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Silver Star

Noted developer Lucilo A. Peña invests in Dallas’ growing arts scene.

Peña’s Hots: Nasher XChange, Urban Design, Tei An, brunch at Komali, TITAS performances, TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, the Crow’s outdoor sculptures

Peña’s Nots: Sprawl, phonies, fundamentalism of any kind, texting while driving

When it came time to bestow its 2014 Silver Cup Award honoring excellence in contributions to the arts in Dallas, The Arts Community Alliance found in its male inheritor—Cuba-born, Venezuela-raised Lucilo A. Peña—serious mettle. TACA will present him with its prestigious honor at a luncheon in March.

As president of development for the Dallas-based Billingsley Co., Peña presides over massive feats of award-winning undertakings (as he did for seven years in Barcelona, Spain, developing various projects for the 1992 Olympics), but he also holds major sway in the local arts scene—a revelation that, given his first artistic foray, is hardly surprising.

“I visited my first museum when I was 10. It was the Prado, and I’m haunted by Goya’s painting to this day,” shares Peña, who sits on both the board of the Dallas Museum of Art and the program advisory committee for the Nasher Sculpture Center. “Our Arts District is a powerful catalyst to having more businesses relocate to our region,” explains the avid collector of contemporary art. “Investing in the arts guarantees our future.” Currently immersed in work on Two Arts Plaza and the Cypress Waters Master Plan, Peña is also collaborating with the Dallas Architecture Forum on a monograph chronicling the story of residential modernism in North Texas, due this summer. And you’ll likely spot him at the Winspear, Holly Johnson Gallery or the Landry Center, where he swims a mile daily—fitting given that, as a bona fide cultural force in the community, Peña is poised to keep making waves.

After all, he says, “Dallas is a city of possibilities with its best days clearly ahead. Dallas dreams big. It’s exciting to witness its accomplishments and be a small part of it.”