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Another successful season of Patio Sessions, the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s popular series of free outdoor concerts, concluded last week with a performance by local favorite Sarah Jaffe. The series makes Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park a Thursday after-work destination for local residents, office workers, families and music fans. Hundreds flock to the Dallas Arts District weekly in the spring and fall to enjoy live music, a cocktail bar, food trucks, and the opportunity to unwind as the workweek ends. In its third season, total attendance grew to more than 3,000. That’s a big jump over last year’s 2,300 and 1,600 for the year before.

Patio Sessions has gained a reputation as a great platform for local emerging artists. In addition to Jaffe, the series has presented acts like The Killdares, Dallas String Quartet, The O’s, Smile Smile, Cary Pierce of Jackopierce, Mariachi Quetzal and Salim Nourallah. The Dallas Observer named Patio Sessions the “Best Outdoor Concert Series” of 2012 and D Magazine proclaimed that the Center “should be commended for this series of concerts featuring local artists.”

When it was first created, Patio Sessions performances were held in different parts of the Center. But the Donor Recognition Pool became a quick favorite, especially for families whose children enjoyed playing in the water while artists performed. Pegasus News said, “The AT&T Performing Arts Center hopes to draw more attention to the lovely Sammons Park… Patio Sessions does just that.”

One year of Patio Sessions consists of 17-18 concerts, and there are two seasons per year, spring and fall. Currently, Patio Sessions has more than 1,400 Facebook fans, a following that continues to grow. Patio Sessions goes straight to the heart of the Center’s mission: to be a public gathering place that strengthens community and fosters creativity through the performing arts.

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