A New Mexico city's crosstown bus next fall will feature live musicians partly in an attempt to bridge the segregated city, an artist said.
The writers, composers, musicians and actors of Littleglobe, a Santa Fe artists' collective, Sunday performed a test run of a bus opera titled "Crosstown #5," marking the first time the group rehearsed on a moving bus, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
The group has been working out the project in a stationary bus for months, said Valerie Martinez, one of Littleglobe's artistic directors.
The bus performance effort, which travels from poorer to wealthier parts of town, expresses "some of our sadness over the fact that Santa Fe has become segregated. I envision the bus as a thread that kind of pulls us all together," Martinez said.
The performance includes actors in costume near the road along the route, the New Mexican reported.
"What an interesting way to pull the community into the project. People behind the bus driving in their cars just see this giant bird costume (outside) and we are all drawing on our own experiences with these places in town as we go through them," said preview bus rider Erica Gionfriddo.
Although the preview bus was chartered and marked "Special," next autumn's performances will be very public, Martinez said.
Martinez said city authorities may add an extra bus on the regular route or make other changes to accommodate passengers.
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"This is kind of a bonus for the community and for people who do use the bus, and hopefully it isn't something that gets in the way of them using the bus for transportation," said City Transit Director Jon Bulthuis.
Littleglobe is funded by the Santa Fe Opera, New Mexico Arts, the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau, Black Rock Arts and other sponsors, the newspaper said.