THE BAKER IDEA INSTITUTE: Featured Story - Feb 2019

Paul Baker’s Impact on the Dallas Arts and Culture Community
Celebrated at Inaugural Event
New Documentary, Conversations and Art Exhibit Make Up
A Baker Weekend

Dallas Children’s Theater and Baker Idea Institute convene local and national artists and residents for a new documentary, conversations, presentations and art exhibit on the legacy of Dr. Paul Baker, March 29 and March 30 at Dallas Children’s Theater and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

A Baker Weekend is divided into three parts to encourage guests to attend as much of the event as possible. Registration is free but required at

“A Baker Weekend is the best way I can think of to honor the roots of the collective organizations that have evolved in our city as a result of the genius of our own Texas visionary, Dr. Paul Baker,” says Robyn Flatt, Founder and Executive Artistic Director of Dallas Children’s Theater. “As founder of the Dallas Theater Center and the first Director of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Baker’s legacy continues to flourish and inspire artists, educators and administrators. A Baker Weekend brings everyone together to look at his philosophy, and contribution and impact on the field of artistic creativity.”

Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Arts District, Ignite Arts Dallas, SMU Meadows School of the Arts and the Office of Cultural Affairs City of Dallas are joining together to promote and support A Baker Weekend.

“Paul Baker was a visionary artist. His work as the founder and leader of Dallas Theater Center for twenty-five years serves not only as an amazing story that’s a beautiful window into the past, but also as a source of inspiration for all of us as we look to the future. It is for this reason that we are honored to be a partner in A Baker Weekend,” says Kevin Moriarty, Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director.

Dr. Scott Rudes, Principal, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts,
shares “Dr. Paul Baker was the founding Director of Booker T. Washington High School
for the Performing and Visual Arts and since 1976 his genius and passion for the arts and
academics has propelled generations of students on to a multitude of careers, not only in the arts,
but in academia and engineering and in the sciences. That is a true testament to his vision of
what this school should be. It should be a place to celebrate the learning and the genius
that is inherent in every student.”

A Baker Weekend Program

Friday, March 29 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Dallas Children’s Theater, 5938 Skillman St.
* Meet and Greet
* Sneak Peek of Documentary about Dr. Paul Baker
   with an introduction by Kevin Moriarty
   and remarks from Robyn Flatt and Reis Meyers McCormack, Film Maker
* Clips from the Archives: The Baker Legacy
   with introduction by Robert Flynn, Author and Texas Literary Hall of Fame Honoree
* Reception

Saturday, March 30 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Booker T. Washington HSPVA, 2501 Flora St.

* Baker Theatrical Journey Tour and Art Exhibit: 50 Years of Paul Baker
   with an introduction by Lily Weis,
   Executive Director of the Dallas Arts District
   Made up of 20 panels each 4’ x 8’ in size, this exhibit was created under the guidance of
   Kitty and Paul Baker and contains photographs of productions and verbal explanations
   of the relationship between the production and the visual art that inspired staging concepts.
   A significant portion of the exhibit will be displayed at the school
   for the entire week of March 25 - 30.
   This exhibit was originally developed for a celebration honoring Baker and his work
   at the Baylor Theater and the Dallas Theater Center in 1990.

Saturday, March 30 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Dallas Children’s Theater.
Dialogue and discussion with esteemed guests from the local, state and national arts scene.
* Passion of the Vision
   with Robert Johnson, Sherry Kafka Wagner and Ted Perry on films, visionaries and ideas.
   Panel discussion over lunch.
* Vision for the Impractical Idea:
   How Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts became a reality
   with John Paul Batiste, Dr. Rosann McLaughlin Cox, Dr. Nolan Estes, Rene Martinez
   and moderated by Dr. Scott Rudes, BTWHSPVA principal – panel discussion.
* And the Beat Goes On: Paul Baker’s Living Legacy with Octavio Solis
   moderated by Dr. Deborah Mogford with Other Voices from the National Scene:
   Open Mic Stories – panel discussion and sharing.
* The Impractical Vision Lives On
   with Katherine Krzys, Archivist, Actress, Director and Theater for Youth Historian
   A video presentation celebrating the opening of DCT’s permanent home
   at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts.

Schedule, participants, speakers and event venue subject to change.

Dallas Children’s Theater features professional actors performing for an annual audience of 250,000 young people and their families through mainstage productions (10 in the 2018-19 season), a national -touring company, and an arts-in-education program. As the only major organization in Dallas focusing solely on youth and family theater, DCT builds bridges of understanding between generations and cultures, instilling an early appreciation of literature, art, and the performing arts in tomorrow’s artists and patrons.

The Baker Idea Institute (BII) was established as a home base for the study, nurture and promotion of creative ideas; the encouragement of dialogue; and the application of non-hierarchical collaboration among educators, artists and theater professionals. The Baker pedagogy, detailed in the groundbreaking book Integration of Abilities, allows for an infinite number of ways to explore a problem by juxtaposing innate perspectives from each of the five senses. Past BII programming delved into subjects such as creative pathways to conflict resolution, learning differences, bullying and teen mental health. Most recently, BII’s Play in Progress series has focused on the creation of new work and has led the way for this original work to be put on DCT stages including Teen Brain: The Musical, Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet and Treasure Island Reimagined.

Story by Alayna Chabot

... genius must be discovered
and exercised
and given a chance to express itself.



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