The first Living Plaza of 2012 was a long time coming. The last one, and my introduction the event, was in October, 2011 – 7 months ago. I was there as a spectator, taking pictures, drinking it all in, and taking mental notes. Fast forward to May 16. This time, I was helping to organize it along with the stellar crew of Amanda Popken, Economic Development at City of Dallas, and Tisha Crear, Oak Cliff Cultural Center.
The Dallas Police Department was having their Annual Memorial Day service across the street from the City Hall Plaza at Young and Akard during the lunch hour. In observance of the memorial, Living Plaza started a little later this year.
In the morning the food trucks (Ssahm, Cajun Tailgaters, Cake Trailer, and Dos Paisanos) set up along Ervay and Canton behind City Hall, and at 1pm they rolled onto the plaza after the memorial service. A little after 1pm, Len Barnett Percussion and Things inaugurated the first LP with a smooth, soulful jazz set complete with conga percussion, keyboard, and soprano sax. People brought their bikes, there was some Frisbee tossin’, people sat at tables and chairs, on planter boxes in the shade, and on a makeshift astroturf lawn. Yells at Eels, fresh off their guerrilla jazz performances around town, started up their set around 2:45pm, and gave an electric performance truly in-line with the namesake, Living Plaza.
The first one is officially in the books and we learned a lot! Big thanks to the Special Events staff Lori Chance and Rhonda Blue, to Sgt Mayfield who is in charge of security for the plaza, Equipment Building Services for providing tables and chairs and electricity for the bands, Oak Cliff Bicycle Company for their generous gift certificate for the bike raffle, as well as Richardson Bike Mart for their gift bag, Sarah Blaskovich, Pegasus News, for the article, and Audra Schroeder, the Observer, for her blogs, the countless people who supported, promoted, and helped to make our first Living Plaza a memorable one!
Living Plaza will continue through out the summer, into the fall, for the next 5 months. There has been a great response of people who have new ideas, and want to get involved in the future events. Join us and help us plan for the next one, June 27th. Until then, there is always a need for life on the plaza. If you have any ideas or are inspired to lead your own event contact us and let’s collaborate.