting Professor of Dance at Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea. One of the greatest joys of teaching and making work in Korea was the self-discoveries revealed through the lens of students. I recall a lecture given on African-American Choreographers and their contributions to Dance. I particularly spoke in detail about Dr. Pearl Primus, and her social, political charged work, “Strange Fruit.” This was the first time that students had heard of Dr. Pearl Primus. After the lecture, I asked the class, “What are your personal thoughts about what you viewed and heard, today?” After a few moments of silence, one student responded with an astounding and profound statement, “It made me think about my place in the world and how I want to be seen in it.” This statement resonates with me on how #ArtTransforms. I believe that the true gift of humanity can be seen through the ARTS. Dance, Music, Theatre and Art has the power to change and it challenges each of us to be our most creative and authentic selves. That is my motivation and inspiration in my new role leading the artistic vision of Dallas Black Dance Theatre."
Bridget L. Moore

"The arts have been both a pipeline for expression that I desperately needed and a barometer for remaining true to myself. I've aged out of wondering what life will be like "when I grow up,” because I've found that, as we pass through various life stages, it becomes increasingly easier to lose sight of our personal virtues to focus on our relationships or quality of life. But through my professional career as an actor and writer, I've found that sticking to my guns and finding a way to keep theatre and performance in my life is the only way to understand and appreciate my relationships more deeply and improve my quality of life on an emotional and intellectual level. The arts make me my best self onstage, at work, and out in the world. As I transform, art continues to be my true north, and it reveals more and more of me to myself as time goes by."

Cam Kirkpatrick

"Since early childhood, singing and hearing others sing has been connected to strong emotions in my life. My mother sang to me. I sang to my baby sister and my own children. Songs soothe and comfort. They take us out of our immediate circumstances and suggest larger, more beautiful possibilities."

Claudia Dixon
Orpheus Chamber Singers

Jessica Ho with friends and family at a performance


Music is not just merely an appreciation of the arts, but the essence of a barrier breaker that is able to unite the diversified population of the universe. Art is the source of wisdom and humanity. It dispenses happiness and absorbs sorrow.”


Jessica Ho
Executive Director
Chamber Music International
"At age four, I sit transfixed as Maria Callas/Medea sings with raw grief and anger. She dances with fire and brings the temple down. Then she brings the house down! I am in awe, my world is full of music and people and lights. I feel a warm buzzing all around me, around the hall. Everyone is engaged in the world on the stage. As the curtain falls, the people all around me are roaring and whistling, stomping and clapping. Somehow I know this is special, unique. I know I want more of this, to be a part of this.

When I am part of the audience in a darkened theatre and we are carried along and ultimately changed by the performance, I know that art is true, it is transforming. I see this miraculous process on a regular basis. Volunteering at Uptown Players provides me this privilege. Writing for the theatre allows me this experience. Theatre has the power to affect change. It allows us to find common ground, touch our emotions and increase our understanding of ourselves and others. Perhaps some of us having considered different points of view will be inspired to take action and make changes in the world around us. Theatre lifts me up, it challenges how I think, gives me hope."

Carol Young
Uptown Players


“I fell in love with theatre when I was 8 years old. I remember thinking this was something that would change my life forever. I have never forgotten this and, as an actor, this is what I strive to do: I want the audience to feel as though they have experienced something that provides hope to start a conversation that can help change our lives.”


Rhonda Boutté
Undermain Theatre

Rhonda Butte posing in front of Dallas skyline


Art touches all of us in some way or another.
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