Street Culture

New Museum of Street Culture in downtown Dallas cements first exhibit

New Museum of Street Culture in downtown Dallas cements first exhibit

Mary Ellen Mark
Photographer Mary Ellen Mark will be featured in the opening exhibit for Museum of Street Culture, opening in the fall.  Photo courtesy of Mary Ellen Mark

Progress is underway at the Museum of Street Culture, opening in downtown Dallas in the fall, with an exhibit featuring photographer Mary Ellen Mark.

Mark, who died in 2015, was a photographer for Life magazine and a filmmaker known for documentaries such as 1984's Streetwise. The museum will feature Mark's project on homeless children in Seattle from the 1980s, and it will be displayed for a year.

Alan Govenar, the museum's founding director, said at a presentation on March 7 that Mark's work "reflects the philosophy of what Encore Park will be."

Govenar also announced partnerships for future exhibitions with the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, and with the Texas Folklife Museum in Austin, including one that will focus on Tejano music.

The Museum is part of Encore Park, the complex at the historic Warner Brothers building at 508 Park, which includes the revival of historic properties and social services for the at-risk and homeless with art, culture, and music.

The Museum will host exhibitions, performances, installations, film and video screenings, new technologies, and emerging arts forms, all focused on historic issues, diverse cultures, and public expressions of art, ideas, and community.

It will feature art by The Stewpot’s homeless clients, where 90 percent of sales go to the artist and 10 percent go to future art supplies. There'll be concerts featuring genres like blues, polka, hip-hop, classical, Western swing, and Tejano; exhibits in vintage boxcars on the historic railroad spur to 515 Park; and commissioned art installations on Encore Park’s walls and rooftops.

The team includes museographer Adrien Gardère; architect Graham Greene; and Govenar, an author, director, and documentary filmmaker who conceived the Museum of Street Culture to engage all areas of Encore Park through exhibitions and outreach programs focused on public expressions of art, ideas, and community.

A pair of boxcars will reside on the historic railroad siding on Canton Street, bridging modern street culture with hobo and rail history, and serving as an entry to 515 Park.

Exhibits at 508 Park will focus on the building’s history, especially music and film. Exhibits at 515 Park will focus primarily on street culture-related topics like the Stewpot Art Program gallery and the Community Art Studio.

The Stewpot building will be renovated, including converting its garage to a state-of-the-art, trauma-informed-care reception and case-working space; reorienting the point of client access to Young St.; expanding the Stewpot Art Program Studio space by four times its current size; expanding Metrocare Services on-site; and adding a public Encore Park Cafe at the street level that will source its produce (when possible) from Encore Park’s three gardens.