D Academy is a leadership program designed to educate members of the creative class in Dallas on the workings of the city. The program is underwritten by the owners of D Magazine, and applications are open to all D staff and members of the community. There is no age requirement but a next-generation mindset helps. D Academy provides a series of crash courses on a variety of topics, including health care; art and culture; education; criminal justice; the environment; race, poverty, and class; infrastructure; philanthrophy; and the city’s brand. Executive coach Robin Pou will meet with the group monthly to give the fellows the tools they need to be effective in the city. The application process is rigorous, but the commitment is moreso. The leadership group works on Big D Reads, a community-wide reading experience for Dallas, and the volunteer hours required, especially in spring 2014, are substantial. Here’s what our inaugural class members had to say about the experience: “I’ve been in numerous leadership programs throughout my life, but D Academy impacted me the greatest. D Academy changed the trajectory of my career by educating me on the growing need to connect young people to the arts. After our arts day, I asked my CEO if I could dedicate a portion of my time to creating a program to address this issue. Not only did he agree, but he also offered company resources to support my efforts.”—Christian Yazdanpanah, Director of Positive Impact, MePlusYou Agency “D Academy is inspiration and aspiration; leadership and community; confidence and understanding; empowerment and empathy; an overall feeling of being part of something greater than yourself, and being armed with the tools, courage, and determination to make a positive impact on the world around you.” —Frances Yllana, Creative Director, MasonBaronet “After working all my life in a luxury industry that reinforced all the usual Dallas stereotypes, D Academy made me see and appreciate a more diverse, interesting, and passionate side of my city. The experience was profound and invaluable.” —Peggy Levinson, Editor at Large, D Home Magazine “I hadn’t really considered homelessness before this class day, now I actively volunteer at Dallas LIFE with Back on My Feet. Thanks.” —Scott Smith, Director of Research & Data Management at SMU Center on Communities and Education “It’s great. You give the Academy fellows a lot of opportunities and experiences they wouldn’t normally have.” —David Hopkins, Staff Writer, Idea Grove “I am still awestruck by how much knowledge I gained, and inversely, how much I didn’t know. Poverty, politics, infrastructure, navigating the public school system – it’s equal parts fascinating and rewarding to become privy to the inner-workings of this city; who is making things happen and who is standing in their way.” —Halley Homen, Brand and Communications Manager, DTV Applications for D Academy’s 2013-2014 class are now being accepted. Deadline is July 15. For more information, contact Krista Nightengale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retreat*September 6-7, 2013
|Theme: Examining the Past, Present, and Future of the City
Speakers, demographers, and analysts will discuss where the city’s been and where it’s going.
Class Day 1October 10, 2013
|Theme: Working With the City|
Class Day 2November 7, 2013
|Theme: Building the City|
Class Day 3December 5, 2013
|Theme: Defining Poverty in the City|
Class Day 4January 9, 2014
|Theme: Healing the City|
Class Day 5February 6, 2014
|Theme: Protecting the City|
Class Day 6March 6, 2014
|Theme: Educating the City|
Class Day 7April 10, 2014
|Theme: Refining the City|
Class Day 8May 8, 2014
|Theme: Branding the City|
Do I have to be a D employee in order to apply?
No. The group will be made up of a few D Magazine Partners employees and people from the community. If you love Dallas and want to make a difference in the city, you’re more than welcome to apply.
When do I need to apply?
Applications must be in by July 15, 2013. The applications will be passed to a review board. Applicants will be notified of their status by July 29, 2013.
How do I apply?
Go here to fill out the application. We’re asking for two references. You’ll also be asked to submit a form that has been signed by your boss with his/her permission to miss a day of work each month.
What are you looking for in candidates?
We are looking for people who are passionate about Dallas, but still have room to learn. We want people who are engaged and willing to get their hands dirty. We’re looking for people of all ages, demographics, and with various backgrounds. We want a group of people who are energized and willing to take on large projects.
How much does it cost?
The dues for one semester are $250. This will go towards the retreat, supplies, food, and venues.
What is required of me?
You must attend the retreat on September 6 and 7, 2013. You cannot miss more than 12 hours throughout the semester. You must prepare for each class day by doing at least one of the homework assignments. You will play an instrumental part in planning The Big Read Dallas. We do not ask for a lot of money, but we do ask for a lot of your time.
What do I get out of this?
You get to learn more about Dallas. You’ll meet great, passionate, like-minded people. You’ll make a difference in the city. You’ll be a part of something bigger than you. You get out of the office one day a month. You’ll get happy hours. And, let’s be honest, it’ll look great on your resume.
What is the end-of-semester project?
The Friends of the Dallas Public Library and D Academy were awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the production of a Big Read program for Dallas in April 2012. This public-private citywide campaign will be conducted to encourage the people of Dallas to read a book together. For a city of sprawl, challenged in its public school system, we believe this programs one city, one book will be a powerful experience. Former First Lady Laura Bush agrees and is serving as The Big Read Dallas™ Honorary Chairman. The title we selected from a list of 31 stipulated by the NEA was Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. He describes an unthinkable future world without books. We will be supplying free copies of the book to all 21,600 ninth and tenth graders in DISD and creating programming in arts, dance, theater, and robotics to augment the reading experience. We also intend to have free books in libraries, DART stations, homeless shelters, jails, hospital waiting rooms, and additional spots throughout our city. This is D Academy’s first project. We hope to make this project an annual one for D Academy. We will update this when we have more information. If you’d like to check out our progress for the first year, please go to bigreaddallas.org.
Whom can I contact if I have more questions?
Send Krista Nightengale an email. Or give her a call at 214-939-3636.