Here’s the Latest on This Year’s Art in October Festival

It has almost been three years since the opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center (jeez), and to celebrate, the Arts District is bringing back (thankfully) its Art in October festivities. Via a release that dropped in the inbox this morning, here are the latest details on what you can expect from the event. Highlights include lots of free admission days, the AURORA art installation, and a lots of outdoor activities. And that’s good news, because after the summer we just had, I’d like to get reacquainted with fresh air. More:

The Dallas Arts District Announces Second Annual

“Art in October”

Three District-Wide Events; 70+ FREE Events Celebrate the Arts and Launch a New Season of Outstanding Programming

An Art in Motion processional; stunning outdoor art displays and even a zombie party mark this month-long celebration

September 7, 2011 – The Dallas Arts District announces today the second annual Art in October line up of more than 170 events, many free or at a reduced price, during the month of October on Flora Street in Downtown Dallas.  The month-long Art celebration of the Dallas Arts District spotlights the district’s organizations, venues, exhibitions and programs with a variety of events while raising the bar from last year’s successes.  Art in October 2011 is a diverse mix of stunning district-wide exhibitions and community-oriented elements designed to entertain and engage audiences of all ages.

“I invite everyone from across our city and region to downtown Dallas to enjoy the Arts District and to attend the events of Art in October,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.  “The Dallas Arts District is an incredible asset for our city and there is not a better place to have fun and celebrate our culture.”

October is a significant time for the Dallas Arts District; it is the anniversary of the opening of the AT & T Performing Arts Center and the Nasher Sculpture Center, it is the start of the season for groups like The Dallas Opera and new exhibitions at the Dallas Museum of Art are frequently previewed during the month.  October is also National Arts and Humanities Month, providing a national as well as a regional cause for celebration.

“Last year we created Art in October to put a spotlight on the district as a neighborhood.   The Dallas Arts District is a community rich with art and experiences.   Art in October spotlights all the district has to offer and throws in a few surprises along the way.” said Veletta Forsythe Lill, Executive Director of the Dallas Arts District.  “We were able to bring almost 100,000 people to the district in October 2010, filling our buildings and Flora Street with activity.”

Multiple events in October will also allow visitors to sample the various offerings of Dallas’ best known food trucks.  Resident restaurants will also be featured with events like the Fall Block Party at One Arts Plaza on October 30, 2011.  During several special event days, designated beer and wine gardens will also be integrated into events.  As the Dallas Morning News noted last year, “Food brings people to the street, which adds life and a human dimension that could reshape downtown Dallas.”  Rated a top “Hit” of 2010 by the Dallas Morning News, Art in October showed the world, “what a draw the downtown Arts District can be with coordinated programming.”

Exhibitions during this time include: African Headwear: Beyond Fashion and Mark Bradford at the Dallas Museum of Art; Tony Cragg: Seeing Things, Sightings: Diana Al-Hadid at the Nasher Sculpture Center, and Qiu Anxiong: Animated Narratives at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. The Dallas Opera commences their season with Lucia Di Lammermoor and the Dallas Theater Center continues production of The Tempest and opens To Kill a Mockingbird. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents classical, family, and pops productions all month long with highlights including the continuation of the DSO’s Mendelssohn Festival; the “New World” Symphony; and Scheherazade, as well as solo performances from José Porcel, Amy Grant, k.d. Lang and more.

Art in October Spotlight Days throughout the month include:

October 1 – OPENING CELEBRATION PRESENTED BY CADILLAC– The Dallas Arts District will kick off Art in October with Art In Motion presented by Dallas Observer – a public procession of artfully decorated bicycles, strollers and other human-powered vehicles.  Start your day with breakfast and art.    The celebration continues throughout the day with FREE admission to the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center.   There will also be performances, tours, food trucks and activities.

October 8 – DANCEAFRICA – Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents their 6th Annual DanceAfrica Marketplace in Annette Strauss Square. Enjoy a day of FREE performances of African dance and music, along with a marketplace of food, art, clothing and jewelry.

October 9 – SIXTH ANNUAL FIESTA LATINOAMERICANA! – The Fiesta is presented by the DFW International Community Alliance and together with the Cathedral Fall Festival and the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the groups bring Flora Street to life with Dallas’ only cultural festival of the Americas – including three stages of FREE entertainment, food vendors, dance workshops and hands-on activities for the entire family.

October 21 —FRIDAY NIGHT ARTS – Join us for Opening Night of The Dallas Opera Season, a performance of Lucia di Lammermoor.  Across the street Dallas Theater Center invites you to their Pay-What-You-Can Performance of To Kill a Mockingbird.    The activity continues at the other end of Flora St. with the Dallas Museum of Art’s Late Night, Crow Collection After Dark and the Nasher Sculpture Center’s preview of the new contemporary installation, Sightings: Diana Al Hadid. At the DMA explore the Mark Bradford exhibition and experience music, performances, a program for teens, films, tours, and family activities all chosen by the Los Angeles-based artist or influenced by his work.  At the Crow Collection celebrate the new exhibition Qui Anxiong: Animated Narratives and enjoy tours of this contemporary installation, gallery games, art making activities, personalized flip books, and more.

October 27 – SACRED SPACES OF THE ARTS DISTRICT TOUR – The histories of the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, St. Paul United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church, reflect the stories of our great city and its people. Come learn about the architecture and the history of some of the district’s oldest buildings.

October 28 – AURORA – A night of FREE public art that will transform the Dallas Arts District. Emerging and established artists from around the country will create site specific installations of light, sound, performance and projection art. From 7:30pm-midnight come experience the neighborhood in an unexpected way, with art in unexpected places. Continuing with the light theme, the Nasher Sculpture Center presents ‘til Midnight at the Nasher featuring a live concert by The Bright at 7 pm, followed by an outdoor screening of Disney’s TRON at 9 pm.

October 30 – CLOSING CELEBRATION – A month of great events wraps up with costume-themed festivities and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s family concert Monsters of Film. Admission will be FREE to the museums. Throughout the district, there will be a variety of food vendors, street performances, tours and activities. The evening will conclude with the district’s first come-as-a-zombie, audience participation “zombie party”.

The Dallas Arts District organizations participating in this celebration include: The AT&T Performing Arts Center, Booker T. High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Center for Architecture, Dallas Film Society, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Theater Center, Nasher Sculpture Center, and TITAS.

For a full schedule of activities, please visit www.TheDallasArtsDistrict.org/ArtInOctober. Art in October media partners include D FrontRow and WRR Classical 101.1.  For more information about the Dallas Arts District, please visit www.thedallasartsdistrict.org. For more information about Downtown Dallas, Inc., please visit www.downtowndallas.org.  DART is the Dallas Arts District’s transportation provider of choice; for more information about accessing downtown via public transportation visit www.dart.org.

About The Dallas Arts District

The Dallas Arts District is the largest arts district in the nation, spanning 68 acres and 19 contiguous blocks in the heart of downtown.  With stunning architecture, including four buildings designed by Pritzker Prize winning architects, world-class exhibits and exemplary cultural programming, the Dallas Arts District has become the landmark that defines the heart of the city of Dallas.

Established in 2009 as a private nonprofit 501(c)3 organization as the AT&T Performing Arts Center neared completion, today’s Dallas Arts District serves the residents and patrons of the district increasing awareness of and access to the arts and the Arts District.  Operating under the umbrella of Downtown Dallas, Inc. as advocate, steward and representative, The Dallas Arts District serves participating organizations including the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Film Society, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Theater Center, and the Nasher Sculpture Center, One Arts Plaza, Hall Financial, among others.

The Dallas Arts District is funded by grants, voluntary membership dues, sponsorships and donations.  To learn more about how you can help support your Dallas Arts District visit www.thedallasartsdistrict.org.