In 1987, two of Dallas’ great civic leaders – Edith O’Donnell and Mitch Jericho – launched Young Audiences of North Texas to recruit local artists to work in public school classrooms.
Fueled by the success of Young Audiences, we began exploring other programming opportunities. We launched Creative Solutions, a nationally recognized program developed in partnership with the Dallas County Juvenile Department to impact at-risk youth. We also introduced Library Live!, a pre-literacy program held monthly in every Dallas Public Library.
In 1997, a partnership with the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and Dallas ISD began better coordinating the education programs of 60+ arts and cultural providers. Today, ArtsPartners brings community programs to every Dallas ISD elementary campus and trains teachers to make the most of these learning opportunities.
From this new level of work came a new name: Big Thought.
Our work with the City and school district brought national attention and paved the way in 2007 for our citywide partnership, Thriving Minds. This collaboration provides creative learning in-school, after-school, at home, in the community, and everywhere children learn.
Big Thought’s goal has never wavered. We want to see children become successful adults. We want to see them make a difference in their community. We want to see them give back to others. And we know that we can inspire those things through our work.