The Nasher Sculpture Center will present its first offsite Nasher Public project, "Family Dollar," presented in partnership with Artstillery, an experimental performance non-profit that empowers marginalized communities.
For five years, Artstillery has been working with the residents of West Main Street, a tiny neighborhood with a long history in West Dallas, documenting their stories and working to save important structures that are quickly disappearing due to rapid gentrification in the area. "Family Dollar" (2016–2021) is an extensive archiving effort that includes documentary film; architectural preservation; and live, immersive, oral history-based performances that are also recorded for on-demand digital and VR experiences.
The Nasher Sculpture Center’s partnership with Artstillery will support and amplify each layer of "Family Dollar," helping bring awareness to the group’s important work and to the stories of the West Dallas community. Artstillery has interviewed more than 25 current and former residents of the West Main Street neighborhood, preserving their histories, and using them as the basis for performances to take place in two of the last original shotgun houses in the neighborhood.
Rather than allowing the houses to be torn down by developers, Artstillery responded to residents’ desires to see them preserved. With the advice and efforts of volunteers from the engineering and architectural firm Mead & Hunt, Artstillery moved and reconstructed them on the property of the neighborhood church, Lone Star Missionary Baptist, long a cornerstone of the community, preserving the structures as sculptures. They stand as memorials to the history of the neighborhood and sites for performances that bring the stories of the neighborhood to life.
The performances will be held outdoors, taking place in three interpretive shotgun homes, and visitors are encouraged to walk around the buildings and follow several stories simultaneously unfolding in each home. At all other times, visitors will be able to visit the shotgun houses, read labels detailing the stories of neighborhood residents, and access videos of the residents and, eventually, VR recordings of the Artstillery performances via the Nasher and Artstillery websites and the Nasher app.