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TACA Perforum

About TACA Perforum

TACA Perforum is an annual, community-wide arts symposium designed to advance a collective vision for what a thriving arts and cultural community can look like for Dallas and North Texas. Through a conversation facilitated by expert panelists, we seek an infusion of ideas to consider debate, explore, and possibly adapt and develop for implementation locally.

Since 2009, TACA Perforum has served as a forum to both identify and address needs in the North Texas arts community. The New Works Fund (2012), the North Texas Cultural Co-op (2013), the Artist Residency Fund (2015) and the TACA Perforum: Amplifier Workshops (2015) are programs that have been launched by TACA to meet needs identified through Perforum.

The Art of Belonging

Working in arts and culture in 2023 is both joyful and complicated as we see artists and organizations embracing creative thinking and big ideas, and struggle with the long-term challenges created by the pandemic.

This year’s theme, “The Art of Belonging,” is designed to encourage exploration around how we create spaces of belonging for audiences and patrons, for those who work in the field as artists or arts workers, for the people we want to be part of our audiences and communities, and where new people can see themselves belonging. TACA wants attendees to question who already has that sense of belonging and who does not, and how to create it for those who may not feel they belong in the arts. Visit our list of resources on the art of belonging HERE.

Join us on September 18, 2023 at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre (2400 Flora St. 75201).

 RSVP at events@taca-arts.org

Schedule of Events

This year’s symposium is an all-day event. However, we understand attendees may have unique workday, project, or life schedules. We encourage attendees to curate their Perforum day, depending on need and interest. Feel free to join us all day, in the morning, afternoon, or during the panel and happy hour.

Welcome & State of the Arts: Enjoy a warm welcome and performance, receive logistics, and listen to updates and reflections on the state of the arts in North Texas and beyond.

Community Conversations: Enjoy community conversations and perspectives around the theme of “belonging” with local arts administrators, board members, and artists. Facilitated by TACA Perforum Committee members.

Speed Networking: Meet with guest panelists, TACA staff, Perforum Committee Members, Artists, and Organizational Leaders in a 45-minute one-on-one networking session to continue the conversations from the previous session, or simply engage with local arts leaders.

Keynote Panel/Q &A: Hear from arts leaders like Sixto Wagan, Martine Elyse Philipe, Jinelle Thompson, with moderation led by Maura Sheffler, speak on “the art of belonging” as it pertains to their work in the arts. Q&A will follow the panel discussion.

Moderator and Panelists


Maura Sheffler

Donna Wilhelm Family President and Executive Director, The Arts Community Alliance (TACA)


Maura Sheffler is an arts management and grantmaking leader passionate about creating a more vibrant, equitable, and efficient cultural sector to support a sustainable future for Dallas artists, audiences, and arts organizations. Previously as Deputy Director at TACA, she led grantmaking, programs, and marketing strategy. Since 2013, Maura has been integral to TACA’s transition from a grantmaker to a responsive, holistic arts service organization. She launched new grant programs, strengthened relationships with TACA’s multidisciplinary grantees, collaborated on community research initiatives, and built programs that are the foundation for TACA’s equity, diversity, and inclusion strategy. Under Maura’s leadership, TACA’s grantmaking offerings grew in number and sophistication. Using a collaborative, community-informed approach, Maura facilitated the development and launch of four new grant programs in response to the pandemic – the Artist Residency Fund, Emergency Arts Relief Fund, Resiliency Grants, and Pop-Up Grants. She also led the restructuring of two existing grant programs to strengthen equitability and impact: the Catalyst Grant Program (formerly the Arts General Operating Grant Program), which provides critical unrestricted support to arts organizations. In addition, she revamped the New Works Fund, which supports the development of new works of art by Black, Indigenous, and other people of Color (BIPOC) artists, LCGTQ+ artists, and female artists in North Texas. Maura drove the strategy and growth behind TACA’s service offerings, including an annual symposium convening regional arts leaders and a professional development program curated for artists and arts managers. Workshop topics have included audience development, communications, fundraising, and more. Since 2017, TACA has convened and participated in seven EDI-focused workshops that have guided TACA’s EDI strategy. Maura began violin lessons at six, and attributes her discipline, confidence, and dedication to her musical training. Before transitioning to a career in arts management, Maura worked as a freelance musician. Her previous immersion in music blossomed into a fierce passion for the belief that art and artmaking should be accessible to everyone and for the sector’s sustainability. Maura is an active member of Southern Methodist University’s alum community and frequently guest lectures on arts management topics. In addition, she served as an inaugural member of the SMU Meadows School of the Arts Dean’s 2050 Council, advising on strategy development. Previously, she served as a Grants Panelist for the Houston Arts Alliance. Maura has earned a BA in Music, an MA in Arts Management, and an MBA in Marketing from SMU.

Martine Elyse Philippe

Director, City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture

City Manager T.C. Broadnax appointed Martine Elyse Philippe as the Director of the Office of Arts & Culture, effective December 5, 2022.  With over 15 years of experience in arts administration, Martine comes to Dallas having served as the National Community Art Manager for A Window Between Worlds based in Los Angeles, CA and as the Chair for District 12 Arts Task Force for the Atlanta City Council. In her role with AWBW, she served as national creative strategist for the development of art- based leadership and resources to transform trauma and create community-based methods of change and social justice through art.  Martine’s art administration experience spans across city government and the non-profit sector. As a trained dancer, she began her arts administration career with the City of Atlanta whereby she developed dance curriculum and then went on to become the Cultural Affairs Project Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. She has served in several executive roles, such as the Executive Director of Atlanta’s Resource for Entertainment & Arts. Martine is devoted to diversity, equity, and inclusion in every facet of art and culture. She is utilizing the breadth of her experiences to make a tremendous impact in the City of Dallas.

Sixto A. Wagan, Jr.

Project Director, Greater Houston BIPOC Arts Network and Fund

Sixto Wagan is the Project Director for the Greater Houston BIPOC Arts Network and Fund (BANF). Using the collective impact approach to social change as a model, BANF is structured as a community-led collaborative fund and a resource network guided by arts leaders, arts practitioners, and funders. Acknowledging historical underinvestment in Houston BIPOC cultures and art communities, the initiative will cede decision-making power about grants to the very communities impacted by funding decisions.  Previously, he founded and developed the Center for Art and Social Engagement (CASE) in the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston. At CASE, Wagan developed pilot programs, community partnerships, and research initiatives that centered creativity and community in impact conversations for 21st century cities.  He also led DiverseWorks, serving as Artistic Director, Co-Executive Director and Performing Arts Curator. During his tenure, he nurtured artists, communities and emerging arts organizations through commissions and place-based initiatives.  Wagan continues to expand his work as a strategic visioning and cultural equity facilitator. He has been a speaker and moderator at national convenings around topics of equity, leadership development, transition planning, and community stewardship.

Jinelle Thompson

Research & Partnerships Manager, Museum Hue

Jinelle Thompson is the Research and Partnerships Manager at Museum Hue. She is an arts administrator and cultural strategist working with cultural institutions to establish equitable partnerships and programming with communities across NYC. Through qualitative research, collaborative visioning, and anti-oppressive facilitation, Jinelle develops engagement strategies for the inclusion and empowerment of communities of color. They have organized workshops and public programs with artists, organizers, and activists concerning civic engagement, immigration, voting rights, and mass incarceration. Most recently, Jinelle was the Manager of Strategic Partnerships at MoMA PS1 and served as the inaugural Volkswagen Fellow for Public Programs and Community Engagement where they collaborated with artists and community partners to conceptualize and develop the museum’s first suite of educational workshops and programs with youth and adult audiences. Jinelle holds a Masters in Museum Studies and Bachelors with honors in Sociology and Political Science with a concentration in Public Law.


Can’t Make It In Person?

Our partners at KERA will livestream the Keynote Panel from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. Tune in here to watch!

2023 TACA Perforum Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Communities Foundation of Texas logo


Media Partner

2023 TACA Perforum Committee

Committee Chair: Megan Heber

Professor of Practice in Arts Management & Nonprofit Leadership, SMU Meadows School of the Arts

Jacqueline Chao
Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Asian Art,
Dallas Museum of Art

Zenetta Drew
Executive Director, Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Erica Felicella
Artist and Producer
Executive Producer, AURORA

Ally Haynes-Hamblen
Executive Director, Eisemann Center

Tim Johnson
Managing Director, Kitchen Dog Theater

Anne Kogan
Programs Manager, TACA – The Arts Community Alliance

Rhiannon Martin
Arts & Culture Consultant

Deborah McMurray
Board Member, TACA – The Arts Community Alliance
Founder, CEO & Strategy Architect, Content Pilot 

Vicki Meek
Artist, Curator, and Cultural Critic
Commissioner At Large, City of Dallas Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission
COO, USEKRA: Center for Creative Investigation


Kim Noltemy
Ross Perot President & CEO, Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Martheya Nygaard
Dance Artist, Educator, and Content Creator
Managing Director, kNOwBOX dance

Darryl Ratcliff
Artist, Poet, and Cultural Organizer
Co-Founder, Gossypion Investments
Co-Founder, Ash Studios

Boski Sharma
Donor Relations Officer
Communities Foundation of Texas

Maura Sheffler
Donna Wilhelm Family President & Executive Director,
TACA – The Arts Community Alliance

Rafael Tamayo
Manager, Oak Cliff Cultural Center

Elizabeth Wattley
Executive Director, Forest Forward

Donna Wilhelm
Board Member, TACA – The Arts Community Alliance

Morgana Wilborn
Programs Assistant
TACA – The Arts Community Alliance

Explore Past TACA Perforum Conversations