An A-to-Z Guide to Alive for 35: Dallas Contemporary's Free, Two-Day Party

Trent Straughn, "Choreographies"
The Dallas Contemporary turns officially old this weekend. It celebrates with Alive for 35, an immersive event that invites you into the space -- and beyond its walls -- for a 35-hour party. They've promised to keep the doors unlocked and the lights up from 1 p.m. on Friday until midnight on Saturday. That time is being used to celebrate those people making work, right now, in Dallas.

The thing's jam-packed. Group show Acceleration boils over with local talent and stretches into thematic small-group discussions. The rest of the timeline is filled out with less conventional activities. Naked girls read things aloud. Bicyclers hunt down street art. There are hands-on workshops, Q&A's, panels, history lessons, bands, family activities, live wrestling and even a midnight screening of Animal House.

Oh, and it's all free. Or, almost all of it. There's a closing party that'll cost some bucks: It runs from 8 to midnight on Saturday. (Those events are noted with asterixis.)

Let's take a look at some of what's available, from A-to-Z.

SCAB Collective "Twin Coffins"
So, it's going to be that kind of party.
Pulsating at this event's core is a group show consisting of -- you guessed it -- 35 artists who have either shown at the Contemporary before or who will make their mark on Friday. That murderer's row includes: Morehshin Allahyari, Jesse Morgan Barnett, Dru Bias, Andrew Blanton, Bradly Brown, Will Card, Sally Glass, Cassandra Emswiler, Vernon Fisher, James Gilbert, Nathan Green, Timothy Harding, Judy Hearst, Nevada Hill, Quin Mathews, Margaret Meehan, Francisco Moreno, Michael A. Morris, Lisa Nersesova, Arthur Peña, Morton Rachofsky, Brittany Ransom, Michelle Rawlings, S.C.A.B. Collective, Trent Straughn, George Tobolowsky, Jason Willaford, Chesley Williams and Trey Wright.

* Ballet Folklorico Azteca
BFA propels Mexican and Latin cultural vibrancy through courses in dance and music. They perform in the final special ticket programming block, between 8 p.m. and midnight Saturday.

Collage Workshops
Dallas-born and Denton-grad artist/photographer Trey Wright has work in Acceleration, and lends his chopped graphic talents in two collage workshops and one community collage project (Friday, at 3 p.m.). One workshop is catered toward youths ages 7 to 13 and happens at noon on Saturday. The next is for the older kids (read: you), at 1 p.m. Saturday.

D'Art to dc
This combo film screening and panel discussion takes a historical look at an institution's evolution. You'll hear words by Doroshenko, early D'Art director Patricia Meadows and early D'Art organizer/fundraiser Judy Hearst. (4 p.m. Saturday)

Jamie Laughlin
Explore On Two Wheels
Roll up to an adventure on Saturday at 11 a.m. It's a group ride, guiding your peddles to Dallas' best street art.

Friends of the Community
Have you seen the list of board members for Alive for 35? The gang's all there: Maxwell Anderson, Jeremy Strick, Morton Rachofsky, Veletta Lill, Kenny Goss and a dozen more. That's a lot of strong hands working together. The figureheads are collaborating.

Gender Illusionists
The Rose Room lends its most exquisite talents for Saturday night's big closer. Do your hair, then get served up a heavy hand of glam.

* Hensley Ensemble
Prepare to testify. This smooth gospel group is rich in vocals and minimal in accompaniment, helmed by founder and pianist Elbert Hensley. You might have dined with them in the past: The Hensley Ensemble is a frequent House of Blues Gospel Brunch contributing act. They play as part of the closing affairs, in the 8 p.m. to midnight block on Saturday.

The Alternative Comedy Theater has kept actors on their toes since 2008 and its pocket troupes have spotlighted future big names in the local stage community, like Fun House Theater's Jeff Swearingen.

John Belushi in John Landis' Animal House
Relive "double secret probation" and the D-day it spawned as Belushi, Matheson, Sutherland and the rest of the crew show college's full bell-curve. (Animal House is also 35, in case you were wondering.) It screens at 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

Kids Stuff
There's no shortage of ways to entertain your shortie. Local artists Sally Glass, Michelle Rawlings and Jesse Morgan Baronett lead children's story hour, which coincides with the dc's Kids Party on Saturday at 10 a.m. Stick around for collages with Trey Wright at noon and screen printing with Nevada Hill at 1 p.m.

* Live Tattooing

What's a party without fast-moving needles? Nothing, that's what. Saints and Sinners inkers Dru Bias and Will Card work live from 8 p.m. to midnight during Saturday's closing bash. (Correct that unfortunate, mid-'90s tramp stamp.)

Michael A. Morris, Two Times
New media artist Michael A. Morris digs beyond the definitions, presenting a collection of technology hybrid situations designed to challenge and explore perception in "The Hermeneutics." (8 p.m. Friday) It's the first public screening of the series' latest, third installment. See Morris again in the curated show Acceleration: He's part of S.C.A.B. collective.

Next up: Naked Girls Reading

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