Used to Be Everyone Square Danced 'Round These Parts. Now, It's An Art Project.

A friend directed my attention to something entirely unrelated on Kickstarter, where I stumbled across this intriguing item: Square Dance: A Community Project, which the organizers -- Leila Grothe and Cynthia Mulcahy -- are billing as a "public art project." Which is how you have to bill an event just to get folks to dosado like they did in olden days. "There's a long history in Dallas, going back to the '20s and '30s, of community dances provided for free, where Dallasites would come join hands with their community," Grothe says this afternoon. "And that's missing now."

The event, which takes place November 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Trinity River Audubon Center, is funded in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. So, art is is! But that grant and a few anonymous donations aside, Grothe says they're short a little more than the $750 they're asking for on Kickstarter, just for "odds and ends," so any and all donations are welcome, given that the event's free and open to anyone and everyone. The biggest expense is the band: the Quebe Sisters, locals (including Drew Phelps) who not long ago played the Kennedy Center -- and have a gig at the State Fair of Texas tonight, matter of fact.

The event, complete with hay bales and string lights and red-and-white-checkered tablecloths, will have "a quaint vibe to it," says Grothe, who works at SMU's Meadows School of the Arts. "Dallas has grown immensely, and like all big cities suffers from issues of isolation and segregation. So we're looking to unite some people with a square dance. And we totally thought we we insane when we thought of this. But then we got validated when we won that grant, and the more people we tell, we find the more folks want to come."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky