Kaleidoscope Park Plans Summer Debut

By Ashli Urano


With such explosive growth across the city in recent years, it’s almost hard to believe that Frisco still has numerous incredibly impressive and one-of-a-kind developments and projects on the horizon. Frisco’s southern corridor will soon be home to one of Frisco’s newest innovative arts and culture destinations that aims to serve as a place where residents can be part of their community and where everyone can experience the beauty and diversity of North Texas in an environment like no other.

Its name inspired by the ever-changing, brilliant colors and shapes of a kaleidoscope, Kaleidoscope Park, located south of The Star near Highway 121 and the Dallas North Tollway, is a 5.7-acre green space made possible through a public-private partnership between the City of Frisco and Hall Group. The park will offer free, year-round public events showcasing the diverse culture of the region, including concerts, films, music, and dance performances, as well as recreational activities. The innovative arts and culture destination is currently under construction and scheduled to open this summer.

The park is being developed within Hall Park, a 162-acre, 15-building office park. Craig Hall, founder and chairman of Hall Group, recognized many years ago that office parks have the potential to evolve beyond the traditional 9-to-5 concept. His vision, referred to as “Hall Park 2.0,” entails reimagining Frisco’s Hall Park as a multifaceted space where people can live, work, play, and stay.

Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney discussed the City’s firm stance on open spaces saying, “In 2017, we enacted the first-of-its-kind commercial ordinance which requires open space in every commercial project. Over the years, Craig Hall has been dedicated to this, going above and beyond, even before it became a requirement. This commercial ordinance reflects the City’s commitment to making this district something very special.”

Cheney went on to say, “The commercial open space ordinance was a major project of mine, and it’s something I’m very proud of. I think it’s what sets the City of Frisco and our developments apart from a lot of other communities. We want our entire city to be able to experience these different developments in meaningful ways with their families. That’s why it’s so important to us as a community.”

Much of Kaleidoscope Park’s footprint was influenced by Hall’s desire to have a residential unit. The Monarch, a 19-story, 214-unit luxury residential tower located within Kaleidoscope Park, was completed in 2023. On the opposite side of the park, a 224-room boutique hotel and office tower are currently being developed, replacing specific buildings and office spaces that were removed to establish the new park’s design.

The construction of the project, totaling $15 million, is funded by the City of Frisco, with this amount being the City’s capped maximum contribution. The remaining funds, approximately $30 million for the park’s development, are coming from Hall Group.

In terms of operations, the park is anticipated to require an annual budget of approximately three to four million dollars for its operation, maintenance, and programming. The entirety of this funding is sourced from the private sector through fundraising efforts. While the City maintains ownership of the property as part of its public assets, it does not allocate tax dollars for the support of the park.

Kaleidoscope Park’s programming, developed in collaboration with community partners, aims for diversity. All events are free to the public, with a goal of hosting major events at the park five nights a week within the next few years. The programs will provide an inclusive experience, giving visitors the opportunity to see their backgrounds, heritages, and ethnicities reflected in the park’s activities.

The spacious Performance Lawn and Pavilion will be home to some of the park’s most exciting and engaging public arts and culture activities in Kaleidoscope Park. Prospective visitors can imagine a morning yoga class in this area, an afternoon playing catch or reading a book on the lawn, and closing the day with a free evening concert.

Founders Circle member Charlyn Plunk, happily said, “We are excited about all of the free programming with other nonprofits in North Texas. There will be STEM activities programmed by SciTech Discovery Center and Girl Scouts of North East Texas. There will also be exciting patriotic programming with the Special Forces Foundation, concerts in the park with the Plano Symphony Orchestra, and many other fun activities to look forward to. Kaleidoscope Park has done a great job reaching out to so many nonprofits in our area to include them in the space.” Founders Circle is a group of donors who support Kaleidoscope Park’s vision and ongoing success.

Photo courtesy of Kim Leeson

Plunk also expressed enthusiasm for the park’s amenities, stating, “We are excited about the dog park, the concert venue space, and the restaurants that lead into the green space and playground area. Families can come and spend the day, or just an hour or two, at the park and do so many activities in one place.”

Kaleidoscope Park will have a 6,000-square-foot dog park equipped with tunnels, hills, and activities for dogs to participate in. The dog park will have comfortable seating for dog owners and also offer opportunities for dog training and grooming.
The Arts Plaza will showcase a breathtaking aerial sculpture called Butterfly Rest Stop. World-renowned fabric artist Janet Echelman has been commissioned to create the woven fabric artwork that focuses on the decline of monarch butterflies due to the loss of milkweed. The sculpture’s design is inspired by the form, pattern, and color of milkweed flowers that sustain monarchs during migration. It consists of two five-petaled sculptural forms made of soft braided fiber floating in the air.

Echelman’s project also explores the perception of flowers, posing questions about how monarchs butterflies, with compound eyes, see the world differently from humans. The artwork symbolizes interconnected destinies and the natural world’s systems, inviting people to celebrate nature, art, and community in the new public park.

Echelman explained, “It’s meaningful to me to be asked to help sculpt this new public park for North Texas. This green space invites us all to gather and celebrate the fusion of nature, art, and community.”

Kaleidoscope Park also features one of the largest children’s play areas in North Texas, occupying over 20,000 square feet, with inclusivity at the core of the play area in an effort to ensure that everyone and every family feels welcome. The play area features many design elements that encourage creative, free play and include climbing, sliding, play berms, and water play, to name a few.

A recreation lawn, food and music pavilion, rain garden, technology terrace, and shaded promenades are other notable spaces in the park that have been purposefully planned for optimal visitor experiences. Other plazas throughout the park will be designed to surprise the public. These spaces will host impromptu performances, such as soloists or string quartets, creating beautiful musical moments for visitors to discover as they walk by.

The park’s staffing team is a noteworthy aspect of its development, as the selection process has been meticulous, with a focus on individuals possessing the proper skill set and a reflection of the community they serve. Notable team members include Laura Madden, a Frisco native born and raised in Plano, and Leah Pate, a recent UNT graduate and Frisco resident. Each staffing decision carefully balances the need for individuals with the best skills and those who represent the diversity of Frisco and North Texas. Regardless of their origin, the emphasis is on hiring people with the right skills to contribute uniquely to the area. This approach ensures that the park truly embodies the community it serves.

With this being a community park, the team’s focus lies in garnering local support. Donors contributing to the Kaleidoscope Park Foundation are from the community itself. The fundraising initiatives for the year include a range of options. From 10-million-dollar naming rights opportunities to 100-dollar “Friends of Kaleidoscope Park” opportunities, this approach allows diverse segments of the community to support and engage with their park actively. The outreach involves individuals, corporations, and family foundations, all within the North Texas region. Through philanthropic contributions, the communities being served play a crucial role in supporting and shaping the activities within the park.

The Kaleidoscope Park Foundation, a nonprofit public-private partnership between the City of Frisco and the Communities Foundation of Texas, plays a central role in shaping the park’s programs and initiatives.

The Honorable Florence Shapiro brings a wealth of leadership experience to her role as the foundation’s Board Chairperson. Beginning her career as a public school teacher, she later served six terms on the Plano City Council before becoming Plano’s first female Mayor. Her extensive career in state politics includes two decades as Texas State Senator and Chair of the Senate Education Committee.

“We have a seven-member board that creates responsibility for governing. When the executive director and staff come up with ideas, we go through the drafts and put a fine point on it. We ask questions and become curious about what it’s going to look like, then make a decision whether we move forward or not,” Shapiro explained. “We get input from stakeholders. We bring everyone together and create the environment with which to follow through and build this amazing place.”

Shapiro explained that the board and staff work together, saying, “The staff handles fiscal management and fundraising. The board is actively engaged in fundraising because that’s where relationships are so important throughout North Texas. We want to make sure the staff has relationships. If they don’t, then we help them build relationships in fundraising.”

The safety and security plans for the park are modeled after some of the best examples of public spaces in the country. Extensive research involved engaging with security and safety staff from other large spaces, reviewing their protocols, and adapting them for implementation in Frisco. The park will feature 24-hour security and surveillance, with onsite security officers serving as both ambassadors and trained park security. Their presence ensures not only safety but also a welcoming atmosphere, as they can answer questions and assist visitors. For more significant events, collaboration with the Frisco Police Department and other necessary agencies will be prioritized to ensure a safe, secure, and enjoyable experience without intimidation.

“We’ve been one of the fastest-growing cities in the country for a long time. We’re putting into place policies that make sure we preserve green space for future generations,” Cheney explained. “It’s something that’s been very important to me personally, as well as for City Council. Once Kaleidoscope Park opens, the public will see our commitment to preserving open space in Frisco.”

It’s expected that the park will welcome and entertain one million residents and visitors annually, and it plans to host more than 100 free arts and culture programs each year while providing more than 100 free health and recreational activities each year. Additionally, Kaleidoscope Park will add an estimated $30 million in direct spending to the region’s economy.

The park is set to open this summer, marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring small performances to celebrate the park’s opening. Due to the summer heat, the grand celebration is postponed until October or November. During this time, a couple of days will be dedicated to intensive and purposeful programming, including music, visual arts, sculpture, and dance. This event will offer a glimpse of what visitors can expect at Kaleidoscope Park.

When discussing what she feels is the most important aspect of Kaleidoscope Park, the Honorable Florence Shapiro said, “This is going to be a park for everybody. We want to bring as much art, architecture, and design, as well as programming and activities to the surrounding area. It’s one of those rare opportunities to actually bring something different. It doesn’t necessarily have to look like every park that you see. This is going to be a park for all of us.”


Ashli Urano is a freelance writer obsessed with competitive tennis, true crime, and her Goldendoodle named Sadie Kirenia.

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