Since 1980, the Irving Arts Center Dallas has beckoned families and performers to its arts-focused grounds sprawled across 10 verdant acres. A quartet of galleries exhibits rotating collections of multihued magnum opuses, and a sculpture garden flourishes with innovative fountains and towering clay installation pieces that switch places when no one is looking. More than just a feast for the eyes, the arts center also educates youngsters and their familial units with summer camps and programs such as story time throughout the year.
The works of William Shakespeare are timeless, and since 1971, Shakespeare Dallas has been a part of their rich theatrical tradition. From their roots as a summer company and their first, somewhat modest production—a one-man take on Hamlet—the organization has evolved to produce cultural events year-round. During the summer, skilled actors perform the Bard’s plays in the open air. When autumn arrives, Shakespeare on the Go! brings artists to schools to share age-specific, interactive programs. And through all seasons, Shakespeare Unplugged meets the community’s recommended iambic pentameter intake with staged readings and insightful lectures.
Tucked away from life's daily barrage of appointments, meetings, and expectations, Dallas Yoga Center provides a tranquil haven for self-discovery and the mental truces that achieve inner peace. An arched Indian doorway marks the threshold between the outside world and the refuge of the 8,000-sq.-ft. facility, which houses four spacious, naturally lit studios.
Inside, instructors lead groups through more than 65 classes per week, which focus on a variety of yoga styles. During the studio's Beginners Yoga classes, aspiring yogis learn the basic motions and breathing techniques that serve as the jumping-off point for their yogic journeys. From there, they can explore the gentle calmness of Yin Yoga, the intense exertion of a hot Ashtanga Yoga class set at 85 degrees, the prop-aided poses of Iyengar Yoga, or the ab-toning workouts of Yoga Core. They can also take part in t'ai chi sessions that leave minds spry and energies recentered. After class, students can propel their practices forward by stocking up on the center's selection of yoga clothes, jewelry, props, accessories, and DVDs. For those seeking even deeper enlightenment, the center also sponsors yoga teacher training, and even arranges retreats to India, where students study ayurveda and yoga straight from the source.
Donna Park's passion for performance preceded the bulk of her vocabulary: at 4 years old, she got into the habit of correcting the dance steps of the other children in her recitals. Her unquenchable thirst for performance led her through a theater minor in college to the discovery of film, then onto a career as a director, writer, and producer of television specials and commercials. Now, calling upon contacts developed during her 20-year career, she brings working professionals to Texas Creative Arts Academy to share their hard-earned wisdom with the young.
The Academy's year-round programs gather students aged 4 to 18 to celebrate their interest in dance, art, film, and melodrama. Aspiring artisans learn the basics of canvas and garment craftsmanship in Hi Ho! Van Gogh! and Design Fashion Diva! camps. Teachers unlock high notes in students' vocal ranges with voice lessons and train the eyes of future cameramen in video-production classes. Piano and guitar instruction empowers kids to realize a future where spontaneous public musical numbers don’t just happen on stage.