Students launch literary and arts magazine 'Tale of One City'

Two SMU students this fall invited Dallas high school students to “tell us about your life in Dallas” in words and images.

Two SMU students this fall invited Dallas high school students to “tell us about your life in Dallas” in words and images.

They received more than 130 submissions from 18 public and private schools across Dallas for their new online bilingual literary and arts magazine, “Tale of One City,” which was featured Sunday, March 6, in The Dallas Morning News.

“We were both moved and humbled by the broad range of experiences represented by the students’ work,” says SMU senior Rebecca Quinn. “These pieces prove that Dallas is not a homogeneous city.”

Quinn launched “Tale of One City” with senior Drew Konow through SMU’s Big iDeas undergraduate research program, which awards grants to student teams to investigate challenges facing the city. They were inspired to develop the magazine after studying Dallas’ decades-long struggle to desegregate its schools, Quinn says.

“We hope to encourage communication among different ethnic and socioeconomic groups in Dallas,” she says. “We really believe in the power of literature and the arts, and in giving people a forum to express themselves.”

Quinn is an SMU President’s Scholar from Dallas who is majoring in Spanish and French in Dedman College and art history in Meadows School of the Arts. Konow, of Baton Rouge, La., is a religious studies and foreign languages and literatures major, with a human rights minor, in Dedman College.

In November, the high school students shared their words and images with campus and community members during a coffeehouse discussion at the SMU student center. Their submissions were judged by SMU faculty and students, as well as Dallas community leaders. North Dallas High School students Amy Mosqueda, 16, and Simon Nolasco, 18, won the first-place $500 and runner-up $250 scholarships, respectively.

See the Tale of One City website for more about the contest and the winners.

The Winners
First Place
Old East Dallas by AMY M of North Dallas High School - oil pastel on board
Second Place
Karma by SIMON N of North Dallas High School - pencil and ink on paper
My piece was inspired by every guy that lives in my hood. The hazardous sign resembles danger and violence, it's like wars on the streets. The blue bandanna stands for the gangs on the east side of Dallas and him being forced by society to be a gang member. The blood dripping from his eyes stands for the pain, he doesn’t want to see all the violence going on. The glow behind him stands for him being destined for greatness if he just believes. And I decided to make it all blue to resemble sadness to show how cold the world could be. It symbolizes that my city is my hood that is falling apart. The rose symbolizes the love for my city.
(Click the images for larger versions.)

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