Enoc Perez: Liberty & Restraint

January 17 to June 3, 2018
Chapel and Hall of Thanksgiving at Thanks-Giving Square

Thanks-Giving Square participated in a special partnership with Dallas Contemporary for the  exhibition Enoc Perez: Liberty & Restraint. 

In an examination of modernist architecture and contemporary art, Enoc Perez created a new body of work that engages Philip Johnson’s legacy in Texas.

Johnson, whose life and work are not without criticism, is one of the foremost American architects of the 20th century. With an illustrious career that includes the inaugural curatorship at the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Architecture and Design, Johnson is known for his oversized personality as much as his structures that survive him.

Perez has in recent years focused his architectural work on the late Johnson, most notably with his series of paintings depicting Johnson’s Lipstick Building, which were exhibited inside the architect’s Glass House in 2015. Here, Perez expands upon this project by highlighting Johnson’s extensive work in Texas, which includes the depiction of and installation at 8 locations in Dallas and Fort Worth: the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (Fort Worth; 1961), The Beck House (Dallas; 1964), John F. Kennedy Memorial (Dallas; 1970), Fort Worth Water Gardens (1974), Thanks-Giving Square (Dallas; 1976), The Crescent (Dallas; 1985), Comerica Tower (Dallas; 1987) and Cathedral of Hope (Dallas; 2010).

Accompanied by public installations at the Johnson locations, Liberty & Restraint invites the viewer to examine their relationship to the urban landscape by challenging the boundary between interior and exterior, and between architecture and art.

For his works at Thanks-Giving Square, Perez engaged with the circular nature of the building, as well as the use of light in the upstairs chapel. The intention for investigation was evident here, with both pieces functioning as treasures to be found in the newly reinvigorated space. During the exhibition the pieces in the Chapel and Hall were seen by over 7,000 visitors.

About the artist

Born in San Juan in 1967, Perez relocated to New York City in 1986 to study painting at the Pratt Institute. In addition to his primary focus on architecture, he has explored such diverse subject matters as portraits, nudes, and still lifes. Perez’s work can be found in museum collections such as: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The British Museum, London; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

For more information click here

2018 National Day of Prayer Luncheon

May 2, 2018 | Thanksgiving Tower, Dallas

The Thanks-Giving Foundation’s Thirty Seventh Annual National Day of Prayer Luncheon was held at the Tower Club in Thanksgiving Tower on Thursday, May 3rd. It was a special day of gathering with the foundation’s sponsors and supporters. We are grateful to everyone who attended, and to all who donated at the event and online. Your support sustains our programs and the continued maintenance of and improvement to The Square.

The event program started with a medley of prayers offered by Imam Khalid Shaheed, Dallas Masjid-Al Islam, Rev. Karen Fry, Co-Director CSLDallas, A Center for Spiritual Living, and Preston W. Weaver, Executive Pastor, St. Paul United Methodist Church-Dallas.  The 2018 National Day of Prayer Presidential Proclamation was then read by Amy Moore and Shawn Daniell.

The luncheon honored Thanks-Giving Square founder Peter Pauls Stewart and his children, honorary event co-chairs Elizabeth Stewart Wally, Peter B. Stewart, Alan G. Stewart Cathy Stewart Moore, and David E. Stewart. Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke of his special affection and respect for Peter and for Thanks-Giving Square, and many of those same sentiments were echoed by Thanks-Giving Foundation Director Almas Muscatwalla. A special video helped chronicle some of the important contributions made by Peter Stewart.

Foundation Director Ron Gafford recognized the outstanding contributions of Jennifer Altabef, Director and Immediate Past Chairman, and Chris Slaughter, the Foundation’s recently retired President and CEO.  A beautiful framed Bjørn Wiinblad lithograph was gifted to each.

Kyle Ogden, the new CEO of The Thanks-Giving Foundation thanked the National Day of Prayer sponsors, donors and attendees, and spoke about the Foundation’s strategic identity. Foundation Chairman Chris Trowbridge recognized the dedicated work of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, indicated his enthusiasm for key initiatives, and implored the crowd of three hundred and twenty plus attendees to get behind the Foundation. In Trowbridge’s introduction of the day’s final presenter, Bishop Edward Burns, he highlighted the alignment of Bishop Burns’ “Be Golden” initiative and the Foundation’s long time focus on the “Golden Rule”.

Closing the program was Bishop Burns, a relative newcomer to Dallas, who expressed his delight in becoming a part of the Dallas community. The Bishop mentioned his concern for refugee populations, and the need to “do unto them” by being welcoming and supportive, and then closed the event with a prayer.

A good time was had by all as evidenced by the event photos, and all attendees made plans to attend next year’s National Day of Prayer Luncheon on Thursday May 2, 2019. If you were unable to attend this year, but still want to make a donation, you can click here to do so.

Thank you to all of our generous supporters and volunteers!

2018 Spring Festival of Faiths

April 15, 2018 | Opportunity Park, Dallas

This free, fun community event celebrated the diversity of faith traditions in our community. This year’s spring event took place at Opportunity Park in South Dallas.

The program included performances by:
Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli
Charles Rice Learning Center Choir
Sangeet Millennium Music Academy
Dallas Indian Mission UMC Choir
China Texas Friendship Society
Baha’i Center
National Poetry Month
Percussion Things

Enoc Perez: Liberty & Restraint Reception

January 17, 2018

Thanks-Giving Square reopened the Hall of Thanksgiving in celebration of the special event partnership with Dallas Contemporary for Enoc Perez: Liberty & Restraint.  Visitors were able to view special artwork in the Hall of Thanksgiving and Chapel of Thanksgiving along with an architectural exhibit telling the story of Thanks-Giving Square. Artist Enoc Perez attended after the Chit Chat discussion at Dallas Contemporary.


40th Annual Merry TubaChristmas Concert

December 22, 2017

Over 200 tubas were at Thanks-Giving Square playing favorite holiday songs during the 40th Annual Merry TubaChristmas Concert. This event was free and fun for the whole family!

2017 Winter Festival of Faiths

December 18, 2017
Thanks-Giving Square

The annual Winter Festival of Faiths at Thanks-Giving Square included performances of music, dance, and words that embraced social issues affecting our community, including:

– A Call for Prayer
– Secure and Safe Holidays
– Gratitude Together
– Dialogue in Music
– A Home for Everyone
– Oneness in Harmony
– The World is in Dallas
– Our Human Race
– Compassionate Caring

Community Tree of Remembrance

In partnership with Faith & Grief Ministries and Faith Forward Dallas the Community Tree of Remembrance was be illuminated each evening at Thanks-Giving Square.

These three special events took place at Thanks-Giving Square in December:

Tree Lighting and Multi-Faith Service
December 5, 2017 

Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance
December 7, 2017

Longest Night Service // Multi-Faith Service
December 21, 2017

Community Tree of Remembrance from Faith and Grief on Vimeo.

For more information: http://www.faithandgrief.org/tree-of-remembrance/

Compassion Walk with Compassionate DFW

September 21, 2017

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, the General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”

On this day members of the Interfaith Council, Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square, Crow Collection of Asian Art, and Compassionate DFW gathered to promote peace in our city. A crowd first assembled at Klyde Warren Park and then walked together in unity to Thanks-Giving Square during this year’s Compassion Walk.

“Finding Hope in a Time of Terror”
presented by Dr. Jeff Gusky

September 11, 2017

The Interfaith Council of the Thanks-Giving Foundation hosted a special speaker series event “Finding Hope in a Time of Terror” featuring Dr. Jeff Gusky. Guests were taken on a journey to discover the origins of modern terror and where hope lies.

About Dr. Jeff Gusky:
Jeff Gusky is an emergency physician and National Geographic photographer. His life as an explorer and artist began in December, 1995 when on a hunch, he found an obscure remnant of a Nazi concentration camp. Since that day, he’s been on a quest to understand why terrorism continues and where hope lies in a time of terror.

Jeff believes we face a Human Emergency caused by an invisible environmental crisis of scale: unhealthy compromises we choose to make under the influence of the highly addictive, technology-driven, fast paced environments in which most of us now live. Modern life cuts us off from nature, human nature and each other. The inhuman scale of modern life confuses our moral compass, our self-protective instincts and our will to distinguish what’s real from what’s fake.

Jeff believes that if we can talk about how the inhuman scale of modern life cuts us off from our moral core, we are much less vulnerable to terrorism. His mission is to help people recover their moral compass by helping them restore a human scale to their lives. His goal is to inspire belief in a future where we find hope in the human decency and courage of ordinary people and safety in seeing human nature for what it is…permanently imperfect…with the potential to be immensely good and immensely evil. By restoring a human scale to our busy modern lives we can recover healthy self-protective instincts that will help keep us safe in a time of terror. Jeff is also a TV host & producer, author of three books and a professional speaker.

To learn more about Jeff please go to jeffgusky.com or http://tiny.cc/k9lqky.

911 Remembrance Through Dance

September 11, 2017

On September 11 More Than Music presented three special performances in the Center Court of Praise at Thanks-Giving Square.

This event is free and open to all. Click here for more information. 

Sacred Sound in the Chapel

August 14, 21, 28, 2017

Genie J, owner of The Sound Masseuse, played the crystal singing bowls in the spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving every Monday during the month of August. Visitors were encouraged to “be present and allow the sacred sound to wrap you like a warm blanket with deeply soothing, rich tones. May your spirit be lifted as your silent prayers take flight.”

Therapeutic Music Remedy Experience

August 17, 2017

Musician Andre Yabin led a special therapeutic music remedy experience inside the Chapel of Thanksgiving at Thanks-Giving Square.

The Mystical Arts of Tibet

August 14, 2017

The community gathered for a special Green Tara Puja “ceremonial worship” and lecture on “A Buddhist Approach to Working with Emotions” at Thanks-Giving Square.


Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing

In partnership with the Aga Khan Council for the Central United States

August 15, 2017

The famed multi-phonic singers from Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery performed traditional temple music and mystical masked dances at Ismaili Jamatkhana, Plano. This extraordinary performance featured elaborate costumes, traditional instruments and unique multi-phonic singing. The monks of the famed Mystical Arts of Tibet tour have traveled throughout the world for over twenty years to share Tibet’s legacy of Wisdom and compassion.

Day of Remembrance: Prayers & Reflections

July 7, 2017

On Friday, July 7th our community paused to remember the tragic events that took place in Dallas one year prior with great loss of life. Community members joined at Thanks-Giving Square to remember, reflect and pray together.

Click here for photos from the event.

Therapeutic Music Remedy Experience

Fridays in May and June, 2017

During the noon hour on every Friday during the months of May and June, musician Andre Yabin led a special therapeutic music remedy experience inside the Chapel of Thanksgiving at Thanks-Giving Square.

2017 National Day of Prayer Luncheon

May 4, 2017

What is prayer? How does it work? How does it change one’s life? These are questions that were asked to the North Texas community for the 2017 National Day of Prayer. People of diverse faith traditions gathered at Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas, Texas to record statements about their own perspectives on prayer. Throughout the discussion ran common themes, revealing a connection between so many unique groups of people. The video was first presented at the 2017 National Day of Prayer Luncheon.

2017 Spring Festival of Faiths

March 20, 2017

On Monday, March 20th representatives from several faith groups gathered at Thanks-Giving Square to share information about their celebrations of the Spring season. Along with music and fellowship, visitors were treated to samples of unique food traditions. The purpose of this annual event hosted by the Interfaith Council is to share commonalities and differences between faith groups and to appreciate the mutual recognition of the rituals.

2016 Merry TubaChristmas Concert

December 23, 2016

Over 200 tubas were at the Square playing favorite holiday songs during the 39th Annual Merry TubaChristmas Concert. The annual event is free and fun for the whole family!

2016 Winter Festival of Faiths

December 19, 2016

The community celebrated the onset of winter with religious and cultural expressions of joy. The Winter Festival of Faiths at Thanks-Giving Square showcased faith traditions through dance, song, music and more inside the Hall of Thanksgiving.

Community Tree of Remembrance

December 2016
Thanks-Giving Square

In partnership with Faith & Grief Ministries and Faith Forward Dallas the Community Tree of Remembrance was illuminated each evening at Thanks-Giving Square. The community was invited to leave the name of a loved one on the archway of remembrance. A community service of remembrance was held at Thanks-Giving Square on December 21, the longest night of the year. Media: http://www.faithandgrief.org/events/community-tree-remembrance/

Interfaith Council Day of Service

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Interfaith Council gathered for a day of service at Dallas VA Medical Center, decorating the hospital with patriotic decorations and assembling gift bags for hospital residents.

Thanks-Giving Square:
Landscape and Architecture

September 26, 2016

During the September Interfaith Council Speaker Series attendees learned about the significance of Thanks-Giving Square as landscape and architecture and its place in the oeuvre of architect Phillip Johnson. Dr. Richard Brettell led the discussion. 

Compassion Walk

September 21, 2016

Thanks-Giving Square celebrated International Peace Day on Wednesday, September 21. On this day, the Crow Collection of Asian Art and members of Compassionate DFW, the Interfaith Council, and Faith Forward Dallas, an initiative of Thanks-Giving Square gathered to promote peace in our city. The Compassion Walk also marked the closing day of the Compassion Games and included remarks by city officials and interfaith community leaders. Participants assembled at Klyde Warren Park for remarks and then walked to Thanks-Giving Square at noon.

Keeping the Faith: An Interfaith Dialogue on Women & Religion in North Texas

September 6, 2016 at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library 

Dr. Robert Hunt and panelists discussed transcending their unique and common challenges of gender and faith in North Texas. Guests included Beth Keenan, Rabbi Nancy Kasten, Pravrajika Brahmaprana, Rev. Dr. Isabel Docampo, and Dina Malki. This program was hosted by the Humanities Division of the Dallas Public Library in partnership with Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, Daughters of Abraham, and the Thanks-Giving Foundation’s Interfaith Council.

Dallas Remembers: Charleston – One Year Later

June 17, 2016 at Thanks-Giving Square

Marking the one-year anniversary of the brutal act of domestic terrorism which shattered the sanctity of Wednesday Night Bible Study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. Mayor Mike Rawlings opened the ceremony followed by honored guest speaker, Dr. Ella McDonald, Presiding Elder – Greater Dallas District of North Texas Conference of the AME Church, multi-faith community choir, and people representing our city’s rich cultural and religious traditions. This uplifting time of remembrance took place on the Plaza at Thanks-Giving Square starting at 11:00 a.m. and concluded at noon with houses of worship from across our city tolling their bells in honor of those slain.
Presented by Faith Forward Dallas – Faith Leaders United for Peace and Justice, an initiative of Thanks-Giving Square.

2016 National Day of Prayer Luncheon

More than 250 guests gathered at Edison’s in Dallas for the 35th Annual National Day of Prayer Luncheon, presented by The Thanks-Giving Foundation and its Interfaith Council, on May 5, 2016. A truly multicultural event, each year the luncheon honors religious freedom and the power of prayer and gratitude in our diverse community. Following opening remarks by Interfaith Council Chair, Almas Muscatwalla, and Thanks-Giving Foundation Board Chair, Jennifer Altabef, Rev. Dr. Joe Clifford, First Presbyterian Church, Dallas, offered the invocation. Imam Omar Suleiman, Valley Ranch Islamic Center, read the National Day of Prayer Presidential Proclamation.

Southlake Carroll High School senior, Amsal Madhani, recited her original poem in a spoken word presentation about her life experience as a Ismaili Muslim teenager. After the introduction by Temple Shalom Rabbi Andrew Paley, keynote speaker, Janessa Gans Wilder, founder and CEO of Euphrates Institute, then took the stage and shared a powerful message about “Building Peace in the Face of Extremism.”

Rachel Roberts, MTS, Perkins School of Theology, led the audience in an interactive circle of prayer to close the event.

Proceeds from the Luncheon are used to further the work of The Thanks-Giving Foundation, including Thanks-Giving Square and its Interfaith Council.

Faith and Kindness at the Crow Collection of Asian Art

October 28, 2015

Love, kindness and compassion are at the base of multiple faiths. The Crow Collection of Asian Art in partnership with the Interfaith Council of Thanks-Giving Square, welcomed three faith leaders from the Dallas community to talk about kindness in their religions. Esteemed guests were: Rabbi Andrew M. Paley, Senior Rabbi at Temple Shalom, Imam Shpendim, Islamic Association of North Texas, Pravrajika Brahmaprana, Resident Minister, Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas.

The Golden Rule: Norman Rockwell’s America 

As part of our continuing Speaker Series, The Interfaith Council of the Thanks-Giving Foundation hosted Norman Rockwell historian Jane Allen Petrick on October 2, 2014, at First Unitarian Church. Highlighting Rockwell’s commitment to portray multiculturalism, Petrick spoke on her enlightened narrative, Hidden in Plain Sight: The Other People in Norman Rockwell’s America, which explores the motivation behind Norman Rockwell’s art and why he chose to incorporate people of color into his illustrations. Though hidden in plain sight, Asian, African and Native Americans are present throughout Rockwell’s 4,000 illustrations.


About Jane Allen Petrick  

2015 National Day of Prayer Brings Together Community

More than 200 guests gathered at the Hilton Anatole Hotel for the 34th Annual National Day of Prayer Luncheon, presented by The Thanks-Giving Foundation and its Interfaith Council, on May 7, 2015. A truly multicultural event, each year the luncheon honors religious freedom and the power of prayer and gratitude. Students from the Notre Dame School of Dallas Hand Bell Choir welcomed guests with music, followed by opening remarks given by Thanks-Giving Foundation Board Chair, Jennifer AltabefSwami Sarveshananda, resident Acharya of Dallas-Fort Worth centers of Chinmaya Mission, led everyone in the invocation. As guests enjoyed lunch, a short film, created by Quin Mathews, was shown, which reflected on the Square’s past 50 years, as well as a glimpse of its future.

Following lunch, Café Momentum interns reminded everyone about the purpose and history of the day by reading the National Day of Prayer Presidential Proclamation. The President of the United States, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day, the first Thursday of May, signs this proclamation every year. Keynote speaker, Chad Houser, executive director of Café Momentum, then took the stage and shared a powerful message about gratitude and the benefits it has in our lives, in the lives of those around us and in the larger community. Kambiz Rafraf from the Baha’i community lead the closing unity interfaith prayer and Dallas Police Officer Charles Vaughn concluded the ceremony by singing the hymn, God Bless America.

Proceeds from the Luncheon are used to further the work of The Thanks-Giving Foundation, including Thanks-Giving Square and its Interfaith Council.