Forest Forward works to bring healthy neighborhood revitalization while preserving the history and character of the neighborhood. Drawing from community voices and the nationally proven Purpose Built Communities model, Forest Forward’s work goes beyond the restoration of the Forest Theater. The restoration and expansion will serve as a catalyst to spur equitable development. The revitalized Forest Theater will focus on respecting, uplifting, and cultivating the Black community through collaboration.
South Dallas residents will get to utilize the theater as a multi-purpose destination hub that sits at the heart of South Dallas as a hub for creativity, business, and entertainment. Our sights are set on the future, with a deep reverence for our history. We do our work through a three pronged lens.
For the children: Cradle-to-College Education Pathway
A multi-year public-private partnership with the Dallas Independent School District has been established to advance educational opportunities by providing student access to the restored Forest Theater and its component features such as the sensory immersion room, black box theater with the ability to convert for animation and CGI technology, and podcast, broadcast, and recording studio. Through this partnership, MLK Learning Center has been transformed into MLK Arts academy, extending its curricular offerings from Pre-K through the 8th grade.
For the Community: Mixed-Income Housing
Understanding that neighborhoods are impacted by their housing stock, Forest Forward works to establish collaborative relationships to support the development and construction of mixed-income housing. The approach to housing creation will focus on minimal displacement of current residents and
For the Culture: Forest Theater Restoration and Expansion
The Forest Theater, once known for its marquee and beckoning lights, will be restored, yielding 45,000
square feet dedicated to four critical spaces for this project: Concert Hall; Creative Laboratory (13,000 sq ft of space to house movement and recording studio, flex space, resource center, sensory immersion
room, and artist classrooms and labs); Roof deck; Industrial Kitchen; and Black Box theater (12,313 sq ft