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Here’s what to expect from Fort Worth’s art scene in the first half of 2024

January 2,2024

See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by James Russel here.

In 2024, we can expect dinner table arguments about elections, the latest uproar about social issues and plenty of local arts and culture happenings from January to June (and in one case July). They include another year of risk taking, balancing those risks with mainstays and old quirky favorites. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the first half of the year.


Fort Worth in many ways a city of festivals, with art, music and performing events year round. And our museums and universities add to our intellectual life with talks, symposia and as venues for festivals.

Here are some of those to check out.

▪ The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum, having dodged closure, holds an open house at its new location at 2201 Dottie Lynn Parkway, Suite 115 takes place on 5:30-8 p.m. on Jan. 10.

▪ The American Institute of Architects Fort Worth begins another year of building tours on Jan. 18 at Discovery Studio Tour at Wings of Hope in Cleburne. Their honor awards ceremony takes place at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 17 at The Modern. Tickets are free for members and $25 for non-members. More information at

▪ The annual Django Reinhardt Festival, a delightful and quirky three-day music festival celebrating the music of the late Jean Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt with movies, concerts and food, takes place Jan. 26-28 at Arts Fifth Avenue.

▪ TCU holds the inaugural A Seat at the Table: Black History Designer Symposium on from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Brown-Lupton University Union Room 300, featuring keynote speaker International Interior Design Association Executive Director Cheryl S. Durst and a panel discussion with leading Black designers about Black design history. The event is free.

▪ The Fort Worth African American Roots Music Festival takes place from noon-10 p.m. March 16 at the Southside Preservation Hall and Rose Chapel featuring headliners Lizzie No and Jerron Paxton.

▪ On April 1, is the biennial TCU Texas Book Award, given to the author of the best book about Texas. Previous award winners include Julia Sweig and Rick Bass.

▪ Nishi Fest, a seasonal celebration of anime, gaming, and Asian pop culture in North Texas, takes place April 20- 22 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center.

▪ In the Near Southside, the annual pedestrian-only event Open Streets shuts down Magnolia Avenue and turns it into a pedestrian-only space on April 13.

▪ The next week, the annual Main Street Arts Festival takes place April 18-21 downtown. While not scheduled yet, the smaller Fort Worth Art Fair featuring local artists and galleries takes place simultaneously.

▪ The fifth annual Fort Worth Tattoo Arts Festival runs June 7-9 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

▪ The Mimir Chamber Music Festival presents its 27th season from July 1-12 at the TCU School of Music and the Kimbell’s Renzo Piano Pavilion. This year includes leaders of the Chicago Symphony, Houston Symphony and The Cleveland Orchestra joined by the renowned Horszowski Trio.


Another year of gallery changes has not stopped people from opening new venues and taking on risky programming.

College galleries, including at TCU, Texas Wesleyan, UT Arlington and Tarrant County College, feature works by graduating undergraduates and graduate students.

▪ The Galleries at UTA present Benito Huerta / Chaffee + Huerta Collaborative from Jan. 20-March 30. The two-person show with retired gallery director Huerta and local artist Janet Chaffee, who uses natural elements as well as paint.

▪ At the Kimbell Art Museum, “Bonnard’s World’s” about Pierre Bonnard was a painter, illustrator and printmaker, influential mover in the Post-Impressionist movement, runs through Jan. 28. For fans of war, fabrics or history, the go-to show will likely be “Art and War in the Renaissance: The Battle of Pavia Tapestries,” which runs June 16–Sept. 15. Their Friday Evening lectures continue and the hit Artist’s Eye series continues features local artist Nic Nicosia from 11 a.m. to noon Feb. 17.

▪ The retrospective of Native American artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith closes on Jan. 21 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Then “Surrealism and Us: Caribbean and African Diasporic Artists since 1940” runs March 10-July 28. Inspired by the history of Surrealism in the Caribbean with connections to the United States, it presents over 50 works from the 1940s to the present day, including painting, sculpture, drawing, video and installation.

▪ Running through April 24 at the Sid Richardson Museum is “Charles M. Russell: Storyteller Across Media,” showcasing the artist’s fascination with storytelling.

▪ Running from Jan. 25-Feb. 22 at Tarrant County College’s South Campus’s Carillon Gallery, undoubtedly one of the best in the city, is “Pavlina Vagioni: Gorgon.” The Greek multimedia artist based in Athens and Houston reconsiders and rethinks Greek myths.

▪ Despite uncertainty surrounding its future, Arts Fort Worth continues to present a diverse array of programming. It begins the year with open studio spaces for artists at 1 p.m. Jan. 6.

▪ “Soy de Tejas,” an exhibition showcasing 40 contemporary Texas artists of Latin American around themes such as identity, mythology and modern political themes from March 29-June 22. It’s curated by Rigoberto Luna and comes Centro de Artes in San Antonio.

▪ At Artspace 111 (111 Hampton), check out two shows: “BANG BANG: A Show About Texas,” a solo show of work by self-taught artist Tyler Casey, who is inspired by pop culture and history, from Feb. 8-March 16, and a show of Layla Luna’s haunting, emotional paintings runs from June 6-July 27.

▪ Running Jan. 13-Feb. 29 at Bale Creek Gallery (120 St. Louis Ave. Unit 149) is “Hell’s Half Acre,” a solo show of Bruce Lee Webb. The Waxahachie artists runs Webb Gallery with his wife Julie. Perhaps one of the best galleries just outside of the Metroplex features outsider and self-taught artists.

▪ J. Peeler Howell Fine Art (3521 Locke Ave.) continues the theme of the previous group show “Sonder” with “Sonder 2.0,” another reflection of life’s complexities and people’s complete unawareness. It runs through March 16. Opening in March is the group exhibition Vernal, featuring new and familiar artists exploring ideas of light and illumination. He continues his series of public talks with one about defending the humanities from 6-7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 and artist Brenda Chiardiello tentatively scheduled from 6-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 15.

▪ “2023 Wrapped: Celebrating A Year of Art” remains on display at William Campbell Contemporary’s Foch Street location (217 Foch St.) through Jan. 13. Running at the same location from Jan. 27-March 9 is the two-person Luther Smith + Beverly Penn: Symbiosis: “Nature Revealed.” Smith, a retired TCU professor of photography who looks at nature and the built environment, displays alongside Penn, a sculptor who modifies and interrogates the environment. An exhibit of works by the late Woodrow Blagg of the well-known family of artists runs Jan. 11-27 at the original location (4935 Byers Ave.).

▪ The Fort Worth Art Dealers Association’s Spring Gallery Night takes place once again at venues across the county on March 30, with the above venue showing as well as Gallery 440 (440 S. Main St.), which presents “Affirmations” curated by Ariel Davis and featuring artists from the Fort Worth Art Collective. Artist Red Milk Crone displays at The Pool Near Southside (1801 8th Ave.) beginning March 23. More details to come.

▪ Among the shows running at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden are 21 sculptures by the late Seward Johnson running March 1-Sept. 1. Expect surprises as you encounter sculptures that fool the eye and beg for double takes.

▪ And don’t forget the ongoing visual arts events is second Friday of each month when Sinaca Studios hosts a guest artist for an open studio night.

▪ Watch out for shows at some of the city’s other galleries and cultural centers, including 400H, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Arlington Museum of Art, Artes de la Rosa, Blind Alley Projects, Caravan of Dreams, Easyside, Fort Works Art and Kinfolk House.


In the theater, some companies celebrate anniversaries with premieres, mainstays and special programming.

▪ The Stolen Shakespeare Guild’s festival returns Feb. 23-March 10 with rotating performances of the classics “Romeo and Juliet” and “Much Ado About Nothing” in the Sanders Theater at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.

▪ Casa Manana presents “Once,” the award-winning musical about an unexpected friendship that evolves into a powerful and complicated love story from March 2-10. In the Reid Cabaret Theatre, check out “The Music of Elton John” from June 11-22, featuring appearances by some of Broadway’s top stars belting out the singer’s top hits.

▪ Stage West presents “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive” by Selina Fillinger, about the seven women who keep an unruly president under control, from March 2-24. It is followed by “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Elusive Ear” by David MacGregor, a Sherlock Holmes mystery with a zany twist, which runs from June 6-23. It hosts “The Art of Burlesque: History and Some Hands On!” with Ms. Red Snapper from 6-7:30 p.m. on April 2.

▪ Circle Theatre’s season begins with the regional premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s “Artemisia,” about the 17th century painter Artemisia Gentileschi, whose “Judith and Holofernes” displayed at the Kimbell in 2020, and runs Feb. 1-24. Taylor Staniforth directs. Running from March 21-April 13 is the regional premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Water by the Spoonful,” described as a heartfelt meditation on lives on the brink of redemption. Alexandra Hernandez directs.

▪ Amphibian Stage Productions celebrates its 25th anniversary with “Instructions for a Séance,” an experimental theater piece by Katie Bender and inspired by Harry Houdini, running Feb. 2-11. Lily Wolff directs. Running April 5-28 is George Brant’s musical “Marie and Rosetta,” about influential rock and roll musicians Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Marie Knight. A director and music director have not been announced. “SparkFest,” the annual performing arts festival returns June 13-26. It also continues its National Theatre Live series at the Modern.

▪ Jubilee Theater continues its packed season with Donald McNeilly and Frank Cullen’s “Bread ‘n’ Gravy,” the songs and life about famed Black singer and actress Ethel Waters, which runs Feb. 2 to March 3. D. Wambui Richardson directs. Richardson also directs Keenan Scott’s “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” about seven unnamed Black men in Brooklyn who viewers only know through distinct traits. It runs May 31-June 30.

▪ Theatre Arlington’s season begins with the red hot musical “Cabaret,” about survival in a Berlin nightclub as the Third Reich comes to power, from Feb. 9-March 3. Douglas Lyon’s “Chicken and Biscuits,” a comedy directed by Sheran Goodspeed Keyton, follows a family trying to bury their father only to find out a dark secret. It runs June 7-23.

▪ Performing Arts Fort Worth’s Broadway at the Bass and BNSF Popular Entertainment seasons include the new musical Disney’s “Aladdin,” running from Jan. 31-Feb 4 and the hit musical “Hamilton” June 11-23. Popular entertainment artists include Robert Earl Keen on Jan. 13 and the The One O’Clock Lab Band on May 3.

▪ At Dickies Arena is the hit group Cirque de Soleil, presenting “Cirque de Soleil Crystal,” fusing ice skating with their definitive acrobatics, visits Dickies Arena from Feb. 15-Feb. 18. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.


The Big Four (The Cliburn, Fort Worth Opera, Fort Worth Symphony and Texas Ballet Theater) close out their seasons, and don’t just perform anymore at Bass Hall.

▪ Driving the opera’s season are shows such as “dwb (driving while black),” directed by rising star Ayvaunn Penn about a mother who watches her “beautiful brown boy” face the realities of modern life as a Black person in the United States. It runs Feb. 16-17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Van Cliburn Recital Hall at TCU and Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. at the Kimbell. The opera returns to Bass Hall with the classic “La Bohème.” It runs April 5 at 7:30 p.m. and April 7 ay 2 p.m.

▪ The Fort Worth Symphony’s season includes acclaimed opera singer Renée Fleming and leading baritone Rod Gilfry belting out some of Broadway’s favorite songs at 7 p.m. Feb. 17, the immersive “Lasting Impressions” at 7:30 p.m. May 11 at the Will Rogers Auditorium and concludes with a brass instrument concert with a premiere concerto by Kevin Day and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon.

▪ The Cliburn continues its Cliburn Sessions at The Post at River East and the Cliburn at the Kimbell series at the Piano Pavilion. Stanislav Ioudenitch, the 2001 winner, and daughter Maria perform at the Post at 8 p.m. Jan. 31 and the Kimbell at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1. Soloist Gabriel Montero performs at 7:30 p.m. April 25 at the Kimbell and at 8 p.m. April 26 at the Post.

▪ TBT stages “Brilliants,” a mixed repertoire production with four shorter works, which runs Feb. 23-25 at Bass Hall and Beauty and the Beast, the tale as old as time choreographed by Lew Christensen, which runs May 17-19.


▪ From Feb. 17-18, Ballet Fronier of Texas stages the timeless “Romeo & Juliet,” set to Sergei Prokofiev and with a new take by Artistic Director Chung Lin Tseng. Taking place April 20-21 is Director’s Choice, featuring “Carnival of the Animals” and Tseng’s other choices. Concerts at I.M. Terrell Academy.

▪ The Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth presents “Curtis on Tour,” featuring students from the Curtis Institute of Music and violinist Ben Beilan on Feb. 24. Hungarian pianist Dénes Várjon makes his debut on May 4. Concerts begin at 2 p.m. with a pre-concert discussion at 1:15 p.m. at The Modern.

▪ Ballet Concerto gets people outside for its 42nd year of summer performances at 8:30 p.m. June 20-23 at The Shops at Clearfork in Fort Worth, featuring choreography by Spanish dance master Luis Montero will present work choreographed in the Spanish idiom and resident choreographer Elise Lavallee. Lawn seats are free but seats and package deals can be reserved at

▪ The Allegro Guitar Society brings in internationally renowned Korean guitarist Bokyung Byun at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 7. Manuel Barrueco, one of the most important guitarists in the world, performs at 2:30 p.m. April 7. All concerts are at the Piano Pavilion at Kimbell.

▪ Fort Worth Chorale and Voices of Fort Worth perform “The Inventors,” with composer Jocelyn Hagen’s The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci with an immersive multimedia presentation at 3:30 p.m. April 14 at I.M. Terrell. 

▪ Wrapping up our list is a concert by the new Ensemble Iona with selections by National Medal of Arts winner Morten Lauridsen and British up and comer Jonathan Dove at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church. The concert is free but a $25 donation is suggested.

Locations Mentioned: Artspace 111, Bass Performance Hall, Circle Theatre, Jubilee Theatre