TACA Perforum

TACA Perforum | A Conversation to Advance Arts & Culture

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 and roundtable discussions, 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.

2019 TACA Perforum: Art Matters! The Arts’ Relevance in Contemporary Culture

Monday, October 28, 2019
8:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Nasher Sculpture Center & Crow Museum of Asian Art

Moderated by Dr. Zannie Voss, Director of SMU DataArts

Arts and cultural organizations across the country are striving to increase their footprint of relevance, appeal and representation in an often-indifferent world. How can we be more proactive and nimble as we seek to matter more to more people? With the help of three change-makers leading innovation in our field, this year’s TACA Perforum will explore the arts’ relevance in contemporary culture and examine the value of learning, journalism, and inclusion in the arts.

8:45 – 9:15 a.m. Continental Breakfast | Nasher Sculpture Center
9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Panel Discussion | Nasher Sculpture Center
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch Breakout Sessions | Crow Museum of Asian Art

2019 TACA Perforum Panelists & Moderator

Eduardo Díaz

Director, Smithsonian Latino Center, Washington D.C.

Eduardo Díaz is the director of the Smithsonian Latino Center and a 30-year veteran of arts administration. Díaz is responsible for the management and delivery of exhibitions, public and educational programs and the Latino Center’s Latino Virtual Museum.

Previously, Díaz was the executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, N.M. Before joining the NHCC, Díaz managed a private consulting firm that served arts institutions and agencies, statewide advocacy groups and community-based organizations. From 1981 to 1999, Díaz served as the director of Cultural Affairs for the City of San Antonio.

Díaz earned a law degree in 1976 from the University of California at Davis, and a bachelor’s degree in 1972 in Latin American Studies at San Diego State University. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Elizabeth Méndez Berry

Director, Voice, Creativity and Culture, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, NY

Elizabeth Méndez Berry directs the Nathan Cummings Foundation’s Voice, Creativity and Culture portfolio, focusing on the foundation’s investments in the arts, pop culture and media. Prior to joining Nathan Cummings, she worked at the Ford Foundation, on its journalism portfolio, and then at the Surdna Foundation, where she led the Artists Engaging in Social Change portfolio.

Before working in philanthropy, Elizabeth was an award-winning journalist and cultural critic whose work appeared in Vibe, the Village Voice and the Washington Post. In Jay-Z’s book Decoded, he cites one of her essays as inspiring a line on the song “P.S.A.” from The Black Album. Her work has been included on syllabi at colleges around the country, and she has lectured at Princeton, Texas A&M, Harvard and Jackson State.

She has been an adjunct professor of music journalism at New York University and is a recipient of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism from the New Journalism Foundation in Cartagena. Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University.

Mike O’Bryan

Director, Youth and Young Adult Initiatives, The Village for Arts and Humanities, Philadelphia, PA

Mike O’Bryan is widely recognized as an expert practitioner and thought leader in the fields of community development, organizational culture, and trauma-informed practices. Since 2015, O’Bryan has served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Initiatives at the Village of Arts and Humanities, a nonprofit headquartered in North Philadelphia.

O’Bryan is currently a Corzo Fellow at The Corzo Center for The Creative Economy at The University of the Arts and an Innovation Fellow at Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation in support of a startup venture focused on the advancement of behavioral skills and equity in the field of workforce development.

Prior to that, O’Bryan spent more than a decade working directly with underserved populations — including veterans, adults in recovery, returning citizens, youth impacted by the foster care and juvenile justice systems, and families experiencing homelessness — and as a consultant and advisor for multiple nonprofits, businesses, and local government agencies.

O’Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of the Arts and a certificate in Childhood Trauma Studies from Jefferson University.

Zannie VossDr. Zannie Voss

Director, SMU DataArts, Dallas, TX

Dr. Zannie Voss is Director of SMU DataArts as well as Professor of Arts Management in the Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business at SMU. Previously she was a Professor at Duke University and Producing Director of Theater Previews at Duke, a professional theater company dedicated to the co-production of new works. She served as managing director of PlayMakers Repertory Company, associate manager of the Alley Theatre, and worked in audience development for Center Theatre Group. Research consulting clients include the League of American Orchestras, the Irvine Foundation, Theatre Development Fund and Theatre Communications Group, where she has co-authored Theatre Facts since 1998. Her published research on the strategic factors that influence organizational performance appears in over a dozen academic and practitioner journals.

Voss serves on the boards of the International Association of Arts and Cultural Management, TRG Arts, and TACA.  She is co-author of the book Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Commission on the Arts.

2019 TACA Perforum Sponsors

Communities Foundation of Texas logo






KERA Art+Seek

Fairmont Dallas Logo

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