Past Programs

Past 2018 Programs

  • In conjunction with the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Nasher Prize, this program looked at the ways in which artists work with documents, found and archived materials, and research to create sculptural work that considers particularly potent historic moments and issues, as well as the current political climate. Panelists included Chilean-born, New York-based artist, architect and filmmaker Alfredo Jaar; artist and recent recipient of the Calder Prize Jill Magid (New York); artist and educator Paul Ramirez Jonas (New York), and Dallas-based artist lauren woods. The conversation was moderated by Ben Davis, national art critic for artnet News.
  • Presented with the Dallas Theater Center, this program focused on The Great Society, the second part of Robert Schenkkan’s 2016 play All the Way. While facing a “war on poverty” at home, the increasingly unpopular Vietnam war and powerful political enemies, Lyndon B. Johnson fought to pass civil rights legislation and some of America’s most important social programs. Panelists included Schenkkan; Dr. Marvin Dulaney, associate professor emeritus of history at University of Texas, Arlington; Lee Cullum, journalist and host of KERA’s CEO; and moderator Kevin Moriarty, Dallas Theater Center Enloe/Rose Artistic Director. View this program on YouTube.
  • The opening program of the Museum’s temporary exhibit Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. included a preview of the exhibit and a conversation with photojournalist/exhibit curator Lawrence Schiller and David Margolick, author of the book The Promise and the Dream, which helped inspire the Rebel Spirits exhibit. Both the book and the exhibit explore the unique relationship between Kennedy and King, who came from vastly different worlds but shared the same interests in civil rights, domestic poverty and opposition to the war in Vietnam. View this program on YouTube.
  • Ellen Meacham, author of Delta Epiphany: Robert F. Kennedy in Mississippi, discussed the lasting impact of Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to the Mississippi Delta in 1967, where Kennedy was stunned by the level of poverty and hunger he witnessed. Through the press coverage that followed him, the nation gained new understanding that children were starving within the United States. The program was presented in conjunction with the Museum’s temporary exhibit, Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. View this program on YouTube.
  • A Ripple of Hope is a powerful documentary produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Dr. Donald Boggs that explores the passion for justice and personal courage that linked Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. in life as well as death. This film traces the events of April 4, 1968, when major cities across the United States erupted in riots and fires as news spread of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Already en route to Indianapolis for a presidential campaign rally, candidate Kennedy was urged to cancel the rally for his own personal safety. Instead, he gave an extemporaneous speech that was credited with creating a sense of calm that averted violence in Indianapolis during the chaotic days following Dr. King’s death.

    This was the final program in support of the temporary photography exhibit, Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., which closes on September 3, 2018. The program included a film screening of the one-hour documentary, A Ripple of Hope, which narrates the events of that tragic day through the voices of those who were there, including Robert Kennedy’s press secretary Frank Mankiewicz, U.S. Representative John Lewis, former U.S. Representative Julia Carson and many more. A discussion with Dr. Boggs followed the screening.


    As the intense subjects of discussion and debate that continue today, two crucial government investigations into the death of President John F. Kennedy reflect the evolution of the memory and mood of the nation, from a desire for closure in the immediate aftermath of the assassination to heightened cynicism and mistrust of the government more than a decade later. Conflicting Conclusions: The Government Assassination Investigations will feature a conversation between Howard P. Willens, Assistant Counsel on the staff of the Warren Commission, and G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel and Staff Director for the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations. Marking the first time these two highly respected members of the legal profession publicly discuss together their unique firsthand insights, this program will explore the context of these investigations, their findings and why questions remain still today, almost 55 years following the assassination.


    About The Investigations:


    One week after the November 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, President Lyndon B. Johnson established The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.  Chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren, this prestigious investigative body, most commonly known as the Warren Commission, concluded in a report published in 1964 that alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, finding no evidence of a conspiracy.


    Following a wave of critical literature by independent researchers about the assassination investigation, amplified by skepticism and social unrest of the 1960s and the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s, public trust in the Warren Commission’s Report significantly dropped. In 1975, the Abraham Zapruder film that captured the assassination was broadcast for the first time on network television, leading to increased interest in the circumstances surrounding the death of President Kennedy. Further fueled by revelations that government agencies had withheld information from the Warren Commission, in September 1976, the U.S. House of Representatives established the Select Committee on Assassinations to investigate the deaths of President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While several scientific studies commissioned by the House Select Committee corroborated the findings of the Warren Commission, acoustical analysis of a Dallas police dictabelt recording led the Committee to conclude in their Final Report issued in 1979 that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, probably as a result of a conspiracy.


    About Our Guests:

      Howard P. Willens, an attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Justice Department in 1963, served as an assistant counsel on the staff of the Warren Commission. He is the author of History Will Prove Us Right: Inside the Warren Commission Report on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (2013).     G. Robert Blakey, a longtime law professor at Notre Dame and Cornell Law School, was appointed Chief Counsel and Staff Director to the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations from 1977 to 1979. He is co-author of The Plot to Kill President Kennedy (1981).