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July/August 2012

Patty Ortiz Asia Ciaravino Two Step Restaurant Arts SA Season of Dance SSA: All School Exhibition New Performing Arts Season Blue Star’s Mosaic Art Program Plus 7 Additional Stories

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Cover Credits

Performing Arts Season 2012-13 Coming Soon! Mark Your Calendar, Get Tickets and Enjoy!


Asia Ciaravino Steers a New Course for The Playhouse San Antonio


Ars San Antonio’s Season of Dance


Summertime in the Hill Country…..and Great Live Theater is an Easy Drive Away


Two Step Restaurant and Cantina


Culinaria: Restaurant Week 52 and More This Summer Local Art Rising 56 Blue Star’s MOSAIC Program Creates Handmade Tile Mural for H-E-B


Southwest School of Art: All School Exhibition


Patty Ortiz: Fulfilling Her Vision for Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center


Kiddie Park: A Landmark Saved, Renewed And Going Strong

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Front Cover Photo: Joffrey Ballet Courtesy Arts San Antonio Performing Arts Cover Photo: Sebastian Lang-Lessing Photo by Marks Moore Events Calendar Cover Photo: Glen Campbell Courtesy Majestic Theatre Culinary Arts Cover Photo: Greg Harrison Visual Arts Cover Photo: Greg Harrison Literary Arts Cover Photo: : Bigstock Photo © Galina Samoylovich Eclectics Cover Photo: Greg Harrison

Lair Creative, LLC would not knowingly publish misleading or erroneous information in editorial content or in any adv appear under any circumstances. Additionally, content in this electronic magazine does not necessarily reflect the view mances and exhibits, it is recommended that all times and dates of such events be confirmed by the reader prior to at



Departments July-August 2012 Events Calendar

Contributors 28

Book Talk: Viki Ash Children’s Services Coordinator for the San Antonio Public Library


Artistic Destination: Elvis and the Special Places in His Life


Out and About with Greg Harrison


Mikel Allen, creative director / graphic designer

Anne Keever Cannon

Christa Brothers

Christian Lair, operations manager

Julie Catalano

Kay Lair

Cynthia Clark

Ginger McAneer-Robinson

Lisa Cruz

Susan A. Merkner, copy editor

Thomas Duhon

Angela Rabke

Dana Fossett is published by Lair Creative, LLC 14122 Red Maple San Antonio, Texas 78247 210-771-8486 210-490-7950 (fax)


Rebecca Geibel

Michele Krier

Dawn Robinette Sara Selango Jasmina Wellinghoff

Greg Harrison, staff photographer

vertisement in On The Town, nor does it assume responsibility if this type of editorial or advertising should ws or opinions of the management of Lair Creative, LLC. Since On The Town features information on perforttendance. The publisher assumes no responsibility for changes in times, dates, venues, exhibitions or performances.

Cassandra Yardeni

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Performing Arts 8-26

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Performing Arts Season Mark your calendar, get tickets and enjoy! By Sara Selango

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t’s not the holiday season, but it is time to make a list and check it twice. Many of the outstanding performing arts organizations in and around San Antonio have announced their 2012-13 season schedules, so planning begins now.

under the direction of Anya Grokhovski-Michaelson. Five performances at McAllister Auditorium on the campus of San Antonio College make up their main stage series, including a special appearance by renowned pianist Lilya Zilberstein. The Judy and Jefferson Crabb Musical Evenings at San Fernando A good place to start is with the San Antonio Cathedral series is also an integral part of the Symphony as they celebrate their 73rd season, MBAW offering with free Sunday evening concerts the third in the Sebastain Lang-Lessing era as presented in the oldest cathedral in the nation. music director. Featured are 12 classical concerts, performed on both Friday and Saturday nights, San Antonio Chamber Music Society is now plus a Brahms Festival comprised of four concerts in its 70th season of presenting world class in February. Pops offerings for the season include performances. Chamber Orchestra Kremlin with Wicked Divas, The Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel, pianist James Dick, Opus One Piano Quartet, David Live and Let Die, Pops Goes to the Movies, Fiesta Pops Finckel with Wu Han (cello/piano), Miro String and Holiday Pops. In addition, the symphony will Quartet and Ebene Quartet await your applause once again team with Ballet San Antonio for two this season. Tuesday Music Club presents its 90th weekends of The Nutcracker in late November and season of exceptional artistry. Their 2012-13 Artist early December. Another highlight for the symphony Series includes Philippe Quint (violin), Paul Jacobs this season is the return of Lang Lang in recital on (organ), Joyce Yang (piano) and Darrett Adkins Tuesday, October 16. (cello). Also of super-note is the fact that the 2012 San Antonio International Piano Competion takes Staying in the classical genre, Musical Bridges place from October 14-21. Please visit the SAIPC Around The World has announced its 15th season website for details.

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Texas Performing Arts Society adds a trio of incredible performances to the season, starting with violinist Joshua Bell at the Scottish Rite Theatre on November 8. Opera icon Jessye Norman follows on December 15 at Lila Cockrell Theatre with violinist Hilary Hahn coming to San Antonio on February 14 for a Valentine’s evening performance at the Scottish Rite.

Stable. Carlos Izcaray guest conducts. How’s your list coming along?

Moving on to live theater, The 2012-13 Cadillac Broadway Series at the Majestic Theatre brings six shows to the Alamo city. Catch Me If You Can leads off in October followed in December by Peter Pan with Kathy Rigby. Next up is Memphis: The Musical You would be remiss if you didn’t check out season in February with Million Dollar Quartet featured in schedules for Camerata San Antonio, SOLI Chamber April. The Addams Family hits the Majestic stage Ensemble, Musical Offerings, UTSA Guest Artist in May and Flashdance: The Musical closes out the Series, San Antonio Brass, Olmos Ensemble, Youth season in June. Orchestras of San Antonio, Mid-Texas Symphony, Symphony of the Hills and Mary C. Rohe Classical In community theater, The Vex (Sheldon Vexler Series in Kerrville. Fredericksburg Music Club is Theatre) gets their season started early with August: another presenter to watch. Their season of eight Osage County in late August. Alfred Hitchcock’s The concerts begins with pianist Mariangela Vacatello in 39 Steps, Glengarry Glen Ross and Little Shop of Horrors September and also includes violinist Nancy Zhou in complete the season in October, February and May the spring of 2013. respectively. The Playhouse offers a five show lineup at their Russell Hill Rogers Theater including Greater Rounding out the discussion of classical music Tuna, Annie, the world premiere of Roads Courageous, is the inaugural per formance by Chamber Spring Awakening and Ragtime. Cellar Theater at Orchestra of San Antonio in October at Pearl The Playhouse showcases five smaller shows, two of

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which are David Mamet’s November and Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris and Joe Mantello. Red, Picnic and Have a Nice Day: A 70s Musical Flashback comprise the remainder of the bill. Woodlawn Theatre rolls into next season with main stage presentations of 9 to 5 from late August to the middle of September followed by the everpopular Rocky Horror Show throughout the entire month of October. Let’s do the time warp again! Holiday season at the Woodlawn brings with it The Best Christmas Pageant Ever starting in the latter part of November while the new year sees the coming of Mel Brooks’ The Producers in February, The brand-new Woodlawn Black Box, located right next door to The Woodlawn, has a full slate of shows scheduled through September 2013. Highlights include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and Frost / Nixon.

on-stage moments are coming soon to The Cameo, Classic Theatre of San Antonio, The Renaissance Guild, Overtime Theater, Harlequin Dinner Theatre and many more theatrical organizations. To get a grasp on all happenings, rely on the San Antonio Theatre Coalition. It’s at and it’s a super service! To put a cap on this discussion of performing arts season 2012-13, it must be mentioned that several presenting organizations have stellar seasons planned, starting with Arts San Antonio. Under the direction of John Toohey, Arts SA features dance performances by Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez, Joffrey Ballet, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and Bejart Ballet Lausanne. In addition, the organization will present The Nutcracker, Shaolin Warriors, Chucho Valdes and The Romeros.

Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre in New Braunfels There is so much quality community theater offers a nine-show season at their newly remodeled available in and around San Antonio that it’s theater in the downtown area just off the circle. impossible to chronicle everything here. Incredible Highlights include The International Tenors, Neil

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Berg’s 102 Years of Broadway, The Rat Pack Now and Let’s Hang On – a tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Boerne Performing Arts presents Drumline Live in January, followed in February by The Five Browns and Celtic Nights. All three performances are to be held at the state-ofthe-art Boerne Champion HS Auditorium.

Photo Credits Pages 8-9

Flashdance Original Tour Production Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Flashdance Original Tour Production Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Page 10-11 (L-R) Joyce Yang Photo by Larry Ford

Pages 10-11 (R-L)

Joshua Bell Courtesy

At the time of this writing, Carver Community Cultural Center has not announced their new season. Stay tuned for another great year at this wonderful organization.

Lang Lang Courtesy San Antonio Symphony

Drumline Live Courtesy of Boerne Performing Arts

Karen Gomyo Photo by Minoru Kaburagi

Celtic Nights Courtesy of Boerne Performing Arts

Performing arts season 2012-13 Million Dollar Quartet is loaded. Mark your calendar, Photo by Joan Marcus get tickets and enjoy!

The Rat Pack Now Courtesy ratpacktributeshownow. com

Memphis Photo by Paul Kolnik

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Asia Ciaravino Steers a New Course for The Playhouse San Antonio By Michele Krier Photography Greg Harrison


t the helm of The Playhouse San Antonio (formerly San Pedro Playhouse) since May, Asia Ciaravino is setting a new course for the oldest theater in continuous operation in the United States.

Raising the bar at all times, Ciaravino is committed to expanding The Playhouse San Antonio’s youth programs and is taking a look at bringing in newer productions, as opposed on relying on sentimental shows from the past. By replacing South Pacific with Spring Awakening in the spring of next year, Her lifelong love for theater and her passionate Ciaravino literally washed the old Broadway vision for the future of theater in San Antonio standby right out of her golden blonde hair. Spring wowed and wooed the selection committee -- Awakening, a 2007 musical about teens coming of suddenly the new president and CEO found herself age, is the show’s San Antonio premiere. at the perfect place for a person armed with a love and commitment to theater and a master’s degree “I have a great team of 10 people, and we have in nonprofit management. She also manages new energy -- a new logo, new signage,” Ciaravino to raise a family, participate in Leadership San said, singling out tangible and artistic changes in Antonio, and works full-time. To say the least; she preparation for the Centennial Gala in September. is adept at balancing life and work. San Antonio’s oldest arts organization is celebrating 100 seasons of quality theater with the “You just do it,” Ciaravino said, “Don’t hold back. upcoming Centennial Season that will entertain Follow your passion. I’ve always been very driven.” 30,000 patrons. She caught the acting bug early, but her trajectory was by way of producing. “I have a clear and strong vision of theater -- why it is relevant and why people should care,” she said. “I don’t choose shows randomly; I will choose what is relevant to our community. Defining emotional, physical and intellectual levels makes art alive.”

Sarah Barton Bindley originated the acting troupe in 1912 with The Playhouse San Antonio structure in San Pedro Park becoming its home when it opened its doors Jan. 22, 1930, for a performance of Ferenc Molnar’s The Swan. Artistic director Frank Latson said several significant changes already have taken place in the 2012-13 season. July-August | On The Town 15

“I’m so excited that Asia’s here because I had thought for some time that there needs to be youth at the helm,” Latson said. “It’s wonderful to have her vitality and her incredible energy. I’m loving the wonderful give and take working relationship that Asia and I have with each other right now. She’s coming into this theater which had a whole different agenda from where she was before. Since I came here 10 years ago, I’ve been trying to make changes slowly to keep the core audience happy and attract new audience members. We made a few changes together that really changed the feel of the whole season. I think we’re both thrilled about it and really excited about what we’ve ended up with for our 100th season. I think this is one of the most wonderful things to ever happen to The Playhouse.” The Playhouse’s comprehensive youth program annually attracts more than 100 students ages 4 through 18 in classes, summer workshops and four annual youth productions. Advanced students perform in cellar and main stage productions alongside veteran actors throughout the regular season, exposing them to the theater arts or preparing them for a professional theater career. This season kicks off in the fall with a “back to the future” moment for The Playhouse. Greater Tuna, which was performed in the Cellar Theater years ago and went on to enjoy international fame, once again will grace the stage of The Playhouse, but this time in their own production. “It’s the first time they’ve licensed that to this area,” Ciaravino said. “It’s exciting for us. We’re doing something which highlights our history. We want to create the highest quality theater in San Antonio. Theater performances bring us some of the most powerful moments in all of our lives. When theater is done really well, even in silence, you find the good actors speak to you. I want The Playhouse San Antonio to do that in every aspect of the theater. Every time a guest is at the website, our box office or in our theater, I want them to have an amazing experience.” For more information visit www.ThePlayhouseSA. org.

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ARTS SAN ANTONIO'S SEASON OF DANCE By Julie Catalano Photography Courtesy Arts San Antonio

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or San Antonio dance lovers, the upcoming 201213 season of Arts San Antonio (ASA) is undoubtedly one of the most exciting in recent history, thanks to five extraordinary companies onstage at the Lila Cockrell Theatre beginning in October.

Ballet, who will coordinate with ASA and Mejia Ballet to recruit area students to share the stage with the pros.

“One of our mantras is that we present globally significant performers, bringing the most esteemed, artistically wonderful groups and performers from around the world to San Antonio,” said John Toohey, ASA president and executive director. “All of these companies have an important place, and there was a body of thought behind the engagement of every one.” Toohey expanded on what makes each special.

“The Joffrey has not been in San Antonio since 1979. They will perform a full evening of works – Edwaard Laing’s ‘Age of Innocence,’ and William Forsythe’s ‘In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated’ – culminating in ‘The Rite of Spring/Le Sacre du Printemps’ which premiered in Paris in 1913 and almost caused a riot. In one work, ballet great Vaslav Nijinsky, composer Igor Stravinsky and Ballet Russes’ director Sergei Diaghilev created one of the most amazing orchestral works of Western civilization. It threw classical dance on its head. This touring production is a recreation of the original Nijinsky choreography, showing primal tribal emotions and interpreting that in a really unique way. It’s not ‘naked ballet’ or anything, and it’s not going to challenge people the same way it did 100 years ago, but it is a powerful work that most audiences will have never seen before and really demonstrates the flexibility of this company. Given that it’s the centennial of its debut, it’s something we had to do.” TIP: The Joffrey Ballet’s appearance here is so significant that ASA is creating a series of events around it, beginning with a fashion event at Neiman-Marcus on Feb. 13, a gala at the McNay on March 7 to welcome the company, and a cast party on performance night, March 8. Ticket info is at

Ballet Folklórico México de Amalia Hernández Oct. 20-21

The Joffrey Ballet March 8, 2013

“A culturally rich company, and one of the world’s great folkloric ensembles. Amalia Hernández distinguished herself as an ethnic dance historian, going out into the countryside of Mexico to bring examples of dance that people had not seen before on that scale, such as the hunt, pre-Colombian traditions, the Colonial period and the Revolution. It’s a history lesson in an evening interpreted by wonderful music, athletic men, beautiful woman, authentic costumes and true spectacle.” TIP: If you’ve only seen local folkloric groups, you may think you’ve been there, done that. But this is folklorico on a whole other level, featuring a touring program of mixed repertory that is athletically impressive and always a crowd pleaser. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo April 11, 2013 Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Mejia Ballet International “People ask me what are the Trockaderos? I say you start San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet with some of the greatest classically trained male dancers Dec. 21-23 in the world, a mixed rep program with male and female roles danced at a world-class level, all danced by men, “The Nutcracker has been a tradition at ASA every year, and you sprinkle it with a good sense of humor. And it’s all and we have fun doing it. Mejia Ballet International was done in a lively and entertaining way, with high production founded by Paul Mejia, who was a principal dancer at levels and talented performers. This would not work at an New York City Ballet under George Balanchine and former amateur level. They’re doing a mixed repertory program, artistic director of Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, now Texas and we probably won’t know the program until a month Ballet Theater. This is a beautiful production, incredibly or so before, but whatever it is, it will be hilarious.” TIP: well danced, starring Russian ballerina Olga Pavlova. Paul Performances by the “Trocks” are so witty and well done, has a wonderful sense of humor and a great sense of style, even reluctant non-ballet fans will enjoy this technically and his interpretation goes back to its Balanchine roots, impressive and irreverent send-up of some of ballet’s most which helped to make the ballet so popular in this country sacred cows. Watch for a cast list of Margeaux Mundeyn, in the first place.” Ida Nevasayneva, Sonia Leftova and Mikhail Mypansarov. Now go back and read those again, out loud. TIP: Look for local dancers from San Antonio Metropolitan July-August | On The Town 19

Béjart Ballet Lausanne May 4, 2013 “They have never been to San Antonio before. In fact, they haven’t performed in the United States for 20 years. In addition to Maurice Béjart’s ‘Cantate 51,’ and ‘Là où sont les oiseaux (‘There Where the Birds Are’)’ by current artistic director Gil Roman, the company will perform their signature Ravel’s ‘Boléro.’ Maurice Béjart’s unique interpretation gives the Melody role first to a female and then to a male. Even with a company of 60 dancers, we have been asked to help recruit an additional 20 male dancers because the climax of the work has 80 dancers onstage. Like all good show biz productions, it ends big.” TIP: Controversial founder, choreographer and innovator Maurice Béjart passed away in 2007. His company is considered to be one of the most important in the world. This could very well be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for San Antonio audiences. For video clips, ticket info and discount packages,, (210) 226-2891.

••••••••••••••••• Photo Credits: Page 18 Joffrey Ballet Rite of Spring Photo by Herbert Migdoll Page 20 (Above) Bejart Ballet Lausanne Bolero Photo courtesy Arts San Antonio (Below) The Nutcracker Photo by Marty Sohl

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Summertime in the Hill Country …

and great live theater is an easy drive away By Anne Keever Cannon


any Texans head for the coast when the hot weather closes in. But others set their GPS for the Hill Country. Not only are the temperatures a few degrees lower, but visitors and residents have plenty of opportunities to enjoy great summertime entertainment. You can venture to a theater as close as Bulverde or make a day trip to Fredericksburg. Each of the playhouses below offers quality performances at very affordable prices. The shows range from comedy to full-scale musicals — something for every taste.

Boerne Community Theatre, 907 E. Blanco Road, Boerne (830) 249-9166,, reservations@ • Summer show: Red Herring by Michael Hollinger, rated PG, July 13-28. Three love stories, a murder mystery and a nuclear espionage plot converge in this noir comedy about marriage and other explosive devices. • Next: Dearly Beloved, a gothic Texas comedy by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, Sept. 14-29. Tickets are $19 for adults, $16 for students, military and seniors. Group rates available.

A n d e v e n w h e n s u m m e r ’s j u s t a m e m o r y, t h e s t a g e s r e m a i n l i t w i t h n e w p r o d u c t i o n s a l l S.T.A.G.E., 1300 Bulverde Road, Bulverde year long. (830) 438-2339, • Summer show: Last Precious Memories, a musical All of the playhouses in this story are community by Tim Hess, July 12-29. This moving production theaters — once known as “little theaters.” Almost shows how music impacts our lives and how it everyone involved, on stage, behind the scenes, can bring us together and heal, even if just for a in the box office or at the concession stand, is a moment. volunteer. They donate hundreds of hours for your • Next: To be announced. entertainment pleasure. Local critics and theater Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 patrons give these folks high marks and keep for students. Cash or check only. Optional meals coming back for more. are available before performances. So if you love seeing live theater — where anything can happen! — and you appreciate the beautiful Texas Hill Country, get two for one with a summertime jaunt just a litte ways up the road.

Fredericksburg Theatre Company, 1668 Highway South, Fredericksburg (830) 997-3588 or (888) 669-7114,, fbgtheaterco@austin. July-August | On The Town 23 The theater presents Season 15, an explosion of drama, musicals and way-off-Broadway excellence in the Texas Hill Country. • Summer show: Honk!, by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the award-winning musical comedy based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling,” June 29-July 15. • Next: Wait Until Dark, thriller by Frederick Knott, Oct. 12-28. A recently blinded housewife must outwit a gang of criminals who threaten her life. Tickets for most shows are $20 for adults and $5.50 for children under 18. Group rates are available. Pointe Theatre, 120 Point Theatre Road South, Ingram (830) 367-5121, • Summer show: Hank Williams: Lost Highway by Randal Myler and Mark Harelik, July 6-21. • Next: Shakespeare at Stonehenge: The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, Aug. 10, 11, 17, 18. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Playhouse 2000, Cailloux Theater, 910 Main St., Kerrville (830) 896-9393, events/playhouse-season/. • Summer show: The Wizard of Oz, July 27-Aug 12. Based almost entirely on the classic MGM musical film, this production brings to life all of the favorite characters from the wonderful world of Oz. Beloved by kids of all ages, this musical fantasy is sure to be a crowd pleaser. • Next: Crimes of the Heart, Sept 7-22. At the core of the tragic comedy are the three Magrath sisters, Meg, Babe and Lenny, who reunite after Babe has “a really bad day.” This Pulitzer prize-winning play is an off-beat, funny and touching look at the true meaning of family and love. Tickets range from $5 to $20. Circle Arts Theatre, Landa Park at 124 Elizabeth St., New Braunfels (830) 367-5121 or (800) 459-4223, www. • Summer show: Fiddler on the Roof, music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, book by Joseph Stein, July 5-29. The hit musical is set in Tsarist Russia in 1905. It’s based on a story by Sholem 24 On The Town | July-August 2012

Aleichem. • Next: The Odd Couple, comedy by Neil Simon, Sept. 13-Oct. 7. Felix and Oscar have difficulty (to put it mildly) learning to get along under the same roof. Tickets cost $14.20 to $16.15. To purchase tickets call (830) 837-6172 weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Remember, San Antonio has more than a dozen community theaters extending invitations to their productions, too. For details, go to

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits Page 22 Rumpelstiltskin Courtesy Playhouse 2000 Kerrville Page 24 (Above) Smith-Ritch Point Theatre Courtesy Hill Country Arts Foundation (Below) Nunsense Courtesy Circle Arts Theatre Page 25 (Above) Kimberly Akimbo BCT Theatre on the Edge Courtesy Boerne Community Theatre (Below) Arsenic and Old Lace Courtesy Circle Arts Theatre

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Events Calendar 28-40 28-4

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July-August 2012 Events Calendar Music Notes Year of Jazz: The King William Jazz Collective 7/1, Sun @ 1pm San Antonio Museum of Art Rockbox Theater Fredericksburg 7/6-8/31, Fri @ 8pm, Sat @ 4:30 & 8pm, Sun @ 2pm Two Ton Tuesdays 7/3, 10, 17, 24, 31 8/7, 14 – Tue @ 8:30pm Gruene Hall Wilkins Family 4th of July: The Mystiqueros, Tejas Brothers, The Drakes and Live Free & Fly 7/4, Wed @ 12pm Luckenbach Dancehall Cody Canada and Friends 7/5, Thu @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

Fest Out West 7/5-8, Thu-Sun Various venues and times for details Y.O. Ranch Hotel in Kerrville /Luckenbach Cactus Pear Music Festival Program 1: Caffe Viennese 7/5, Thu @ 7pm Coker United Methodist Program 2: German Espresso 7/7, Sat @ 7pm Coker United Methodist 7/8, Sun @ 2pm First United Methodist Boerne Program 3: Brazilian Breve 7/8, Sun @ 7pm First United Methodist Boerne Program 4: Coffee Cantata 7/12, Thu @ 7pm Coker United Methodist 7/13, Fri @ 7pm New Braunfels Presbyterian 7/15, Sun @ 2pm First United MethodistBoerne

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Program 5: Cappuccino Suite 7/14, Sat @ 7pm Coker United Methodist 7/15, Sun @ 7pm First United MethodistBoerne

Fest Out West Day in Luckenbach with Robert Earl Keen, Reckless Kelly, Dale Watson & more 7/7, Sat @ 12pm Luckenbach Hall

Dream Theater 7/6, Fri @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre

Willie Nelson with Jamey Johnson 7/7, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

Jesus Adrian Romero with Special Guest IMAN 7/6, Fri @ 8pm Freeman Auditorium

Glen Campbell 7/7, Sat @ 8pm Majestic Theatre

Aaron Watson 7/6, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Rosie Flores 7/6, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Corb Lund & the Hurtin Albertans 7/6, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Heybale Band 7/7, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Hall Blacktop Gypsy 7/7, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Rich O’Toole 7/7, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Chris Knight 7/7, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall

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Cameron Nelson and Guardrail Damage 7/7, Sat @ 9pm Twin Sisters Dance Hall Sunday Jazz: Mission City Hot Rhythm Cats 7/8, Sun @ 4pm The Witte Museum The Cavender Toyota Music Series Whiskey Meyers 7/11, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ - IH-10 Slightly Stoopid with The Aggrolites 7/13, Fri @ 7:15pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Dejando Huella Tour 2012: Joan Sebastian, Pepe Aguilar and Shalia Durcal 7/13, Fri @ 8pm Freeman Coliseum Kelly Willis 7/13, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Kick-A-Boot Band 7/13, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall David Allen Coe 7/13, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Josh Abbott Band with Whiskey Meyers 7/14, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Jeff Woolsey & The Dance Hall Kings 7/14, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle Cody Canada & The Departed 7/14, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Jake Hooker 7/14, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Gary P. Nunn 7/14, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Cactus Pear Music Festival’s Young Artist Program 7/15, Sun @ 3pm Leeper Auditorium McNay Art Museum   Skaggs 7/18, Wed @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre

The Cavender Toyota Music Series Bleu Edmondson 7/18, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ - IH-10

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Del Castillo 7/20, Fri @ 8pm AT&T Center

Mo Bandy 7/21, Sat @ 8pm Bluebonnet Palace

Josh Peek 7/20, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Billy Mata & Texas Tradition 7/21, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Hall

Dave Coz and Bebe Winans 7/20, Fri @ 8pm Majestic Theatre The Gourds 7/20, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Ryan Beaver 7/20, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store DCI: Drum Corps International 7/21, Sat @ 1:30pm Alamodome TJ Smith & Ben Beckendorf 7/21, Sat @ 3pm & 7pm Steve W. Shepherd Theater Fredericksburg Texas Hill Country Opera and Arts Best of Broadway 7/21, Sat @ 6:30pm The Admiral Nimitz Hotel Ballroom Ghostland Observatory 7/21, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

Brandon Rhyder 7/21, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store James McMurtry 7/21, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Beat Bash 7 7/22, Sun @ 6pm Freeman Coliseum The Cavender Toyota Music Series Curtis Grimes 7/25, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ - IH-10 Roger Creager’s Birthday Show 7/25-28, Wed-Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Trespass America Festival with Five Finger Death Punch 7/27, Fri @ 5pm Freeman Auditorium Drew Womack 7/27, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall

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Jon Wolfe 7/27, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

Radney Foster 8/2, Thu @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels

Mid-Texas Symphony Chamber Players 7/27, Fri @ 7:30pm Price Center in San Marcos 7/28, Sat @ 7pm Wimberley Playhouse

Dale Watson 8/3, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall

The Avett Brothers 7/28, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Reckless Kelly and Charlie Robison 7/28, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Kyle Park and Cody Johnson Band 7/28, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Year of Jazz: John Magaldi & the Primetime Jazz Orchestra 7/29, Sun @ 12:30pm Leeper Auditorium McNay Art Museum The Cavender Toyota Music Series Uncle Lucius 8/1, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ - IH-10

Almost Patsy Cline Band 8/3, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Bob Schneider 8/3, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Girl Talk 8/4, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Honeybrowne 8/4, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Dia del Gallo Festival with Turnpike Troubadours, Chris Knight, Dirty River Boys and Thieving Birds 8/4, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Emmerson Biggins 8/5, Sat @ 9pm Twin Sisters Dance Hall Kiss & Motely Crue 8/5, Sun @ 7pm AT&T Center

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The Cavender Toyota Music Series Gary P. Nunn 8/8, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ - IH-10

Sunday Jazz: Graham Reynolds and Golden Arm Trio 8/12, Sun @ 4pm The Witte Museum

Max Stalling 8/10, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall

Iron Maiden: Maiden England 8/15, Wed @ 7:30pm AT&T Center

Weldon Henson 8/10, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall The Trishas 8/10, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Casey Donahew Band 8/11, Sat @ 7pm Cowboys San Antonio Bobby Jordon & The Ridgecreek Band 8/11, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle Kevin Fowler with Cody Johnson Band & Emory Quinn 8/11, Sat @ 8:30pm John T. Floore Country Store Brandon Rhyder 8/11, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Larry Joe Taylor with John Slaughter 8/11, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall

The Cavender Toyota Music Series Cory Morrow 8/15, Wed @ 8pm County Line BBQ - IH-10 The Spazmatics 8/17, Fri @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Crosby, Stills & Nash 8/17, Fri @ 8pm Majestic Theatre The Derailers 8/17, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Josh Peek 8/17, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Chris Cagle 8/17, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Gary Allan and Kyle Park 8/18, Sat @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater

FTC Special Events Series David Gashen / Broadway Phantom 8/18-19, Sat- Sun @ 7:30pm Steve W. Shepherd Theater Fredericksburg Band of Heathens 8/18, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall B.B. King 8/19, Sun @ 7pm Majestic Theatre Enrique, JLO, Wisin & Yandel 8/23, Thu @ 7:30pm AT&T Center Jason Cassidy 8/24, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Dancehall Jason Eady 8/24, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Cooder Graw: Unfinished Business Tour 8/25, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit 8/25, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall

Mario Flores & The Soda Creek Band 8/25, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Year of Jazz: John Carroll and Footprints 8/26, Sun @ 12:30pm Leeper Auditorium McNay Art Museum Dia de los Toadies Festival 8/31, Fri @ 7:30pm Whitewater Amphitheater New Braunfels Bart Crow Band 8/31, Fri@ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store

On Stage Cameo Theatre I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change 7/1, Sun @ 3:30pm What Do You Do 7/1, Sun @ 7:30pm Jo Long Theatre @ Carver Community Cultural Center Jump Start Performance Co. Outside the Circle 7/1 & 8, Sun @ 3pm 7/7 Sat @ 8pm Sterling Houston Theatre @ Blue Star July-August | On The Town 33

Woodlawn Black Box The Pillow Man 7/5-7, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:15pm

The Overtime Theater I-DJ 7/6-29, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Greg Barrios Theater Harlequin Dinner Theatre @ The Overtime The Secret Garden 7/5-21, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (Dinner @ 6:15pm) Kill Me Tender: A Murder Mystery Circle Arts Theatre – Musical New Braunfels Cameo Theatre Fiddler On The Roof Presentation 7/5-29, Thu-Sat @ 8pm 7/11 & 26, Sat @ 6:15pm Sun @ 2pm 8/11 & 25, Sat @ 6:15pm @ The Spaghetti The Playhouse Warehouse San Antonio 7/14 & 8/18, Sat @ 6:15pm In The Next Room @ Earl Abel’s Restaurant or The Vibrator Play 7/6-8, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Aleja Productions with Sun @ 2:30pm Woodlawn Theatre Cellar Theater True West Fredericksburg Theater Company Honk 7/6-15, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm, Sun @ 2pm Steve W. Shepherd Theater Hill Country Arts Foundation Hank Williams: Lost Highway 7/6-21, Fri-Sun @ 8:30pm Smith-Ritch Point Theatre Ingram Woodlawn Theatre Next to Normal 7/6-29, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm

34 On The Town | July-August 2012

7/12-14, Thu-Sat @ 8pm 7/15, Sun @ 3pm 7/19-21, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Woodlawn Black Box S.T.A.G.E – Bulverde Last Precious Memories 7/12-29, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (Dinner optional @ 6:30pm) Sun @ 4pm Kraus Haus Boerne Community Theatre Red Herring 7/13-28, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2pm

July-August | On The Town 35

Jump Start Performance Co. Last Read of Charlotte Cushman 7/20 & 27, Fri @ 8pm 7/22, Sun @ 8pm 7/25, Wed @ 8pm 7/29, Sun @ 3pm Sterling Houston Theatre @ Blue Star The Playhouse San Antonio Hello Dolly 7/20-8/19, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Russell Hill Rogers Theater Jump Start Performance Co. O’Keefe! 7/21 & 28, Sat @ 8pm 7/22, Sun @ 3pm 7/26, Thu @ 8pm 7/29, Sun @ 8pm Sterling Houston Theatre @ Blue Star Cameo Theatre Hairspray The Musical 7/21-8/12, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3:30pm Playhouse 2000 The Wizard of Oz 7/27-8/12, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm, Sun @ 2pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville

36 On The Town | July-August 2012

Harlequin Dinner Theatre Working 8/2-25, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (Dinner @ 6:15pm) Off-Broadway Productions The Fantasticks 8/3-19, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Josephine Theatre The Playhouse San Antonio The Little Dog Laughed 8/3-26, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Cellar Theater Woodlawn Black Box The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee 8/3-26, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm The Overtime Theater A Hitman’s Guide to Surviving Life 8/10-9/8, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Greg Barrios Theater @ The Overtime Radha-Madhava: The Epitome of Love and Spirituality 8/15, Sat @ 6:30pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver

Sheldon Vexler Theatre August: Osage County 8/23-9/16, Thu @ 7:30pm Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 2:30pm Sun 9/9 only, also @ 7:30pm (No shows on Fridays) Woodlawn Theatre 9 to 5 8/24-9/16, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm

Opera Opera Piccola of San Antonio The Telephone & Face on the Barroom Floor 7/13-15, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Josephine Theatre

Santikos Opera Series: Tosca 7/18, Wed @ 7pm Eugene Onegin 8/22, Wed @ 7pm @ Bijou Cinema Bistro

Children’s The Magik Theater Schoolhouse Rock Live! 7/6, 13, 20 & 23, Fri @ 7pm 7/7, 21 & 28, Sat @ 2pm 7/11, 18 & 25, Wed @ 10:30am 7/13 & 27, Fri @ 10:30am The Magik Theater Disney’s Aladdin 8/15-9/22, Wed @ 10:30am Fri@ 7pm Sat @ 2pm

Texas Hill Country Opera and Arts The Telephone & Face on the Barroom Floor 7/20, Fri @ 7:30pm The Admiral Nimitz Hotel Ballroom


The Met Summer Encores: Les Contes d’Hoffmann 7/11, Wed @ 6:30pm Lucia Di Lammermoor 7/18, Wed @ 6:30pm Der Rosenkavalier 7/25, Wed @ 6:30pm @ Cielo Vista 18, Fiesta 16 and McCreeles Cinema

Jim McCue 7/1, Sun @ 8:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

Tommy Blaze 7/1, Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Shane Mauss 7/4-8, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club March-April July-August 2011 | On The Town 37

Shayla Rivera 7/4-8, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Willie Barcenia 7/11-15, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Mike Burton 7/11-15, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Adam Corolla 7/13, Fri @ 8pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Chris Tucker: Guess Who’s Back Tour 7/13, Fri @ 8pm Majestic Theatre Tanyalee Davis 7/18-22, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Anjelah Johnson 7/19-22, Thu @ 8pm Fri @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sat @ 5:30pm, 7:45pm, 10pm Sun @ 6:30pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

Blair Thompson: On The Road to Vegas 7/25, Wed @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Ali Saddiq 7/25-29, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Dov Davidoff 7/26-29, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Tyler Christopher 7/28, Sat @ 3pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Joe Devito 8/1-5, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Nicholas Anthony 8/1-5, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Gemini 8/8-12, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

38 On The Town | July-August 2012

Lisa Landry 8/10-12, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Scott White 8/15-19, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Pablo Francisco 8/17-19, Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Brian Regan 8/18, Sat @ 8pm Majestic Theatre JR Brow 8/22-26, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Sara Contreras 8/22-26, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Ralphie May 8/24, Fri @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre

Cleto Rodriguez Comedy Fiesta 8/22-26, Wed & Thu @ 7:30pm & 9:45pm Fri @ 7:30pm, 9:45pm & 11:55pm Sat @ 4pm, 7:30pm, 9:45pm & 11:55pm Sun @ 5:30pm & 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Chris Mata 8/29-9/2, Wed, Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club

On Exhibit ARTPACE Hudson (Show) Room: New Works Now Alex de Leon, Katrina Moorhead, Katie Pell, Juan Miguel Ramos, Lordy Rodriguez Thru 9/9 Window Works Thomas Cummins Thru 9/9 International Artist-InResident New Works: 12.2 Leslie Hewitt Jacco Olivier Mike Osborne Sarah Lewis, curator Opens 7/12

July-August | On The Town 39


Made in Texas 7/2-9/29

New Works by Kari Sackman-Roberts Thru 9/1



Rouault’s Miserere: Printed Prayers Thru 7/29

San Antonio Painters Curated by Barbara MacAdam Thru 8/18 Texas Sculpture Group Interior Exhibition Thru 8/18 Sky Patterson Solo Exhibition Through 8/18

INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES Texas Trails & Tails Thru 7/27 40 Years of Texas Folklife Festival Memories Thru 8/26 Texas Contemporary Artists Series: Franco Mondini Ruiz Thru 9/2 Timeless Texas Toys Thru 12/31

A Century of Collage Thru 9/2 Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine Thru 9/2

MUSEO ALAMEDA Guanajuato Through Resendiz’ Art Thru 11/11 SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN Art in the Garden 2012 (In conjunction with Blue Star Contemporary Art Center) Thru 3/1/13

Imagenes del Pueblo: Spanish Popular Graphics from the Permanent Collection Thru 7/22 Sublime Light: A Survey of American Photographs from the Permanent Collection Thru 8/19 Rostros de Maria: The Virgin as Archetype and Inspiration 8/18-2/20/13

SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART David Almaguer: Apotheosis Thru 7/8 Joey Fauerso: Drama Thru 7/8 Ovidio Giberga: Signal To Noise Thru 7/8


Helen Hiebert: String Theory Thru 7/8

San Antonio Collects: Contemporary Thru 7/1

All School Exhibition 2012 7/19-8/26

40 On The Town | July-August 2012

Teen Studio Intensive Program / Dada 7/19-8/26 Certificate Student Exhibitions: Judy Freeman Caryl Gaubatz Margarite Guggolz 7/19-26 Rainey / Populux: A Hyphenated Culture 7/19-26 WITTE MUSEUM Designed for Royalty: Staging the Coronation Thru 8/26 Darwin: How One Man’s Theory Turned the World on its Head Thru 9/3 If The River Could Talk: 12,000 Years of Life on the San Antonio River Ongoing Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center at The Witte Museum Now Open

Miscellaneous First Friday Art Walk 7/6, 8/3 Southtown

July-August | On The Town 41

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Fully Charged 7/4-8, Wed @ 4pm, Thu-Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 3:30pm & 7:30pm, Sun @ 3pm Alamodome Fiesta Noche del Rio 7/6-8/11, Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm Arneson River Theatre Tejas Rodeo - Bulverde 7/7-8/25, Sat @ 7:30pm Tastes of CIA Cookbooks: Spain and the World Table 8/4, Sat / 9:30am-2:30pm Culinary Institute of America Tastes of CIA Cookbooks: One Dish Meals 8/11, Sat / 9:30am-2:30pm Culinary Institute of America Solo Boxeo Tecate 8/11, Sat @ 7pm Alamodome PBR: Built Ford Tough Series 8/17-18, Fri @ 8pm, Sat @ 7pm AT&T Center Jazz at the Falls Series: Cindy Bradley 8/18, Sat @ 6:30pm

Steve Oliver 8/25, Sat @ 6:30pm Vince Ingala 9/1, Sat @ 6:30pm Main Street - The Shops at La Cantera Tastes of CIA Cookbooks: CIA Favorites 8/20, Sat / 9:30am-2:30pm Culinary Institute of America Mexican Cuisine Boot Camp 8/20-24, Mon-Fri / 7am-1:30pm Culinary Institute of America Baking Boot Camp 8/21-24, Tue-Fri / 7am-1:30pm Culinary Institute of America Tastes of CIA Cookbooks: The Flavors of Asia 8/25, Sat / 9:30am-2:30pm Culinary Institute of America Specialty and Hearth Bread Boot Camp 8/27-30, Mon-Thu / 7am-1:30pm Culinary Institute of America

42 On The Town | July-August 2012

Photo Credits

Willie Nelson Courtesy

Page 28 (L-R)

Glen Campbell Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Rockbox Theater Courtesy rockboxtheater. com Two Tons of Steel Courtesy Brasil Guitar Duo Courtesy Cactus Pear Music Festival Bella Hristova Courtesy Cactus Pear Music Festival Page 30 (L-R) Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio Photo by Liz Garza Williams Robert Earl Keen Courtesy Reckless Kelly Courtesy Aloysia Friedman Courtesy Cactus Pear Music Festival Page 32 (L-R) Dream Theater Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Rich O’Toole Courtesy Page 33 (L-R) Chris Knight Courtesy Gary P. Nunn Courtesy Page 34 (L-R) Dave Koz Courtesy Majestic Theatre Mo Bandy Courtesy Page 36 (L-R) Brandon Rhyder Courtesy Roger Creager Courtesy Page 37 (L-R) Randy Rogers Band Courtesy David Mairs Courtesy Mid-Texas Symphony

Page 38 (L-R)

Page 40 (L-R)

Page 42 (L-R)

Page 43 (L-R)

Charlie Robison Courtesy

The Spazmatics Courtesy thespazmatics. net

Mario Flores Courtesy

Anjelah Johnson Courtesy angelahjohnson. com

David Crosby Courtesy crosbystillsnash. com

Fiesta Noche del Rio Photo by Paul Garcia

Brian Regan Photo by Brian Friedman

Shayla Rivera Courtesy

Sara Contreras Courtesy saracontreras. com

Adam Corolla Courtesy Majestic Theatre

Ralphie May Courtesy

Radney Foster Courtesy Honeybrowne Courtesy Kevin Fowler Courtesy

Chris Cagle Courtesy B.B. King Courtesy Majestic Theatre

July-August | On The Town 43

44 On The Town | July-August 2012

Culinary Arts 46-54

July-August | On The Town 45

46 On The Town | July-August 2012

Two Step Restaurant and Cantina: A tasty restoration delivers history and flavor

By Dawn Robinette Photography Greg Harrison


verything old is new again, at least that’s how it feels at Two Step Restaurant and Cantina, a new spot that perfectly combines old with new to offer a treat on the Northwest Side. Located at the corner of Braun Road and Loop 1604, Two Step is easy to find: Look for the historic farm buildings with a modern twist and terrific music and true Texas barbeque smoke filling the air. Two Step’s food has a quality flare, but never loses sight of its down-home, Texas roots. Executive chef/coowner Steve Warner designed the menu around dishes he loves, many of which come from his background and his experiences. Menu items such as the Loaded Beef Rib and Parmesan-crusted Pork Chop were influenced by his family, while Nana’s Award-winning Borracho-style Pinto Beans truly are Nana’s — the recipe originated with Warner’s mother-in-law. The Gulf Shrimp Firecrackers are a twist on a dish Warner created in California, as is the Crispy Sautéed Chicken Breast with sweet corn butter. And the pecan pie? “That’s my mom’s, of course!”

A Churchill High School graduate, Warner returned to San Antonio in 2008 as executive chef at Wildfish Seafood Grille after an impressive career that took him across the country opening restaurants for well-known names such as Morton’s – The Steakhouse, Macaroni Grill and Eddie V’s. Throughout his career, Warner has helped open more than 25 restaurants, an honor reserved for chefs with proven track records of getting off to great starts and sustaining strong performances. That’s certainly the case with Two Step, recognized by San Antonio Magazine as one of the city’s best new restaurants. “Of course, we can’t rest on our laurels,” Warner said. “We have to prove ourselves every day. With a true dedication to quality and taste, we’ll make sure that things are just right as we keep our menu fresh and maintain the quality our customers expect.”

Warner had been exploring the option of opening his own place for some time, but the opportunity to work with a dilapidated homestead originally built in the Family doesn’t just play a role on Two Step’s menu: 1860s provided the spark to move forward. Warner’s wife, Adrienne Muñoz-Warner, a San Antonio native, serves as Two Step’s director of marketing and “The feel of the house and barn, the opportunity to events. Celebrating their seventh anniversary this create something new while honoring the history summer, the two met working at Eddie V’s in Austin of this location — this is the perfect home for a true and have a new daughter, born just a month before Texas restaurant, true Texas cuisine, a true Texas feel. the restaurant opened its doors last fall. You can’t get more authentic than the roots of this homestead,” he said. July-August | On The Town 47

The homestead had fallen into disrepair, but developer Steve Braha, who also is one of the restaurant’s coowners, kept the structures while looking for the right way to use the buildings. Once it was decided to use the buildings for the restaurant, the challenge became how to work with the structures. A visit to Two Step confirms that the space is well-used. The design incorporates the footprint of the historic buildings, while accommodating the equipment needed for a modern restaurant. The combination is seamless, and the restoration so well done that no one would ever guess that the structures were once crumbling away. During the renovation, the design team repurposed any materials that had to be removed, making decorative shelving out of floor joists and lighting fixtures from rusted tin roofing. The counter in the restaurant’s entrance is made from salvaged limestone, as are the planter beds and the walls encompassing the patio, a terrific outdoor space with shade trees and an amazing sunset view. The large patio feels intimate, enabling families to relax, enjoy themselves and watch their children play. The commitment to quality and keeping Two Step’s look and feel authentic is something that’s important to Warner and Braha. “We’re determined to only use the best ingredients in our food and in the restaurant itself. Now that we’re ready to enjoy our first summer on the patio, Steve Braha is looking for the perfect fans and misters to blend in with our design,” Warner said. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner to keep Two Step top-notch and authentic.” With such a true Texas feel and Texas cuisine, there must be a deep history to the name, right? “I’d love to say there’s significance to the name or that we did market research, and it’s what fit a place that’s iconic Texas, but the true story is that I saw a billboard advertising the Texas Lottery and the phrase stuck: We became Two Step Restaurant and Cantina,” Warner said. “The story isn’t great, but the name is perfect: It’s true Texas, just like what we’re doing here.” Steve Warner and Adrienne Muñoz-Warner 48 On The Town | July-August March-April 2012 2011

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50 On The Town | July-August 2012

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Restaurant Week and more this summer By Ginger McAneer-Robinson

52 On The Town | July-August 2012


t can be daunting at times to filter through the endless choices of restaurants available to find something that is truly exquisite. Luckily, there is an organization dedicated to bringing these culinary superstars into the limelight for everyone to enjoy.

wraps, check in with Culinaria at www.culinariasa. org frequently to examine the ever-growing list of participating locations. With a wide array of the best restaurants in San Antonio anticipated to join in the festivities, there is sure to be something to please every palate. Reservations may not be required by Culinaria, a nonprofit organization that strives to individual participating restaurants, but at prices promote San Antonio as a premier destination for like these, the venues are sure to be packed, so plan wine and food, has many wonderful opportunities accordingly. Contact the restaurants directly if you lined up this summer and fall for those who have a would like to make reservations. love of fine wine and dining. Coinciding with Restaurant Week, The Shops at La New to the organization this year is Cinema Cantera will continue its summer jazz series Aug. 18 Culinaria, taking place Thursday evenings until Aug. and 25 and Sept. 1. Take the family and lawn chairs, 16. Located at EZ’s Brick Oven and Grill’s Sunset and enjoy the soothing sounds of some of jazz’s Ridge Shopping Center location, this event is the great artists. The nightly events are at 7:30 p.m. perfect way to spend a relaxing evening enjoying in the area known as The Falls at The Shops at La dinner and a show -- think drive-in movie experience Cantera. Culinaria receives proceeds from beverage -- without the driving in. Attendees will have a fun sales those evenings. and unique experience watching a movie starring various culinary themes while they savor their food If you are looking for something a little more in a casual, patio-style outdoor setting. exclusive and prestigious, consider the Chefs and Cellars event in September. In a night of pampering Summer fun continues with the Rambling Rosé event and delight, this intimate event allows guests to join Aug. 11 a short drive away at Becker Vineyards. For the best local chefs in the kitchen at the Culinary $25 a person, guests can enjoy a tranquil afternoon Institute of America, San Antonio. The multi-course at the gorgeous and scenic Becker Vineyards while menus are paired with rare and fine wines from sampling and savoring a variety of rosé wines in a private cellars. If ever there was a night of culinary blind tasting guided by a panel of experts. It’s also a opulence, this is it. chance for guests to ask the panel any wine-related questions. Capping off the event, chef John Brand of In November, enjoy the beautiful San Antonio Las Canarias at the Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel weather at the Hole in Wine Golf Classic. Individual and Ostra at Mokara will delight guests with various participants and corporate teams will enjoy a day of culinary creations. golf with food, beverages, some light competition and plenty of fun. Players will be provided a gourmet Then, it’s back! Get ready for another week of box lunch to enjoy at their leisure. After a day of fun culinary adventure and exploration that will in the sun, attendees spend the evening unwinding tantalize the taste buds during Restaurant Week, during a world-class reception complete with fine Aug. 18-25. Locals and visitors can find tantalizing wine, delectable cuisine and live music. three-course meals at some of San Antonio’s hottest restaurants for incredibly low prices. Lunch menus There are several additional events for 2012 still will be available for $15, and dinner for $35. This is in the works by Culinaria, so stay tuned! For more a wonderful opportunity to experience some of the information and specific details such as ticket best cuisine in the city without breaking the bank. information, times and locations, visit www. or call the Culinaria office at (210) Although participating restaurants still are under 822-9555. July-August | On The Town 53

54 On The Town | July-August 2012

Visual Arts 56-66

July-August | On The Town 55

Local Art Rising By Cassandra Yardeni

56 On The Town | July-August 2012


See how the west was fun at the Witte Museum’s Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center. Boasting 20,000 square-feet and serving as a permanent home for the Witte’s South Texas collections, exhibitions and public programs, the center offers a chance to adults and children alike to trace the legendary history of South Texas. Artifacts include saddles, spurs, basketry, branding irons, art, firearms and more. Live reinactors, cuttingedge museum technology and even a talking Tejano Freighter round out this stunning South Texas treasure.

tSee the light at the San Antonio Museum of Art! Sublime Light: A Survey of American Photographs from the Permannt Collection is on display and highlights more than fifty masterful and iconic images from SAMA’s holdings of photography and strives to illustrate the breadth and vitality of the medium over the last one and one half centuries. Although the first fixed image was recorded in 1826, artists were exploring the possibilities of recording light-generated images as early as the Renaissance using an optical device called the camera obscura. A selection of historic photographic images emerge from SAMA’s vault for the exhibition, dating from the mid to late 19th century by largely unknown photographers or studios, and offers a rare glimpse into the early years of fixing image to plate or paper. Sublime Light will be on view until August 19.

The Witte Museum has partnered with the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) to present a unique exhibit highlights many remarkable archeological finds discovered as part of the San Antonio River Improvements Project. If the River Could Talk: 12,000 Years of Life on the San Antonio River will be on vi≠≠ew through August 12 and features rare artifacts including fossils, stone tools and even a 122 year-old preserved message in a bottle. The exhibit includes interactive and enlightening displays of river tools, chronicling the thousands of years that hunters and gatherers lived and worked along the river.

Through August 18, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center will showcase work from ten local artists, whose works have been juried and curated by Barbara MacAdam, Deputy Editor of ARTnews magazine. Of the collection, MacAdam says, “A lot of talent went into the work submitted for this show, and it was difficult to narrow down the selection. What I principally aimed for, and found, was originality. Beyond that, diversity was important, in style, medium, and genre. There are examples of abstract work, narrative art, still life, graphic styles, folklore, and more. There were no rules in the choosing. This is the work that

he temperature isn’t the only thing heating up the Alamo City this summer. From art aglow to tall Texas tales, local museums and galleries offer a welcome escape from the heat, and an opportunity to explore time, places and people a world away.

July-August | On The Town 57

grabbed my attention, both for (or despite) its quality or even its imperfections.” Featured artists include Andrew Anderson, Roberta Buckles, Angelica Esteban, Marcus Garza, Carmen Cartiness Johnson, Elizabeth McDonald, Lee Michael Peterson, Sammy Velasquez, Sandy Whitby and Rachel Ziegler. Brace yourself for an electrifying experience as Bihl Haus Arts presents GLOW: The Nuclear Show, a collection of artists responding to all things nuclear: nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear waste, nuclear energy, nuclear medicine, nuclear radiation. These themes have resurfaced with a vengeance since the March 11, 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Each artist struggles with exigent questions, such as: Is nuclear power dangerous? Is it dirty? Is it hazardous to health? Is it deadly? And, what other risks does nuclear power pose for humanity both now and in the future? GLOW, organized by lead artist David Zamora Casas, aka Nuclear Meltdown, with Debora Kuetzpal Vasquez and Eric Lane, visually challenges the viewer to contemplate all of these issues and more. As Glow closes July 14, make a trip to Bihl Haus Arts a part of your upcoming weekend plans. A celebration both of the greater African American story and the artist’s personal discoveries about his family origins, the McNay Museum presents Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine, an exhibition that takes its title from sets of “medicine cabinet” sculptures, such as Procession, one of the museum’s newest acquisitions. These containers, along with other objects significant to the culture of the South, allude to Bailey’s ancestors and function as medicine as he reaches for memory to restore himself. fBorn in New Jersey and raised in Atlanta, Radcliffe Bailey possesses a great sense of history and is deeply rooted in his family and community. Ranging from a miniscule drawing of a traditional African mask to a nearly 24-foot collage, Memory as Medicine focuses on three central, overlapping themes: water, blues, and blood. As always, the Southwest School of Art offers some of the most thought-provoking contemporary works in San Antonio free of charge. Through August 26, treat yourself to student exhibitions by artists Judy Freeman, Caryl Gaubatz and Margarite Guggolz and a stunning celebration of popular culture, Populux: A Hyphenated Culture by Rainey.

58 On The Town | July-August May-June 2012 2012

Certainly, no summer art sampling would be complete without a visit to the Insitute of Texan Cultures’ 40 Years

of Texas Folklife Festival Memories. Until August 26, the Texas-sized exhibit showcases the stories, images, sounds and artifacts from the Texas Folklife Festival’s most memorable moments. Make the most of your weekends, long weekends and days off this season and indulge in the beauty all around the city. Local galleries and museums offer a refreshing escape from the summer heat and promise a transformative experience each and every time you visit! No passport needed.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 56 Entwined oil on canvas 36” x 36” Roberta Buckles Page 57 Vulnerable wood and metal hardware 6” x 13” x3” Linda Kim Page 58 (Above) Hiroshima 2011 Mixed media on canvas 10” x 8” David Zamora Casas (Below) Blue mixed media on canvas 66” x 60” Sandy Whitby Page 59 (Above) Water Polo Players acrylic on canvas 60” x 72” Sky Patterson (Below) Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center Photo courtesy Witte Museum July-August | On The Town 59

Blue Star’s

MOSAIC Program Creates Handmade Tile Mural for H-E-B By Rebecca Geibel Photography Courtesy Blue Star Contemporary Art Center


tanding at an impressive for ty feet wide by eleven feet tall, Blue Star Contemporar y Ar t Center ’s MOSAIC (Mosaic of Student Ar tists in the Community) program students and renowned San Antonio ar tist Alex Rubio have created and installed the largest completely handmade tile mural in the city of San Antonio, to date. The mosaic was commissioned by H-E-B for

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its East Houston Street store and was designed by Rubio and the MOSAIC students. It features images of various landmarks of the East Side, including the Cameo Theater, Car ver Community Cultural Center, Car ver Academy, Ella Austin Community Center, and Watson Fine Ar ts Center.

The completed mural was unveiled on Saturday, June 23, 2012 with celebrator y confetti cannons and a drum roll. Special guests during the dedication ceremony included Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson, Office of Cultural Affairs Director Felix Padrón, Executive Director of the Blue Star Contemporar y Ar t Center Bill FitzGibbons, Blue Star Chairman of the Board Edward Valdespino, H-E-B representatives and East Side community leaders.

this extensive project since July of 2011. Rubio is a native of San Antonio’s West Side and a nationally exhibited ar tist with decades of experience in both studio and public ar t. When Rubio and the MOSAIC students first envisioned the piece, they wanted to highlight architecture within driving distance of the mural, helping to accentuate the vibrant culture and rich community of San Antonio’s East Side. After sur veying both old and new architecture, they chose to include specific structures that house Blue Star Contemporar y Ar t Center ’s MOSAIC organizations dedicated to suppor ting the ar ts program essentially provides a hands-on within the San Antonio community. approach to education that fosters creative development. MOSAIC also emphasizes the “ The MOSAIC program has helped me grow into need for exemplar y academics to ultimately the young ar tist I am today, with a clearer idea pursue a career in the ar ts. All MOSAIC students of my own individuality and self-expression,” to date have graduated high school and are asser ts Juan Flores, a MOSAIC student from pursuing their higher education degree. Many Brackenridge High School. “I feel like I have of these exceptional students are the first in been enlightened to knowing who I am as a their families to apply for and attend college. person and what I must do throughout my life MOSAIC students, under the super vision and to achieve happiness by pursuing an ar t career.” direction of Alex Rubio, have been working on

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Southwest School of Art: All School Exhibition By Christa Brothers Photos courtesy of Southwest School of Art

The doors to a much-anticipated annual event, the All said SSA director Paula Owen. School Exhibition at the Southwest School of Art (SSA), will swing open July 19. “The sheer number of art forms to choose from, like the expected disciplines of drawing, painting and print The almost 50-year-old art institution – 47, to be correct making, to the less-anticipated instructions in paper -- has been a reliable and respected constant in San making, digital mediums, metals or stone carving, Antonio’s art scene. makes the school one of a kind,” Owen said. “We are proud of our institution and what we have to offer to Known for its high quality art classes with instructors the city of San Antonio.” who are well established and accomplished artists in their own fields and also for the wide variety of With high-quality instructors, an almost endless array of studio arts from which to choose, the SSA is a San classes, and all the facilities and equipment needed, the Antonio treasure. SSA is considered a highly regarded art institution. “Our school is recognized in the region and even Beginning with the fall 2013 semester, the school will nationally for its comprehensive study opportunities,” have another feather in its cap: offering a bachelor of arts July-August | On The Town 63

degree program through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Kathy Armstrong, director of exhibits and associate curator for SSA since 2001, said exhibitors for the allschool show are determined by a juror panel of the school’s six department chairs along with herself. “Some faculty members who have been creating a new body of work during the past semesters are invited to show their art in the exhibit as well,” Armstrong said. “We get about 300 to 400 entries each year, and we have to narrow it down to about 60 artists -- quite a challenge,” she said. “Not only do we want to showcase the best art work but there also needs to be a coherent show,” Armstrong said. “For example, the art pieces have to work together visually, and size or installation requirements have to be considered,” she said.

••••••••••••••••• Photo Credits Page 62 Untitled, 2012 oil on panel, 24” x 18” Page 63 Burned Out Store, 2011 Caryl Gaubatz, size variable Thermal screen on silk noil, over-dyed Page 64 (Above) I’m Fine, Really - copper, sterling silver, fine silver, brass, polymer clay, owl and peacock feather. 7.5” x 7.5’ .25. Margarite Guggolz (Below) Across The Table, 2012 Sarah Pagona, Giclee print, 20” x 30” 64 On The Town | July-August 2012

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Literary Arts 68-72

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Book Talk:


Children’s Services Coordinator for the San Antonio Public Library Story and photo by Jasmina 68 On The Town | July-August 2012 Wellinghoff


iki Ash believes in the transformative power of literature and the importance of introducing children to books at an early age. As a librarian, she has devoted her entire career to that goal. Currently the children’s services coordinator for the San Antonio Public Library (SAPL), Ash holds both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. degree in library science and worked as librarian, department manager or youth services coordinator in several cities before returning to her hometown to assume her current position in 2005. Her 1996 doctoral dissertation focused on delivering library services to youngsters in childcare settings.

is an honor system. When they say they read it or listened to it, we believe them. The online component also allows them to write reviews that we publish on our site. That seems to be a big draw with the older kids, third grade and up. I review their reviews but I don’t really edit them. I just make sure they are reasonable for publication. JW: How many kids do you expect to enroll?

VA: We already have 3,000 children signed up (in early June), and we’ve just started. Last summer we had 20,000. Not all of them finished. We are hoping to have more this year because of the electronic opportunity. We are also partnering with the parks and recreation department, Ash also has served on selection committees for children’s Girls Inc., and other community groups to get kids who are book awards, including the Newbery, Caldecott and Laura already in some sort of organized program to participate. Ingalls Wilder awards and is the recipient of the 2008 In fact, I just talked to the leaders of YMCA summer camps Siddie Joe Johnson Award presented by the Children’s last week, so that they all know how to register and help Roundtable of the Texas Library Association for outstanding the kids do it. achievement in children’s librarianship. JW: Who chooses the books? Do you compile a We talked to her in her sunny office at the Central Library. recommended list? JW: Since summer is here, many parents will be interested VA: No, we don’t. We feel that summer is the time for in SAPL’s 2012 Summer Reading Club. Could you describe children to be self-directed. We want them to follow their the program? own curiosity. But we are happy to suggest titles if they ask, and we provide access to the recommended lists from VA: Our summer reading program is for all ages. We have the various school districts. listening and reading components. Children who are being read to -- the listening group -- are expected to listen JW: So how many youngsters get to the finish line? to 15 titles, and at the end they get a free book to keep and a certificate signed by the mayor. The kids who can VA: We’ve been very conscious of the need to monitor the read independently need to read eight books to finish (the completion rate and it varies between 32 and 38 percent, program). Then, they too get a free book and a certificate. which we think is pretty good. (These percentages) reflect We certainly don’t insist that all books be library books; we only the kids who actually come back to tell us that they just want them to read over the summer. Studies tell us completed the job. Participation seems to be the greatest that children who read over the summer maintain their in the kindergarten through second-grade group. reading skills. It only takes six books to keep your skills up and 10 books can actually increase the child’s reading JW: You must have seen a lot of changes in children’s skills. We also know that kids who listen to books before literature in the last 20 to 25 years, both in terms of ethnic they can read independently have greater literacy skills and thematic diversity. when they enter school. VA: Oh, yes! The first big movement toward a multicultural JW: How do you monitor their reading? Is it strictly an literature was probably in the late ’80s. The Coretta King honor system? Award was established not only to acknowledge black authors and illustrators but to encourage them as well. VA: The children register for the program and they can do And then the Pura Belpré Award was created (in 1996) so at any library or, for the first time this summer, they can which everyone hoped will do the same for Latino authors do it totally online. They receive a paper log to keep track and illustrators. But the truth is, we still don’t have that of the books they read but if they are electronically savvy many books by and about the Latino experience. Here in they can keep their whole log online as well. And, yes, it San Antonio we are fortunate to have Carmen Tafolla (San July-August | On The Town 69

Antonio’s first poet laureate) whose children’s books have collection that we already have (to keep the collection as been well received nationally. diversified as possible). It’s a very exciting and energizing kind of job. As for subject matter, children’s books don’t exist in a vacuum. As our society has become more willing to talk You know, libraries used to be kind of snooty, like, “We about more and more topics, more books are written about buy only quality literature.” I remember when I was a girl these topics. We have seen books that deal with death, here in San Antonio you couldn’t get Nancy Drew novels with nontraditional families, books that have characters at the library because “they were not good enough.” Our with some sort of disability … Often in the past such attitude about those sorts of things has changed pretty books were written purposefully, to convey a message – dramatically. We want to have a collection that people “Now I am going to write you a book about the boy in the want to use as well as a collection that reflects the best wheelchair” or “Now I am going to write you a book about in children’s literature. Probably the biggest change we the little girl whose parents are divorced.” So, they were made recently is to make graphic novels available. This is not always fine literature. But increasingly writers are just something kids ask for. They are very popular. writing a good story and the disabled child – or divorce or whatever -- just happens to be part of it. I applaud them JW: Are there book clubs for youngsters? for it. No one likes a book that’s banging you over the head with the message. VA: Yes. I run two book clubs at the Bonham Academy downtown, one for fourth graders and one for fifth graders. I think every child has the right to see themselves in a I bring the books to them since the school library is not likely book. It doesn’t have to be every book but if you are never to have 12 copies of the same book. We meet once a month in a book, that might make you feel like there’s something at lunch time and talk about what they read. They are always wrong with you. By the way, some of the best literature eager to know what we will be reading next. It’s fun. written today is written for young people and plenty of grownups read it, too. As a library, we are expanding our effort to reach children in schools and childcare settings. Mothers are working JW: Do boys and girls gravitate toward different reading nowadays and are not available to bring their kids to the matter? library. We are especially concerned about early (preschool) literacy. Those formative years are incredibly VA: Boys prefer non-fiction, so it’s important that we not important. So, I’ve been thinking of new ways to serve forget the non-fiction section. They like to read about these very young kids. Sharing the information about early technical subjects but also about animals and lately about literacy with care providers and parents and grandparents mythology, thanks to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. is also important to us. So we serve the adults, too, on They like books about drawing, too. behalf of children. JW: Who is in charge of choosing and ordering books for JW: Do you have suggestions for parents who are trying to the SAPL? get their reluctant child to read? VA: We have a selector for children’s and young adult literature, Nohemi Lopez Rosedahl. All the children’s librarians have input but she is responsible for buying and collection development.

VA: I would say find something that the child is interested in. Adults need to be open to all kinds of reading material. There are two kinds of reading, efferent and aesthetic. The former is reading to take away information, while in aesthetic reading we read because we get caught up in it, JW: It seems like a daunting job; there are so many books we experience what’s happening in the book. Some people out there. believe that the latter can only happen with a novel but I think it’s a fallacy. For some individuals, reading baseball VA: (laughs) Yes, lots of books! But there are also a lot of statistics is as involving as getting all caught up in Charlotte’s review journals that we keep track of. You read the reviews Web is for me. So you have to accept and value that. and make a decision based on the quality of the book, on your perceived understanding of the local demand Also, reading together is a powerful tool. Sit down and read for a particular book, and with an eye toward the larger to them. By doing that you are saying to your child, “You are 70 On The Town | July-August 2012

important to me and reading is important.” It helps if you start when they are three rather than in the third grade. Finally, because a child can read independently doesn’t mean that he/she doesn’t want to be read to. Sharing a book gives you something to talk about. It’s a special bond.

•••••••••••••••• Ash’s comments have been edited slightly for reasons of space and clarity. To help guide a child’s summer reading, Ash recommends the following titles: Recommended Children’s Classics Picture Books Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak Beginning Readers Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel Little Bear by Else Holmerund Minarik, illustrated by Maurice Sendak Chapter Books The Cay by Theodore Taylor Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster Recommended Contemporary Titles Picture Books Grandpa Green by Lane Smith Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino What Can You Do With a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla, illustrated by Magaly Morales Beginning Readers Hi! Fly Guy! by Tedd Arnold There is a Bird on Your Head (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems Chapter Books Heart of a Shepherd by Roseanne Parry Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan Piper Reed, Navy Brat by Kimberly Willis Holt July-August | On The Town 71

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Patty Ortiz:

Fulfilling Her Vision for Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center By Lisa Cruz Photography Dana Fossett


atty Ortiz returned to San Antonio with one mission, to revive the cultural heart of a community. A little more than three years ago, Ortiz was serving as deputy director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Colorado when the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center came calling. Her charge…rebuild the prominence of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and the trust of the San Antonio community in the organization. Since her first day as executive director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Ortiz knew the challenges ahead lied in providing quality programming with cultural significance, convincing the community of real change and demonstrating fiscal responsibility.

Arts Puentes Project encourage young people in the community to engage and appreciate the history of the community through art. She also concentrated on building effective fundraising festivals that have since tripled the organization’s net revenues. Events like the Tejano Conjunto Festival, which celebrated its 31st year in May, the CineFestival and the Puro Conjunto Pesado now bring in thousands of dollars for the Center and provide a forum for Chicano artists to display their talents for all of San Antonio.

“Through our revitalization efforts, we are welcoming people from all parts of San Antonio,” Ortiz said. “We are “The Guadalupe was struggling and in need of a new bringing in artists from across the city and showcasing vision,” Ortiz said. “I saw many opportunities in it. The their art in a quality environment, where people know staff structure was not very efficient, and there was very they are in a professional museum.” minimal marketing and fundraising staff, so only the local, West-side community really knew the great things Many artists felt disenfranchised, according to Ortiz, that were being done here. I focused first on building a so encouraging the art community to give the Center good team.” another chance was a significant part of her plan. Ortiz has spent the past three years “building trust, getting “I keep the standards so high that when people come everything ready, building programs and showing the in, they say, Wow,” Ortiz explained. “When you bring in change to the community,” she explained. amazing programming, people hear about it.” Refining the programming included a strong focus on With her background as an artist, a manager and a education. Programs like Camp Guadalupe and The Teen curator, Ortiz curated exhibits with artists from Colombia July-August | On The Town 75

and Mexico, incorporating local artists and connecting with the community. The Guadalupe has always focused on preserving and presenting the best of Latino art and culture to the public, but to capture the attention of broader audiences has required new paradigms in marketing and outreach for the Center. “In addition to regaining the trust of the artists, I knew the local, neighborhood community supported us, but we had to reach out to all of San Antonio, so we began partnerships with other organizations like KRTU and the Symphony,” Ortiz explained. “Cross-marketing has become critical to our success.” Additionally, Ortiz knows that the strength of her organization relies on the success of the area in which it lives. “We’ve been renovating our spaces slowly, as we were part of the 2007 bond,” Ortiz said. “We were able to secure more dollars for renovation, which helped us create our ‘backyard’ area, and we were able to purchase space next to our gallery where later this year, we will open a store and eventually a restaurant or café in which we can infuse our programming with discussions of food in our culture.” The revitalization of the Center has trickled to the neighborhood, as physical improvements are being made to streets and sidewalks with wider walkways and public art, and even homeowners are cleaning up their individual properties. Faith in an organization can be demonstrated at the voter booth. With the approval of the 2012 bond, the Center is receiving funds to continue its renovations and create an historical exhibition area to showcase how San Antonio has managed to maintain its tradition and culture. This is a big win for the Center with respect to community confidence. “Culture doesn’t necessarily happen on stage,” Ortiz said. “It happens in kitchens, backyards, parks, etc. So our goal for the coming years is to build programming that goes beyond the museum walls. It’s not just about products and artifacts but intangible stories, and it is our duty to talk about and share these cultural nuances through artistic expression.”

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Kiddie Park:

A Landmark Saved, Renewed and Going Strong By Angela Rabke Photography Greg Harrison


..hat was your favorite? Mine was the boat ride, where I happily trailed my fingers through the water. My husband loved the planes with their machine guns and the sensation of flying he had while suspended in the air. My 65-year old mother loved the handcars, and so does my 5-year-old son. If you were ever a little kid in San Antonio, you probably know the place: Kiddie Park.

Located on the northwest corner of Broadway and Mulberry, Kiddie Park has long been a cherished part of childhood in San Antonio — it is safe to say that almost anyone born in the Alamo City between 1920 and today has spent time there. For a time, just a few years ago, the future of Kiddie Park was threatened. After years of falling into disrepair as May-June July-August 2012 | On The Town 79

the neighborhood around it stagnated, the historic amusement park eventually closed down. Enter Rad and Ashley Weaver, along with their partner Brett Conger. “The whole thing was Rad’s vision,” Conger said. “He drove by every day [on his way to work] and always thought it would be a fun project to restore the park … he had grown up going to Kiddie Park as a child. I agreed to it because I knew San Antonio and also came to Kiddie Park as a kid.” The partners closed the deal, and then were challenged with the restoration of an amusement park that first opened its gates in 1925. The partners are only the third owners of the park since it opened 87 years ago, and they began the process with a long list of repairs and improvements. Despite the challenges, “we never felt it was a risk because we knew we could fix it and make it nice again,” Conger said. “We knew how many people loved going to Kiddie Park. It’s a San Antonio tradition passed down from generation to generation, so we knew if it was cleaned up, people would come back,” so clean it up they did. It took the new owners about two years to finish the repairs and improvements, and today the park is presented in largely the same delightful manner as it was back in 1925: anchored by a hand-carved carousel that was built in 1918, the park features sweet and colorful rides that move at a nice pace for younger kids, while the loudspeakers play happy children’s tunes quietly in the background. All of the rides are the same, with only one absence — the Little Dipper roller coaster, which was in too bad a shape to save. The handcars returned, and clean new restrooms, landscaping and fencing were added, along with a new entrance and flagstone walk. The owners also added some offices and updated the snack bar. Finally, they built 25 new picnic tables, added several tons of gravel, painted everything, and opened the gates for business. Since that day, business has been steady, as if the park never closed. On the weekends, the corner of this once halfway-depressing intersection bustles with happy activity. It’s once again a favorite spot for birthday parties, as adults mingle around the picnic tables or under the new awnings while kids run freely from ride to ride. “Watching the kids have so much fun, and listening to 80 On The Town | July-August 2012

every parent talk about how they came here as a child and rode the same rides” is the most rewarding part of the project, Conger said. Kiddie Park is perhaps the heart of an area of San Antonio that is rapidly becoming the premier location for childfocused venues — arguably the “Children’s Reach” of the San Antonio River Walk. Within a few blocks are the San Antonio Zoo, Walden Pond, Lions Park, the Witte Museum, the Acorn School and Brackenridge Park, which will be adding a stop at Kiddie Park for San Antonio’s beloved miniature train, the Brackenridge Eagle. The San Antonio Children’s Museum is currently in the design process and will open across the street in 2015. “We have always wanted this section of Broadway to get back to what it was back in the day,” Conger said. “Having the Children’s Museum move in right across the street is going to be amazing, and we are thrilled to have so many places up and down Broadway being renovated. We wanted to clean up Kiddie Park to help make this a great place for families and kids. Having [these venues] together in the same area will be amazing.” All of this fits into the larger plan for the reurbanization of the Broadway corridor, known as the Broadway Midtown master plan. The children’s area of Broadway certainly will be magical, but the owners of Kiddie Park envision spreading the Kiddie Park brand to other areas in San Antonio, as well. “We are opening up another location on the south side of San Antonio called Kiddie Park Pica Pica,” Conger said. The new location will have an indoor play area inside the Pica Pica Plaza that will open in September. It’s fitting that the oldest park of its type in the nation is ushering in a new era for this once-overlooked neighborhood that is less than a mile from the Pearl Brewery, as well as creating a space for precious early childhood memories in another part of San Antonio. No generation will miss the nostalgia of 4-year-old parties at Kiddie Park, and for those kids, that party will look very much the same as it did for their greatgreat-great-great-grandmothers. “This park has been pretty much the same thing for 87 years,” Conger said, “so I wouldn’t be surprised if 20 years from now you were looking at the same place you see today.”

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Artistic Destination:

Elvis and the Special Places in His Life By Julie Catalano

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lvis Presley was a true son of the south – Tennessee’s golden boy in every sense of the word. Although regularly on tour or under the bright lights of Hollywood or Las Vegas, the King of Rock and Roll never left home for too long. During this 35th anniversary year of his death, you can trace some – these are by no means all -- of the King’s most notable Southern landmarks. He was shaped by all of them, and in return he changed them forever. Elvis Aaron Presley took his first breath – and presumably let out his first wail – in a tiny, two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8, 1935, the only living son of Vernon and Gladys Presley. His twin, Jesse Garon, was stillborn; his remains are buried in an unmarked grave in Priceville Cemetery in East Tupelo. In 1977, the original house was restored and decorated in the style of the 1930s. “Everybody wants to see exactly where Elvis was born,” says Dick Guyton, executive director of the Elvis Presley Birthplace. According to the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, in 2011 about 40,000 visitors paid to see the modest home along with a 15-acre park, a museum, and a memorial chapel. This year, a $4.3 million completion of the first phase of expansion is expected to draw even more fans, who will enjoy a new 120-seat theater, an amphitheater for 75, and new space for artifacts. “They’ve been in storage for about ten years,” says Guyton. The Presley family moved from place to place in Tupelo until finally setting out for Memphis and a better life in 1948 when Elvis was 13 and already performing in a school talent show. After graduation in 1953, he worked at various odd jobs, secretly harboring dreams of much more. “Everybody knows the story,” says Cory Fletcher, guide at Sun Studio in Memphis ( “Elvis walked in to make a record for his mother’s birthday. Very sweet story. But it’s not true.” Gladys’ birthday had been months earlier; a painfully shy and very nervous Elvis just wanted to sing. For the kingly sum of $4, Elvis got “one take, one song, and one copy of a song called My Happiness,’” says Fletcher.

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Now, studio tour visitors can stand where Elvis stood and “sing” into the same microphone Elvis did while recording his first hit, That’s All Right, Mama. Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips (no relation to Sun Records founder

Sam Phillips) played it 17 times in a row while the phones rang off the hook. The next day Elvis had a two-year contract with Sun Records. The tour also includes the amazing story behind what became known as The Million Dollar Quartet, an impromptu jam session among Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash on December 4, 1956, when Elvis (who was by then with RCA and already a phenomenon) dropped in for a visit during Perkins’ – with pianist Lewis – recording session. Elvis popped into the studio himself, followed by Cash, a savvy Sam Phillips left the mic open and the tapes running, and the rest is goose bump-inducing history. (One reviewer compares it to “finding the Dead Sea Scrolls of music.”) RCA Victor bought out Elvis’ Sun contract and he recorded Heartbreak Hotel, his first gold record, in their Nashville Studio B – a must-see for any Elvis fan. His spirit permeates this unassuming but magical space that looks much like it did when Elvis and so many other music legends sang into its mikes and played its instruments, some still lining the walls. It still serves as a working studio for today’s artists. “Elvis recorded more than 250 songs here at Studio B,” says Keith Wright, national tourism sales manager for the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. “One of the great American love songs of all-time was sung in the dark because Elvis decided it should be done that way.” He then turns off the lights and Are You Lonesome Tonight? begins in the dark, just as Elvis recorded it. Few days were darker than August 16, 1977, when Elvis’ journey ended at Graceland, the 18-room mansion that he had gifted to his parents in happier days at age 22. About 10 miles from downtown Memphis, Graceland had always been a haven from the glare of the spotlight, and he increasingly retreated to it in later years, as career frustrations, health problems and suspected prescription drug dependence began to overshadow his once-golden life. Here he would play with young daughter Lisa Marie (from his marriage to Priscilla Beaulieu), ride his horses (later purchasing the 163-acre Circle G Ranch in Horn Lake, Mississippi to house his ever-growing herd), and occasionally greet his fans at the famous guitar-themed gates. While preparing for a tour, Elvis collapsed and died, alone, upstairs, leaving behind millions of devastated fans the world over. In 1982, Graceland – with its

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mansion, grounds, special exhibits, automobile museum, and private jets Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II – opened to the public. Every year, about 600,000 make the pilgrimage. For the 35th anniversary, Lisa Marie announced Elvis: Through His Daughter’s Eyes,” an exhibit on display for the next two years. Graceland’s annual Elvis Week – this year from August 10-18, 2012 – will feature concerts, conferences, film screenings, a songwriters showcase, and an Elvis Tribute contest (i.e, the ubiquitous impersonators), to name a few. The opening ceremony takes place on August 15, at 8:30p near the front gates of the mansion, culminating in a candlelight procession up the drive to the gravesite. The 35th anniversary will draw the inevitable thousands, but no one will be left out. “The procession,” according to, “will last as long as we have guests.” In the end, for true Elvis fans it will always be about the music. From the first guitar his beloved mama bought at the Tupelo Hardware Store to his gospel roots to the glittering gold records that adorn the walls at Graceland, Elvis was, in his own way, singing the song of the south – a place he loved as dearly as his home, his family, and his faith. “For all his fame and fortune, says Dick Guyton, “Elvis never forgot where he came from.” For more information,,, A version of this article by the author, entitled “Livin’ in Elvis Country,” appeared in DeSoto Magazine, August 10, 2010.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Pages 82-83 Elvis Statue on Beale Street Photo by Vasha Hunt © Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau 2011 All Rights Reserved Page 84 (Above)

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Elvis Presley Birthplace Photo courtesy of Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau

(Below) Statue of young Elvis at Elvis Presley Birthplace Photo courtesy of Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau Page 85 (Above) Tupelo Hardware Company (Where Gladys Presley bought Elvis’ first guitar) Photo courtesy of Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau (Below) Memorial Chapel at Elvis Presley Birthplace Photo courtesy of Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau Page 86 (Above) Sun Studio recording studio Photo by Dan Ball © Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau 2011 All Rights Reserved. (Below) Fans at Gate of Graceland Photo by Justin Fox Burks © Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau 2011 All Rights Reserved. Page 87 (Above) Graceland Mansion Photo by Julie Catalano (Below) Historic RCA Studio B Photo by Donn Jones Courtesy Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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July/August 2012 Issue