After a Performance-Free Year, Booker T. Live Captures the Creative Magic of the Downtown Dallas High School
Inside the Coachella-Inspired Summer EventBY Caitlin Clark // 06.28.21
Zach Sutton, Caroline Kraddick, Amanda Tatom
Dallas Yarn Bombers, courtesy of Sally Ackerman
Booker T. music students.
Booker T. merch.
DJ and Booker T. alum, Amarji King
Booker T. Visual Arts students with a mural designed by Brooklynd Turner.
Signage was provided by Donald Robertson.
Views from the Annette Strauss Square stage.
Booker T. Live host Isaac Williams
Louie Millican and Natalie Stewart
The Baldwin Family
Troy Schiermeyer, Corrie Strosnider
Booker T. Live onlookers.
Booker T. Live attendees.
Hannah Fagadau, Alysa Teichman
Booker T. Live attendees pose between performances.
Adam Gaworski, Brooklynd Turner
Tonya Perkins, Avery-Jai Andrews
Not many high schools could pull off a two-day, Coachella-style event in the Dallas Arts District. But Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts has never been ordinary. And after a performance-free year, the beloved local institution’s Booker T. Live, held on June 3 and 4, felt even more special.
The arts magnet’s annual event featured two days of live performances dedicated to dance and music. Each afternoon, attendees gathered in front of the open-air Annette Strauss Square theater at the AT&T Performance Arts Center — blankets, water bottles, and Booker T. merch in hand — to take in the talent as the summer sun went down. Both evenings were emceed by the effervescent Raven Pinkston (class of 2021) and Isaac Williams (class of 2022), while DJ Amarji King (a photographer, model, and recent Booker T. alum) helped maintain the flow of the creative experience.
Booker T. Live may have been as special for the students, who haven’t been able to perform live in over a year, as it was its recent graduates. All dance routines were choreographed by the school’s alumni, who worked with their performers over Zoom across three separate time zones. Artist Brooklynd Turner (class of 2012) teamed up with Dallas’ newest artist in residence Donald Robertson (the Booker T. enthusiast is likely an honorary alumni by now) to create an art piece that captured the inspired spirit of Booker T. Live.
Visit the slideshow above to relive the performance-filled Booker T. Live, made possible in part by the school’s Advisory Board, which offers necessary aid that allows students to create uninhibited. Visit dallasisd.org/bookert for more information on the downtown Dallas high school.