Editor's note: It was a blockbuster year for the arts in Fort Worth. The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition made history; the Fort Worth Symphony began a new era with a new conductor; Fort Worth Opera saw the end of one leader's tenure and the start of another; both Main Street Arts Festival and Concerts in the Garden came back from their COVID-time cancellations; and - oh yes - there were some pretty memorable exhibits, shows, and performances, too. Here were our most-read arts stories of 2022.
1. These are the 13 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for December. December is the best time of the year to go see a show, our theater critic Lindsey Wilson says. There are so many family-friendly offerings just begging to become traditions, and lots of new interpretations of holiday classics. These are the 13 local shows that she said were must-sees.
Casa Mañana presents A Christmas Carol: A New Musical Comedy through December 23.
Photo courtesy of Agency Habitat
2. Concerts in the Garden 2022 sprouts up on Fort Worth Symphony's new season. The Music of the Eagles finally landed again. After two years without Fort Worth's favorite outdoor music series, Concerts in the Garden came back this year. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra unveiled its hot summer lineup, along with the entire 2022-23 season, on Wednesday, January 12.
3. Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival unveils colorful return with modern twist after 2-year hiatus. Fort Worth's most cherished downtown festival happily sprung back from dark COVID times: Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival announced in March it was planning a grand return with a blockbuster lineup of artists, musicians, and food — all happening April 7-10.
The Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival came back this year.
Photo courtesy of Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival
4. 18-year-old South Korean pianist triumphs at 2022 Cliburn Competition in Fort Worth. Yunchan Lim, an 18-year-old pianist from South Korea, won the Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition on June 18 in Fort Worth. Second place went to Anna Geniushene, 31, of Russia; and third place went to Dmytro Choni, 28, of Urkraine. Lim, who had a powerhouse run through the competition, became the youngest ever Cliburn gold medalist.
5. Fort Worth's Casa Mañana in conflict with 3 unions over Matilda musical. In February, a longtime Fort Worth theater was embroiled in a union dustup, with not one but three unions. Casa Mañana Theatre was already in the hot seat for violating its contract with the local chapter of the American Federation of Musicians, for using pre-recorded music for Matilda: the Musical. Another change caused the theater to be in violation with Actors' Equity Association and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, as well.
6. Gigantic bugs will invade Fort Worth in buzzy new Botanic Garden display. In Texas, we're used to creepy crawlies of considerable size, but special sculptures invading the Fort Worth Botanic Garden were sure to leave visitors bug-eyed. "David Rogers’ Big Bugs," an exhibit of insect sculptures on a gigantic scale, landed at the city's premier garden on March 11.
The Preying Mantis towered over the garden below.
Photo courtesy David Rogers
7. Fort Worth Opera names TCU professor Angela Turner Wilson new general and artistic director. In late October, Afton Battle announced she was resigning as Fort Worth Opera general and artistic director after two years. Less than a month later, the company named Angela Turner Wilson its new leader. Wilson is a Fort Worth-based opera singer and TCU professor. Her tenure with FWO began December 12.
8. Renowned maestro Robert Spano picks up baton as new Fort Worth Symphony music director. With new maestro Robert Spano, the Fort Worth Symphony began a new era — a new music director with new vision that includes new musicians, new-to-Fort Worth composers and guest artists, and even the launch of a new series. We chatted with Spano about his move to Fort Worth and aspirations for FWSO ahead of his debut on September 9.
Robert Spano is just the 10th music director in FWSO's 110-year history.
Photo by Karen Almond
9. New weekend festival makes Fort Worth the epicenter of fine art & craft in North Texas. Fort Worth's newest festival, Art Worth, was set to showcase hundreds of works by dozens of fine artists and crafters. Yes, craft — a word that makes some art snobbies bristle. The inaugural juried festival took over the lawn of the Will Rogers Memorial Center complex for one weekend, October 21-23. It displayed fine craft and fine art that spotlights skillfully executed works of art in glass, metal, wood, clay, and more.
10. Renowned Ukrainian ballet dancer who fled war stars in Dallas-Fort Worth 'Nutcracker'. Ten months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Ukrainian-born dancer Vsevolod "Seva" Maevsky shared his harrowing story ahead of his unlikely appearance as a guest principal artist in the Tuzer Ballet’s Nutcracker performance. Seva gave up his career with the famous Mariinsky Ballet in Russia to help his family escape Kyiv.