Two East Dallas neighborhoods have joined forces to raise cash for themselves and Casa Linda Park with an art festival and garden tour.


“It’s not a Cottonwood ; it’s not an ArtFest,” event chairwoman Sylvia Williams says, referring to the long-running events in Richardson and Addison. “But we had artists from all over Texas, not just from East Dallas .”


The first Art in the Park event last year, a combined effort between Little Forest Hills and Casa Linda Estates, overwhelmed organizers by drawing 73 artists and 800 visitors, Williams says.


“It was just a very, I think, community event. We’re hoping it will grow, and Casa Linda Park will get some attention, and our artists will get some attention. This area is eclectic; it’s unique, and it’s creative. And all these creative people need a venue.”


Art in the Park will be May 22 at Casa Linda Park. Artists include sculptors, painters and photographers. Vendors will sell jewelry, glassware, crafts, ceramics, stationery and food, among other items.


On the same day, people can embark on a garden tour highlighting three houses in each of the two neighborhoods.


“We just think it’s a really neat thing to do together because people are streaming through both neighborhoods all day long,” Williams says.


Donna Mason, garden tour coordinator for Little Forest Hills, says she keeps her eyes open year-round for potential tour yards.


“Sometimes we have to rely on their neighbors to give us a clue,” she says. “People are hesitant to step up; they don’t want to brag on themselves.”


Mason says she looks for creative, well-kept gardens with something interesting for the public. One yard on this year’s tour has a rabbit habitat for the owner’s lop-eared bunnies.


Plant sales primarily stocked with items grown by area residents will be held at two of the garden tour sites.


Admission to the park festival and garden tours is free. Proceeds come from booth rentals, raffle ticket sales and donations.


 Last year, the event raised about $5,500. Each neighborhood association got a portion of the cash, and the two groups jointly donated money for a new sign, basketball hoops and lighting at Casa Linda Park, Williams says.


Art in the Park runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 22. The self-guided garden tours are  from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tour maps will be distributed in advance to both neighborhoods and will be available in the park during the event.


For information, contact Williams at 214-660-8510.


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