Friday, October 30, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night....

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... when a host of creatures-- a witch, the Bride of Chuckie, two ghouls, a mummy, Count Dracula, two cowgirls, el lucha libre, and superwoman-- descended on San Anto Cultural Arts. These creatures listened to spooky music and ghost stories, made owls out of moon pies, ate mountains of pizza and sweets, played Halloween word games, and battled in Witch's polo. These photos captured the creepy proceedings... 

Bride of Chuckie enjoying her creation

A ghoul, a cowgirl, and their owls

Superwoman and her owl

A whole nest of owls!

A satisfied customer 

Working on a word scramble

A witch, a mummy, el lucha libre, you know... standard fare.

A witch on her broomstick

Witch's Polo!

Prizes to the victors

Witches aren't the only ones who fly!

And the creepiest of all.... Big Red without Barbacoa!

El Placazo Halloween Party
October 29, 2009
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

TONIGHT at Madhatter's: Juicebox Photography Opening!

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Join photographer Mari Hernandez and the students of El Placazo as they celebrate the success of the first ever Juicebox Photography Workshop and Exhibition!
There will be music, food, and the chill ambiance of Madhatter's TeaHouse--
you don't want to miss out on this!!

Here's more from photographer/mentor Mari Hernandez about working with the kids:

"To say I work with the students at San Anto wouldn’t be completely true.  I don’t really work with them, we sort of hang out. You could say that I mentor them, but I think it’s more of a give and take relationship, because they teach me as much as I teach them. I have a hard time seeing myself as an authority figure in their lives, because I think the idea of another authority figure telling them what to and not to do might be discouraging.  So I see them as my friends, as little adults that I truly care about and love. Due to that, I worry about them, I wonder if they’re okay, I want to know what’s going on in their lives, and I hope to be able to help them if they ever needed it. I like to offer praise, and encourage them to go for their dreams, even if they may seem far off. I have faith in them. I like to have conversations with them about their favorite metal band, maybe watch a youtube music video that I have a hard time sitting through. I want all the details to the movie they say they are going to make, and that they gave the part of the butler to their dad leaves us in hysterics. I like it when they say they will teach me how to dance, and we waltz in the cozy space that is San Anto. I love it when I see the kid, who on the outside may look tough, laughing and smiling so big that I tear up, and wonder when I became such a big softy.

Access to art is limited for some, and I don’t completely understand why.  It’s a huge misconception to think art can only be produced by a certain type of people, from a certain place, and must be validated by some unknown. Everyone should have access to a creative outlet. In understanding this, I see the students at San Anto as being lucky. Creative people surround them, include them, and teach them. We show them how to engage their creativity in ways that empower them. To empower these students is my main goal, regardless of what form it may come in. That is why I hang out with them, why I share with them. A lot of the time minorities get the short end of the stick, and I want to make sure that’s not the case with them.

We live in a capitalistic society, where our desire for tangible things sometimes takes the front seat. Advertising is geared at youth, preying on them, making them think they must have the next digital-megablitz-talking-gadget, while at the same time our environment is crumbling around us.  I wanted to communicate to the students the theory of DIY and reuse in a way that would be interesting for them.  In making the juice box cameras, I feel as if all of the things I wished to say was communicated. They can make something by their own hand, from recycled materials, which can be of use, and they didn’t have to buy it. They can take a photograph that details they’re creative and artistic side. They were able to sit down, follow instruction, successfully produce, and walk away with a newfound knowledge, without breaking a sweat. That sounds empowering to me.

The mentors of our community have a big job. We are responsible for getting rid of the bad, and securing the good of our community, in order to pass it on to the next generation. I hope one of these days the students fully realize that, and they will participate in the same cycle of mentoring."

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Next WEDNESDAY: Juicebox Camera Pinhole Project Opening!!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Madhatter's TeaHouse

Join photographer Mari Hernandez and the students of El Placazo as they celebrate the success of the first ever Juicebox Photography Workshop and Exhibition!
There will be music, food, and the chill ambiance of Madhatter's TeaHouse--
you don't want to miss out on this!!

Mari Hernandez's 

The juicebox pinhole camera is made in the spirit of DIY (Do It Yourself). Taking common, everyday materials the students we're able to make a camera by hand and produce images. 
The process promotes unbounded accessibility to creative outlets, and concentrates on the idea of recycle and reuse.  The workshop promotes and secures artistic awareness for the community, by the community. 

Call San Anto Cultural Arts at 226-7466 for more info. 
Read about the summer's workshop in the Mero Hueso blog post "Out of a Simple Juicebox, a Pinhole View to the World"

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coming Soon... Dia de los Muertos Barrio Procession and Nicho Blessing

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Monday, November 2, 2009
6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
meet at the Peace and Remembrance Mural
(corner of San Patricio y Trinity)

One of San Anto Cultural Arts' favorite traditions is our annual Dia de los Muertos Barrio Procession with the P.E.A.C.E. Initiative, Inner City Development, and San Jacinto Senior Home honoring victims of domestic violence within our community. This year, in addition to honoring those whose lives have been touched by violence, San Anto will also be blessing and dedicating the restoration of the Nicho para la Virgen de Guadalupe located at the San Jacinto Senior Center.

The way the Dia de los Muertos Barrio Procession works is that it goes in stages from the Peace and Remembrance mural to the San Jacinto Senior Home: 
  • At 6:30 p.m., we will start gathering at Peace and Remembrance to start doing face painting and setting up the altar. 
  • The Peace and Remembrance mural is special to the Dia de los Muertos Barrio Procession because it honors those who have fallen victim to violence in our community by listing their names. Each year we add at least one more name to the wall to honor that person who recently passed. This year the family and friends of a 16 year-old girl who was murdered will speak and give testimony about her life. If there are other names that need to be added to the mural, community members may do so during the prayer by Father Marty and the original poem by a community elder.
  • The procession will begin around 7:45 p.m., mas o menos, with the lighting of the luminarias and moving the community mobile altars, which will honor Manny and other community leaders.
  • The first stop after the procession begins will be at a Westside home, where champurrado/atole will be served and an original acoustic song will be performed.
  • From that home, the procession will continue on to the San Jacinto Senior Home. At San Jacinto Senior Home, participants will enjoy music, food, and street teatro with big puppets. Participants are welcome to bring their ofrendas for the community altar that will be set up there. We will also have Manny's cream-colored station wagon "Tres Leches" on site for people to write down memories or messages to Manny on paper and post them on the car. Finally, we will bless the restoration of the Nicho para la Virgen de Guadalupe. Everything should be wrapping up around 9:30 p.m., mas o menos. 
As you can tell, a lot is going to be going on! Contact Cristina Ordonez or Ruth Buentello with questions at 226-7466. Can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Exciting news from the United Way!!

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A HUGE thank you to the United Way of San Antonio/Bexar County for the very generous grant they made to San Anto Cultural Arts through the Community Building Program for Operational Expenses!!!

Every grant made toward San Anto helps us continue to serve our community by providing quality programming that promotes arte y cultura.

Thank you!
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spreading the Huevos Gospel to the Neighborhood: Neighborhood Drive Through

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A lot has been going on around the office trying to get ready for Huevos on Saturday (just 2 more days!!!). Whether it's printing mas tickets, collecting fabulous arte, organizing merchandise, drafting volunteers, or creating egg-themed sashes, the pulse and the heartbeat of San Anto has almost exclusively been H.U.E.V.O.S. We've been really busy, but we're also having fun preparing for such a momentous event. One of the most fun activities we did was a Neighborhood Drive Through-- literally driving and biking through the neighborhood with our cars decorated, honking our horns, flashing our lights, and passing out Huevos flyers and Placazos-- to try to get the word out about our event. 

We took a caravan of 5 vehicles and four bikes, sandwiched by the mural van and a taxi, and caused a ruckus in the neighborhoods surrounding San Anto and the Plaza Guadalupe. Lots of folks came out of doors to see what all the commotion was about, and what started as confusion turned into excitement for one of the biggest events this neighborhood has ever seen.  

Maricela prepping a poster

Getting ready to go!

Anilu's ready!

Anddddd we're off!

Heather gettin' people fired up by tootin' that horn!

Mari spreading the Huevos gospel

It might be hard to tell, but this precious child was given un El Placazo and immediately sat down on his basketball in the middle of the sidewalk and read it. Talk about the power of the written word! You never know who it will touch.

We handed out flyers to anyone and everyone

The token artsy shot. This is an arts organization, after all.


Job well done, everyone! 
Thanks goes to Cristina Ordonez, Ruth Buentello, Maricela Olguin and her sister, Anilu Gonzalez, Mari Hernandez, Matthew Carrion, Rico Salinas, Dolores Valles, Jeremiah Valles, Angelina Oz Estrada, Heather Eichling, Melinda Higgins, and Patti Radle for making our Neighborhood Drive Through a huge, fun success!

Show you love for Huevos on October 3rd
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