Fair Park - Hall of State Building

Caring for the future of Fair Park and its community

Our Mission

Fair Park First’s mission is to restore, revitalize and renew the 277-acre National Historic Landmark known as Fair Park to attract attention from across the region and the entire country.

Who We Are

Fair Park First is a non-profit organization created to oversee the management and stewardship of Fair Park, a 277 acre Dallas City Park, and National Historic Landmark, home to numerous cultural institutions and the iconic Cotton Bowl Stadium. As part of its mission, Fair Park First, through its Board Members and monthly Board meetings, will serve as the Manager responsible for preserving and revitalizing Fair Park. As an organization, Fair Park First’s primary goals are to improve this world-class park, entertainment and cultural campus, and the community’s access to it, through the following initiatives:

  • Strengthen community inclusion and local programming at Fair Park
  • The attraction of new events and organizations to Fair Park for daily and annual events/activities
  • Update and refresh of 2003 Fair Park Master Plan
  • Support of the resident cultural institutions
  • The preservation and enhancement of Fair Park as a National Historic Landmark
  • The attraction of new tenants for underutilized facilities at Fair Park
  • Fundraising efforts to underwrite Fair Park improvements
  • Provide regular updates to the City of Dallas and other community stakeholders
  • Creation of an Internship Program for surrounding High Schools
  • The protection of Fair Park’s art deco architecture and works of art
  • Increased sales & marketing awareness of current and planned events at Fair Park

Our Partners

Tenancy Opportunities at Fair Park

Fair Park First is seeking Request for Information (RFI) from organizations interested in opportunities for tenancy at Fair Park. This RFI is intended to attract business owners and institutions who share a common vision and innovative ideas for activating Fair Park.

Proposals will be considered for uses such as recreational, civic, cultural, educational, entertainment, arts, retail, food and beverage, and other park activating uses.

Download RFI
Crowd at a music festival
It is our priority to re-establish Fair Park as a one of Dallas’ premiere venues accessible and enjoyed by all.

2019 Highlights

Events hosted at Fair Park from Jan. 1 to Jun. 30, 2019
Event days at Fair Park from Jan. 1 to Jun. 30, 2019
Patrons attended Fair Park events from Jan. 1 to Jun. 30, 2019

Engaging the Community

In addition to bringing more events, awareness and revenue, Fair Park First is committed to building community. Working closely with and giving back to our South Dallas neighbors will make the future of Fair Park that much brighter.

African American woman smiling.

Commited to Inclusion

We seek to hire local South Dallas/Fair Park residents, create M/WBE and Veteran hiring programs and provide on-the-job training and career opportunities.

A young mother plays on a playground with her toddler.

Neighborhood Park

Developing a neighborhood park with community input through consistent meetings with the community is vital to Fair Park.

A young woman in glasses works on a laptop.

Internship Programs

Internships will be offered to various youth organizations, such as Lincoln High School and Madison High School. We will continually work with organizations, associations and schools to continually add new opportunities.

Top down view of hands planting plants

Local Organizations

We strive to work with the many local organizations and community organizations that call Fair Park home. Building tenants such as the African American Museum, Dallas Summer Musicals, Texas Discovery Gardens, and many more. We will continually work to enhance events such as the State Fair of Texas, EarthX , Fourth of July and many more.

Event Calendar

Aug 20
Fair Park First Board Meeting

6:00 PM | Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center

Sept 17
Fair Park First Board Meeting

6:00 PM | South Dallas Cultural Center

Oct 15
Fair Park First Board Meeting

6:00 PM | South Dallas Cultural Center

For information about events at Fair Park, please visit www.fairpark.org.

View More Events

Board of Directors

Darren L. James, FAIA

KAI Enterprises

Board President

Norman Alston, FAIA

Norman Alston Architects

Board Secretary

Veletta Forsythe Lill

Civic Leader

Board Member

Rev. Donald Parish, Sr.

True Lee Missionary Baptist Church

Board Member

Emily Ledet

Bank of America

Board Member

John Proctor

Regional Black Contractors Association

Board Member

Arcilia Acosta

CARCON Industries

Board Member

Mercedes Fulbright

Local Progress, The Center for Popular Democracy

Board Member (Fair Park Resident)

Margo Ramirez Keyes

Key Development

Board Member

Ovidia Evelyn Amaya

Jubilee Park and Community Center

Board Member (Fair Park Resident)

Robb Stewart

Non-voting Dallas Park Board Liaison

Sonya Woods

Non-voting Dallas Park Board Liaison

Sonja McGill

Board Member

Jason Brown

Board Member


Board Member

Advisory Committees

Facilities & Historic Preservation

Norman Alston, FAIA – Chair

Fair Park First Community Coalition

Rev. Donald Parrish, Sr. – Chair

Community Park/Masterplan


Fundraising & Donor Relations


Arts & Culture


Programming & Local Events






Fair Park Stakeholder


Darren L. James headshot

A Message from Darren

As the President of the Board for Fair Park First, I would like to welcome and invite all of you to explore Fair Park. As a registered National Historic Landmark, it is a jewel in the Dallas Parks Systems.

I am excited to lead the efforts to create a destination park for a myriad of activities. Explore the Texas Discovery Gardens or see Broadway musicals at Music Hall. Retrace the cultural impact on American society at the African American Museum or learn of the history of Texas at the Hall of State. Embrace the spectacle and vibrancy of the Red River Showdown between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma, or Prairie View A&M University vs. Grambling State at the State Fair Classic during the State Fair of Texas. Alternatively, create new memories with your family and friends while enjoying the NHL Winter Classic.

Fair Park is vibrant, alive and waiting for you to come to have a picnic or visit one of the many festivals and events that will happen soon. Please visit the website and contact our operating partner Spectra’s Fair Park website in development for a list of all the exciting things going on at Fair Park.

We welcome you to explore and feel nostalgic while establishing new traditions with friends and family with all of the new offerings. Stay tuned and engaged. We need your help and support to make this jewel shine as only it can. Fair Park has emotional ties to the citizens of Dallas and the World. Fair Park First is in place to preserve, protect and enhance the park. As the most extensive collection of Art Deco architecture in the United States and a significant repository of period art, we are well aware of our responsibility and excited to have this honor of being stewards of these cultural treasures.

Fair Park is the park for everyone, and over the next few years, there will be many exciting changes, new tenants, new events, a community park, career opportunities for the surrounding neighbors, and internships for our local high schools and colleges. Our Board is excited to serve and has the talent, skill, and passion for making Fair Park your park. The board members represent a cross-section of Dallas with neighborhood residents, civic, business and community leaders. We also have advisory committees where you can get involved. Moreover, we will soon launch a capital campaign that I invite and ask all of you to participate in. Our partners, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures and In the City for Good, are working on new events, the master-plan update, a neighborhood park and community engagement featuring pathways for your voices to be heard and acted upon. Please reach out to each of them, as the plans are created. Now is the time for you to participate — Fair Park, where new memories and emotions are experienced.

Darren L. James, FAIA
Fair Park First
President of the Board

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