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A cornerstone of arts and culture in North Texas, AURORA aims to expand the future of art through a dialogue that engages the creative possibilities within ourselves and each other.

AURORA is a Dallas-based public arts organization working at the intersection of art, technology and community that presents works by the most visionary artists of our time. Through the AURORA Biennial exhibition, AURORA Expanded program and AURORA Artist Relief Fund, the organization engages with both regional and international audiences alike. 

In 2020, in light of the significant impact of Covid-19, AURORA announced the development of new initiatives to create more opportunities and resources for Dallas’s artistic community and public. Such initiatives include a transition from the presentation of a single large-scale biennial event to a year-round series of site-specific installations, special events, social gatherings and educational programming, as well as the launch of an emergency artist relief fund.

In 2010, artists Shane Pennington and Joshua King, along with veteran Dallas arts supporter Veletta Forsythe Lill, founded AURORA. The inaugural exhibition was a one-night-only public art event featuring light, video and sound artworks; now, AURORA exists as a multifaceted platform. 

Since its foundation, the AURORA Biennial has transformed Dallas neighborhoods into curated, large-scale exhibitions, free and open to the public. The Biennial is also an important platform for exchange between regional and international artists and curators.

In an effort to keep our audience and North Texas communities safe during a high-risk COVID-19 period, this year AURORA Biennial launches its 10th edition, titled ‘Afterwards was already before‘ as a decentralized program that will launch in November 2020 and continue to unfold with  live and online activations created by artists through 2021. The 2020-21 Biennial is helmed by Brooklyn-based curator Noam Segal and Dallas-based associate curators Tamara Johnson and Trey Burns.

AURORA Biennial exhibitions have attracted more than 170,000 visitors and commissioned and presented over 300 local and international artists. The Biennial continues to expand its reach and impact, boasting a 5:1 return in economic impact to the city.

AURORA’s auxiliary program, AURORA Expanded, is a citywide program focused on spotlighting and supporting North Texas artists through a year-round series of site-specific installations, special events and social gatherings. Its most recent event—Area 3, an immersive, drive-thru exhibition in a parking garage—directly supports regional artists and vendors whose incomes have been directly impacted in the wake of COVID-19. Previous AURORA Expanded events have included educational programs as well as exhibitions and performances held in parallel to the Biennial exhibition to activate additional art spaces throughout Dallas.

In an extra effort to support the North Texas creative community as it faces Covid-19, AURORA launched its Artist Relief Fund in the summer of 2020. Through this initiative, artists who have been financially impacted by the pandemic can apply to receive $4,000 USD grants.

In Spring 2021, AURORA is pleased to host a second round of Artist Relief Grants specifically for self-identifying BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artists in North Texas who have suffered from the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19.

Supported by PNC Foundation, the second round of AURORA’s Artist Relief Fund will distribute $20,000 to five grantees ($4,000 each) and will also establish a business wellness program with workshops and mentorship on best business practices. The goal is to support BIPOC artists in North Texas financially and through mentorship designed to enhance the entrepreneurism of individual artists to help them flourish in a post-pandemic world.

AURORA is a component fund of The Dallas Foundation, a 501(c)(3), publicly supported charity, Federal Tax ID 75-2890371. All contributions to the AURORA Fund of The Dallas Foundation are tax deductible, as allowed by law.

Click here to see what was featured at previous AURORA events.


Video, AURORA 2018: Future Worlds

James Guerts, Periphery, AURORA 2015


Shane Pennington
Aurora Co-Founder,
Creative Director

Joshua King
Aurora Co-Founder,
Executive Director

Veletta Forsythe Lill
Aurora Co-Founder, Founding Executive
Director of the Dallas Arts District

Undervolt & Co., Cilla Sutfin, AURORA 2015

Miguel Chevalier, AURORA 2018, photo by Nicolas Gaudelet

Refik Anadol, AURORA 2018, photo by Paperlyte

Bruce Wood Dance, AURORA 2018, photo by Paperlyte 

teamVOID & Youngkak Cho, AURORA 2018,  photo by Paperlyte

James Talambas, AURORA 2018,  photo by Paperlyte 

Alicia Eggert, AURORA 2018,  photo by Paperlyte


Erica Felicella
Executive Producer

Monica Salazar (MONA productions)
Director of Programming

Anna Russ (MONA productions)
Marketing & Communications

Corey Moulton
Administrative Assistant

Marsha Singer
Exhibition Logistics Coordinator


Carr Salvo