Built over a busy downtown Dallas freeway, Klyde Warren Park offers visitors over five acres of green space to eat, play and relax.
Kit Sawers is president of Klyde Warren Park. And she recently talked with Lee Cullum, host of the KERA-TV program "CEO," about what makes the park a success — and what's in the park's future.
Interview Highlights: Kit Sawers on …
New park developments: Klyde Warren Park has been embraced unlike any project in recent memory in Dallas. And so, we are adding on to the area above Woodall Rogers, between St. Paul and Akard. And also the U-turn area off Woodall Rogers; the Department of Transportation for Texas has abandoned, or is abandoning, that U-turn, and that will turn into park space as well as a little area past that. So, the park will be 6.4 acres instead of 5.2.
Supporting the diversity of Dallas: To me, the most special thing about Klyde Warren Park is it truly is a place where all socioeconomic levels, all neighborhoods, all races, all ages – they're welcome in the park. They play together, they play in the fountains, they listen to poetry together. So, not only having programming in the park that brings people there, and that instills in people a sense of pride. When they want to have visitors come to town ... they take them to Klyde Warren Park. But we really want to have more and more diverse programming. We want the programming to be reflective of our city.
Many free events: There's only one or two days a year, really, that the park is closed for our annual fundraiser, that “Park and Palate” event, beyond that, the park is open. And, every class is free, every yoga class, every fitness class, everything is free, other than the food trucks. You have to pony up a little bit for your yummy grilled cheese.
A prime Arts District location: We are all focused, the Arts District, we're all teaming together, and we meet regularly, the heads of the different Arts District entities and our staffs do as well, to really focus on connectivity, and additional ways to get people to go from the park to the Nasher [Sculpture Center.] … The school groups all do, and a lot of people do, but they're still surgical strikes: sometimes that families will take and they'll go to the Perot Museum, for example, and then they'll go home, or the DMA and then they'll go home. We really want to increase that connectivity so that people will truly understand that they need to spend the day in the Arts District, and there are things going on at each of these different entities, all day.
Video: Watch the KERA-TV "CEO" interview
These interview highlights were edited lightly for clarity.