(Photos courtesy Big Thought)

We’ve talked about it before — where you live in Dallas can impact and shape the kinds of opportunities you get — or even if you get many of them to begin with. One local organization has been working decades to help close the opportunity gap — through programs that encourage children to use their imaginations.

Last year, we told you about The Opportunity Atlas, an interactive tool that confirmed what many who follow opportunity gaps in Dallas have known all along:  Decades of policy have wrought pockets of opportunity gaps throughout the city of Dallas, and that children who grow up in those neighborhoods frequently reach adulthood and have families of their own, and make the same low wages their parents did, exacerbating and perpetuating that gap.

Big Thought’s mission of closing the opportunity gap for area students includes in-school, out-of-school and community partnership programs, with the idea that making imagination part of everyday learning can help achieve that.

The organization also helps ensure that students get high-quality learning experiences (often offered at low-cost or free) that promote creativity as well as social and emotional learning. And its Creative Solutions program, which uses performing and visual arts to re-ignite the imaginations of juvenile offenders also helping them develop skills that will assist them in being career and college ready, has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the state.

Friday, one of the organization’s biggest supporters, The Fossil Group, will host its seventh annual Works of HeART auction and fundraiser to benefit Big Thought. The event, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Fossil Group headquarters, will showcase original artwork created by company employees, including paintings, textiles, jewelry, and even a 3D printed piece.

Before the event, we took the opportunity to talk with Big Thought CEO and President Byron Sanders about his organization. (more…)