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Think Big. SMU & Dallas.

Big on Arts


Hear that applause? That’s for you, as you unleash your creativity on campus and in Dallas, where the staggering array 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 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 love.


Dallas, the nation’s fifth-largest media market, is home to the largest urban arts district in the United States. The Dallas Arts District comprises the city’s leading visual and performing arts institutions; world-class museums; and a luminous cluster of performing arts spaces, including the Winspear Opera House – called America’s finest opera house by Opera magazine.


Make art, make a difference and, yes, even make a living. Meadows School of the Arts enables students to hone their craft and harness the power of social engagement. Innovative programs such as Arts Entrepreneurship teach students how to launch a new arts venture. SMU students are not just consumers of opera, theatre, classical music performances and ballet, but also actors, directors, designers, stage managers and playwrights as they immerse themselves in productions. They gain priceless real-life experiences that empower their transition from classroom to career.


Meadows MuseumWorld-class resources in Dallas abound, like SMU’s Meadows Museum. This esteemed cultural landmark is the repository of one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside Spain.


DancerEach year SMU presents 400-plus music, dance, opera and theatre performances, critically acclaimed by Dallas media as among the region’s best and giving students a unique cache of artistic experience.


The new National Center for Arts Research, the first of its kind in the country, will be a catalyst for the transformation, sustainability and advancement of the national arts and make SMU a national leader in arts research.


Is it possible to quantify the “cool” factor? Forbes can, and it puts Dallas at No. 4 in its list of America’s Coolest Cities. Dallas beats a slew of East Coast and West Coast favorites, including Boston, San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco.

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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 the third Friday of each month.

The Dallas Museum of Art 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.


Dallas Contemporary Edgy exhibitions.

CADD tour Go gallery hopping on board the Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas bus.


Angelika Dallas Eight-screen complex in the heart of Mockingbird Station, near SMU, shows indie and specialty movies and hosts film festivals and more.

Texas Theatre Indie flicks, foreign films and avant-garde cinema at a place steeped in history. What's not to like?

Inwood Theatre New releases, classics, plush seats.


Undermain Theatre Experimental works performed by one of the best small theatres in America, in Deep Ellum.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre Some of the best contemporary modern dance performances.


Good Records Extensive music selection, new releases, vinyl albums, retro throwbacks, live concerts featuring up-and-coming local acts.

The Granada Historic live music venue attracts some of the best acts.

Sons of Hermann Hall Swinging since 1911, plenty of big names have played here. Classic Texas experience.

Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center Great acoustics, home of the world-class Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Winspear Opera House Verdi and other greats are staged at the home of the Dallas Opera, part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District.