Meet Gensler Dallas, one of 49 global offices working in architecture, design, and planning. Business Council of the Arts will honor Gensler Dallas with the New Initiatives – Small Award at the 33rd annual Obelisk Awards this year. This award recognizes businesses for significant engagement with the arts/culture within the past three years, and Stephen Walsh, Design Director, will accept on Gensler Dallas’ behalf.  

Gensler Dallas

Gensler was founded in 1965 and now serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually  every industry. Gensler strives to “Create a Better World Through the Power of Design” in their work and service. Although a global firm, each office keeps strong community  connections to give back locally. Stephen Walsh shares, “We are committed to creating  spaces and places that strengthen neighborhoods, improve local economies, enhance  health and well-being, and make everyone feel safe and welcome.” 

stephen walsh
Stephen walsh, design director at gensler, will accept the obelisk award on gensler dallas’ behalf.   

Here in North Texas, that is evident in their partnership with the Creative Arts Center of  Dallas. Their relationship began in 2017 when Gensler’s Dustin Mattiza joined the CAC  board upon graduation from the Business Council for the Arts’ Leadership Arts Institute.  Mattiza then moved to Austin, Texas so Walsh filled his seat on the board.  

The following year, what began as a personal pledge to CAC quickly evolved into a corporate commitment when CAC received a $200,000 grant from the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture to improve their building, which was originally built during the  Depression by the Works Project Administration as an elementary school. Gensler Dallas provided in-kind services to design and manage the building of new offices,  gallery, and ADA-compliant restrooms.  

Despite significant setbacks during the project – additions to costs and plans,  permitting, and of course, COVID-19, the Gensler Dallas team was “guided by  determined optimism” in the purpose and power of their work as well as how they  performed it. Diana Pollak, Executive Director of the CAC says, “Gensler is the world’s  largest architecture and design firm responsible for some of the most influential and  prominent projects that are shaping the future of Dallas and neighboring cities, including 400 Record, Toyota Music Factory, Legacy West, Hall of State at Fair Park restoration,  and The Star at Frisco. But the firm works in partnership with CAC just as it does with its  larger clients…and showed incredible patience, steadfastness, and fortitude.” 

With construction almost complete, the Creative Arts Center of Dallas will have a  new space for many years to come, and there, citizen artists will be inspired by Gensler Dallas’ architecture and design as they discover, develop, and express their artistic vision. Together, Gensler and their community partners “help foster  the well-being of the next generation of artists and designers through the support, education, and training of students, to help ensure a diverse and inclusive future.” 

2021 obelisk awards presented by business council for the arts (bca), business council for the arts (bca), bca
The 2021 obelisk awards presented by business council for the arts (bca)


The Obelisk Award honors businesses, nonprofits, and individuals, for their extraordinary support of arts and culture in North Texas. 

Philip and Rebecca Silvestri, publishers of community-connecting magazine Local Profile, serve as co-chairs of BCA’s 33rd annual Obelisk Awards. 

Presenting sponsors of the 2021 Obelisk Awards are Nancy A. Nasher + David J. Haemisegger.

Collector level sponsors are Capital One and Neiman Marcus Group.

Aficionado level sponsors are American Airlines, The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Atmos Energy, Baker Botts LLP, The Beck Group, Bourland Octave Management, Comerica Bank, Corgan, Fisher & Phillips, Gensler, HALL Group, Haynes and Boone LLP, Holland & Knight LLP, Jackson Walker LLP, Jones Day, Local Profile, Maintenance, Inc., McGrath Family Charitable Fund, NorthPark Center, Oncor, Parkland, PepsiCo, PwC, PZP BizConnect, RealPage, SMU | Meadows School of the Arts, Tolleson Wealth Management, UNT, UT Dallas, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Texas Instruments.

Catalyst level sponsors include the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership – TWU.

Advocate level sponsors includes Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld and Appreciator Sponsors include Albert Outdoor Advertising, Charles W. Eisemann, and Southwest Airlines. The 2021 Obelisk Award Media sponsors are Local Profile and Patron Magazine, and Design sponsor is Banowetz + Co. 

honorees, 2021 obelisk awards presented by business council for the arts (bca), business council for the arts (bca), bca, obelisk award honorees 2021
The 2021 obelisk awards presented by business council for the arts (bca)

Recipients of the Obelisk Award receive an original artwork created by Dallas glass artist Polly Gessell, underwritten by the Craig + Kathryn Hall Foundation. J Crawford Construction Systems, LP underwrites the photography. The 2021 Obelisk Awards graphics are a detail of Athor/Laurentia, 2019 by local Dallas artist Zeke Williams, represented by Erin Cluley Gallery. 

Sponsorships, tickets, and donations in recognition of the honorees and BCA programs can be purchased at

bcalogotagline2 cmyk


Business Council for the Arts encourages, inspires, and stimulates businesses and municipalities to support the arts in the workplace, in education, and in the community. We are a connector between commerce and culture. Our programs bring wellness and equity into the workplace through the arts, develop next-generation business leaders for arts boards, inject creativity into work teams, measure the economic impact of the arts in North Texas, and enrich arts organizations with business best practices.

Contact us at for more information, or visit our website at

Rebecca Silvestri is the vice president of Sales & Marketing. She is also the wife of Philip Silvestri, publisher of Local Profile. In a previous life, Rebecca was a math teacher in London and the...