BEST ARTS INVESTMENT 2013 | Nasher Xchange | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

While we know the investment for the Nasher's citywide public art project stretches into the multi-millions, the return's potential is limitless. Dallas art is at an interesting tipping point where arts institutions, artists, others in the creative swarm and city officials have all decided that we are, in fact, doing this thing. The problem with that is that the general public is less motivated because the arts haven't been an active part of their lives until now. Art has been something families would have to plan a day around and pay for, like going to the zoo. Well, that's over. The Nasher's knocked down the zoo walls and sent out 10 specially commissioned pieces of public art by locally and internationally recognized talent into the Dallas wild. From October 19 to February 16, the Nasher presents the largest public art offering ever presented by a museum, anywhere. That means you'll inevitably run into art. You'll see it, Instagram it, tweet it and Facebook it. You'll tag a friend in front of it and by doing so, you'll put art in front of your entire social network. This trickles out. Others seek the piece of art they saw on your feed and soon, art becomes a citywide scavenger hunt in which individuals hunt and interact with artwork outside of the walls of a formal institution. Those acts stick with us. They increase community arts awareness and spur curiosity. The Nasher's Xchange program will be integral to closing the gap between audience demand and art supply.

Courtesy of Dallas Comedy Club

The DCH is so much nicer than it needs to be. The marquee-bulb-studded facade on Commerce Street houses a world of cheap beers, arguably the best-decorated bathrooms in all of Deep Ellum and a whole host of free open mics and real cheap weekend comedy shows. Drop by Tuesday for the open mics or Wednesday for the equally free improv nights and watch a host of sweaty, nervous would-be comics test out their fledgling material. Sometimes it turns into Snarky Early 20s White Guys Making Dumb Jokes About Their Dicks Night, but not nearly as often as you'd think.

Dang, girl! This flirty little clothing label has swept up top designer wins at all the big contests, and for good reason. We love her commitment to fabric sculpture and her intuitive look at what makes for an interesting shape. Dang is architectural in her approach and ladylike in her execution, an extraordinary combination that leaves women dressed in sophisticated — but not stuffy — attire. Her line brings a refinement level to textile work that's rarely seen in larger markets, so the fact that she's from around these parts is certainly worthy of praise. Looking ahead into her fall/winter line, in which leather and silk blend puckerlessly, it's clear Dang's momentum isn't slowing anytime soon.

The career of one of Dallas' favorite news anchors took an ignominious turn last May, when she was arrested for DWI and summarily canned from NBC 5. She made a heartfelt apology and lived on in her always hilarious, borderline-racy Twitter presence. Then, as we suspected she would, she soon made it back on air, this time as part of WFAA's Good Morning Texas, doing a segment called "Starting Over," an occasionally tear-duct stimulating series on people who have to change directions in life because of unforeseen circumstances. She's still delightfully deranged on Twitter. Keep your head up, Jane.

So you're cool with gay Scouts now, Irving-based BSA? But when they turn 18, you boot them out, because gay Scout leaders are somehow beyond the pale? Man, you're so close to not being terrible. Good effort, though. Well, mediocre, actually. Better luck next year.

Oh, you thought City Manager Mary Suhm didn't actually run the city? And that City Council members read the stacks of paper put in front of them before voting on things? Bless your heart. The debate over gas drilling on city-owned property pretty much cleared up any lingering delusions about Suhm's place in city government. She secretly signed an agreement in 2007 with a gas drilling company, pledging to help change city policy in order to allow drilling on parkland. Then she (or her staff) snuck a lease into the mix that was not one of the ones the council approved. Suhm blamed the whole thing on a big misunderstanding, and the vast majority of the council quickly made clear that they were totally uninterested in investigating. Instead, the council just declined to let the driller sink its wells on parkland. So things kind of worked, in an ugly, infuriating way.

Duncanville teen Bliss and his 16 miles of glorious silken hair were captured on cell-phone video giving his teacher a scathing lecture about the mountains of boring packets she apparently liked to foist on her students. Whether you thought he was an insightful educational freedom fighter or an entitled little shit, it started an actual conversation about what the nation's schools look like, and how they could better serve our kids. (Apparently Duncanville ISD thought he might have a point too, because his teacher was quickly placed on leave.)

Dahlander quietly tolerated the reign of communications director Jennifer Sprague, a person several decades his junior who came in to be his boss for approximately 25 poorly handled seconds before vanishing into the world of "consulting." Then his boss was former TV newsperson Rebecca Rodriguez, who also managed to stick around for three months before splitting with a severance package for four months pay. No. Really. The organization's public face — besides controversial Superintendent Mike Miles — is really Dahlander, who's good-humored, intelligent and generally maintains a remarkably low level of bullshit, considering that he's in the bullshit-slinging biz. As DISD deals with a seemingly unstoppable string of scandals and fuck-ups, he's pretty much always a busy man. While (rightfully) bitching about the failings of our school system, take time to feel a little sympathy for one of Dallas' most gentlemanly flacks.

There was something painfully hilarious about DPD's official Twitter presence accidentally trumpeting a Fruit Ninja high score. Even better was the long-delayed explanation for it, which, when it finally appeared, showed some surprising sly humor: "After a thorough investigation (CSI: Fruit Ninja!), the source of this tweet was traced to a 5-year-old boy, who after hours of interrogation signed a written statement admitting his role in Fruitgate. The DPD Media Relations Staff would like to assure the public that no taxpayer dollars were used, nor was it the culprit's highest score ever. We do appreciate the retweets and responses we have received. We have learned a sobering lesson from this experience — security threats are not confined to the hacker world."

The folks who demonstrated against the Bush Library had great costumes and everything, but GetEQUAL's been tireless this year: pushing DART to pass domestic partner benefits, calling on Mayor Mike Rawlings to pay attention to the LGBT community even when there's not an election on and, in Austin, getting arrested for staging a sit-in to draw attention to a bill that would have added sexuality as a protected category to state non-discrimination laws. Sadly, they'll likely be fighting that good fight for a long time to come.

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