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Dallas arts groups to honor victims of racial violence with benefit concert

Dallas arts groups honor racial violence victims with benefit concert

Gospel Goes Classical Concert
The DSO and Project Unity partnered in 2019 for the Gospel Goes Classical concert. Photo courtesy of Dallas Symphony Orchestra

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Project Unity will present a public concert to honor those who have lost their lives to racial violence and injustice — including, recently, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Dallas’ Botham Jean.

The concert, set for November 11, will feature musical and dance performances and remarks from prominent Dallas leaders. The event will benefit Project Unity, which works to unify Dallas by implementing programs to help heal race relationships between law enforcement and Dallas citizens.

“The events of recent months have been devastating and painful," said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, in a statement. "We have reflected on how we as an organization can respond, and, with the magnitude of the crisis, we have more questions than answers. As a first step, this concert will use music to unite and heal and to pay tribute to those who lost their lives and deserved to be honored on a national level.”

The concert will include the premiere of a newly commissioned work by Quinn Mason, a Dallas-based black composer studying at SMU. Also performing will be students from the DSO’s Young Strings program, a 28-year old education initiative designed to increase diversity in America’s orchestras.

In addition, the DSO is pledging to step up efforts to diversify the organization.

“I am completely committed to moving the organization’s inclusion and diversity efforts forward as quickly as possible,” said Noltemy. “In recent years, the DSO has committed to authentic inclusion in audience development, education activities, board diversification and building on our inclusive hiring and business practices, but we have much more work to do.”

Tickets for the concert will go on sale in August, and all social distancing and CDC guidelines will be in practice, both on the stage and in the audience.