Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Little Two-Room Office That Could

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San Anto Cultural Arts might look pretty unassuming from the outside. In fact, it often gets confused for the non-profits on either side of us. But if you open the bright red door set against the uniquely-green building, what you will find is a glorious chaos of creativity, sweat, and love hard at work. Whether it's the middle and elementary school El Placazo students learning how to be hard core journalists, mural crew members of the CMP brainstorming ideas for the latest mural to adorn the Westside, or volunteers and community residents stopping by to help out, there is always something going on. This little, two-room office daily unlocks the potential of the community residents who venture inside its door, and empowers everyone it touches, both directly and indirectly.

A lot of significant events have happened around San Anto over the last several months: the "Una Mesa Para La Gente" mural restoration was blessed and dedicated in February; we hosted a Texas Public Radio member event in March; the Placazo students delivered a poetry slam at the San Jacinto Senior Home for National Poetry Month in April; we led our first-ever Mural Bike Tour around the Westside in July; the Placazo students participated in the third annual Summer Foto Workshop and Exhibit, which was showcased at Guadalupe Street Coffee in August; and new articles for El Placazo and new murals for the CMP are being conceptualized all the time. 

Perhaps the biggest change in the organization's history occurred in January with the passing of our fearless leader, Manuel "Manny" Castillo, Jr. Manny was one of San Anto's original three founders and was the only Executive Director the organization has ever had. He made tremendous contributions to the Westside and the wider arts world, and his absence is felt deeply through everyone and everything he touched. While he is greatly missed, his memory is with us always, and San Anto tries to honor his memory in everything we do. 

This blog is a chance for you to keep up with all of the great things going on around this little two-room office that could. We've got a lot of awesome things coming up on the radar: the Huevos Rancheros Gala and Silent Art Auction, honoring Manny as King Huevo, on October 3, 2009; the Dia de los Muertos Barrio Procession on November 2; the blessing and dedication of our biggest mural ever, La Musica de San Anto, on November 21, 2009; another Bike Tour con Murals in December; and hopefully a new building purchase. So hold on to your chones-- we're getting down!
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