The genesis for Dublin Arts Council's D'Art Dash 5K was a cat and his stroller.

The genesis for Dublin Arts Council's D'Art Dash 5K was a cat and his stroller.

D'Art, the Arts Council's gallery cat, makes his desire to go outside known by meowing at the door repeatedly, said David Guion, the Arts Council's executive director.

Arts Council staff members decided to get the feline his own stroller for those outdoor excursions.

About the same time, former Arts Council Board Member Debbie Gibson came up with the idea for a race named for the furry explorer.

"We really came up with the idea because he always wants to go outside," Guion said.

Now on its second year, the D'Art Dash 5K Run/Walk begins at 9 a.m. July 9 in Coffman Park, 5200 Emerald Parkway.

The route begins and ends in the park and meanders through the Indian Run Meadows neighborhood.

Funding raised will go toward Arts Council programming, such as ARTcamps, the Sundays at Scioto summer concert series and the visual arts series.

Janet Cooper, director of engagement, said staff hope for about 150 to attend this year.

Last year's registrants were primarily from Dublin, although there were a significant number of Columbus residents, and runners came from throughout central Ohio.

Last year's event had 82 participants, Guion said, and a profit of $1,083.50. The overall goal, he said, was to raise awareness rather than money.

"It was another avenue to reach out to people," he said.

Cooper said the event gives attendees a preview of the Arts Council's organizational personality.

"We're really about being accessible and being fun," she said.

When kids visit the Arts Council building and interact with D'Art, they're learning art experiences don't necessarily have to happen in a quiet, professional environment, and that it's okay to get down on the floor and play with the cat, Cooper said.

"That's the kind of environment that we have here, really, so we're taking it out and showing it to people outside the building," she said.

Like last year, people are encouraged to dress up as their favorite artist or artwork for the D'Art Dash. Mesh Fitness will conduct an athletic stretching program prior to the race. All will receive participation medals and top placers in each age group will receive special medals.

Strollers are allowed on the course, as are well-behaved dogs on non-retractable leashes. Registration can be completed online via runsignup.com/Race/OH/Dublin/dartdash5k.

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