June 18, 2021: Performance Art Company Highlights Lives of Residents

Artsillery, a performance art company that discusses social injustice, created a show called Family Dollar that highlighted the lives on West Dallas residents. The creator, Ilknur Ozgur was attending a service at the Lone Star Missionary Baptist Church in West Dallas when she was inspired to create a story that highlights the commercial pressures that are pushing West Dallas residents from their homes (Crumpton, 2021).

The story takes place outside historic shotgun houses and is an immersive experience that follows three families in each house. Guests can visit each house to watch as the “families” work to handle the racism, economic inequality, and gentrification that consumes West Dallas. In order to fully understand the story they wanted to tell, the cast of Family Dollar engaged with the community and the church (Harris, 2021). They now consider themselves members of the West Main Street community, considering their involvement “love relationships” (Crumpton, 2021)

According to Family Dollar writer, Morgana Wilborn:

“Theater possesses the ability to document historical and contemporary experiences of communities lost to time, or in this case, the displacement of culturally rich, historic neighborhoods of color by way of development and zoning. Over time, the creative arts discipline has been used as a tool by those in power to decide whose story is worthy to be told. Artillery wants to create a “space where you exist to learn more about people, and to hear their voice and their story.”

Morgana Wilborn (Crumpton, 2021)

After the show ended on July 31, 2021, the Nasher Sculpture Center joined Artsillery’s show to provide a long-term plan for the show. They put a QR code at each house to allow visitors to view the show after its completion (Crumpton, 2021). Artsillery’s website (Family Dollar, n.d.) announced that the you can watch the performance playlist on Artsillery’s youtube channel, linked below:


Crumpton, T. (2021, August 19). Artstillery’s Family Dollar Has Become Part of a West Dallas Community. D Magazine. http://www.dmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/2021/08/artstillerys-family-dollar-has-become-part-of-a-west-dallas-community/

Family dollar. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2021, from https://www.artstillery.org/familydollar

Harris, A. N. (2021, July 8). West Dallas neighborhood is the stage for ‘Family Dollar’ performance art. https://www.dallasnews.com/arts-entertainment/visual-arts/2021/07/08/west-dallas-neighborhood-is-the-stage-for-family-dollar-performance-art/