Performing and visual arts bring beauty and abundance to life. Dallas-Fort Worth's vibrant arts scene constantly changes and evolves, thanks to audiences and patrons who support it.
But for every big production that hits the stage, there's a a struggling actor who hasn't yet made it into the spotlight. For every artist who sells a masterpiece, there's a child with a paintbrush and a dream.
Dedicated DFW nonprofits help bridge the gap between dreams and debuts. They also celebrate arts' power to heal and uplift. We'd like to lift the curtain on some that are making a difference.
CultureMap's new Dallas-Fort Worth Charity Guide, presented in partnership with Frost's Opt for Optimism campaign, is a one-stop resource for locals looking for ways to give back — including to the arts and culture that make the community so rich.
Here’s a quick look at some DFW arts and culture nonprofits making an impact and how you can to get involved, volunteer, and donate to support them. They help children, veterans, even individuals who are homeless or of limited mobility to pursue their dreams and interests.
Know of a group that should be added? Tell us here.
Arts Council of Fort Worth
Mission: The mission of the Arts Council of Fort Worth is to create an environment that promotes, nurtures, and supports the arts in our community. Arts Council programs address three main areas:
- Providing leadership and funding to local arts organizations through a competitive grants program
- Enhancing the visual environment of the city through the Fort Worth Public Art program
- Offering an affordable and accessible venue for artists, arts organizations, and the community as a whole through management of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.
How to get involved: Head here to learn about and share the economic impact of the arts. Nominate yourself or a local business professional with a passion for the arts to serve as a grant panelists by visiting here. Visit the Fort Worth Community Arts Center or attend a Public Art meeting (and follow both on social media).
Major fundraiser: Each year the Arts Council of Fort Worth hosts the Heart of Gold awards luncheon, honoring the outstanding contributions of local individuals and institutions to the arts in Fort Worth. Deborah Jung was honored as the 2018 Heart of Gold recipient and Paul Paine as the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Recipient, for their roles as leaders of the arts in Fort Worth.
DeCruit at Amphibian Stage Productions
Mission: Created by army veteran and trained Shakespearean actor Stephan Wolfert, DeCruit helps veterans work through their personal struggles, post-service, through theater classes. In his time of transition back into society after serving six years in the army, Wolfert discovered Shakespeare's words about the throes of war and the men that fought them. He connected with the pain and joys they faced. The program he created helps veterans communicate through written material and their own experience and walks them on a path to healing from post-traumatic stress.
How to get involved: To give to DeCruit and find a listing of upcoming shows to attend, head here.
Fine Arts Chamber Players
Mission: Fine Arts Chamber Players enriches and enhances the quality of life for North Texas area residents, especially families and children, through free concerts of classical music and educational activities.
How to get involved: You can volunteer for programs, assist with in-school education programs and activities, and facilitate donations.
Major fundraiser: The group presents several public performances, including the Bancroft Family Concert Series from October through May at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Basically Beethoven Festival at Moody Performance Hall.
HeARTS of Maya
Mission: The mission of HeARTS of Maya (HOM) is to share Maya Delgado's love of the arts by providing educational scholarships to youth in financial need who demonstrate a desire to pursue music, acting, and/or dance.
How to get involved: One hundred percent of donations and contributions go toward scholarships for youth between the ages of 9 to 17 from the DFW area and who have financial hardship in pursuing the arts. HOM has special interest for youth of military families.
Major fundraiser: An annual showcase celebrates the accomplishments of recipients, and community fundraisers are held throughout the year.
For Love and Art
Mission: The mission of For Love & Art is to bring the art experience to those with limited mobility. Through therapeutic engagement, digital technology, and the preternatural power of art, they transform the quality of life for seniors and hospice.
How to get involved: Volunteer to be an art angel and present at hospices and nursing homes.
Mission: Gideon's Feet is a small-but-mighty aid organization founded in Dallas-Fort Worth and serving multiple arts communities across the country. It provides support to those in the theatrical community during times of crisis and offers opportunities for artists to use their gifts to help those in need. In the last 6 years, the group has raised over $65,000 for artists across the country. After starting in DFW, they have expanded to help artists in New York City, Los Angeles, and places in between. They have helped homeless artists get back on their feet, provided help with final expenses after unexpected loss, delivered meals (sometimes even sent a pizza from across the country), helped provide transportation to physical therapy appointments, paid rent and moving expenses, raised money for a wheelchair accessible van, and helped with many, many medical expenses.
How to get involved: Follow the homepage for updates on the latest campaign.
Major fundraiser: The annual Sugar Cookie Gala Ticket, sponsored by the Dallas Children's Theater, is a fun, family-friendly evening that raises funds to support the organization's primary mission: providing financial assistance for performing artists in times of unforeseen crisis. Guests can expect sugar cookie decorating, lots of great food, and a visit from Christmas carolers, along with a silent auction and performances from Dallas-area talent.
Mission: Junior Players is the oldest children's theater in Dallas-Fort Worth, and has been providing unique arts education programming to the youth of North Texas since 1955. The mission of Junior Players is to encourage intellectual growth, mental well-being, and the development of life skills through mentoring, creative expression, and participation in dramatic and arts activities. Junior Players serves more than 14,000 children and teenagers every year through their free after-school and summer arts education programs. When school is out for the day, many low-income children and teenagers find themselves with lots of time and energy, but few positive options. Into that world comes Junior Players, transforming lives through the arts.
Membership: Junior Players' Starlight Circle is a core group of supporters that work together to promote Junior Players to the broader North Texas community. The minimum giving level to join is an annual commitment of $500. Membership benefits include unlimited tickets to the Junior Players summer Shakespeare production and winter musical production (with preferred seating), name recognition in all Junior Players production programs, an exclusive yearly celebration for members, and more.
Major fundraiser: Junior Players' annual Future Stars Celebration, sponsored by Tyler Foundation, features musical theater entertainment as well as a vintage photo booth and more. Enjoy early Christmas shopping and delicious food while helping raise much-needed funds that help Junior Players provide tuition-free arts programs for thousands of North Texas youth.
The Art Station
Mission: This group provides a safe and encouraging environment where art making can be used to promote personal growth, uplift hearts, and help heal minds and bodies. Art therapy is defined as a human service profession that uses art, media, images, and the creative process to help individuals understand and communicate their thoughts, feelings, relationships, interests, concerns, and conflicts.
How to get involved: Every dollar donated makes a difference, and your gift allows The Art Station to continue its mission of making art therapy available to everyone. You can also host a "Friend-Raiser" event or volunteer.
Major fundraiser: In June, The Art Station hosts its annual Byrne Foundation Charity Golf Tournament.
Arts Incubator of Richardson
Mission: AIR's mission is to provide the Richardson community with a facility and resources for nurturing artists and innovative thinkers, and igniting a spirit of creativity that permeates the entire community.
How to get involved: You can donate here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about helping AIR during special events.
Major fundraiser: AIR Time is a signature artist interview series featuring artists and creative thinkers in Richardson and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where artists share about their art and why their creativity makes a difference. AIR Time aims to bring creative minds together to share, nurture, and challenge one another all while providing greater awareness of the creativity within Richardson and the North Texas area. Presented in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Richardson, AIR Time consists of an interview with a guest artist/creative ("arts" is defined very broadly) followed by a film that pertains to that guest artist's area of creativity. There are six AIR Time presentations each season; each is audio recorded and later podcast on iTunes. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended ($5 online through Alamo's reservation system, which gets you a $5 voucher for food and beverage).
Eisemann Center Foundation
Mission: The Eisemann Center Foundation creates an environment of educational enrichment and cultural diversity by providing and performing charitable and educational activities within the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts.
How to get involved: Buying a ticket to see an Eisemann Center Presents performance supports the foundation, or you can join the Friends of the Eisemann Center.
Membership: Membership fees to join the Friends of the Eisemann Center start at $50 annually.
Major fundraiser: The foundation hosts meet the artist receptions, as well as its annual season preview party.
Mission: The VolunteerNow mission is to transform communities through volunteerism. Whether it's connecting nonprofits to the free workforce that they need, supporting teachers and students in the classroom, or providing volunteer infrastructure for municipalities, VolunteerNow programs and services build capacity for their communities to address critical needs. VolunteerNow supports all causes that do good. While many nonprofits support one or two critical causes, they recruit volunteers for all nonprofits and all causes that strive to make the world a better place. VolunteerNow connects nonprofits, large and small, with the volunteer workforce needed to fulfill their missions across so many cause areas — in education, health, hunger, homelessness, social services, animal welfare, and the arts — among others.
How to get involved: Browse from thousands of opportunities through VolunteerNow, and locate how you would like to be involved based off interests, skills, location, or even need. Then express interest in a volunteering opportunity and work directly with the agency to finalize your placement, and use VolunteerNow to track your impact and hours and find more opportunities.