The Arts Mission Origin Story, Part 1
Anastasia Muñoz, AMOC Artistic Director
In this season of turning over a new leaf and facing big, scary life goals, I thought I would share how Arts Mission Oak Cliff came to be.
Just before I turned 30, I figured it was time to finally bite the bullet and head to New York City to give my acting career a real go. Dallas had been good to me. I paid my dues. I had worked for several companies and finally had the resume and the union to back me up. I felt confident and ready, so I put my possessions in storage, dropped my lease, and moved to New York.
In NYC, I took classes. I auditioned for everything that was even remotely a fit. By the time I had been living in New York for three solid months, I hadn’t been cast in a thing. Because I’ve never gotten anything I’ve wanted on the first try or even the second, I wasn’t surprised. I knew that if I stayed in New York longer I could eventually be a working actor in the City. Then one day on the A-Train I had an epiphany:
“I don’t want to be a working actor in New York! I want to open an artist space in Dallas where we can create, learn and make money -- a place where we can take risks and work sustainably in a market that needs creative entrepreneurs to succeed.”
In my head, alarm bells rang. My instinct all along was to stick with the original dream – to act professionally in New York. And executing that plan was what I believed success SHOULD look like on my chosen career path. My self-doubt said that returning to Dallas would mean friends, family and colleagues who’d encouraged me all would think I had failed. But the more I indulged my new, clarified dream, the more I realized that returning to Dallas, my home community, was right. Dallas was the one place I clearly knew could benefit from my shiny new dream given all I had experienced in DFW as an actor, educator and producer. I worked to fight back anxiety over financing my dream: “I am just an artist. I have no money to make a place like this a reality.”
But the dreamer in me persistently spoke my truth …
Creating an art center was actually the right path for me. I asked my inner critic the hard questions: “Do I really believe I can make it happen? Can I achieve this huge a goal, a goal so far outside the realm of anything I have dared to dream before?”
Spoiler Alert. Of course, you don’t have to wonder if this story has a happy ending! I am going to jump here with the promise to fill in more of the juicy tidbits of creating our Dallas startup soon. Hint: lots of work that laid the foundation for my Goal Getter class made success possible. For now, know that this dream place is real, and we built it for you.
My team is here to help you reconnect with belief in yourself and get motivated to live your most creative life. With coaches who build up visual artists, budding creative entrepreneurs and performers as well as nourish all dreamers with immersive art classes for adults, Arts Mission Oak Cliff is a space for artists at every level.
If you need a clear place to start, I challenge you to set some wildly huge goals -- tackle current circumstances holding you back, override self-doubt, embrace fear – and join us. We’re here specifically to help you develop your highest creative self.