At Big Thought, we bring relentless optimism, innovation and imagination to the biggest problem facing education today: the opportunity gap. We make kids our number 1 priority. Our personalized programming ignites creative potential and makes imagination a part of everyday learning for under-resourced students. We’re closing the gap – one child at a time.

Information Request
For all media inquiries, including photos, b-roll, logos and any other press needs, please contact Amanda Rainey, at [email protected].

Recent Press Placements

Dallas cannot achieve equity until we face the truth. Dallas Morning News, December 13, 2019.

15 Years On, DaVerse Loung remains a place for young people to speak from the heart. Dallas Morning News, December 6, 2019.

Impact Report: Dallas City of Learning Impacted 68k Students with its Educational Programs this Summer. Dallas Innovates, December 2, 2019.

Finalists Announced: The Innovation Awards 2020, Presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates. DCEO Magazine, November 11, 2019.

Staff Expertise, Careful Communications to Parents Fuel Successful SEL Efforts. Wallace Foundation Blog. November 6, 2019.

STEM, STEAM, STREAM: “In Dallas, the Ingredients are Here.” Dallas Innovates. Oct 18, 2019.

STEM, STEAM, STREAM: ‘The World Doesn’t Work Without Technology Anymore, Nothing Does.’ Dallas Innovates, October 11, 2019.

STEM, STEAM, STREAM: North Texas Experts Discuss Why Education Matters to Business. Dallas Innovates, October 1, 2019.

A Good Day at School Starts with a Pep Talk at Home. NBCDFW. August 19, 2019.

In Dallas, how art and culinary skills are helping juvenile offenders stay out of jail. PBS News Hour. July 30, 2019.

Creative Solutions Program Helps Juvenile Offenders Create New Futures. NBCDFW. July 25, 2019.

AT&T’s $100k Grant Bolsters Big Thought’s Creative Solutions Program
Dallas Innovates, July 3, 2019

Helping Youth Chart Their Path: Byron Sanders
The Strategerist Podcast, June 28, 2019

Presidents Bush and Clinton Visit Big Thought
Presidential Leadership Scholars, June 28, 2019

Free or Low Cost Summer Camps for Dallas Students
NBCDFW, June 4, 2019

Dallas school kids won big because Mayor Rawlings stuck his nose into Dallas ISD
Dallas News, May 24, 2019

NBC 5, Telemundo 39 and Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation Announce $225,000 in ‘Project Innovation’ Grants for Local Nonprofits
NBCDFW, May 21, 2019

Blocks from last week’s vicious Deep Ellum beating, here’s the Dallas neighborhood’s real heartbeat
Dallas News, March 27, 2019

Be a mentor for the morning at Big Thought’s Big Breakfast
D Magazine, March 18, 2019

Dallas supporters party at Big Night out for education nonprofit
CultureMap Dallas, March 15, 2019

Network 200: Meet the philanthropic leaders you need to know in North Texas
Dallas Business Journal, December 31, 2018

Dallas’ economy is growing – but its racial wealth gap is growing too
Dallas News, November 26, 2018

Something Good: Women Form Giving Circle to Support Nonprofits
NBCDFW, November 19, 2018

Alcuin celebrates Big Thought CEO and Board Chair
Park Cities People, November 12, 2018

Big Thought, Byron Sanders tap creativity to prepare youth for workforce success
Dallas Business Journal, October 10, 2018

How can parents prepare kids for a world of technology we cannot even imagine? Nurture creativity
Dallas Morning News, August 17, 2018

Under new leadership, Big Thought works to close the opportunity gap
Dallas News, March 13, 2018

Texas Connects Us: Charity Uses Art and Education to Help Kids
NBC DFW, March 2, 2018

Fossil Group

Parkland Foundation chooses 12 community ambassadors
Dallas Morning News, February 27, 2018

Dallas ISD Teaches Students Social and Emotional Skills in Classrooms
NBC DFW, January 22, 2018

Helping Kids Combines Passion and Purpose, Says New Big Thought CEO
KERA, January 12, 2018

His Big Thoughts could Help One of Dallas’ Biggest Education Nonprofits Thrive
Dallas Morning News, January 8, 2018

A school sought 50 men to stand in for absent fathers at ‘Breakfast with Dads’ — nearly 600 showed up
Washington Post, January 6, 2018

Why Dallas Educators are Learning to Teach Social and Emotional Skills
KERA, December 12, 2017

Dallas-Sponsored Teen Theater Program’s Stand-Up Tragedy Opens Today
Dallas Observer, December 7, 2017

How Dallas/Fort Worth is Bridging the Skills Gap
Dallas Business Journal, November 11, 2017

JPMorgan Chase Initiative in DFW Helps Young Men the Boom Leaves Behind
Dallas Business Journal, November 6, 2017

Top Stories: Social and Emotional Learning
KERA, July 28, 2017

Big Thought and Dallas ISD Team Up to Teach Social-Emotional Skills
Dallas Morning News, July 25, 2017

Big Thought’s Artivism Project Helps Students Open Up On Race, Social Justice
Dallas Morning News, June 23, 2017

Fifteen North Texas Arts Groups Win NEA Grants
KERA, June 20, 2017

Discover Summer Resource Fair Gets Families and Students Excited for Summer Learning
NBC5 DFW, April 29, 2017

How the arts can support public safety
Dallas Morning News, April 4, 2017

Innovative Summer Learning Programs Bubble up, Draw Attention at the State Level
YouthToday, March 27, 2017

At Big Thought, Gigi Antoni Has Taken a Big-Picture Approach to Out-of-school Learning
YouthToday, March 3, 2017

Dallas Arts Groups Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts Chime in on Its Possible Elimination
Dallas Observer, February 3, 2017

Dallas ISD and Big Thought receive $400,000 planning grant to help students develop social and emotional skills
DISD The Hub, December 20, 2016

National Endowment For The Arts Presents Big Thought And Nine Others With Early Christmas Gifts
My Sweet Charity, December 15, 2016

Business And Art Community Leadership Turned Out For The Sold-Out 2016 Obelisk Awards Luncheon At Belo Mansion
My Sweet Charity, December 14, 2016

National Endowment for the Arts chair learns secret poetry handshake during Quintanilla visit
DISD The Hub, November 30, 2016

A Blueprint for Successful Arts Education
EdWeek, November 29, 2016
NEA Chairman Jane Chu Visits Dallas
Dallas Art Dealers Association, November 28, 2016

In Its 12th Season, DaVerse Lounge Continues to Provide a Meaningful Outlet for Young Voices
The Dallas Observer, November 15, 2016

TACA And Business Council For The Arts Celebrated The Art Loving Greats
My Sweet Charity, November 4, 2016

Artist, teacher inspires youths to reach their potential
The Shorthorn, October 25, 2016

Class Act: Students Convert RV Into “Mobile Tech XPerience”
CW33, October 14, 2016

Students Challenged to Design Video Games for Social Good in National Competition
Develop Online, October 6, 2016

Commit! Partnership and Istation Team Up to Tackle Summer Slide
IT Industry Today, September 29, 2016

North Texas Giving Day Showcases Area’s Generosity
NBCDFW, September 22, 2016

Dallas ISD celebrates summer learning success (video)
The Hub, September 9, 2016
Will Richey, DaVerse Lounge Creator, Helps Youth Find Their Voice
NBCDFW, September 9, 2016

JUST IN: The 2016 Obelisk Awardees Announced
My Sweet Charity, September 7, 2016

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the State Fair of Texas
Culture Map, September 7, 2016

Make Art With Purpose: Free Pop-Up Events Around Dallas Connect Diverse Cultures and Communities
The Dallas Morning News, August 22, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s Newly Announced Transition Team Gives Us a Hint of Her Priorities As President
Vox, August 16, 2016

Laptops Connect Dade Students to New World of Learning
The Hub, August 11, 2016
A Second Chance Summer
NBCDFW, August 12, 2016

Watch Broadway Stars Perform Songs by Young Musical Theatre Songwriters of Tomorrow
Playbill, August 4, 2016
MAP Pop-up Draws Pleasant Grove Crowd
Art & Seek, August 1, 2016

Meadows alums help turn “Creative Solutions” dreams into realities, July 28, 2016

Big Thought: Profile of their learning environment and Q&A
Pioneering, July 21, 2016
When School is Out, Dallas Becomes a City of Learning
NBCDFW, July 21, 2016

West Hartford student wins writing competition
West Hartford News, July 21, 2016

Estrategias para el retorno a clases en el Metroplex
Al Dia Dallas, July 20, 2016

Dallas Mayor’s Back-to-School Fair Information
WFAA, July 20, 2016

Three things to make this weekend fun: free museums, music and art lessons
Preston Hollow Advocate, July 20, 2016

Art&Seek Jr: Events For Summer’s (Almost ) Mid-Way Point
Art & Seek, July 19, 2016

Creekview student wins writing contest at UNT
Star Local Media, July 13, 2016

YA Affiliate Spotlight: Big Thought in Dallas, Texas, July 13, 2016

Tina Turner musical, TBAAL’s season finale
Dallas Examiner, July 11, 2016

How DaVerse Lounge Kept Calm and Carried On As Gunshots Rang Out In Downtown Dallas
Central Track, July 10, 2016

Good news from a hot summer: Dallas charity donations, help for needy children and other good deeds
The Dallas Morning News, July 7, 2016

Arts-based Teaching in Elementary Schools
Ed News Daily, June 16, 2016

New attractions at State Fair of Texas
Morning Ag Clips, June 16, 2016

District teachers brush up on summer teaching at Big Thought (video)
The Hub, June 13, 2016

Dallas Independent School District: Still Looking for Summer Activities for Students?
Noodls, June 9, 2016

Dallas Independent School District: Board President Lew Blackburn Shares End of School Message
Noodls, June 3, 2016

Cowboy Hall of Famer Tells Dallas Middle-Schoolers: Don’t Take the Summer Off
The Dallas Morning News, May 24, 2016

Mosaic Mural Transforms Students At Foster Elementary
The Hub, May 9, 2016

Big Day For Kids in “Big Thought” Program
CBSDFW, May 13, 2016

Things To Do This Weekend: Brace for Impact
Central Track, May 6, 2016

Poet Laureate to Headline Event
The Dallas Morning News, May 6, 2016

These Are the 8 Best Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend
Culture Map, May 5, 2016

Big Thought Presents Big Night
Culture Map, April 29, 2016

Don’t Delay, Thank a Teacher Today
The Dallas Post Tribune, April 21, 2016

It Sucks To Be a Kid in Dallas. It Really Sucks If You Live in Dallas. 
Dallas Observer, April 14, 2016

A Voice From the Field – Covered Wagons Meet the Networked Age: Reflections On the Road With Education Reimagined
Pioneering/Education Reimagined, April 7, 2016

Students Enjoy Learning and Fun During Camp M&M
The Hub, March 29, 2016

Dallas Summer Musicals Community Performance Sold Out the Music Hall
Focus Daily News, March 25, 2016

Dallas Fed Focuses on Educational Attainment As a Pathway to Economic Prosperity
Forbes, March 18, 2016

Students: Read These Winners From the Young Spurs National Writing Contest – And Get Inspired to Enter Your Own Work
Dallas Morning News, March 17, 2016

How Young Songwriters Can Win a Trip to New York and a Publishing Deal
Playbill, March 12, 2016

Marsh Theater Students Are No Longer ‘Outsiders’
The Hub, March 7, 2016

Marsh Theater Students Are No Longer Outsiders
Young Audiences Arts for Learning, March 4, 2016

Salvation Army Breakfast Draws a High-Profile Crowd
The Dallas Morning News, March 1, 2016

Hey, Musical Theater Geeks. It’s Your Time to Shine. 
Art and Seek, Feb. 24, 2016

The Student Poetry Club, Edgar Allan Poets Channel DaVerse Lounge Creativity in Dallas, Texas
Young Audiences Arts for Learning, Feb. 15, 2016

Young Audiences Celebrate Black History Month!
Young Audiences Arts for Learning, Feb. 10, 2016

Big Thought Brought Some Big Types Together to Turn Summer Doldrums Into Opportunities for DISD Students
My Sweet Charity, Jan. 18, 2016

Dallas’ New Take on ‘Summer School’ for Kids Who Aren’t Failing (Yet)
Advocate Lakewood/East Dallas, Jan. 15, 2016

JUST IN: Junior League of Dallas Spreads the Goodness Factor and the Dollars to 38 Area Agencies
My Sweet Charity, Jan. 13, 2016

Big Thought Honored to be Selected as Ruthie’s Dozen January 2016
Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe, Jan. 8, 2016

Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church: Share the Plate
Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church, Dec. 18, 2015

A Case For Summer: Transforming the Lives of Every Child in Dallas, Dec. 16, 2015

Nearby Museum Tower: Dec. 4-6
Standing Ovation, Dec. 3, 2015

A Front Row Seat to the Extraordinary
Standing Ovation, Dec. 3, 2015

Fossil Group Presents Works of HeART
Culture Map, Nov. 25, 2015

17 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, Nov. 20-22
Dallas Observer, Nov. 20, 2015

Historical Society to Give Out Awards Thursday
The Dallas Morning News, Nov. 17, 2015

Making a Difference: Crank It Up
Neighborsgo Best Southwest, Nov. 13, 2015

Donor gives $15,000 in guitars to Oak Cliff music school

Advocate Oak Cliff, Nov. 2, 2015

MacArthur-backed nonprofit aims to create new “ecosystem” for teen education
Current, Nov. 2, 2015

Change Makers Uptown/Downtown: Big Thoughts and Big Tex
Katy Trail Weekly, October 22, 2015

Spoken Word Poetry Course Speaks to DISD Students
WFAA, October 21, 2015

MacArthur Foundation Launches Nonprofit to Scale Up Digital Learning
Education Week, October 20, 2015

Dallas Public Library’s Edgar Allan Poe Victorian Festival Features Spooky Fun With a Literary Twist
The Dallas Morning News NeighborsGo, October 15, 2015

Big Tex Engages Students in Thinking ‘Big’
Katy Trail Weekly, October 9, 2015

At Klyde Warren Park, Teaching Students That Learning Can Be Fun
KERA News, October 7, 2015

New Digital Education Spotifies School
Next City, October 5, 2015

Kids, say ‘howdy’ to a new teacher
Dallas Morning News, September 8, 2015

Meet Three North Texas Education ‘Champions’ Who Make A Difference With Students
KERA NEWS, September, 2015

Why Summer Learning Matters
D Magazine, July, 2015

School’s out, cities are in with expanded Cities of Learning initiative
Educator Innovator, June 23, 2015

Learning To Say YES
TheaterJones, June 15, 2015

Dallas nonprofit expands fine arts programs for at-risk youth, celebrates 20th anniversary
Dallas Morning News, June 3, 2015

Dallas City of Learning launches second year with Klyde Warren Park event
Dallas Morning News, May 23, 2015

Editorial: When the juvenile justice system helps youths blossom
Dallas Morning News, May 22, 2015

Dallas throws the book at family’s Little Free Library, but city officials are looking for a happy ending
Dallas Morning News, April 30, 2015

6 Family-Friendly Things To Do in Dallas This May
Front Row Blog, D Magazine, April 30, 2015

Bank of America kicks off global recycling campaign, April 25, 2015

After-school program teaches character through inspirational movies
Dallas Morning News, April 6, 2015

Dallas ISD summer program helps students excel in math, study finds
Dallas Morning News, January 5, 2015

Big Thought CEO Gigi Antoni Says We Can Learn From Korea’s Education System
KERA, January 2, 2015

Awards & Accomplishments

Big Thought recognized as Finalist in the Innovation in Education Award by Dallas Innovates and DCEO Magazine. (2020)

Erin OffordErin Offord, Big Thought Senior Director of Programs, recognized as 2020 Minority Business Leader Awardee by Dallas Business Journal. (2020)

Dallas Bar Association presented Big Thought with the prestigious Jack Lowe Sr. Award for Community Leadership. (2019)

DBJ Leadership Trust

Byron Sanders, Big Thought’s CEO, is named to the Dallas Business Journal Leadership Trust. (2019)

Melora Leiser, Big Thought Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, is named as a finalist for Volunteer of the Year from DCEO, Dallas Magazine and Communities Foundation of Texas. (2019)

Opportunity RisingErin Offord, Big Thought’s Senior Director of Programs, is named to the Board of Directors for Opportunity Rising. (2019)

DBJ 40 Under 40

Kristina Dove, Big Thought’s Director of Learning Systems, is recognized by the Dallas Business Journal as one of the top 40 Under 40 in Dallas. (2019)

Byron Sanders, Big Thought’s CEO, receives Parkland Foundation’s Community First Award. This award recognizes servant leaders across industries who have impacted Dallas County through their work in the community. (2018)

Studio Movie Grill honors Lisa Schmidt, Big Thought’s Director of Learning and Professional Development,  with their third annual Opening Hearts and Minds Award, an award presented to leaders who go above and beyond to create positive change in their communities. (2018)

The Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce honors Byron Sanders, Big Thought’s CEO, with their Excellence in Education Leadership Award. (2018)

Alcuin School hosted its fourth annual Alex Podeszwa Scholarship Luncheon and honored Bryon Sanders, President, and CEO of Big Thought, and Melora Leiser, Big Thought Board Chair with their Ann R. Cox Award for Innovation in Education. (2018)

Big Thought’s CEO, Byron Sanders is awarded the Juanita Craft Award by The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). (2018)

The Wallace Foundation selects Dallas Independent School District & Big Thought to participate in a four-year longitudinal study on social and emotional learning during in-school and out-of-school time. Six community partnerships from throughout the U.S. were selected for the grant. (2017)

Big Thought commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Creative Solutions program in partnership with the Dallas County Juvenile Department. (2015)

The NCAA selects Big Thought to develop and manage the community-wide service learning initiative in conjunction with The NCAA Men’s Final Four © to engage more than 7,000 youth in service projects. (2014)

Big Thought is presented with the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Art Education. Given by the Texas Cultural Trust, the TMA Awards celebrate Texans who have enriched the unique culture of Texas. (2013)

Big Thought celebrates its 25th anniversary. President/CEO, Gigi Antoni, co-authors More than the sum of its parts: Collaboration & Sustainability in Arts Education, with Thomas Wolf. (2012)

President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities selects Big Thought President/CEO Gigi Antoni as a “Champion of Change,” serving on a White House panel highlighting best practices in arts education. (2011)

The Wallace Foundation and RAND Corporation select Dallas & Big Thought’s Thriving Minds summer camp program to participate in a three-year longitudinal study on summer learning loss tracking the impact of comprehensive summer programs on the academic success of incoming fourth graders in six U.S. cities. (2011)

The trustees of Communities Foundation of Texas, who oversee the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation, award a $2-million challenge grant to Big Thought to build a coordinated system upon the framework of its out-of-schooltime initiative, Thriving Minds. (2010)

The Wallace Foundation awards Big Thought an $8M grant to plan and implement a citywide creative learning system and renews its commitment with a four-year $4.3M gift to continue implementation. (2010, 2005)

The Texas Education Agency awards three five-year grants to manage Big Thought’s Thriving Minds After-School program in 33 Dallas ISD schools. (2010, 2009, 2008)

Americans for the Arts presents Big Thought with the Arts Education Award given annually to the organization identified as the best in arts education program design, execution, as well as leadership. (2009)

Big Thought is selected by the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee to design and execute the largest ever youth-education program for the NFL in conjunction with Super Bowl XLV. (2009)

Big Thought publishes “More Than Measuring” outlining the organization’s philosophy and assessment. (2007)

The U.S. Department of Education awards a $1.1 million Model Development and Dissemination Grant to support Big Thought’s ArtsPartners National Model and provides an additional $1 million grant to train arts specialists as arts integration resources to strengthen the program. (2006, 2003)

Big Thought receives the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Coming Up Taller Award. (2004)

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