The Public Works Dallas Movement: Watch a Retrospective with Dr. Shirley Brice Heath

Ignite Arts Dallas
Scene from 2017 inaugural Public Works Dallas production of The Tempest, a collaboration of Dallas Theater Center, SMU Meadows, ATTPAC and Ignite/Arts Dallas (photo by Kim Leeson)

By Victoria Whitcomb

In October, SMU Meadows School of the Arts and the Dallas Theater Center (DTC) held a review and panel discussion of research findings from the pilot year of Public Works Dallas with special guest Shirley Brice Heath. The event epitomized how Public Works Dallas works to connect Dallas’ arts and cultural movements to the SMU community.

Clyde Valentin, one of the panelists at the event and Director of Ignite Arts Dallas, shares his thoughts on hosting Dr. Shirley Brice Heath at SMU and major takeaways from the discussion. 

Watch the full retrospective via Howlround.

MSA: What inspired you to bring Dr. Shirley Brice Heath to SMU Meadows?

CV: As a University, we value and champion research in a learning environment. It was natural to ask Dr. Brice-Heath to return to Dallas and report back on some of her research and to share it widely with as much of the Dallas Arts Community as possible.

MSA: How did her visit connect to the Public Works Dallas movement?

CV: Dr. Brice-Heath is the co-architect of the Public Works program designed and developed by the Public Theater. Her work through the years as an educator, social justice activists and academic embodies the values of Public Works Dallas.

MSA: Why should SMU students join us on this conversation? What do you hope will be takeaway message?

CV: Learning. Do you want to make a difference in the world with your skills and resources? How do you achieve maximum impact? How do you ensure you truly give as much as you get from a service perspective? Dr. Brice-Heath was an excellent person to learn about best practices in learning and engagement work.

MSA: What’s next with Public Works Dallas?

CV: The next production will be over Labor Day Weekend 2018. Stay tuned.