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Think Big. SMU & Dallas.

Big on Arts


"My dream is to play in a pit orchestra on Broadway. Getting classically trained in piano at SMU has helped me with technique and given me more confidence. I know I have the preparation – including playing internationally, in South Africa and Indonesia – to pursue the career I want."

— Sarah Lynn Woodruff, Music and Applied Physiology and Health Management double major, at the internationally acclaimed Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in The Dallas Arts District


Hear that applause? That's for you, as you unleash your creativity on campus and in Dallas, where the broad spectrum of resources for the arts will launch your career.

Dallas invites you to live large and think big. Big D animates this slogan spectacularly in its vibrant arts and culture environment. Dallas' size, diversity, world-class museums, including SMU's own Meadows Museum, and awe-inspiring performance venues make it a valuable extension of the classroom and create exceptional opportunities for imaginative students. Whether you're a student of communication, performing or visual arts, the creative spectrum of SMU and Dallas will prepare you for a career you will love.


Our students perform regularly in storied venues in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the largest of its kind in the United States. From dancing at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House – called America's finest opera house by Opera magazine – to acting in hit productions at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, our students gain a unique range of artistic experiences in Dallas' leading arts institutions and performing arts spaces.


College Factual 2014 ranks SMU's Meadows School of the Arts No. 1 in the country for music, ahead of Yale, Princeton, Stanford and other notable universities. Our students are both artists and community influencers. All incoming Meadows students enroll in FACE: First-year Arts Community Experience. Here you’ll learn how to establish a successful arts career by managing the financial side of the business and marketing effectively with a strong online presence, gaining real-world insight on what it means to be a working, entrepreneurial artist.


World-class resources in Dallas abound, such as SMU's Meadows Museum. This esteemed repository of one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art in the world celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015 with special exhibitions showcasing the Museum's international influence as well as academic and cultural leadership. The Abelló Collection: A Modern Taste for European Masters – a blockbuster exhibit making its international debut at the Meadows Museum – and Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting are among the highlights of the Museum's yearlong golden anniversary celebration setting the stage for the beginning of the next 50 years.


SMU's National Center for Arts Research, the first of its kind in the country, is a catalyst for the transformation, sustainability and advancement of the arts, making SMU a national leader in arts research.


Is it possible to quantify the "cool" factor? Forbes 2014 can, and it puts Dallas at No. 10 in its list of America's Coolest Cities. Dallas beats a slew of East Coast and West Coast favorites, including New York and L.A.

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Say yes to dinner and art. Grab a bite at one of the restaurants at One Arts Plaza to begin a great evening out in the Dallas Arts District, where three museums are open late from 6 p.m. to midnight on third Fridays during the year.

The Dallas Museum of Art
Free admission to view thousands of works of art from around the world; Late Nights event offers performances, concerts, readings, film screenings, tours and more.

Nasher Sculpture Center
Urban retreat for modern and contemporary sculpture; 'Til Midnight at the Nasher features outdoor concerts and movie screenings.

Crow Collection of Asian Art
Explore Asia with music, dance, films, tours and more at Crow Collection After Dark.


Klyde Warren Park
Enjoy food trucks, live music, free Wi-Fi and more in this 5.2-acre deck park and urban green space.

Bishop Arts District
Explore an eclectic mix of independent boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, theatres and art galleries in this unique neighborhood.

Trinity Groves
Billed as America’s culinary creative center, this new development attracts talented chefs who boldly embark on culinary adventures in a variety of cuisines to please and educate the palate.

Uptown Dallas
Shopping and dining options are plentiful in this pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood that connects to the Katy Trail – great for walking, running and biking – and the Dallas Arts District.


Dallas International Film Festival
Indie films from around the world are screened, and local filmmakers are promoted on an international stage.

Angelika Dallas
Showing indie and specialty movies, this eight-screen complex at Mockingbird Station, near SMU, hosts film festivals and more.

The Magnolia and Inwood Theatre
New releases, classics, midnight movies.


Meyerson Symphony Center
SMU's Meadows Symphony Orchestra performs at the esteemed home of the world-famous Dallas Symphony Orchestra for the annual "Meadows at the Meyerson" concert.

The Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theatre comprise the AT&T Performing Arts Center, in the Dallas Arts District.

Winspear Opera House
The Dallas Opera shares the stage with Broadway blockbusters.

Wyly Theatre
New musical Stagger Lee, written by SMU Artist-in-Residence Will Power, made its world premiere here.