Just about everyone loves fall, but for different reasons. For some, fall means cooler temps, outdoor dining and changing leaf colors, for others it’s about non-stop sports in the form of football, basketball and playoff baseball. I dig a lot of those things, too—but I also love fall because it’s the launching point for a new year of culture and arts, when many venues kick off new seasons, shows, and exhibits. Since fall is fast approaching, let’s take a quick look at what the Arlington arts and culture scene has to offer this season:
Arlington Museum of Art
Located in the heart of the Arlington arts district within a few minutes of the UTA campus, Theatre Arlington and Arlington Music Hall, the Arlington Museum of Art has emerged in recent years as a destination for internationally-noted exhibitions that feature everything from ceramics painted by Pablo Picasso to cinema costumes worn by some of the biggest movie stars on the planet. Next in the rolodex of exhibitions includes “Big Empty Head,” a nod to the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, or appreciation of imperfect, incomplete and impermanent beauty by retiring UTA art professor Marilyn Jolly, which opens August 24. Admission is $5 for students and seniors, $10 for adults, and free for kids 12 and younger. Click here to find out more about “Big Empty Head” and other upcoming exhibits, including the annual Frame4Frame Art, Film & Music Festival.
Starting in August, Theatre Arlington heads into its 46th season with a lineup packed with comedy, musical and family fare—such as “Nine to Five The Musical,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” and “Dead Man’s Cell Phone”—as well as one entry in the drama/mystery category, “A Few Good Men”. The season also includes an all-youth production of “Nate the Great” and a “Wizard of Oz” adaptation that features audience participation for kids. Individual tickets are typically in the $20 range, while season ticket packages begin at around $120. TIP: If you’ve got tickets for an evening performance, consider starting the night with a signature pre-theatre dinner at the charming restaurant 506, located just minutes from Theatre Arlington.
Another Arlington arts gem is Symphony Arlington, a 93-member orchestra of musicians from around the globe led by a noted conductor with an extensive international resume. The 2018-19 season “Symphonic Kaleidoscope”, promises a colorful array of symphonic musical experiences indeed, featuring “repertoire ranging from Strauss' ‘Blue Danube Waltz’ to Gliere's ‘Red Poppy Suite’, and from Auber's ‘Le domino noir’ to Ellington's ‘Mood Indigo,’ according to the organization’s website. Individual tickets begin at $15, while season ticket packages begin at $60. (By the way: The symphony’s home is the elegant and newly-renovated Arlington Music Hall, one of Arlington’s most treasured cultural venues and a destination for live music acts from some of the bigger names in the business.)
The fall 2018 season at Levitt Pavilion is as solid as ever, offering the diverse mix of genres and top-tier artists we’ve come to expect from a Levitt lineup. However, there’s especially intriguing performance date near the close of the season in early October: Cirque Zuma Zuma, a dazzling, Cirque du Soleil-styled music and dance show staged by a 16-nation African performance troupe that has mesmerized audiences around the world. Also, take note of the Levitt’s annual fundraising concert act: it’s none other than the Barenaked Ladies, which end the venue’s season with what’s likely to be a packed show on October 13. Admission is free (except for the fundraiser), and picnic baskets and lawn chairs are welcome.
The Arts at UTA
One of Arlington’s best but often overlooked opportunities to experience art and culture at very little cost is found on the University of Texas at Arlington campus. Visit utatickets.com or the university’s events page to learn more about upcoming theatre productions, concerts, dance shows and more. Also, be sure and check out two of the university’s hidden gems, The Gallery at UTA, which offers year-round fine art exhibitions, and the wonderful UTA Planetarium, where you can stargaze and take in shows projected on a 60-foot domed surface.
The next time you’re in downtown, take a stroll through the Urban Union and cultural district areas to see the beautiful new outdoor murals that are part of the Downtown Arlington Mural Project, which is currently featuring works at Theatre Arlington, Dyno-Rock Indoor Climbing Center, and CenterSpace. Also, be sure and take a selfie at the Vandergriff Building, which is home to a historic Arlington mural that is quickly gaining visual icon status. Find out more about Arlington public art.