Dallas young professionals, it’s time to circle some important upcoming dates in the fall 2022 social diary.

From a new sporty soiree to a bubbly-fueled cocktail party and galas that rock late into the night, these are the six top philanthropic events that no Dallas YP will want to miss this fall.

The Tailgate, presented by CultureMap, October 13
A new signature event for CultureMap, The Tailgate celebrates the culture of sports and the fans who cheer them on. It will feature chef-driven food and signature cocktails, plus game-day-inspired activities, entertainment, and a spotlight on local sports-related nonprofits. Participating restaurants include past Tastemaker winners like Fearing's, Carte Blanche, Empire Baking, TLC Vegan Kitchen, and many more. It'll all take place at The Empire Room. General admission and VIP tickets ($60-$99) are on sale now.

Dallas Opera Crescendo Pre-Show Mixers, October 14 & 28
In an effort to make opera fun and relevant for a whole new generation of patrons, the Dallas Opera this fall introduced a new networking and social group, called Crescendo, for young professionals. Members can enjoy pre-show mixers to mix and mingle before performances, and then significant discounts to each show. There are two this fall: Rigoletto on Friday, October 14, and Hansel and Gretel on Friday, October 28. Memberships are $60 for an individual and $120 for two. Information and registration here.

BubblyQ Young Texans Against Cancer Dallas presents BubblyQ Photo courtesy of YTAC

BubblyQ, October 20
Fourteen years strong, the champagne-infused function at Fearing’s at the Ritz-Carlton may still be the most popular fall fundraiser on the Dallas YP scene. In addition to bites from top local restaurants selected by chef Dean Fearing (Ame, Beverley’s, Meridian, Monarch, and more) and a cocktail experience courtesy of Parliament, there is an epic silent auction filled with trips, spa treatments, and shopping sprees. All proceeds collected by Young Texans Against Cancer support local cancer initiatives. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased online.

Junior League of Dallas Auction, November 5
Themed “Timeless Treasures Auction,” this year’s JLD auction nods to the treasures at the event’s location - the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, including the VIP experience in the Lyda Hill Gems and Mineral Hall. The evening will include a silent auction, gaming, a diamond pull, and entertainment from The Special Edition Band. Patrons can also enjoy a bonus after-hours adventure to “Stay & Play” in the Museum until midnight. Auction benefits the Junior League of Dallas Community Service Fund. Tickets start at $150 and are available here.

Dallas Autumn Ball, November 11
This high-energy, black-tie dance party is traditionally the must-attend gala of fall for young Dallasites. DAB welcomes young professionals donning their glitzy best to Hotel ZaZa for a fun night benefiting local education-focused nonprofits. Guests will arrive at the ninth annual event ready to walk the red carpet, then enjoy a VIP cocktail hour, heavy hors d'oeuvres, premium cocktails, and dancing the night away. Tickets are $125 ($200 for VIP) and available here.

Dallas Millennial Gala 2018 Guests dance the night away at Dallas Millennial Gala. Photo by Octavio Arzola

Dallas Millennial Gala, November 19
The sixth annual Dallas Millennial Gala has a high-fashion twist. Themed “Shape the Runway,” it will include a fashion show directed by this year’s gala chair, Daniel Mofor, along with looks by Sai Sankoh. The night also will feature a cocktail hour, keynote speaker, charity auction, presentation, and reception - all at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. The black-tie gala gives 30 percent of ticket revenue and 100 percent of donations back to organizations that equip diverse individuals to excel in the global economy, they say. Tickets start at $160 and are available here.


Dallas Opera raises the curtain on new social group for young professionals

Party your arias off

In an effort to make opera fun and relevant for a whole new generation of patrons, the Dallas Opera is introducing a new program for young professionals. Called Crescendo, it's "an under 45 group aimed to bring together young people (ages 21-45) from all backgrounds to network, socialize, and learn more about opera in an approachable, fun way," says a press release.

An annual membership fee provides discounted tickets, pre-show mixers, and behind the scenes access. According to the website, specific benefits include:

  • Two complimentary tickets to one Wednesday or Friday showing of a Mainstage Performances. (Includes special Mezzanine seating with other members.)
  • Discounted tickets (40 percent off single tickets to all Mainstage Performances — seated in the Mezzanine).
  • Pre-show mixers during the performance season. (Performances and dates are Rigoletto — Friday, October 14; Hansel and Gretel — Friday, October 28; Das Rheingold — Friday, February 10; Così fan tutte — Friday, March 24.)
  • Invitation to one backstage tour (for two).
  • Invitation to a special event surrounding the Hart Institute for Women Conductors program.

Memberships are $60 for an individual and $120 for two. (None of those old-fashioned discounts for being coupled-up.) Registration is open now.

More community events
Crescendo is part of an overall initiative to reach further into the community — both in person and virtually — as part of Dallas Opera's 65th Anniversary Season, they say.

In one big change from years past, the season will not start with the glittering and exclusive "First Sight/First Night" luncheon and gala. Instead, they're kicking off with a two-night "Evening Under the Stars" concert and bring-your-own-picnic event for the public at Dallas Arboretum, September 13-14. (Tickets are $10-$25.)

A free People’s Choice Concert of opera hits will then take place at 3 pm October 1 at the Winspear Opera House. In a modern twist, it will be live-streamed straight to streaming devices, and in an effort to boost "engagement," audience members will get to vote for their favorite selection and hear it again as the final encore.

The opera is also bringing back the popular OperaTruck for outdoor concerts on an 18-wheel flatbed, outdoor mobile stage. Free performances of a family-friendly, 30-minute TDO production of The Billy Goats Gruff include:

  • October 15 at White Rock Center of Hope
  • November 12 at South Dallas Cultural Center
  • November 19 at Voice of Hope Ministries
  • April 22 at Klyde Warren Park
  • April 29 at Fair Park

"Whether it is live and in person at the Winspear, at home on a screen, or out in the neighborhood, we hope to make opera more accessible and approachable to the community," said Ian Derrer, Dallas Opera’s Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO, in a statement. "Crescendo is an exciting new initiative to attract the next generation of operagoers — and we hope livestreaming our annual People’s Choice Concert will achieve the same."

Photo by Maskot/Getty

Dallas clocks in as the 8th fastest-growing U.S. city for freelancers

For hire

More and more people in Dallas are working on their own schedules. Fiverr, a marketplace for connecting freelancers and new clients, released its fifth annual Freelance Economic Impact Report, ranking Dallas as the eighth fastest-growing city for freelancers.

According to the report, 177,556 independent workers in Dallas made about $7.6 billion in 2021. This, compared to the city's pool of 119,636 freelance workers who made about $4.6 billion 10 years ago, in 2011.

Austin was the highest-ranking city in Texas, at No. 4. Austin's 77,262-person independent workforce earned $3.4 billion in 2021, compared to approximately 57,000 independent workers who made $2.3 billion just five years ago, in 2016.

Houston landed at No. 10 on the list. About 144,000 freelance workers in Houston made $6.6 billion in 2021.

This means per-capita revenue was similar in all three top-10 Texas cities, with Houston leading (around $46,000), and Austin and Dallas trailing very close together (around $44,000 and $43,000, respectively).

In Dallas, creatives represented the smallest portion (17.5 percent) of the city’s freelance revenue last year. Skilled professional services made up the largest portion (53 percent), followed by skilled technical services (29 percent).

Professional workers, as a whole, earned more than those in other fields in 2021, as follows:

  • Creative workers: $725,249,903
  • Technical workers: $3,002,880,686
  • Professional workers: $3,918,657,199

Joining the Austin, Dallas, and Houston in the top 10 fastest-growing cities for freelancers were:

1. Orlando, Florida
2. Nashville, Tennessee
3. Miami, Florida
5. Tampa, Florida
6. Las Vegas, Nevada
7. Charlotte, North Carolina
9. Portland, Oregon

Although on the surface the report focuses on geography, it collected data that shows eight out of 10 freelancers believe they can live anywhere and work anytime. However, fewer than half reported that it was “a primary factor” in becoming freelancers, and a third said that work was “a primary influence” in their choice of location.

Most important, 70 percent of respondents said they were “highly satisfied” with working independently.

Photo by Bob Manzano & BTobinPhoto

Dallas' rosiest spring charity gala comes back in bloom to raise $200,000

Yellow Rose Gala

What: Back in Bloom: The Yellow Rose Gala — An Evening Benefiting Progressive MS Research

Where: DVH Artworks

The 411: On Thursday, May 12, more than 200 guests gathered at artist Deborah Hartigan Viestenz’s Design District gallery to toast the return of the Yellow Rose Gala. Appropriately themed "Back in Bloom" after the pandemic pause, the evening celebrated the memory and legacy of founder Dee Wynne.

Attendees, dressed in their snappiest "artistic chic" attire, enjoyed light bites, cocktails, and the chance to admire the gallery's beautiful art.

No one took to heart the organization's aim and theme to heart more than Yellow Rose president Fallon Wynne Way, who honored her mother (Dee Wynne) by painting the Yellow Rose mission and quotes about curing MS in yellow on her full-length dress. Also dressed in "yellow rose," event chairwoman Sheree J. Wilson, star of hit series Dallas and Walker Texas Ranger, welcomed the crowd.

“This is a cause that’s close to my heart,” she told the audience. “My dearest friend and one and only agent, Vicki Light, was diagnosed with MS at the age of 35 and I’m passionate about finding a cure.”

Wilson led the group in a "4-Minute Challenge," which alone raised over $10,000. The foundation also took time to honor memory of an MS warrior who recently passed, Walker Bateman IV.

The evening was capped off with a luxury auction, raffle, entertainment by Pocket Tangerine, and, of course, signature yellow roses from Cebolla Fine Flowers.

In total, the 2022 gala raised nearly $200,000, with 100 percent going directly toward MS research through the International Progressive MS Alliance.

Established by Dee and Jimmy Wynne in April 1986 — shortly after Dee’s diagnosis with multiple sclerosis — the Yellow Rose Foundation was re-established by their children, Fallon Wynne Way and Todd Wynne, following Dee's passing in 2014. Since then, it has not only raised crucial funds for MS research but has become one of the most treasured charity galas for Dallas young professionals.

For more information about the organization and its work, visit theyellowrose.org.

Who: Andrea Alcorn, Roxane West, Nancy Harte, Jane Lombardi, Trey Pederson, Tracy Perry, Sarah Taylor Pederson, Katherine Wynne, Brendan Wynne, Patrick Sands, Kristy Sands, Landry Champlin, Jaelene Luper, Mallory Lorant, Dora Chu, Elisabeth Grant, Kay Kennedy, Lee Baldwin, Ladd Weber, James Wynne, Wesley Way, Todd Wynne, and Katie Wynne.

Andrea Alcorn, Roxane West, Sheree J. Wilson

Photo by Bob Manzano & BTobinPhoto
Andrea Alcorn, Roxane West, Sheree J. Wilson
Photo courtesy of Gittings

Glamorous Dallas Symphony debutantes dip, dance, and debut at 2022 Presentation Ball

Ladies in white

What: The Dallas Symphony Orchestra League 36th Presentation Ball

Where: Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center

The 411: The DSOL introduced 48 debutantes at the annual glamorous ball on Saturday, February 12. This year's event was chaired by Elizabeth Gambrell, with Venise Stuart as DSOL president and Sherwood Wagner serving as honorary chair.

Upon their presentation on stage, each deb showed off her best "Texas dip" in front of the appreciative crowd. After being escorted offstage by members of the Honor Guard, the young women celebrated with their families at an elegant dinner-dance in the Meyerson's lobby.

“The ball was the culmination of a season of events which started in May 2021,” says Stuart. “It has provided an opportunity for these young debutantes and their honor guard escorts to experience the excitement and beauty of our world-class Dallas Symphony Orchestra and become our city's next generation of symphony and arts supporters.”

The Presentation Ball, first staged in 1987, is the largest fundraiser for the DSOL. More than $12 million has been raised for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through the annual event. It was the vision of long-time League member Tincy Miller, who also chaired the first event.

Founded in 1946, the DSOL supports the Dallas Symphony Orchestra through service, education, and fundraising activities. It has contributed more than $20 million to the association to date.

Who: The 2021-22 debutantes were (in alphabetical order) Nora Arnold, Virginia Baker, Bailey Beaird, Cambridge Bender, London Boscamp, Abigail Brannon, Riley Cheek, Grace Condon, Amelia Cox, Erin Daugherty, Eliza Davis, Katherine Downing, Katherine Edwards, Katie Elliott, Virginia Fielder, Sydney Goodiel, Katherine Hancock, Emily Hea, Reva Henderson, Ava Heppner, Julia Hicks, Stephanie Hirschbrich, Sophie Hung, Madigan Jacoby, Grace Judin, Claire Koonsman, Story Langston, Ashley Laughlin, McKinley Lawson, Brooke Marvel, Ashlyn Meuse, Anna Mikeska, Kate Murray, Ashlee Newton, Abbey Perry, Mary Tarver Reid, Anna Robinowitz, Annie Sawers, Bella Scott, Sarah Smith, Lydia Szuwalski, Margaret Thompson, Samantha Ungerman, Ella Varel, Annie Walker, Elizabeth Walsh, Tory Wicklund, and Kelsey Wittmann.

They were supported by their families, many of whom have second- and third-generation honorees in attendance. Janie and David Condon’s daughter Grace, for example, was the third debutante in the family to be presented.

And then there's this cute story: Margaret and Barry Hancock’s daughter Katherine made her debut this year. Daughter Mary Margaret made her debut in 2016 and son James was an Honor Guard in 2020. However, their history with the Presentation Ball dates even further, to the first ball held in 1987, when Barry was an Honor Guard. He met Margaret the next year when she made her debut and they were married a few years later. With Katherine’s debut, all the family members have participated.

“The Presentation Ball brings families and friends together, with friendships old and new creating a Camelot experience to carry you a lifetime,” says Miller. “We do not remember the days, we remember the moments. This is a Camelot moment.”

Mary Margaret, Barry, Katherine, Margaret, and James Hancock

Photo courtesy of Gittings
Mary Margaret, Barry, Katherine, Margaret, and James Hancock
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Gala led by Dallas' most VIP couple scores top spot in this week's 5 hottest headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Dallas' most VIP couple leads all-star gala for Perot Museum 10th anniversary. The 10th anniversary of a Dallas landmark deserves a star-studded party and a few fireworks, too — and that's exactly what the Perot Museum of Nature and Science did to celebrate its milestone birthday. Dallas' most VIP couple led the festivities. Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki co-chaired the 10th anniversary Night at the Museum Gala on Saturday, November 12.

2. Dallas hires Martine Elyse Philippe as new director of arts and culture. The city of Dallas has a new Arts boss: Martine Elyse Philippe, who has worked in arts administration and the nonprofit world, has been appointed Director of the Office of Arts & Culture, a division of the City Manager's Office that fosters partnerships and support with arts and cultural organizations.

3. Record store in Dallas' Oak Cliff to spin off hip new restaurant-lounge. There's a hip new lounge bar restaurant opening in Dallas' Bishop Arts: Called Ladylove, it's going into the favorably located space previously occupied by Dallas Grilled Cheese Co., and is forecast to open in early 2023. Ladylove, whose subhead is "Lounge & Sound," is from David Grover and Kate Siamro, the same amazing team who own Spinster Records, the vinyl record store in Bishop Arts.

4. New Uptown Dallas movie theater sets opening date in time for the holidays. A little over a year after it was first announced, Violet Crown Cinema will open its first Dallas theater in West Village in early December. The theater is located in the former Magnolia Theater, which closed when the pandemic hit in March 2020 and never reopened.

5. Dallas university among best in U.S. for entrepreneurship programs, says Princeton Review. Dallas entrepreneurs, take note. The University of Texas at Dallas is near the top of its class among the country's best entrepreneurship programs. UTD's Naveen Jindal School of Management appears at No. 12 for best graduate entrepreneurship program and No. 25 for best undergraduate entrepreneurship program on new lists from The Princeton Review.

Longtime Mexican restaurant in Deep Ellum closes, breastaurant on the way

Deep Ellum News

A longtime Mexican restaurant in Deep Ellum is closing: Maracas Cocina Mexicana, which has been in business at 2914 Main St. in one form or another since 1992, will close this weekend, to be replaced with another concept whose identity is still to be (officially) announced.

The restaurant is going out with a goodbye party on November 25, at 5 pm, with a DJ and its signature cheap drinks.

They've already started clearing out equipment and this will be their final weekend. A staffer speaking for the restaurant said that current owner, who asked not to be named but also owns a number of Mexican sandwich shops around DFW, is doing a rebranding.

"It's re-opening as a breastaurant, and the menu will be more focused on Mexican seafood," the staffer said.

The working title for the new concept is La Toxica Mariscos Y Micheladas.

Maracas' long history began in 1992 when it was was founded as Monica's Aca Y Alla, named for founder and veteran restaurateur Monica Greene, who opened it on what was then the eastern, rather sleepy edge of Deep Ellum. (Actually, it was originally Eduardo's Aca Y Alla, founded prior to Monica's transgender transformation in 1993.)

By 2012, Greene became restless after 20 years with what she perceived as sluggish development in Deep Ellum — a sad irony since the neighborhood started to blow up just a couple of years later.

She handed over the reins to managers Jose Sanchez and Angel Borjas, who kept much of what it had been — cheap and affordable Tex-Mex, a laid-back party atmosphere — and rebranded it as Maracas. The current owner came on board in 2014.

At 30 years, the restaurant is easily one of the longest running in Deep Ellum. When it opened, restaurants were somewhat of a minority in a neighborhood dominated by live music clubs. Now restaurants are the majority, and clubs have become the minority instead.

Some of Maracas' employees have worked there for decades, and are reportedly being given the option to work at the owner's other establishments.

The Friday night party will be $15 at the door, which gets you appetizers. Otherwise, patrons can order off the menu. House margaritas will be $4.50 and beers will be $5.

The restaurant will be be open as Maracas for the remainder of the weekend, including brunch: from 11 am-11 pm Saturday and 11 am-9 pm on Sunday.

"It's been a watering hole for many of us for so many years!" says Kendell Liptrap, a regular.

Where to eat on Christmas 2022 at Dallas restaurants

Holiday News

It seems impossible to fathom but we've reached that point where we are starting to think about Christmas, and restaurants are already cooking up options, whether you're looking to dine out or grab something to take home.

This list has a little bit of everything: places that are open on Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, or places doing take-out only. As the holiday draws nearer, the list will surely grow; check back for updates, which we'll make as they come in.

Here's our list of Christmas dining options. (Restaurants with names in bold are open on Christmas Day.)

City Hall Bistro. Restaurant at the Adolphus has a three-course menu featuring squash & kale salad, honey baked ham, cornbread dressing, candied yams, pumpkin pie, and Texas praline crunch brownie. Additional items are available for an extra cost including prime rib and salmon. 12–8 pm. $70. 214-651-3686.

Commons Club at Virgin Hotels Dallas. Open Christmas Eve for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 5-10 pm. Open Christmas Day for brunch 11-2 pm, and Christmas Day dinner from 5-10 pm. 469-359-7700.

Dive Coastal Cuisine. To-go items include mini potato latkes, bruschetta ciabatta crostinis, charcuterie, chicken, beef tenderloin, whipped or whole sweet potatoes, holiday everything salad, and whole key lime pie. Order by December 21. 214-891-1700. Closed Christmas Day.

Dolce Riviera. Special edition Feast of the Seven Fishes menu. $85. December 19–December 24. 469-458-6623. Closed Christmas Day.

Encina. Oak Cliff restaurant is open Christmas Eve for brunch and dinner, plus brunch on Christmas Day, with the full regular menu as well as seasonal offerings including Strauss Farms veal cheeks with truffled polenta, ricotta cavatelli Bolognese, and Sonoma Farms duck leg confit with chermoula cauliflower & curried squash. Brunch 10 am-2 pm, dinner 5-8 pm. 469-620-3644.

Fogo de Chão. Open Christmas Eve 11 am–9:30 pm and Christmas Day 11 am–9 pm.

Gorji. Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 6-8 pm with 3- or 4-course meal featuring choices from garlic and Bulgarian feta with pita, chili & yogurt over grilled chilled avocado, baby greens & strawberries, Romaine & kale Caesar, turkey, pork chop, langoustine tails, sea bass & shrimp over cauliflower puree, 6-oz tenderloin with gorgonzola gnocchi, spinach cheese lasagna, strawberries and kefir, or flourless chocolate cake. $99 to $115, no-tip required. 972-503-7080.

Knife Dallas. Open Christmas Day 5-10 pm with regular menu. 214-443-9339.

Kona Grill. Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 11 am-11 pm, with full menu as well as holiday specials. 214-945-2500.

Mercat Bistro. Christmas Day brunch with festive 3-course menu. $68. Make reservations to sit in the restaurant’s famous Polar Bear section. 10 am–3 pm. 214-953-0917.

Magnolias Sous Le Pont. Open Christmas Day morning with winter themed beverages including Toffee Crunch Affogato, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and frozen peppermint mocha. 469-249-9222.

Postino WineCafe. Family-size to-go menu feeds up to 15, including two starters, bruschetta platter, and salad. Add-ons are available for an additional cost. $285, Order by December 23. 972-210-2102. Closed Christmas Day.

Tacodeli. Chile En Nogada and Spiked Horchata, available for dine-in or to-go.Available through December 23. West Dallas – 214-760-1930; The Hill – 214-206-8980; Park & Preston (Plano) – 972-200-5101; Parkwood (Plano) – 214-997-6047. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

TJ’s Seafood Market. Holiday to-go menu includes holiday platters, shrimp, smoked salmon, oysters, and gumbo. Order by December 23 for pickup December 24. Preston Royal – 214-691-2369; Oak Lawn – 214-219-3474. Closed Christmas Day.

Sassetta. Joule hotel restaurant is doing a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner December 23-24 from 5–10:45 pm. Courses include dip with crostini, scallop crudo, cioppino, pasta vongole, pasta puttanesca, and branzino. $130, includes valet and complimentary cocktail. Menu is online. 214-290-7555. Closed Christmas Day.

SusieCakes. Christmas desserts include chocolate candy cane cake, holiday cupcakes, cupcakes, frosted sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, and decorating kits. Order by December 24. Preston Center – 214-983-2253; Hillside – 945-245-2253. Closed Christmas Day.

Ten50 BBQ. To-go smoked meats, sides, and desserts. Order by December 21 for pickup by December 24. 1-855-QUE-1050 or email catering@ten50bbq.com. Closed Christmas Day.