Dancing and playing drum on summer’s longest day heals the soul, says the creator of the Fourth Annual SolstiCelebration.

The free drum and dance festival is set June 21-23 at White Rock Lake Park to raise funds for the park’s infrastructure. Entertainment includes a performance by the anthropology-rock band Ooga Booga, circle dance and drumming workshops, and several speakers.

The event initially was held in a Deep Ellum club to celebrate the coming of summer with poetry and drums, says neighborhood resident and SolstiCelebration founder Amy Martin.

“I’ve always like holidays that are life-affirming,” says Martin, who has worked as a Dallas-area freelance writer for 15 years.

This will be the second year the event is held at White Rock Lake. Last year, Martin says 3,000 people turned out for the occasion, more than seven times the prior year’s turnout, partly to celebrate the successful White Rock Lake bond issue.

“It was unofficially selected as the official victory party for the lake,” says Martin.

But the bond didn’t allot money to repair the park’s infrastructure, which caters to numerous annual charity races and events, so Martin decided proceeds from this year’s festival will benefit general upkeep of the lake.

“Making money was never my main objective, but now I’m making it into a fund-raiser,” Martin says.

An interesting element of the festival includes a dance where women and their newborns, along with pregnant women, dance on the stage “celebrating the bounty of life on earth,” Martin says.

“There was a real connectiveness between all of the people there,” says Alma Hedrick, a neighborhood artist who attended last year’s celebration.

“It is wonderful to have the solstices honored like that,” Hedrick says.

Businesses are contributing funds for the festival, with 50 percent of profits going to the Dallas Park & Recreation Department and 50 percent going to the White Rock Lake Foundation.

Among neighborhood business sponsors are Terilli’s restaurant, Splendor in the Grass, and Charles Lynn One-Hour Photo and Portrait Studio.

For more information, contact Amy Martin at 320-3851.

News & Notes

CHOIR FOR BLIND HOLDS AUDITIONS: The Dallas Lighthouse Ensemble, a choral group made up of visually-impaired vocalists, hold auditions for new members June 8. Deadline to register for an audition is June 5. Call Sharla Davidson at 821-2375, ext. 359.

LOCAL PLAYWRIGHT FEATURED: Three plays written by neighborhood playwright Cliff Harville will be performed at the Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young, June 3-9 in the main auditorium. Performances are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. Admission is free. This play series is part of an on-going project called “Dallas Shorts”, a program coordinated by Act IV Theatre that presents evenings of short plays by Dallas writers. For information, call Moira Wilson at 904-0601.

KITCHEN DOG ENDS SEASON WITH POLITICAL DRAMA: Kitchen Dog Theater Concludes its 1995-96 season with David Mamet’s contemporary drama “Oleanna”, which plays through June 9. The show examines political correctness and sexual harassment. Shows are at the MAC, 3120 McKinney. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $6 for students and senior citizens. Call ARTTIX at 871-2787.

A NIGHT OF POETRY: Award-winning poet Jas Mardis, a regular contributor to KERA’s Morning Edition news program, presents original poetry and family stories June 14 at 7 p.m. at Paperbacks Plus 6115 LaVista. Call 827-4860 for information.

ARTS MAGNET DISPLAYS AT LOCAL BOOKSTORE: Through June 14, visual art by students of the Arts Magnet at Booker T. Washington High School will be displayed daily from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. at Paperbacks Plus, 6115 LaVista. Call 827-4860 for information.

JUNETEENTH PARADE MARCHES TO FAIR PARK: A community Juneteenth parade begins at City Hall (Lamar and Marilla) June 15 at 10 a.m., celebrating the end of slavery in Texas. The parade turns east on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and continues to Fair Park. The parade’s theme is “Let’s Take that First Step Together.” Entertainment will include the Condor Drum Corp. from Nebraska Grand marshall is Brenda Teele of Channel 11. For information or to participate in the event, call 561-2002.

FARMERS MARKET RAINS BERRIES: June 15 is ‘Berry Day’ at the Dallas Farmers Market, 101 S. Pearl, from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. Learn how to grow, select and store berries, pick up some recipes, and eat samples. Children and adults can enter contest and win prizes. Call 939-2808 for information.

ZOO OFFERS FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL: On Father’s day, Dads will receive free admission to the Dallas Zoo, 621 E. Clarendon, and the Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park, with a paid children’s admission ($2.50 at the zoo and $1 at the aquarium). The Texas Dixieland Band will perform at the zoo from 1-4 p.m. that day. Zoo hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aquarium hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

WORKSHOP TEACHES VISUAL ARTS: Artist Julianne Pack conducts a visual art workshop June 17 at 2 p.m. at the Lakewood Library, 6121 Worth. Registration is required. Call 670-1376 for information.

NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS ARE CRITIC’S CHOICE: The 1996 Critic’s Choice art exhibit is open through June 21 at Dallas Visual Art Center, 2917 Swiss. This annual contest allows artists throughout Texas to submit up to three entrees each for judging. More than 600 entrees were received this year, and 46 artworks were chosen for display, ranging from photography to sculpture. Local artists chosen for the exhibit include James Allumbaugh, Russell Norton Buchanan, J R Compton, Larry Martin Locke, Marty and Richard Ray, and Lynn Noelle Rushton. Judges were Dana Friis-Hansen, a senior curator for Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum, and Charles Wylie, a contemporary art curator for Dallas Museum of Art. For information, call 821-2522.

NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTIST PERFORMS FREE SHOW: Comanche flutist Lean “Sonny” Nevaquaya performs June 22 at the Gallery of Native American Art, 2913 Greenville, from noon-6 p.m. and June 23 from 1-5 p.m. Nevaquaya will perform traditional and contemporary pieces and will exhibit some of his hand-crafted flutes. Admission is free. Call 827-4050 for information.