January & February 2023 Pop-Up Grant Announcement March 1, 2023

Dallas Arts Starts 2023 Strong

The 2023 Pop-Up Grants kicks off with engaging events that shared history, poignant tales, and unforgettable experiences. The five Pop-Up Grant recipients produced compelling art that delighted audiences everywhere.

Bishop Arts Theatre Center’s The 1619 Project One Act Play Festival – Photo by Artful Documentary Photography

Bishop Arts Theatre Center

The 1619 Project One Act Festival


Unrestricted Grant: $2,500 Pop-Up Grant
Artist Bonus Funds: $5,000 Artist Bonus Funding to 18 Key and 7 Supporting Artists

In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia with a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This one-act festival features 8 commissions by local and national award-winning playwrights that weave together stories that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America. Each one-act play inspired Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 PROJECT. With dramaturgical guidance from historian, Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, and against the beautifully artistic scenery created by local artist Lakeem Wilson, the festival was an incredibly creative way to engage in community conversations centered around the US’s history of slavery. The beautiful minimalistic set allowed the words and emotions of the actors to be all the more powerful, and authentic.

Bishop Arts Theatre Center (BATC) is an award-winning, multicultural, multidisciplinary arts institution. Founded in September of 1993, their mission is to cultivate a diverse and vibrant arts community committed to social impact, while creating opportunities for local and emerging artists to develop new, contemporary, and lasting works that celebrate the diversity and resiliency of our community. Bishop Arts Theatre Center offers a full season of theater performances, jazz concerts, a speaker series, and year-round arts education programs. Learn more about BATC on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.


Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Swipe Left – Photo by Amitava Sarkar

Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Cultural Awareness: Swipe Left by Sean J. Smith


Unrestricted Grant: $1,250 Pop-Up Grant
Artist Bonus Funds: $2,500 Artist Bonus Funding to 2 Key and 11 Supporting Artists

The world premiere of Swipe Left by DBDT veteran dancer Sean J. Smith looks at the complicated mindset of a woman desperately trying to find love in all the wrong places. As part of the Cultural Awareness, February 17-18, 2023, at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, the solo dramatizes a series of regrettable romantic misfortunes that force her to look inward to figure out why she can’t find “the one.” Swipe Left takes a hard look at the veneer of online dating and social media, combined with the unachievable relationship standards set by society.  The show was a unique, and relatable story that navigated complicated issues surrounding identity, belonging, dating, body-image, and more. Incorporating contemporary music, audio-narration of lived experiences, modern costuming, and effortless choreography, the show is a true celebration of self-love, and Black-female identity.

Founded in 1976 by Ann Williams, the mission of Dallas Black Dance Theatre is to create and produce contemporary modern dance at its highest level of artistic excellence through performances and educational programs that bridge cultures and reach diverse communities. With an ever-expanding national and global audience, the company employs a diverse, multi-ethnic troupe of dancers performing for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Dallas Black Dance Theatre is the oldest, continuously operating professional dance company in Dallas. Under the direction of the Artistic Director, Melissa M. Young, the contemporary company consists of 14 professional, full-time dancers performing a mixed repertory of modern, ballet, jazz, and ethnic works by nationally and internationally known choreographers. Over the course of its history, DBDT has performed for 4 million arts patrons and 2.6 million children worldwide (40,000 annually youth grades K–12). Follow Dallas Black Dance Theatre on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


Junior Players’ Be More Chill – Photo by Bouras Designs

Junior Players

Be More Chill

LEARN MORE ABOUT Junior players

Unrestricted Grant: $2,500 Pop-Up Grant
Artist Bonus Funds: $5,000 Artist Bonus Funding to 20 Key and 19 Supporting Artists

Jeremy Heere is just an average teenager…that is, until he finds out about “The Squip” – a tiny supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires most. But is being the most popular guy in school worth the risk? Blending the contemporary with retro sci-fi, “Be More Chill” takes on the competing voices in all our heads and ultimately proves, there’s never been a better time in history to be yourself. Some of Dallas’ finest young performers took this musical to the next level. Creating an engaging performance that took artistic risks seamlessly guided us with strong vocalization, dancing, and impeccable comedic timing throughout. The artistry in acting and design was powerful, and the live orchestra added to the awe factor. The diversity of the cast was exceptional, and heartwarming to behold.

Junior Players is the oldest, longest running arts programming nonprofit in Dallas. Since 1955, they have provided innovative arts education for FREE to children and youth in North Texas and beyond. Through their programming, youth are transformed. The mission of Junior Players is to encourage intellectual growth, mental well-being and the development of life skills in youth through mentoring, creative expression, and participation in the fine arts. Junior Players engages children and youth through the arts, providing them with the tools they need to navigate real life challenges confidently and competently. Follow Junior Players on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Lyric Stage’s Aida – Photo by Marlee Fleisher

Lyric Stage



Unrestricted Grant: $2,500 Pop-Up Grant
Artist Bonus Funds: $5,000 Artist Bonus Funding to 3 Key and 3 Supporting Artists

Elton John and Tim Rice’s Tony Award-Winning AIDA is based on the Verdi opera of the same name, this epic tale of love, loyalty and betrayal, chronicles the story of an enslaved Nubian princess, Aida, who finds her heart entangled with Radames, an Egyptian soldier who is betrothed to the Pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris. With Music by Elton John, Lyrics by Tim Rice, and Book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang, AIDA was originally produced by Walt Disney Theatrical and premiered on Broadway on March 23, 2000.

Since 1993, Lyric Stage has grown to become one of North Texas’ most honored theatre companies, being both locally and nationally recognized for its work. For over 25 years, Founding Producer Steven Jones has remained committed to Lyric Stage’s mission by: producing 125 productions including 2 Off-Broadway shows; creating over 3,000 jobs in Dallas County by remaining committed to employing local artists, technicians & fabricators. Learn about upcoming shows, and events for on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube.

Nasher Sculpture Center’s Afro Mingei: A Project by Theaster Gates – Photo by Kevin Todora, courtesy of Nasher Sculpture Center.

Nasher Sculpture Center

Afro Mingei: A Project by Theaster Gates

LEARN MORE ABOUT nasher sculpture center

Unrestricted Grant: $2,500 Pop-Up Grant

Afro Mingei at the Nasher Sculpture Center is a convivial gathering space exploring the intersection of Japanese and African American philosophy, aesthetic modes, and cultural classifications. Staged in the center’s front, corner gallery, the project invites people to experience this cultural binary through food, drink, music, ceramic wares, and other works of art by Theaster Gates. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 4-9pm through April 29, 2023.

Located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the Nasher Sculpture Center is home to one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world. As a nonprofit, community-supported museum and sculpture garden, The Nasher introduces broad audiences to new ideas and experiences via exhibitions and public programs, promotes access to the arts in Dallas, supports the city’s progress as a world-class cultural center, and sets the standard for the display and interpretation of modern and contemporary sculpture. Keep in touch with The Nasher on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube and Pinterest.

We started our Pop-Up Grant program to shine a light on arts organizations creating programming that demonstrates exceptional quality, innovation, and accessibility safely, without skimping on the creative impact.

Grant recipients are meticulously selected via a nomination process that incorporates 60+ anonymous volunteers. Nominations are made each month and a selection committee meets afterward to determine grantees based on our criteria above.

To learn more about Pop-Up Grants, please click here.

HEADER PHOTO: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Swipe Left by Sean J. Smith Photo by Amitava Sarkar

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