Deadline Lifeline: Three Arts Events Need You

Artists, educators and craftspeople: there are three upcoming deadlines for opportunities to get involved with local arts events. Once known as a city sans culture, Dallas is booming today with innovative thinkers, and we believe that we're on the ground floor of an arts revolution. But, a real movement requires real people, just like you, to catapult our fair city into the aesthetic stratosphere. Here's where you come in.

First, 2011 MasterMinds winner, La Reunion, has partnered with Bridge-o-Rama to bring you the Parade of Giants, a procession of massive puppets depicting historical figures - such as Bonnie and Clyde and Victor Considérant - significant to the development and culture of West Dallas. You can read Robert Wilonsky's take on it over at Unfair Park. Each puppet is sponsored by a community group, but effectively and creatively constructing a giant puppet is not in just anybody's wheelhouse, and the organizers need roughly twelve artistic team leaders who can attend workshops and spearhead the building of the parade entries before their debut, sauntering across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge on March 3rd. Team leaders will be chosen by the La Reunion jury panel and notified by January 6. Want on board? Apply here by January 3.

Second, the Letters About Literature Contest is an opportunity for students, grades 4-12, ages 9 and up, to compose letters about their favorite fiction or nonfiction book, a short story, poem, essay or speech, engaging with its author in a conversational dialogue about the ways in which that piece has enriched their life or expanded their thinking. The Center for the Book at the National Library of Congress will select six national winners and twelve honorable mentions who will receive gift card awards and secure a LAL Reading Promotion Grant for their community or school library. One of last year's winners hails from Plano, and we hear that Texas traditionally has a strong showing of entrants. Check out this flyer to learn how to submit entries by January 6.

Finally, the Cottonwood Art Festival is a biannual event held each May and October in Richardson, taking place again on May 5th and 6th. Over forty years old, the prestigious festival is a juried event with only about 20% of the nearly 1,400 expected applicants chosen to show their museum-quality work. Per their website, "The artists compete in 14 categories: 2D Mixed Media, 3D Mixed Media, Ceramics, Digital, Drawings/Pastels, Fiber, Glass, Jewelry, Leather, Metalwork, Painting, Photography, Sculpture and Wood," and patrons will enjoy a variety of live bands and food and spirits for purchase in the bucolic Cottonwood Park. Are you an artistic superstar? Submit an application here by January 13.

So, apply away! We can't wait to see what lies ahead in the coming spring.

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