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The Deep Ellum Arts Festival Celebrates Another Successful Year

By Tristan Miller, with photos by Ryan Javier

DALLAS – Participants flooded the streets of Deep Ellum for the 2016 Deep Ellum Arts Festival. This three day festival from Friday, April 1st to Sunday, April 3rd would be full artists of all sorts of backgrounds from painting, leather, photography, resin, glass, music, and many more.RRJ_8595
Over two-hundred booths filled with artists straddled Main Street, which began and ended with two main stages. What looked to be a dismal April 1st – cold and overcast weather – turned for the better to be a weekend filled with sunshine and opportunities for the excellence that would take part that weekend. Once visitors enter the festival, they were in a whole other world.
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Since everyone is welcome to attend the festival every year for free, it has grown more and more over the last twenty-two years of its existence. In addition to the festival being free, it also had convenient parking which made its accessible for patrons to walk a short distance to see what all of the excitement was about.
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Once entering the beginning of the festival, at the intersection of Malcolm X blvd. and Main Street, people were immediately greeted by the intensity of the festival grounds. Patrons were able to pay for tickets so they could try all the delicious food and treats the festival had to offer.
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Furthermore, the variety of artists created a melting pot created a welcoming atmosphere for booth holders to feel at home and share their art.
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An interesting sight was the shirt booth, which you could see once you entered the festival, and who also sold shirts that had a plethora of themes incorporating “Deep Ellum” with them – for the guests that call Deep Ellum home, this was a beautiful sight.
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Even for the patrons, who weren’t too familiar with Deep Ellum, they were welcomed by artists into their booths with open arms and open minds.
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Lily Mekeel – a local artist from Ronoake, Texas – created her own brand named Buried Heart Trading Post, where she makes her own handcrafted leather goods with Rock N’ Roll and Native American Inspiration. Her costumer beadwork services are available at BurriedHeartTP@gmail.com. Feel free to visit her Facebook Page at “Buried Heart Trading Post”.
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In addition to the majority of artists holding booths, the musicians formulated a new vibe to the festival that was quite refreshing to the people of Deep Ellum, who dwell in the music scene.
RRJ_8755One of the great things about the Deep Ellum Arts Festival is that it is not limited to the well known musicians, but it is also inviting to local bands and solo artists that just want to get out their and express themselves.
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Bands like (monkeysphere), a post ska revelation band of musical misfits that frequently plays in Deep Ellum and Dallas, played with great enthusiasm on the main stage and brought music lovers alike together.

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The Deep Ellum Arts Festival continues to please the minds of many guests and artists that return to the festival every year. Submissions for artists to have a booth of their own grow and commence to give the genuine diversity that Deep Ellum is known for. The great success 2016 the Deep Ellum Arts Festival had will shine through for years to come.
Ryan Javier
Co-Editor and photojournalist for Infrared Magazine
http://infraredmag.com/
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