Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dems get serious about swinging Texas, contemporary art as self-definition, Sam Baker speaks out on getting recognized in public and more.
Democrats across the nation are zeroing in on Texas -- seriously this time. Ringleader Jeremy Bird told Politico the party's countrywide effort "will make Texas a battleground state by treating it like one.” Bird, former field director for President Obama's reelection campaign, is a party dynamo. One of his hopes is to springboard new engagement of Latino and African-American populations by reaching a state where both groups are strongly represented.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, cheers the plan. Republican strategist Dave Carney did too, sort of. He believes the initiative will only help the GOP:
“The more money they spend on [Battleground Texas], the better it is for Texas and the taxpayers of Texas, because it will basically lead to continued conservative dominance of the state. There’s a reason voters are low-propensity voters. They don’t vote. It’s their message that hurts [Democrats]. It’s their inability to articulate a message that the vast majority of Texas voters agree with.”
- Tonight, three influential minds in North Texas' art realm trade ideas on contemporary art with KERA's Jeff Whittington at the Dallas Museum of Art as part of the "State of The Arts" series. Artists and professors Carlos Donjuan and Kim Cadmus Owens join Glasstire critic Lucia Simek, who brought the challenging Twain exhibit to Gray Matters with The Art Foundation. It was all work by anonymous artists, introduced with this mind-bender of a statement about identity and the illusion of attribution. I'm still reflecting on it months later. Invite friends to this promising discussion using the event invite on the KERA News Facebook page.
- The KERA FM pledge drive has begun. If you give this fine Thursday -- and only today -- you'll be entered into a drawing for an iPad. Why else should you give? Because when Morning Edition host Sam Baker meets a listener, he pictures that person the next time he's bringing the news. Sam gives more insight into his passion for serving North Texas in this peek behind the curtain produced by KERA intern Janine Khammash. [$10 COUNTS]
- The ice rink that’s been a fixture in downtown Dallas' Plaza of the Americas is being turned into a mini urban garden by the owners of the complex that includes two office towers and the Marriott City Center hotel. Details so far: there'll be fountains and wifi. [Dallas Business Journal]
- The latest North Texan to attempt American Idol fame is a third-year resident at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Calvin Peters will audition on the show tonight. You have to admit, original Idol Kelly Clarkson's performance at the Inauguration had a certain democratic charge about it, no matter what you thought about her delivery. (Idol Jennifer Hudson’s later appearance needs less justification.) [Dallas Morning News]