Last summer, we weren’t the only ones to take Nancy Brinker to task for the infamous Planned Parenthood fiasco. Not because the CEO and founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure yanked grants from PP, then restored them with a red face; as a private foundation, those are Komen’s decisions to make, screwy as they were.
The problem in our view was that Brinker never ‘fessed up to the real reasons behind the moves, besmirching the nonprofit’s image further with her ham-handed dishonesty.
Well, surprise, surprise. According to business columnist Cheryl Hall at the Dallas Morning News, Brinker has been handsomely rewarded for her ineptness. Cheryl found that Brinker earned nearly $685,000 in fiscal 2012—a whopping increase from her previous year’s salary of $417,000.
That really is nice work, if you can get it.
West Blast Investigation Continues, Children Head back to School: The center of the fertilizer factory explosion was located over the weekend. Media were allowed a look at the epicenter of the blast Sunday. In Dallas, a memorial for a local firefighter who died in the explosions. West students head back to school in nine nearby school districts. Donations to West have been strong. And, if you haven’t yet, check out Zac’s expanded reflections on his hometown on NBC.
Photos and Criticism of the New Bush Center: The Dallas Morning News has a special section dedicated to the new George W. Bush Presidential Center, which opens this Thursday. It includes a sneak peek, an interview with the ex-president, and the news’ new architecture critic’s first bow:
Designed by New York architect Robert A.M. Stern, it seems decidedly undecided about its place in the world, trading in the language of architectures past while claiming, without much conviction, the mantle of the present. Everywhere competent, it nowhere rises to a level of inspiration.
Trial Over Kaufman Slayings Will Likely Take Place in Kaufman: You would think a highly publicized trial in a small county like Kaufman would force the trial to move in order to find jurors less familiar with the case. But finding any location in Texas where potential jurors are unfamiliar with the shooting death of the Kaufman County district attorney may be close to impossible.
Agree with his politics or not, you can’t accuse Rick Santorum of being inconsistent. While the unsuccessful 2012 GOP presidential candidate makes no bones about his preference for smaller government, he acknowledges the need to address big, persistent problems like crime and poverty. So he’s thrown his weight behind innovative private-sector solutions like Behind Every Door LLC, a Dallas-based group that aims to “transform neighborhoods” by buying up and improving Class-C apartments. Some services at the LLC properties are supported by donations to a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Behind Every Door Ministries, making the outfit a unique sort of hybrid solution.
Friends with one of the group’s investors, Santorum showed up gratis at downtown’s Petroleum Club yesterday noon to talk up Behind Every Door to a crowd of about 100 businesspeople. His support for the local outfit meshes neatly with his own vision of remaking urban America, in part by energizing conservatives to fight for traditional values and stronger families. While he didn’t mention it in his remarks, Santorum’s reportedly open to running again for president in 2016. In an interview before his talk, the former Pennsylvania senator said Republicans should not have lost the 2012 election, but did because “we had a candidate who tried to be all things to all folks, instead of articulating a clear vision for … average Americans.”
Actress Ashley Judd credits a treatment facility near Abilene with helping her overcome depression caused by “unresolved childhood grief” in 2006. Speaking to an annual fundraising luncheon for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, which assists abused children, Judd said she found herself at the Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas, to visit her sister Wynonna, who’d checked in for a compulsive overeating disorder, during the facility’s “family week.”
Wynonna teamed with Naomi Judd, Ashley’s and Wynonna’s mother, to form the hit country-music duo The Judds in the 1980s. Ashley’s starred in movies including Double Jeopardy and Ruby in Paradise.
Wynonna “would say,’I think I need to go to cooking school,’ ” Ashley, 44, told 1,100 people at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel today, spurring laughter. “Isn’t that just like an addict?!” The actress said she had been the victim of child abuse–in her case, the abuse included abandonment and neglect—as well as rape. So when it came time for her to leave Shades of Hope, she recalled, “they did an intervention on me.” The facility’s founding owner told her, “No one ever thinks to do an intervention on the lost child.” After having been “so choked on my own pain and ashamed of my own shame …” Ashley said, the Texas treatment center “gave me a safe place to fall apart.”
Retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came to Dallas this week, hat in hand. Myers is seeking “seed money” for a new training program for military veterans that bears his name, to be launched by MediSend International, a Dallas-based nonprofit. The $1.5 million, General Richard B. Myers Veterans Biomedical Equipment Technology Program will train vets to be biomedical repair technicians and ready them for employment in less than six months.
On Thursday Myers, a member of the MediSend advisory board, pitched the fledgling program to an unidentified corporation and spoke to a small gathering at the offices of Strasburger & Price LLP, one of the program sponsors. Today he’ll talk up the training initiative to more potential donors, then be feted at a small dinner party hosted by Carol Glendenning, vice president of the Dallas Opera board and a partner at Strasburger.
Nick Hallack, MediSend president and CEO, came up with the idea to get Myers involved in the new venture. And why not: the retired general’s star power can’t hurt as MediSend attempts to raise money for the program. As of Thursday, Hallack said, the program had $500,000 in commitments, leaving $1 million to go. The fundraising piece is important, he added, because Irving-based Exxon Mobil, which has supported MediSend for years with the likes of scholarships and grants, “has reduced some of its funding” recently.
Remember that lawsuit brought by the son of the late Wendy Reves, the philanthropist whose art collection is now a wing of the Dallas Museum of Art? Arnold Leon Schroeder Jr., the Reves family’s sole heir, alleged that the DMA and former president of UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Kern Wildenthal, bullied Wendy Reves into leaving her art collection to the museum as well as “several millions of dollars” to UT Southwestern.
Consider the issue officially buried. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld the lower court’s dismissal of the suit. Here’s the opinion.
Whenever I used to vent to former Arts District executive director Veletta Lill about all the things that frustrate me about the Arts District — its shortage of residences, its orientation towards the high end of the market, its one-dimensional character as a depot for imported art and performances — Lill would remind me that the Arts District as it stands today is only 25 years into a 50-year vision. The things that make a neighborhood a neighborhood (people of all walks of life, services, booze and coffee) will come, she promised optimistically.
Regarding that future vision, Lill always singled-out the parking lot adjacent to Museum Tower as key component in the overall Arts District build-out. Now it looks like the spot could be the location of the most significant development on Flora Street since Rem Koolhaus and Joshua Prince-Ramus decided to perpetually torture any Dallas theater lover with weak knees. Curious what’s going on? Jump.
So says the Wall Street Journal, in a piece on the Perot Museum titled “How Dallas Does Philanthropy,” written by sometime D Magazine contributor Willard Spiegelman:
Other local industries and philanthropists made up the rest of the total $185 million cost. The major donors’ list in the entry hall reads like a Who’s Who of Dallas’s elite business leaders and corporations: The more-than-$5-million crowd includes names like Clements, Dell (OK, he’s really an Austinite), Hill, Hoglund, Hunt, Jones (think “Cowboys”), Meadows, McDermott, Moody, Pickens, Rees-Jones, Rose, Texas Instruments, plus a $10-million challenge grant from an anonymous donor. Anonymous donors are scarce in these parts.
Dallas-Dwelling Navy Seal Sniper Killed at Erath County Gun Range:Â Ex-Navy SEAL, decorated veteran, and the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, Chris Kyle, took former Marine Eddie Ray Routh to a shooting range in Erath County Saturday, most likely as part of a mentoring program for soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Then, for some reason, Routh shot and killed Kyle.
Museum Tower Spoils Latest Nasher Exhibition: A new show by the artist Ken Price opens later this week at the Nasher Sculpture Center, and to prepare, the museum had to cover the glass ceilings of the galleries containing the loaned art work to protect it against Museum Tower’s intense reflective glare. Little progress has been made on finding a solution to the glare issue, and a lawsuit looks moreÂ likelyÂ after a lawyer for the pension fund that owns the condo tower suggested as much to the Texas attorney general last week.
Wetlands Construction Begins Along Trinity River: Remember the Trinity River Project? Dirt is flying on the thing — or at least part of it. Two hundred acres of trees are being cleared for the creation of a series of wetlands that will help ease flooding.
Clayton Kershaw, a pitcher for MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, showed up for a 6 p.m. charity reception at Dallas’ Belo Mansion last night right at 6 p.m., long before the other VIPs arrived. And the Highland Park High School grad, who was there with his wife, Ellen, to have dinner and participate in a panel discussion, was as polite and affable with the paying guests as could be. Perhaps surprisingly, for a superstar who’s pulling down nearly 8 mil anually, at the tender age of 24.
But you got the idea his humility’s no act.
Kershaw calls himself “a Christian who plays baseball,” and last night’s event was a benefit for the Christian-oriented Voice of Hope, which serves inner-city families in West Dallas. Ellen’s father is on the nonprofit group’s board and Ellen and Clayton, who take their faith seriously, are involved in raising money for Arise Africa, a charity for needy African children. Last night, though, all anybody wanted to hear from Clayton about was baseball.
At a press event this morning, Dallas Museum of Art staff offered a sneak peek of the museum’s new DMA Friends program which launches Monday, January 21, at which point the museum will be free.
That’s right, completely free (well, except for special exhibitions). But what makes the DMA’s new program unique is not free admission, rather it is that the museum is offering what it calls free “membership” to anyone who walks in the doors. Membership may not be the right word; after all, for those who still want to pay to go to DMA, you can become a DMA “partner,” which offers some of the benefits that used to come with membership (free parking, tickets, etc.). The DMA Friends program is basically a credit card-style rewards program: sign up and earn points for participating in museum events and logging time in galleries. Then you can turn those points in for rewards, anything from gift store discounts, free parking, or special event tickets to higher value benefits like private gallery tours, free use of the museum’s Center for Creative Connections for parties, or a trip into the DMA’s underground art storage vaults.
So what does the museum get from this? Well, that’s where things get interesting. Jump.
More European luxury brands are targeting Dallas’ monied set, and Tuesday night proved it. At NorthPark Center, the president and CEO of Swiss luxury watch company Omega, Stephen Urquhart, snipped the ribbon on a 1,300-square-foot Omega Boutique there, the brand’s first in North Texas. Later he hosted a private dinner at Abacus for the North Texas Food Bank, Omega’s local charity of choice. “Dallas is a very upscale market,” Urquhart said. Houston already has an Omega Boutique and San Antonio may get one by June, he added.
Over at Highland Park Village, meantime, top executives from the German-based Oetker Collection, which owns and manages luxury hotels, were chatting up the properties at a reception for travel agents in the Champagne Room at Lounge 31. This is the first time the Oetker brass has descended en masse on Dallas, the company’s Alain Briere said. They screened photos of swank getaways like L’Apogee Courchevel in the French Alps–it will open in November–and Palais Namaskar in Marrakech, Morocco, which offers guests a private jet service.
With the European economy in the throes of a double-dip recession, there’s no doubt that to these European companies, folks with dough in the Dallas, Texas, market are looking pretty darn good.
Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts announced the two winners of its annual Meadows Prize today. Nadia Sirota is a musician and a founder member of theÂ American Contemporary Music Ensemble, and her 2009 debut album was aÂ New York TimesÂ album of the year; Tania Bruguera is a Cuban-born artist whose work was featured in Documenta 11.
So why is this award a big deal? Well, recipients of the Meadows Prize receive a $25,000 grant and participate in artistic residencies at the Meadows School. But what makes the prize both unique andÂ efficacious is the extent to which past winners have led projects while at SMU that have had a wider impact on the Dallas community. For example, the art group Creative TimeÂ completed a (somewhat controversial) report of the state of Dallas’ art scene. Playwright Will Power’s time at SMU has now evolved into an extended residency with the Dallas Theater Center. What can we expect form this year’s winners? Hint: Think West Dallas. Jump for my thoughts and the full release:
Today Art Place America, a collaboration of 13 national and regional foundations (including groups like the National Endowment for the Arts, The Ford Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation), released its list of “America’s Top ArtPlaces 2013”Â – an “art place” being a neighborhood “where the arts are central to creating places where people–residents and visitors–want to be.”
And, yes, Dallas made the list that includes places like part of Brooklyn, the Mission District in San Francisco, Hollywood, CA, and others.
In fact, the neighborhood of Dallas identified as a top “art place” was number two on the list, ranking just below Brooklyn and just above HollywoodÂ (CORRECTION: The top 12 cities were not ranked, the neighborhoods with the top 12 scores were just listed alphabetically.) What Dallas neighborhood, you ask? Well, the Arts District, but also Deep Ellum and Exposition Park thrown in for good measure. And that broadly-defined definition of our great arts neighborhood as three not-so-connected individual neighborhoods should send up the first red flag about the report.
href=”http://www.divawhispers.com/?p=38812″ target=”_blank”>fewer than 100 showed up for the event, and the place looked like a ghost town at 1:15.