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Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, you’ll see visitors moving along Flora Street in the Arts District in the usual ways – walking, or maybe on bicycles. But you’ll also spot people using roller skates, riding unicycles or being towed in wagons.
For the Art in Motion parade, several hundred participants are expected to artfully decorate their favorite human-powered form of transportation and roll through the district. The idea of the parade – and Arts in October as a whole – is to get people to reconsider how they get to the district and how they interact with it once inside.
“The intent is for people to better understand all the different things that we do in the Arts District and for people to see the Arts District in a different way,” says Veletta Lill, the executive director of the Dallas Arts District. “We try to bring the activities from the buildings to the streets, we try to make a lot of the activities free so that we can break down the barriers – we allow folks to see the art in a different light.”
Most visitors come to the district for a specific purpose. Rarely do they come to just poke around. But organizations in the district have reason to hope that that will soon change. For starters, food trucks are now allowed in the district. Improvements are planned to make the Ross Avenue underpass more pedestrian friendly. By late next year, the Woodall Rodgers deck park and planned expansion of the McKinney Avenue trolley will connect the Uptown neighborhood to the Arts District.
“I think people tend to categorize it into – it’s the symphony, it’s the Dallas Museum of Art, or whatever organization or institution that they affiliate themselves with, and they don’t always think of the district holistically, that this is a neighborhood with a lot of arts opportunities,” Lill says.
On Saturday, the museums in the district will have free admission, and performers from Texas Ballet Theatre and the Dallas Theatre Center will perform outside.
And don’t worry if you ride your bike through the Art in Motion parade and then decide you want to stay for a while. The Dallas Museum of Art will have a bike valet.