Augustin Arteaga, The Curator

Locals who helped define the arts and life in 2017

The life of a city in any given year is defined by those who helped shape its pulse, from the arts to the community to the way we perceive our society. The following individuals, all members of the LGBT community of North Texas, made a difference in all our lives last year.

— Arnold Wayne Jones


Augustin Arteaga, The Curator

Barely a year in as the executive director the Dallas Museum of Art, Arteaga has transformed the storied institution, bringing one of the best-attended and most acclaimed exhibitions in the museum’s history (Mexico: 1900–1950), giving the famed Keir Collection of Islamic Art a permanent home and bringing one of Yoyoi Kusama’s treasured Infinity Room installations (All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins) to rapt audiences. And he’s just getting started.


Kevin Moriarty, The Impresario

When he was hired as artistic director 10 years ago, I predicted Kevin Moriarty’s implicit mission would be to bring a regional Tony Award to the Dallas Theater Center; a decade in, that’s exactly what he did. It was his Electra that sealed the deal, but his production of Hair was almost as impressive. He continues to be one of the theater world’s most exciting visionaries.


Tuomas Hiltunen, The Revolutionary

When he was brought in to lead the Fort Worth Opera as its new general director this summer, Hiltunen raised eyebrows as an unexpected choice (he comes from the world of theater, not opera), but he immediately began some house-cleaning and belt-tightening, while also expanding the company’s outreach, especially to the Spanish-speaking community.


Rylee Janus Spire, The Pathfinder

The rarefied world of the leather community is one of traditions and rituals zipped into ideas of masculinity, so Spire’s anointing as Mr. Dallas Eagle 2017 — and a few weeks later, Mr. Texas Leather — was groundbreaking for an out trans man, breaking a cisgender barrier for all time.


Timothy LeDuc, The Medalist

In early 2017, this North Texas transplant (pictured with Ashley Cain) became a bronze medal winner at the U.S. Nationals for figure skating as an out gay man— a surprisingly rare situation in a field famed for its flamboyant performers


Kenny Goss, The Patron

The death last year of Goss’ former partner, George Michael, brought a major new painting, by the legendary Damien Hirst to Dallas, only reinforceing our respect for Goss (picture with his sister Joyce) as one of the premiere art patrons in the state.