Dallas Arboretum Hosts Black Heritage Celebration

Dallas Arboretum holds Black Heritage Celebration
Linda Todd with committee courtesy Dallas Arboretum

Dallas Arboretum hosts their first Black Heritage Celebration with the Summer of Sculpture exhibition and the return of ZimSculpt, a display of Zimbabwean sculpture, May 1. The Saturday event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free with paid garden admission.

Black Heritage Celebration Committee Chair Linda Todd, who’s also a Dallas Arboretum board member, said, “The Black Heritage Celebration at the Arboretum honors and celebrates diversity by showcasing the work of Black designers, artists, entertainers and vendors as they proudly display, engage with and educate the community of the beauty and inspiration of Black culture. This family friendly day also kicks off the opening weekend of the internationally acclaimed ZimSculpt exhibit that promotes the work of more than 100 Zimbabwean sculptures installed throughout the garden.”

Dallas Arboretum holds Black Heritage Celebration
ZimSculpt Communication: Givemore Mashaya photo courtesy Dallas Arboretum

The Black Heritage Celebration Day ties into events surrounding ZimSculpt, and features cooking demonstrations, music, and dance. A vendor fair of more than 20 Black-owned businesses showcasing and selling their handiwork is scheduled from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Visitors are welcome to shop and support these businesses, many of them small businesses. Vendors include jewelry, clothing, food and more. Vendors range from Avery’s Savory Popcorn to Yatab Mandazi-African beignets. The Vendor fair is located in A Tasteful Place, the Entry Plaza and Paseo de Flores.

Various performances by local groups like St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, Bishop Arts Theatre Center, and Carter High School Alumni Chorus are scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Performances by Dallas Black Dance Theatre ENCORE are also featured. The performances are on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn and DeGolyer Pergola. Cooking Demonstration with local teen sensation, Kevin the Pie Dude, will show visitors how to make a Key Lime pie. He also sells pies but quantities are limited. The cooking demonstration is in A Tasteful Place.

Crown Jewel Fashion Experience showcases Black designers at 1 p.m. Anita Hawkins is the director, with the program hosted by LeTitia Owens along with Willie Johnson, model fashion guru. The fashion showcase is in Jonsson Color Garden. The Don Diego Band plays jazz and R&B on Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn from 2-4 p.m.

Black Heritage Committee Members

Linda Todd, Chairperson, Annette Anderson, Dr. Joan Hill, Dr. Jennifer Hills, Ed.D., Marissa Horne, Janet Jack, Katrina Keyes, Willow Sanchez, Kimberly Singleton, Celia Walker, and Maurice West are on the Black Heritage Committee.

Honorary Council members are Arun Agarwal, Crystal Alexander, Barbara Barbee, Lew Blackburn, Paula Blackmon, Stephanie Calhoun, Bo Carter, Calvert Collins-Bratton, Cherron Covington, and Zenetta Drew. Also The Hon. Dr. Elba Garcia, Gwen and Art George, The Hon. Helen Giddings, Valerie Harris, Maria Hasbany, Anita Hawkins, Michael Horne, Darren James, and Tammy Johnson. The Hon. Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk, Jeff Kitner, J.J. Koch, Donovan Lewis, Terrence Maiden, Adam Medrano, Sherri Mixon, and Fonya Naomi Mondell are also Honorary Council members. Chef Cynthia Nevels, Tara L. Paige, DeMetris Sampson, Amanda Schulz, Bo Slaughter, and Frances Smith-Dean are also members. Robb Stewart, Michelle Thomas, Jade Tinner, Clarice Tinsley, Taylor Toynes, Lorena Tule-Romain, Akwete Tyehimba, and Patrick Washington are members. Others include Cheryl Wattley, Carol West, The Hon. Royce West, Dr. & Mrs. Charles Willis, and Daniel Wood.

Black Heritage Celebration Sponsors are Capital One, Dallas Weekly, Dr. Cristi Fletcher, Dr. Flaxie Fletcher, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, DeMetris Sampson, The Dallas Chapter of The Links, Inc. and the Dallas Links STEAM Academy, Mary Kay Global Design Studio, Texas Metro News, VisitDallas.


Running from May 1 to August 8 at the Dallas Arboretum as the Summer of Sculpture exhibition, ZimSculpt, features the talent of several contemporary Zimbabwean artists with more than 100 hand-selected, exquisite sculptures artfully displayed throughout the garden. These contemporary pieces, created by the Shona people of Zimbabwe, are carved from various types of serpentine and semi-precious stone, often weighing tons, and can be as large as seven feet tall.

Dallas Arboretum holds Black Heritage Celebration
ZimSculpt at Dallas Arboretum

ZimSculpt is passionate about promoting the work of some of the finest Zimbabwean sculptors. Therefore, as part of the exhibit, guests are welcome to watch artists and sculptors Passmore Mupindiko and Brighton Layson demonstrate their artistry daily as they carve statues with chisels, hammers, files and sandpaper.

Visitors may purchase any of the sculptures on display in the garden, as well as the ones created by the onsite artists in The Marketplace, which is located in the Dallas Arboretum’s Pecan Grove. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the sculptures and items in The Marketplace supports the Dallas Arboretum. Tickets must be pre-purchased online or by calling 214-515-6615. Wearing a face covering is required for all guests 5 years of age while visiting the Dallas Arboretum, unless medically unable to do so.

ZimSculpt is supported in part by the Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 2-12 and free for Arboretum members and children two and under. There is an additional cost of $3 per person for entrance into the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. Parking is $10. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum. For more information, call 214.515.6500 or visit www.dallasarboretum.org.