ON THE TOWN
Jeffrey Balfour â€˜Tis the Artful Season Camerata San Antonio Witte Museum 85th Anniversary Henry Brun and the Latin Playerz Musical Bridges Around the World Holiday Traditions on the River Plus 17 Additional Articles
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Features A Great Time of the Year for Performing Arts Highlights During the November-December Holiday Season
The Art of Growing Art The Artist Foundation of San Antonio Nourishes the Arts for the Future
For the Love of Music
Jeffrey Balfour: Executive Chef of Hotel Valencia and Citrus
Anya Grokhovski-Michaelson 20 Bridging Cultures With Music and Dance
Holiday Tables: A Conversation With Di-Anna Arias
Yosa Performers Bring Fresh Perspectives To Their Music
Max’s Wine Dive is DiVine
Mixing Things Up Downtown Inaugural San Antonio Cocktail Conference to Benefit HeartGift If I Lived Downtown
Latin Playerz Jazz up the Holidays
Texas Our Texas 32 Jose “Pepe” Martinez, Sr. - Musical Director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan
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Holiday Traditions Begin with the 2011 Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony
Seasonal Changes in Your Fitness Routine
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Departments November-December 2011 Events Calendar
Pinch Pennies & Dine Well: Bon Appétit at a Discount 88 Book Talk: E-Books are Changing the 92 Publishing Business Artistic Destination: Chattanooga’s Comeback
Picture This: A Happy Holiday Card 120 COVER CREDITS Front Cover Photo: Anya Grokhovski-Michaelson Photo by Liz Garza-Williams Performing Arts Cover Photo: Stomp Photo by Junichi Takahashi Events Calendar Cover Photo: © Mac Miller / Dreamstime.com Visual Arts Cover Photo: James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903), A Freshening Breeze, 1883. oil on panel. 9.25 x 5.38 in. Courtesy McNay Art Museum Culinary Arts Cover Photo: Greg Harrison Literary Arts Cover Photo: Simon Thomas / Dreamstime.com Eclectics Cover Photo: Vivienne Gautraux
Mikel Allen, graphic designer Giles Armstrong Julie Catalano Cynthia Clark Lisa Cruz Thomas Duhon Ashley Festa Ana Flores Dana Fossett Liz Garza-Williams Vivienne Gautraux Greg Harrison, staff photographer Marcie Hernandez Shannon Huntington Standley
Michele Krier Christian Lair Kay Lair Marlo Mason-Marie Susan A. Merkner, copy editor Cynthia Munoz Bonny Osterhage Angela Rabke Sara Selango Tom Trevino Janis Turk Regina Villalobos Jasmina Wellinghoff Joel Williams Cassandra Yardeni
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Performing Arts 10-40
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y entertainment radar screen is filled with featured in this magazine. Now let me get down holiday highlights that I am anxious to share. to specifics. This article gives me the opportunity to do just that, so here goes. Four different Nutcracker ballets are featured this year starting with the artistic collaboration between the The Nutcracker is the featured presentation in symphony and Ballet San Antonio. Four performances November and December for numerous local are scheduled at the Majestic Nov. 25-27 with an organizations plus a national touring company. additional four to be danced Dec. 2-4. Arts San The incomparable Hal Holbrook brings us Mark Antonio, in conjunction with Metropolitan Classical Twain Tonight. Fiddler on the Roof rolls into town at Ballet and San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet, offers the Majestic. Rachelle Ferrell and Three Mo’ Tenors four performances of The Nutcracker at the newly entertain at the Carver. Stomp is back and better than renovated Lila Cockrell Theater from Dec. 16-18. ever. Sebastian Lang-Lessing Salutes America with McAllister Auditorium is home to The Nutcracker as the San Antonio Symphony at Laurie Auditorium, and performed by Alamo City Dance Company featuring Ken-David Masur takes the baton for Holiday Pops. Maia Wilkins and Michael Levine. Dates for their Henry Brun and the Latin Playerz jazz up A Very Latin three performances are Dec. 17-18. Finishing out the Christmas at the Charline McCombs Empire. Willie foursome is the national tour of Moscow Ballet’s Great Nelson returns to his old stomping grounds at John Russian Nutcracker on stage at the Majestic Dec. 27-28. T. Floore Country Store. Trans-Siberian Orchestra plays a holiday double-header at AT&T, and the list The San Antonio Symphony goes full-tilt during the goes on and on. holiday season. In addition to the aforementioned Nutcracker performances and SLL Salutes America, Speaking of the list, find tons of entertainment the symphony plays two classical weekends – opportunities cataloged in the events calendar Brahms Sings Nov. 11-12 and Rachmaninoff 2 Nov.
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18-19. In between they join Air Force Band of the West in a Veteran’s Day Salute to Service Nov. 13 at the Majestic. Handel’s Messiah is up next at three area churches Dec. 2-4, followed by Holiday Pops at the Majestic Dec. 16-18. Other notewor thy classical offerings in November and December begin with organist Dong-ill Shin in concer t at Coker Methodist Church Nov. 6, followed the next evening by Youth Orchestras of San Antonio’s Gold Series per formance of From the New World at the Majestic featuring bassist Edgar Meyer. Also Nov. 7 is an Olmos Ensemble per formance at the First Unitarian Universalist Church. Tenor Daniel Weeks is next in a Tuesday Musical Club presentation at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church Nov. 8, while the Dallas String Quar tet makes an appearance in the Hill Countr y for the Fredericksburg Music Club on Nov. 13. SOLI Chamber Ensemble plays two per formances of Quantum Change Nov. 14 and 15. The Morganstern Trio finishes things with a per formance for San Antonio Chamber Music Society Nov. 20.
December starts with Rising Stars and Many Moods of Christmas by Symphony of the Hills on the first day of the month at Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater in Kerrville. Camerata San Antonio’s An English Christmas follows Dec. 8, 9 and 11 at venues in Kerrville and Boerne plus Christ Episcopal Church in San Antonio. Dec. 11 also features Musical Bridges Around the World’s Golden Fingers and Golden Toes at McAllister Auditorium, Comfort and Joy – The Music of Christmas by Voci di Sorelle at UIW Chapel and Peace on Earth, a symphonic per formance by Mid-Tex Symphony at Jackson Auditorium in Seguin. Turning attention to theatrical performances, Stomp sweeps into the Majestic Nov. 4-6 for a five-show run. That same weekend see Arts San Antonio’s presentation of Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight on Sunday evening at Laurie Auditorium on the campus of Trinity University. About a month later, Fiddler on the Roof takes center stage as a part of the Cadillac Broadway Series in San Antonio. Take in at least one of the eight performances from Dec. 6-11 at the big theater on Houston Street.
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Community theater highlights include Rocky Horror Show in early November at the Woodlawn, The Last Ballyhoo at Sheldon Vexler through Nov. 13, The Love List on the boards at the Cameo until Nov. 27, Disney’s My Son Pinocchio from Thanksgiving to Christmas at the Woodlawn, A Christmas Carol: The Musical on stage at the Russell Hill Rogers Theater at San Pedro Playhouse in December up until Christmas weekend, and finally one of my alltime favorites, Chicago: The Musical at the Cameo Theatre Dec. 2-31. Skidoo and all that jazz! Great musical moments in the months of November and December, aside from those detailed earlier, include Rachelle Ferrell at the Carver Nov. 12 and Three Mo’ Tenors at the same venue Dec. 3. Also during this time, Asleep at the Wheel buses in for a Nov. 12 appearance at Gruene Hall, while Willie Nelson steps back in time at John T. Floore Country Store in Helotes Nov. 16. Five more to see are Tony Pace: Up on the Roof at the newly renovated Brauntex Theatre in New Braunfels Nov. 19, Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles at American Bank Center Selena Auditorium in Corpus Christi Nov. 20,
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Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas at the Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater in Kerrville Nov. 27, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan at the Lila Cockrell Theater Dec. 3-4, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the AT&T Center for two performances Dec. 22. There you have it, from my radar screen to yours. What a great time of the year for performing arts! Get some tickets and go.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Pages 10-11 Fiddler on the Roof Photo by Carol Rosegg Page 12 (L-R) Sebastian Lang-Lessing Photo by Marks Moore
The Nutcracker Ballet Arts San Antonio Photo by Daren Abate
The Nutcracker Ballet San Antonio / SA Symphony Photo by Elise Barker
Ken-David Masur Photo by Greg Harrison
Three Moâ€™ Tenors Courtesy Carver Community Cultural Center
Page 13 (L-R) SOLI Chamber Ensemble Photo by Kemp Davis Henry Brun Courtesy richportenterprises.com Fiddler on the Roof Photo by Carol Rosegg Page 14 (L-R) Rachelle Ferrell Courtesy Carver Community Cultural Center
Page 15 (L-R) Stomp Photo by Junichi Takahashi Hal Holbrook Courtesy Arts San Antonio The Case of the Deadly Detective Dinner Courtesy Cameo Theatre
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For the Love of Music By Lisa Cruz Photography Greg Harrison
ustav Mahler once music was merely to be listened to in audience.” Audiences at concert would agree.
said, “In its beginnings, chamber music, meant a small space by a small a Camerata San Antonio
to the music director’s, as it needs to be. But with Camerata, we wanted to flex our musical muscle,” Ken said.
Flexing is just what this couple has done, creating unique programs and experiences for the Performed by small ensembles, Camerata brought audiences each time they play. In a Jan. 23, 2011, a new style of chamber music to San Antonio and MySa.com blog, symphony president and CEO Jack the Hill Country in 2003 and continues to provide Fishman described the dynamism of a Camerata audiences with new material and spontaneity. performance. From performing a very serious Husband and wife team Kenneth Freudigman and Mozart piece to switching pianists at intermission Emily Watkins Freudigman co-founded Camerata and taking the audience on a journey through a nine seasons ago as a means of sharing classical “sonata filled with jazz, popular music influences, music with audiences in a different format. Ken Latin touches and lots of personality. It sounded also explains that Camerata began as a way for improvised and fresh,” Fishman wrote. him to “be in charge of his own musical destiny.” Ken and Emily describe this freedom of artistic Ken is principal cello of the San Antonio Symphony expression as the backbone of Camerata. Ken said and adjunct professor of cello at the University Camerata musicians “all bring a special spark to of Texas at San Antonio. Emily is the assistant the ensemble. It’s never boring, and each player principal viola with the San Antonio Symphony. brings a great energy.” Camerata features a variety of musicians during various concerts. Emily said a large part of the energy comes from the creativity of Ken’s programming. “He does a Engaging with their colleagues and providing good job of mixing pieces people will know and them an opportunity to more closely interact enjoy with new pieces. Our biggest fans talk about and bring their own energy and enthusiasm to the discovery aspect. There’s always a piece they audiences was the foundation from which Ken and are not sure about but enjoy learning, which is a Emily started Camerata. huge part of why people stick with us.” “In an orchestra, at the end of the day, your musical Whether it is a symphony concert or a chamber thoughts are considered, but they are secondary concert, musicians agree that hearing classical November-December 2011 | On The Town 17
music live is the best way to experience the music.
Sharing classical music is critical to Ken and Emily. “Classical music is alive and well in San Antonio, “A chamber orchestra can’t produce the power and everyone can be moved by it regardless of the of a Brahms piece like the symphony; however, familiarity,” Ken said. chamber music is like inviting the audience into a private conversation,” Emily said. “When you’re in a “ We have program notes that look like manuals, chamber music performance, you can differentiate but you don’t have to read them or k now the interaction better and see the playfulness anything about the pieces to enjoy it,” Emily happening between musicians.” said. “Great music has a sur face appeal that will pull anyone in.” Camerata continues to grow and expand. Ken said that in the first year, they were making programs Camerata takes music beyond concert venues, on a copier and stapling things together, like with performances in public schools for children many startup companies; however, they now have in grades three through five. Ken said children do resources and some funding. The next step, he said, not have a preconceived notion of what music they is to look for an executive director. The group has should and shouldn’t like, and they have played a new home in San Antonio and will be performing for children who just couldn’t wait to clap. at Christ Episcopal Church, 510 Belknap. Ken said he also hopes to do another recording project. “ These children haven’t been taught that it’s not for them,” Ken said. “Our education concerts are Camerata’s first recording, Salon Buenos Aires: an introduction to the string instruments, and Music of Miguel del Aguila, was completed in 2009 kids immediately understand that it is fun, and and nominated for two Latin Grammy awards in they learn that it’s great artistry but also great 2010 for best classical album and best classical commitment.” contemporary composition. Between symphony concerts, Camerata 18 On The Town | November-December 2011
performances and rehearsals for both, plus education concerts, teaching, and running after their 3-year-old, Ken and Emily do not seem to be slowing down anytime soon, but their passion for music seems to grow with their schedule. Emily explained how performing enhances her craft, which keep her motivated. “We get excited about getting better, and every time we work with our colleagues, we learn from each other and get better,” she said.
Festival the Complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas and Variations Jan. 6 and 8. The Power of Dance will be March 15-18, and the group performs Crossroads April 26, 27 and 29. For a complete list of the season and to purchase tickets, visit www.cameratasa.org
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“It’s a passion for the arts that keeps me active,” Ken said. “ The power of music is so incredible, and music is such a part of our lives that I can’t imagine having it any other way. There are always creative Photo Credtis: souls out there searching for a way to express themselves, and this group in Camerata feeds that Page 16 Kenneth Freudigman and in my soul.” Emily Watkins Freudigman Remaining Camerata concerts include: An English Christmas, in which the group brings back a fan Page 18 favorite from Charles Dickens, where the musicians Emily Watkins Freudigman not only play their instrument but another percussion instrument or “found” instrument. Page 19 Camerata also will perform at the Beethoven Kenneth Freudigman
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Anya Grokhovski-Michaelson Bridging Cultures With Music and Dance By Joel Williams Photography Liz Garza-Williams 20 On The Town | November-December 2011
nya Grokhovsky-Michaelson is on a mission to bring the arts to new audiences and to build bridges between people of different cultures and artistic preferences.
In October, the first performance of this year’s series combined a 45-minute Russian opera, Mozart and Salieri, complete with costume and operatic staging, with music and dance from India. The one-act opera by composer Rimsky-Korsakov was a collaboration with Italian director This Russian-born, classically trained pianist who grew up Roberto Prestigiacomoa, founder and artistic director as a “backstage kid” of a father who played in the Moscow of AtticRep. World-famous singers Nikita Storojev and Philharmonic Orchestra, pursues that mission in San Antonio Michael Burgess performed the opera. with her Musical Bridges Around the World program. The second half showcased various genres of the In its 14th year, the centerpiece of Musical Bridges is an music of India, culminating in a spectacle of Indian annual series of concerts that often feature unexpected dancers interpreting music that blends East and combinations of art forms. The first installment of this West. Artistic director was Sujata Venkateswar, an year’s season, presented Oct. 2, featured an opera Indian classical vocalist. followed by a program of Indian dance and music. “Half of the audience was Musical Bridges supporters, Grokhovski-Michaelson’s organization now is gearing and half of audience was Indians who came to support up for the Dec. 11 program titled Golden Fingers and Indian dance and music,” Grokhovski-Michaelson said. Golden Toes at the McAllister Auditorium on the San “After the concert, a lot of people came up to us and said Antonio College campus. The first half will feature that this was the first time they’d ever seen opera. So at an international group of six pianists from Mexico, least they know what it is. Forty-five minutes is a good Russia, Georgia, Belorussia, Germany and the United introduction to the opera world, versus one of the Rings States. Grokhovski-Michaelson describes it as “an (by Richard Wagner), which is five hours long.” exciting, eccentric program of pianists in different combinations.” They will culminate with Franz Liszt’s All of the Musical Bridges Around the World programs Hexameron, composed for six pianists in 1837. take place on Sunday afternoons starting at 3 p.m. at McAllister. In addition to the Dec. 11 Golden Fingers and The Golden Toes half of the program will feature four Golden Toes program, others in this year’s series are: classical ballet dancers from New York performing the world premier of Fables, a modern classical ballet created • Jan. 22, Beethoven in the Style of Jazz, a collaboration by the internationally renowned ballet mistress Elena between Russian pianist Valery Grokhovski and local jazz Kunikova. It will include three 10-minute segments, musicians performing works by Beethoven, Mozart and each interpreting a different fable, to the music of Dmitri Bach in jazz and original styles. Shostakovich’s Jazz Preludes. • Feb. 19, a Black History Month celebration featuring jazz “She is creating that for us from scratch,” Grokhovski- pianist Geri Allen, described by the New York Times as “a Michaelson said. They will dance with a background jazz pianist who dares to follow an unmarked road.” consisting of video images. It also will come with a recitation of each fable by spoken word, so the audience • May 20, Caribbean Express, featuring the folkloric will have an idea of each fable’s story line. ensemble Gibaro de Puerto Rico, a narrated musical historical presentation exploring the history of Latin music “Part of our mission is to make sure that our programs during the first half. During the second half, Gibaro de make a personal connection with the audiences,” Puerto Rico will perform present-day Caribbean mambo, Grokhovski-Michaelson said. “We are creating one-of-a- meringue, plena and salsa. San Antonio choreographer kind multicultural performances in order to educate and and salsa master Lee Rios and his dancers will join in the develop new audiences.” performance. It will feature students from Cayey, Puerto Rico’s Escuela de Bellas Artes. Between the 10-minute segments, the audience will be treated to chamber music presented by Emanuel Borok, Supporters of Musical Bridges Around the World who former concert master of the Dallas Symphony. give $1,000 or more per year also are treated to house concerts held the day before the MBAW performances. November-December 2011 | On The Town 21
The same artists who will perform on Sunday give them a close-up show in the home of one of the organization’s supporters. “It’s our way to say ‘thank you’ to them for their support,” Grokhovski-Michaelson said, adding that sponsors and supporters who underwrite many of the costs make MBAW possible. As an educational community outreach, MBAW also presents its Kids to Concerts, usually 10 concerts presented each year in local public schools at no charge to the schools visited. The goal is to introduce young minds to the beauty and history of classical, jazz and folk music, building bridges between what they learn in school and what they experience in the live performance. MBAW also will present five free concerts at San Fernando Cathedral this year. It’s all about reaching as many people as possible and creating an understanding of the arts, while also fostering understanding between cultures, said GrokhovskiMichaelson, who will celebrate her 50th birthday on Nov. 30. In February, she’ll celebrate her fifth wedding anniversary with husband Dr. Robert Michaelson. “I am trying to create these performances and package them in a certain way so that they are still very high artistic quality, unique artistic quality, but they are easier to understand to somebody who never went to music school like I did, who doesn’t understand what the music form is, who doesn’t know why they like it,” GrokhovskiMichaelson said of the MBAW program. And it’s done with an understanding of the competition that live performances face with the explosion of media and performances available for people to watch and hear without ever leaving their homes. “In order to justify for them to get up and go to the concert,” Grokhovski-Michaelson said, “we have to offer them something new and something that they will not regret that they left their bedroom to go to it.” But for that online audience, her passion for the arts and MBAW can be found in a blog, Anya’s Musings, which she posts on the organization’s website. The blog soon will feature videos of Grokhovski-Michaelson playing piano pieces by composers such as Chopin, Liszt, Schubert and Rachmaninoff. 22 On The Town | November-December 2011
Additional information on Musical Bridges Around the World is available at www.musicalbridges.org.
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YOSA Performers Bring Fresh Perspectives to Their Music By Susan A. Merkner
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embers of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio ( YOSA) have var ying levels of experience, yet they all share a dedication and enthusiasm to making music together.
student bass players, will benefit from working with Meyer, who also will teach a masterclass with all the Philharmonic students. “Meyer is literally the greatest bass player,” Peters said, with music that reflects a mix of bluegrass influences and complex, driving rhythms.
“Most of them are busy kids, involved in athletics, Scouts, church and extracurriculars, yet they make time for weekly rehearsals and daily practice,” At the Nov. 7 concer t, YOSA students will join said Troy Peters, YOSA’s musical director. Meyers in playing his Concer to No. 1. Although some musicians, including professionals, might Peters, who plays the viola and has per formed on be slightly intimidated by playing a composer ’s tenor banjo and electric guitar with symphony work alongside him on stage, Peters said the orchestras, also conducts the organization’s top YOSA students will be well-prepared by the ensemble, the 95-member Philharmonic. night of the per formance. The Philharmonic musicians play a professionallevel reper toire requiring “high levels of master y and control, to which they bring a youthful enthusiasm that ’s a joy to behold,” Peters said.
The concer t also will feature the students per forming Missy Mazzoli’s “ These Worlds in Us,” Giovanni Bottesini’s Concer to No. 2, and Antonin Dvorak ’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World.”
Approximately 310 students par ticipate in YOSA’s five orchestras, beginning with the entr ylevel Prelude Strings, and moving up through the Capriccio Strings, intermediate strings; the Sinfonietta Strings, the most advanced strings; the Symphony, the intermediate full orchestra; and the Philharmonic, the most advanced ensemble.
Other YOSA ensembles also will be featured in upcoming per formances. Autumn Festival, at 5 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Edgewood Per forming Ar ts Center, 607 S.W. 34th St., will be a free concer t per formed by the YOSA Symphony and Sinfonietta Strings in the first of the organization’s City Series concer ts.
Because they are students, most of them are being exposed to cer tain pieces of music for the first time, which Peters said brings him joy as a teacher.
Holiday Favorites, par t of the Junior Strings Concer ts series, will be per formed at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Magik Theatre, 420 S. Alamo St. Student per formers will be from the YOSA Capriccio Strings, Prelude Strings and Music Learning “ They may be less polished than professional Center programs. symphony players but they have a sense of boundless joy,” he said. “Ever y single piece is a The Music Learning Center is YOSA’s free, afternew experience for them. It ’s wonder ful to see school program for kindergar teners through them falling in love with music.” seventh-grade students in select neighborhoods on the city ’s West Side. The program provides San Antonio audiences have several opportunities music instruction and loaned instruments for to fall in love with YOSA per formers. par ticipants, who meet at the Good Samaritan Community Ser vices. The YO S A P h i l h a r m o n i c, with Pe t e r s c o n d u c t i n g, w i l l p e r fo r m w i t h g u e s t E d g a r YOSA also offers summer camps and other M e y e r, a w o r l d - c l a s s b a s s i s t a n d c o m p o s e r, a t educational programming. “ Fr o m t h e N e w Wo r l d ” a t 7 : 3 0 p. m . N o v. 7 a t t h e M a j e s t i c T h e a t re. Next June, about 65 YOSA Philharmonic students will travel to England and Wales to per form in Peters said the YOSA musicians, including eight London, Liverpool and Cardiff. November-December 2011 | On The Town 25
The touring group likely will repeat their Nov. 7 per formance of Dvorak ’s Symphony No. 9. “It ’s ver y appropriate because it ’s a piece written by a European composer who was visiting America,” Peters said. Also on the program for the touring per formers will be Ar turo Marquez ’ Danzon No. 2 “to share some of San Antonio’s Hispanic culture and heritage,” and some English music because “it ’s always good to acknowledge your host and their music,” he said. “YOSA has been touring internationally for many years,” said Peters, who has ser ved as music director since 2009. “It gives students really memorable, life changing moments in music and encourages them to achieve things they never dreamed they could accomplish.” For information, visit www.yosa.org.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 24 Troy Peters Cour tesy Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Page 26 Edgar Meyer Cour tesy Youth Orchestras of San Antonio
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Jazz up the Holidays! By Michele Krier
eliz Navidad, San Antonio! This holiday season certainly will be bright when Arts San Antonio presents A Very Latin Christmas with Henry Brun and the Latin Playerz. featuring 14 musicians in the orchestra. An added stocking stuffer, renowned vocalist Judi Deleon will join the Grammy awardwinning band in concert at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2.
was nicknamed “Mr. Ritmo” by his fans, who sing the praises and cadencia of the authentic music for which he has come to be known.
A Puerto Rican from the Bronx, Brun began paying congas at the age of 7 and was a professional player before his teens. Early musical influencers included Tito Puente, Potato Valdez and Candida Cameron. “I’ve been playing music professionally for 40 Henry Brun formed the Latin Playerz ensemble more years,” Brun said. “I’ve accomplished my dream.” than two decades and 600 recordings ago. Brun, Brun has recorded with the Texas Tornados, Ruben who earned a Grammy as the producer of Before the Ramón, Los Lobos and David Lee Garza. He tours Next Teardrop Falls, also has racked up an incredible with international acts such as Arturo Sandoval, 21 Grammy nominations for his work. Latin Playerz Justo Almario, Charo, Little Joe y La Familia and built their reputation as a highly spirited band many others. performing a variety of Latin styles with rhythm and blues, swing and jazz. “Music is part of what we share together,” Brun said. “I always had a dream of putting together “We celebrated the 20th anniversary of our a Christmas album. This is our interpretation of orchestra with Arts San Antonio to a sold-out crowd how happy music can be during Christmas. We’re at the Empire last year,” Brun said. “And we’re so thrilled that we can share this with all our fans who excited to be back for our A Very Latin Christmas have made our Playerz who they are today. We concert. Christmas is such an important part of our keep exploring our music, sharing it and giving lives -- enjoying the blessings we’ve been given back to San Antonio. It means a lot to us that our throughout the years and spending it with family band executed all of these arrangements.” and friends.” The band’s new Christmas CD features well-known San Antonio has discovered that the Latin Playerz traditional standards and some hymns that are more is one of the most phenomenal performing groups obscure. “When we were selecting the material, in the city. Texas’ undisputed conga dynamo, Brun we thought of Christmas songs that embrace the November-December 2011 | On The Town 29
whole spirit of Christmas,” Brun said. “We included Medieval Christmas songs and some with strong gospel influences. It’s really exciting to listen to the CD.” A Very Latin Christmas is available now and at the concert. “I’m proud to call San Antonio my home and my culture after being here for so many years. We are fortunate to have such a rich culture in our city.” Vocalist Judi Deleon joins the band for the festive holiday concert. “Words cannot express the gratitude I have for her,” Brun said. “This is the one time that Judi is featured in an intimate concert setting. So we have the Playerz and Judi -- really two shows in one. She’s an amazing vocalist and a spiritual person who gives it her heart and soul. That’s what we do -- we play from the heart.” Deleon is an accomplished songwriter, arranger, producer and lead singer in her own right. Henry and Judi, who are married, also manage Richport Enterprises Entertainment Consultants. Their company provides top talent for private events and parties, weddings and corporate events. “Our service is unique because we can synchronize music for an event and take care of all the details so our clients can trust us to plan every facet of their entertainment needs,” he said. Plans for the Playerz’ future? “I want to continue doing what I’m doing,” Brun said. “I believe you create your opportunity, and this city has been phenomenal to us. I’ve become a part of the canvas of San Antonio.” Tickets are available from Arts San Antonio.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 28 Henry Brun and Judi Deleon Courtesy richportenterprises.com Page 30 Henry Brun Courtesy richportenterprises.com 30 On The Town | November-December 2011
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Texas Our Texas This Recently Renovated Gem and the Neighboring Art Deco Palace Theatre are Putting Seguin on the Map as a Hot Spot for Theater Arts 32 Janis On TheTurk Town | November-December 2011 By
hat do Robert Redford, Vanessa Redgrave, Sam Shepherd and just about everyone in Seguin have in common? They’ve all been to the Texas Theatre, a historic 1930s former movie house along the main thoroughfare of this small town northeast of San Antonio on Interstate 10. Currently owned by the Seguin Conservation Society, and for more than 60 years owned and run by a family of motion-picture exhibitors with theaters throughout South Texas, the Texas Theatre recently received a facelift and reopened as a liveperformance, multi-media venue and meeting/ event space.
The theater was said to have been built as a gift for Mueller’s son, a decorated military man and aviator; however, oral history maintains the son had no interest in the movie business, so the theater was quickly sold to H.A. “Windy” Daniels and leased to his company, Seguin Theatres, a corporation Daniels formed with several partners in the theater business. His partners were eventually bought out of the business, and Daniels, his wife, Maxie, and their two children, Gigi and Dan, and their families would own and operate the Texas Theatre for the next 60-plus years, along with the Palace Theatre of Seguin (still in operation today) and the Dixie Drive-In (closed in the 1980s), along with several other cinemas across South Texas. Seguin Theatres, an S corporation, is said to be one of oldest continuously operating corporations in the state of Texas.
Together, with its downtown neighbor, the independently owned Palace Theatre, the Texas Theatre is helping putting Seguin on the map as a center for live performances, dinner theater, music Daniels was pleased to boast that the Texas Theatre concerts, meetings and more, drawing theater and featured state-of-the-art accommodations for the history buffs from all over the state. hearing impaired and other ultra-modern features. The single-screen movie house featured a colorful Spanish Both theaters recently were home to live musical pre-Columbian motif, and a domed roof studded with productions by thespians from Seguin Performing stars in the main auditorium. Hand-painted fabric Arts Company and from Toto Productions of San panels on the side walls featured a pastoral scene at Antonio, and both are drawing crowds and lots of night with tall juniper trees. In the 1980s, the balcony interest in the arts to this delightful little community and main auditorium could accommodate seating for along the Guadalupe River. about 300. The theater originally featured traditional theater seats with decorative risers; however, the Seeking $2.5 million from generous gifts, small Conservation Society removed the original downstairs donations, grants and fundraisers toward a seats and flattened the originally slanted floors for a refurbishment of the historic Texas Theatre, the ballroom setting in the main auditorium. Today the Seguin Conservation Society has set in motion downstairs auditorium accommodates approximately a remarkable capital campaign to raise funds 100 in non-fixed/moveable chairs. The balcony still to modernize and even add on to the historic features the original theater seats though they have structure, while seeking to remain true to its yet to be refurbished. original ornate design. In fact, the Seguin Conservation Society is still soliciting funding Over the years, the Texas Theatre has offered firstfor the already impressive renovation project run movies as well as church services, heavy metal undertaken on the Stephen and Mary Birch Texas concerts, jazz shows and business meetings. Several Theatre (renamed to honor benefactors who couples even were married on stage. donated $1 million to the project). But it was in the 1970s and 1980s when Hollywood— Construction of the Texas Theatre began in 1929, or at least the Texas Film Commission—discovered and the splendid modern movie house opened on the little gem that is the Texas Theatre, and the March 19, 1931, with all the glitz and glamour of the Texas made cameo appearances as a location in grand theaters of its day. The original owner was movies such as The Great Waldo Pepper (with Robert Alvin P. Mueller. W. Scott Dunne was the architect, Redford), The Ballad of the Sad Café (with Vanessa Marvin Eickenroht drew up the architectural plans, Redgrave), and The Raggedy Man (with Sissy Spacek and Albert Nolte was the builder. and Sam Shepherd), and was featured in numerous Photo by Bil Sullivan
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television commercials and print ads. Today, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin features a replica of the Texas Theatre’s marquee. By 1984, the Texas Theatre was in need of some tender loving care, and so owner H.A. “Dan” Daniels II launched a massive and painstakingly careful and historically accurate restoration of the theater. However, his substantial spending on the project seemed to be for naught, as multiplex cinemas and his busier Palace Theatre down the street seemed to draw all movie business in the area. The Texas Theatre then sat for the next 12 years, all but forgotten by younger audiences—empty on Friday nights with no one to buy tickets and popcorn. In the spring of 1993, the Texas Theatre closed its doors once more. A few years later, the building was already in need of a new roof after a hailstorm and strong winds created holes, causing some water damage to the interiors. Once more the Texas would require attention—and money. Unwilling to allow the theater to fall into further disrepair, but reluctant to invest more money in a building that hadn’t generated any real revenue in the past 20 years—but that carried heavy tax and insurance expenses each month—the Daniels family decided to sell the Texas Theatre to the Seguin Conservation Society in 1996 for a mere $36,000. “I know—that’s not much for a beautiful, historic brick property of this size, but my sister Gigi Benson and I felt that if we sold the Texas to the conservation society for such a low price, the society could commit such savings toward the repair of the roof. We knew we could trust their dedication to the preservation of this historic place so dear to the hearts of my family and this community. We’re so pleased that they’ve done such a magnificent job to ensure it remains a stunning landmark for generations to come,” Dan Daniels said. The Conservation Society set to work right away to do much more than fix the roof. They purchased a building next door and joined the two spaces, allowing for new modern restrooms, rehearsal and meeting spaces and dressing rooms. Moveable chairs and tables for dinner theater productions and meetings were set in place in the new flatfloor auditorium. The antique fabric wall hangings downstairs have been replaced with replicas of each panel hand-painted by a talented local graphic artist 34 On The Town | November-December 2011
Photo by Matthew Chase
who runs a deli downtown. The proscenium arch has been carefully repainted, and the upright sign with its chasing lights around the name “Texas” has also been restored and painted a brand new royal blue color. The Texas’ marquee is getting a paint job this month, as well. The group’s goal is to complete an astounding $2.5 million project transforming the historic theater into a stunning multimedia center for the arts. Not long after the Seguin Conservation Society purchased the Texas Theatre, Emmy award-winning local filmmaker Chris Elley made a documentary, The Texas Theatre: A Projection of History, starring original Dukes of Hazzard television star John Schneider. The film also featured on-camera stories from Daniels, as well as from local residents and old timers recalling their best memories of the Texas Theatre—and its legendary ghost, “Mr. Brown,” purportedly seen by several employees and moviegoers over the years. In March of this year, the Seguin Conservation Society held a grand re-opening for the Texas Theatre. Since then, the theatre has hosted songwriter nights, special music events, children’s theater workshops, a grand art exhibit and musical theater such as You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. There’s so much in store for the Texas Theatre in the near future, and Seguin residents seem excited about it all. Seguin’s nearby Palace Theatre, which features a 1940s Art Deco-style interiors (rebuilt and re-styled after a large portion of the original theater building fell during a gas line explosion in the 1940s), with its two cinema auditoriums is also busy hosting musical stage productions, running movies (both digital and film with state-of-the-art DTS surround sound), offering film festivals, concerts, acting workshops, weddings and more. It, too, is the pride of Seguin, for few other small Texas towns can boast two regularly operating historic theater venues. With the two theaters, and a nearby bed-andbreakfast inn called The Mosheim Mansion hosting live dinner theater performances, and with the Palace running films, too, Seguin is proud to be home to so many thrilling art and stage events—and two of the prettiest old theaters in the state. For more information, go to www.palacetheatretx. com and www.thetexas.org. Photo Courtesy Seguin Gazette
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36 On The Town | November-December 2011
Jose ‘Pepe’ Martinez Sr. Musical Director of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán By Cynthia Munoz Photography courtesy mariachimusic.com
t was Dec. 4, 2009, when representatives of the Houston Grand Opera (HGO) attended San Antonio’s annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. In my role as producer of the eight-day mariachi music festival, I was asked by the HGO representatives who was the most talented mariachi musical arranger, composer and musician living today. My answer was Jose “Pepe” Martinez Sr., musical director of the world-renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. Martinez and Mariachi Vargas impressed the HGO immensely. As a result, the HGO contracted with Martinez to write the first mariachi opera, To Cross the Face of the Moon (Cruzar la Cara de la Luna). The mariachi opera premiered at the Wortham Center’s Brown Theater in Houston to a sold-out audience last November. Mariachi Vargas performed with a cast of seven vocalists from the HGO that included Vanessa Alonso, a former vocal winner from San
Antonio’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. Martinez has held the position of musical director and arranger for Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán for 36 consecutive years. Following the premiere of To Cross the Face of the Moon, Martinez was recognized publicly by HGO for composing the opera for mariachi and voice with the distinguished director and writer Leonard Foglia. Following the opera’s premiere, Théâtre du Châtelet invited Mariachi Vargas and the HGO to perform six shows in Paris in September. “The response was overwhelming,” Alonso said. The audience applauded enthusiastically, gave numerous standing ovations, and expressed themselves with tears of joy. It might be hard for some to understand how mariachi and opera come together so seamlessly. November-December 2011 | On The Town 37
But to grasp this concept one must understand Martinez’s phenomenal talents. He is like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the world of mariachi. In 1979, he was given the task of writing the arrangements for the San Antonio Symphony to perform with Mariachi Vargas during the world’s first performance that combined mariachi and classical music. His background dates to the 1940s when he began studying mariachi music as a young boy in Guadalajara.
apprenticeship, insisting that young Martinez already was a full-fledged professional violinist and needed no further lessons.
By the age of 10 he was playing for tips on city buses, and at 12 he was playing alongside his father in an official mariachi group of the Mexican Army. The talented boy soon caught the attention of Gen. Bonifacio Salinas, who awarded him a three-year scholarship to study with concert violinist Ignacio Camarena. Before the three years were up, however, the virtuoso terminated their
It was with Mariachi Vargas that his composing and arranging skills reached their pinnacle. His style is the most original of any of that group’s arrangers since maestro Rubén Fuentes, and his influence on the mariachi genre has been immense. Many original Martínez creations, including Cuerdas de Satín, Popurrí Los Gallos, Violín Huapango, Viva Veracruz, La Fiesta del Mariachi, and El Viajero — as
38 On The Town | November-December 2011
By the 1960s, Martinez had cut his teeth in the music business where he composed, arranged and recorded more than 500 songs on more than 100 long-playing records. In 1975, he joined Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán as its arranger and musical director, a position he holds to this day.
well as countless Martínez arrangements of pieces by other composers — have become standards throughout the mariachi world. Like Mozart, he exhibited extraordinary musical talent and skills from childhood. The ease and rapidity with which he masters even the most difficult musical tasks continues to amaze his contemporaries. His musical ideas flow naturally and spontaneously. He writes his arrangements and compositions effortlessly, with incredible speed and minimal need for revision.
with breathtaking arrangements that include Mi Ciudad, Amor Eterno and El Viajero. Mariachi Vargas headlines San Antonio’s 17th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Nov. 27 to Dec. 4. The eight-day mariachi music festival includes two concerts at the newly renovated Lila Cockrell Theater Dec. 3-4 and a slew of mariachirelated events with more than 100 mariachi music performances and 1,000 young mariachi musicians during the weeklong event.
San Antonio’s 17th Annual Mariachi Vargas Much of the music played by Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is the largest and longest-running today is traditional mariachi music arrangements mariachi music festival in Texas. written by Martinez and Fuentes, with operatic and symphonic influences. Their latest CD, Mariachi For ticket information and a detailed schedule of Vargas Sinfonico No. 3, was recorded with the events and locations, visit www.mariachimusic. Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Queretaro, com. November-December 2011 | On The Town 39
40 On The Town | November-December 2011
Events Calendar 42-56
November-December 2011 | On The Town 41
November-December 2011 Events Calendar Music Notes Dale Watson 11/4, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Hall Dwight Yoakam 11/4, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store San Antonio Symphony: SLL Salutes America 11/4-5, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Laurie Auditorium Trinity University San Antonio Rose Live 11/4-12/31, Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 2pm & 7:30pm Sun @ 7:30pm Aztec Theatre RockBox Theater in Fredericksburg 11/4-12/31, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 4:30pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm Randy Brown 11/5, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall
Sheâ€™s Country Tour with Heidi Newfield and Bridgette Tatum 11/5, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store
Daniel Weeks Tuesday Musical Club Presentation 11/8, Tue @ 2pm Laurel Heights United Methodist Church
Honeybrowne 11/5, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall
Petra 11/10, Thu @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre
Dong-ill Shin The Arts at Coker Presentation 11/6, Sun @ 3pm Coker United Methodist Church Olmos Ensemble: Variety! Winds and Strings, Thoughtful and Humorous 11/7, Mon @ 7:30pm First Unitarian Universalist Church Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Gold Series: From The New World Troy Peters conductor Edgar Meyer, double-base 11/7, Mon @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre
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Weldon Henson 11/11, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Hall San Antonio Symphony: Brahms Sings 11/11-12, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers Majestic Theatre Tesla-Acoustic 11/12, Sat @ 7pm Backstage Live Gary Allan 11/12, Sat @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio
Rachelle Ferrell Carver Community Cultural Center Presentation 11/12, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver Amber Digby & Midnight Flyer 11/12, Sat @ 8pm Kendalia Halle Chris Story Band 11/12, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Dancehall Asleep at the Wheel 11/12, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall James McMurtry 11/12, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Ray Benson & W.C. Clark 11/13, Sun @ 1pm Luckenbach Dancehall The Copperleaf Quintet: Copperleaf at the San Antonio Museum of Art 11/13, Sun @ 2pm SAMA
Dallas String Quartet Fredericksburg Music Club Presentation 11/13, Sun @ 3pm Fredericksburg United Methodist Church San Antonio Symphony and Air Force Band of the West: Veteran’s Day – Salute to Service 11/13, Sun @ 7pm Robert Franz and 1st. Lt. Joseph Hansen, conductors Majestic Theatre Morrissey 11/14, Mon @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre SOLI Chamber Ensemble: SOLI 1 – Quantum Change 11/14, Mon @ 7:30pm Gallery Nord 11/15, Tue @ 7:30pm Ruth Taylor Recital Hall Trinity University Willie Nelson 11/16, Wed @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store The Jayhawks with Jolie Holland 11/17, Thu @ 8pm Gruene Hall
Jake Owen 11/18, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio Duke Davis 11/18, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Hall Granger Smith 11/18, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store San Antonio Symphony: Rachmaninoff 2 11/18-19, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sebastian Lang-Lessing, conductor Kilja Blocher, violin Majestic Theatre Jason Boland & The Stragglers 11/18-19, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Children’s Chorus of San Antonio: Candlelight Celebration 11/19, Sat @ 7pm St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Year of Jazz: Olivia Revueltas 11/19, Sat @ 7pm Instituto Cultural de Mexico
Brantley Gilbert 11/19, Sat @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio Tony Pace: Up On The Roof 11/19, Sat @ 7:30pm Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre New Braunfels Jake Hooker & Outsiders 11/19, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Hall Jesse Dayton 11/19, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Hall Morganstern Trio San Antonio Chamber Music Society Presentation 11/20, Sun @ 3:15 First Unitarian Universalist Church Larry Ham and Houston Person UTSA Guest Artist Series Presentation 11/21, Mon @ 7:30pm Recital Hall UTSA Cory Morrow 11/23, Wed @ 8pm Gruene Hall
Bob Schneider 11/25, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Almost Patsy Cline Band 11/25, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Hall Micky & The Motorcars 11/25, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Kevin Fowler 11/26, Sat @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio Aaron Watson 11/26, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Charlie Robison 11/26, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Hall Hayes Carll 11/26, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Michael Martin Murphey Cowboy Christmas Show 11/27, Sun @ 3pm Kathleen C. Callioux Theater Kerrville
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San Antonio Brass: Holiday In Brass 11/27, Sun @ 2pm Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church 12/12, Mon @ 7:30pm First Presbyterian Church Kerrville 12/13, Tue @ 7:30pm Abiding Presence Lutheran Church 12/19, Mon @ 7:30pm St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church Boerne 12/20, Tue @ 7pm St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Casting Crowns 12/1, Thu @ 7pm Freeman Coliseum Symphony of the Hills: Rising Stars & Many Moods of Christmas Dr. Jay Dunahoo, conductor 12/1, Thu @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville A Very Latin Christmas: Henry Brun and the Latin Playerz with Judi Deleon 12/2, Fri @ 7:30pm Charline McCombs Empire Theatre Max Stalling 12/2, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall
Josh Peek Band 12/2, Fri @ 8pm Luckenbach Hall
Joe Bonamassa 12/3, Sat @ 8pm Freeman Coliseum
Reckless Kelly 12/2, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store
The Dust Devils 12/3, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Hall
San Antonio Symphony: Handel’s Messiah 12/2, Fri @ 7:30pm University United Methodist Church 12/3, Sat @ 7:30pm Trinity Baptist Church 12/4, Sun @ 7:30pm Coker United Methodist Church Patrick Dupre Quigley, conductor San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers Three Mo’ Tenors Carver Community Cultural Center Presentation 12/3, Sat @ 8pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute 12/3, Sat @ 8pm Laurie Auditorium Trinity University
44 On The Town | November-December 2011
Scotty Thurman & The Perfect Trouble Band 12/3, Sat @ 8pm Sisterdale Dancehall Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan 12/3-4, Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Lila Cockrell Theater Children’s Chorus of San Antonio: Winter Magic 12/4, Sun @ 3pm Alamo Heights United Methodist Church Musical Evenings at San Fernando Cathedral: Violin Virtuosos by 2 Musical Bridges Around the World Presentation 12/4, Sun @ 6:30pm San Fernando Cathedral Reik 12/7, Wed @ 8pm Lila Cockrell Theater
Camerata San Antonio: An English Christmas Deirdre Saravia, narrator 12/8, Thu @ 7:30pm Kerrville First Presbyterian Church 12/9. Fri @ 7:30pm Boerne First United Methodist Church 12/11, Sun @ 3pm San Antonio Christ Episcopal Church Don Irwin’s Holiday Concert 12/9, Fri @ 7:30pm Kathleen C. Cailloux Theater Kerrville Roger Creager 12/9, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall Billy Morgan and the Barnburners 12/9, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Year of Jazz: El Corrido de Chuy 12/10, Sat @ 7:30pm Say Si Alamo City Men’s Chorale: Songs of Hope and Joy 12/10, Sat @ 8pm Location TBA
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Wade Bowen 12/10, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store Bob Schneider & Susan Gibson 12/10, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Hall Bart Crow Band 12/10, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall Golden Fingers and Golden Toes Musical Bridges Around the World Presentation 12/11, Sun @ 3pm McAllister Auditorium San Antonio College Voci di Sorelle: Comfort & Joy – The Music of Christmas 12/11, Sun @ 3pm Chapel at Incarnate Word University of the Incarnate Word Mid-Texas Symphony: Peace on Earth 12/11, Sun @ 4pm David Mairs, conductor Jackson Auditorium Texas Lutheran University Seguin Charlie Robison 12/16, Fri @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store
San Antonio Symphony: Holiday Pops 12/16-17, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Ken-David Masur, conductor San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers Majestic Theatre
Kevin Fowler 12/23, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall
Jerry Jeff Walker 12/16-17, Fri-Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall
Brandon Rhyder 12/29, Thu @ 8pm Gruene Hall
Rocky King & Dance Hall Cowboys 12/17, Sat @ 8pm Anhalt Hall Gary P. Nunn 12/17, Sat @ 9pm Luckenbach Hall
Zack Walther Band 12/28, Wed @ 8pm Gruene Hall
Easton Corbin 12/30, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio Band of Heathens 12/30, Fri @ 8pm Gruene Hall
Cody Canada & The Departed 12/31, Sat @ 9pm Gruene Hall
On Stage Rocky Horror Show 11/3-5, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 10:30pm Woodlawn Theatre The Last Night of Ballyhoo 11/3-13, Thu @ 7:30pm Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Sheldon Vexler Theatre Let’s Twist Again 11/3-19, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (Dinner @ 6:15pm) Harlequin Dinner Theatre
San Antonio Chamber Choir: Gladsome Tide-ings 12/18, Sun @ 3pm St. John’s Lutheran Church
Stoney Larue 12/31, Sat @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio
Robert Earl Keen 12/18, Sun @ 7pm Majestic Theatre
Randy Brown 12/31, Sat @ 8pm Luckenbach Hall
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Winter Tour 2011 12/22, Thu @ 4pm & 8pm AT&T Center
Dale Watson 12/31, Sat @ 8:30pm Kendalia Halle
Gone with the Wurst 11/4-13, Mon-Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 4pm & 7:30pm Sun @ 4pm Circle Arts Theatre New Braunfels
Two Tons of Steel 12/31, Sat @ 9pm John T. Floore Country Store
Time Stands Still 11/4-13, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Cellar Theater San Pedro Playhouse
Kyle Park 12/23, Fri @ 7pm (doors open) Cowboys San Antonio
46 On The Town | November-December 2011
Stomp 11/4-6, Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7pm Majestic Theatre
The Glass Menagerie 11/4-19, Thu @ 7:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Boerne Community Theatre The Love List 11/4-27, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm (No show 11/25) Cameo Theatre Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight Arts San Antonio Presentation 11/6, Sun @ 7:30pm Laurie Auditorium, Trinity University Captain Cortez and the Tri-Lambda Brigade 11/11-12, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:30pm The Overtime Theater at Blue Star Complex Twelth Night 11/11-13 & 16-19 Wed-Thu @ 7[pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Stieren Theatre Trinity University Resurrection Blues 11/11-21, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Watson Fine Arts Center St. Philips College
Black Ninja: Rock Opera 1/11-26, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Rose Theatre Company An Evening with BuddyValastro: The Cake Boss 11/12, Sat @ 7:30pm Lila Cockrell Theater Cameo Theatre Presents The Case of the Deadly Detective Dinner 11/12, Sat @ 6:30pm Zumbro Lounge by Cameo 11/27 & 12/31, Sat @ 6:30pm Spaghetti Warehouse Christmas at the Point 11/18-12/3, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm, Sun @ 2pm Elizabeth Huth Coates Theatre Hill Country Arts Foundation Ingram Stranger 11/18-19, Sat @ 8pm Sterling Houston Theatre at Blue Star Arts Complex Disney’s® My Son Pinocchio 11/23, Wed @ 7:30pm 11/25-12/23, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 3pm Woodlawn Theatre November-December 2011 | On The Town 47
Let’s Twist Again: Holiday Edition 11/25-12/17, Thu-Sat @ 8pm (Dinner @ 6:15pm) Harlequin Dinner Theatre The 09ers Christmas 12/2-17, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Rose Theatre Company A Christmas Carol: The Musical 12/2-23, Fri-Sat @8pm Sun @ 2:30pm Russell Hill Rogers Theater San Pedro Playhouse Chicago: The Musical 12/2-31, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm (No shows 12/24-25) Cameo Theatre The Most Wonderful Time of the Year 12/3-18, Thu-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 3pm The Overtime Theater at Blue Star Complex Fiddler on the Roof Cadillac Broadway in San Antonio Presentation 12/6-11, Tue-Fri @ 8pm Sat @ 2pm & 8pm Sun @ 2pm & 7:30pm Majestic Theatre
Black Nativity The Renaisssance Guild Presentation 12/9-11, Fri-Sat @ 8pm Sun @ 4pm Jo Long Theatre @ The Carver Inspecting Carol 12/9-18, Fri-Sat @ 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Fredericksburg Theatre Company Steve W. Shepard Theater
Dance The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan: Water Stains on the Wall Arts San Antonio Presentation 11/1, Tue @ 7:30pm Lila Cockrell Theater The Kings of Salsa Arts San Antonio Presentation 11/20, Sun @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre The Nutcracker San Antonio Symphony and Ballet San Antonio Presentation 11/25-27 & 12/2-4 Fri @ 7pm Sat @ 2pm & 7pm Sun @ 2pm Majestic Theatre
48 On The Town | November-December 2011
The Nutcracker Arts San Antonio Presentation with Metropolitan Classical Ballet and San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet 12/16-18, Fri @ 7:30pm Sat @ 2pm & 7:30pm Sun @ 2pm Lila Cockrell Theater The Nutcracker Alamo City Dance CompanyPresentation with Maia Wilkins and Michael Levine 12/17-18, Sat @ 3pm & 7:30pm Sun@ 3pm McAllister Auditorium San Antonio College Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker 12/27-28, Tue-Wed @ 7:30pm Majestic Theatre
Rachel Feinstein 11/3-6, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Ward Anderson 11/9-13, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Richard Lewis 11/10-12, Thu @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Raj Sharma 11/13, Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Carlos Mencia 11/16, Wed @ 7:30pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
David Sedaris 11/2, Wed @ 7:30pm Laurie Auditorium, Trinity University
Billy D. Washington 11/16-20, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
Carole Montgomery 11/2-6, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
Rudy Moreno 11/17-20, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
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Laura Wright 11/19, Sat @ 1pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Cleto Rodriguez 11/25-27, Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sun @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Eric O’Shea 11/25-27, Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Sun @ 8:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Rickey Smiley 11/26, Sat @ 7:30pm Lila Cockrell Theater
Max Dolcelli 12/7-11, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club Jeff Dye 12/14-18, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club Cy Amundson 12/14-18, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
Chas Elstner 11/30-12/4, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri-Sat @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
Chris Fonseca 12/21-24, Wed-Thu & Sat @ 8:30pm Fri @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
DL Hughley 12/2-4, Fri @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sat @ 7pm & 9:15pm Sun @ 7pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
Kelly Morton 12/22-24, Thu @ 8pm Fri @ 8pm & 10:15pm Sat @ 8pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
Rahn Ramey 12/7-11, Wed-Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
Andy Gross 12/29-1/1, Thu & Sun @ 8pm Fri-Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
50 On The Town | November-December July-August 2009 2011
Kelly Morton 12/28-1/1, Wed @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Thu & Sun @ 8:30pm Fri @ 8:30pm & 10:30pm Sat @ 8pm & 10:15pm Rivercenter Comedy Club
For The Kids Who Let the Ghosts Out? 11/1-12, Tue-Fri @ 9:45am & 11:30am Fri @ 7pm, Sat @ 2pm Magik Theatre Nutcrackers 11/18-12/23, Tue-Fri @ 9:45am & 11:30am Fri @ 7pm, Sat @ 2pm (No shows 11/24-25) Magic Theatre Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! It’s Time to Dance! Presented by Kia Motors 11/30, Wed @ 6pm Lila Cockrell Theater Eric Carle Treasured Stories By Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia Children’s Fine Arts Series Presentation 12/6, Tue @ 6:30pm Laurie Auditorium, Trinity University
Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Super Heroes 12/16-18, Fri @ 10:30am & 7pm Sat @ 10:30am, 2pm & 5:30pm Sun @ 1pm & 4:30pm Freeman Coliseum
On Exhibit ARTPACE Hudson (Show) Room Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller Thru 12/31 Window Works Justin Boyd Thru 12/31 International Artist-In-Resident New Works: 11.3 Frank Benson Graham Fagen Jeff Williams Russell Ferguson, curator Opens 11/17 BIHL HAUS ARTS Deborah Kruetzpalin Vasquez Sobreviviente 11/18-12/17
BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER Chuck Ramirez Minimally Baroque Thru 11/6 Rudolpho Choperena Recent Works Thru 11/6 Carlos Betancourt Archaic Substance Thru 11/6
GUADALUPE CULTURAL CENTER By Permit Only Thru 11/19 INSTITUTE OF TEXAN CULTURES Griff Smith’s Texas: A Retrospective through the Lens & Images of Texas Highways Thru 3/31
40 Years of Texas Folklife Festival Memories Thru 8/26
Nightmare Before Christmas Thru 1/1
Timeless Texas Toys 11/19-8/5 McNAY ART MUSEUM
The Orient Expressed: Japan’s Influence on Western Art, 1854-1918 Thru 1/15
Shakespeare to Sondheim: Designs from the Tobin Collection Thru 12/18
Cassatt and the Orient: Japan’s I nfluence on Printmaking Thru 1/15
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Art + Present: Gifts from the Peter Norton Family Thru 1/15 MUSEO ALAMEDA Revolution & Renaissance: Mexico & San Antonio 1910-2010 11/20-3/18 SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN Amazing Butterflies Thru 1/8 Art In The Garden: Texas Uprising – Selections from The Texas Sculpture Group Thru 1/12 SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART Paul Jacoulet: Views of Korea Thru 11/6 Animal Instinct: The Photographs of Daniel Lee Thru 2/19 5000 Years of Chinese Jade Thru 2/19
The Chinese Art of Cricket Keeping: The Ernest K.H. Lee Collection 12/2-6/15 SOUTHWEST SCHOOL OF ART Barbara Riley: Bittersweet Thru 11/13 Laura McPhee: River of No Return Thru 11/20 University of Texas at San Antonio Graduate Students: Emerging Talent Thru 11/20 Shannon Brock: Gene Pool Therapy 11/17-2/12 Maria Swartz: Constant Churning 12/8-2/12 Sonya Clark: Solo Exhibition 12/8-2/12 Amazing Butterflies Thru 1/8
52 On The Town | November-December July-August 2011 2011
WITTE MUSEUM Odyssey’s SHIPWRECK! Pirates and Treasures Thru 1/8 Opening the Witte Wardrobe: 85 Years of Collecting Textiles Thru 3/25 Out of the Vault 85 Years of Collecting at the Witte Museum Thru 4/29 Witte Through Time: 85 Years and Still Growing Thru 5/26 The British Invasion: Phillip King, Phil Evett And Harold Wood 12/1-2/12
Lebanese Festival 11/4-6 St. George Maronite Church and Center Primer Sabado: Tamalada Fest 11/5, Sat / 12pm-6pm Market Square Diwali San Antonio Festival of Lights 11/5, Sat / 5pm-10-m Hemisfair Park Fountain Plaza Arts & Eats 2011 11/16, Wed / 7pm-11pm Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center 25th Annual Light The Way University of Incarnate Word 11/19 – End of Year Tree Lighting Ceremony 11/25, Fri / 5pm-7:30pm Alamo Plaza
Tejas Rodeo Thru 11/19, Sat @ 7:30pm Bulverde
Ford Holiday River Parade & Lighting Ceremony 11/25, Fri @ 7pm River Walk
First Friday Art Walk 11/4 & 12/2, Fri / 6-9pm Southtown / Blue Star / King William
Ford Holiday Boat Caroling 11/26-12/18 River Walk
Holly Daze on the Riverwalk 11/26-27, Sat @ 1pm Sun @ 2:30pm Arneson River Theatre
La Gran Tamalada 11/27, Sun / 10am-6pm La Villita
Holidays on Houston Street 12/1, Thu @ 6pm Bohananâ€™s Prime Steaks and Seafood
Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias 12/2-4 & 12/9-11 River Walk
Art.i.copia 12/10, Sat / 10am-5pm Southwest School of Art
La Gran Posada 12/18, Sun @ 6pm Milam Park
Chanuka on the River 12/2, Wed / 3pm-6pm River Walk
Photo Credits Page 42 (L-R)
Dwight Yoakam Courtesy liveatfloores. com
Los Pastores 12/3-10 / 7pm-9:30pm La Villita
Sebastian Lang-Lessing Photo by Marks Moore
Bazar Sabado 12/10, Sat / 10am-4pm San Antonio Museum of Art
San Antonio Rose Singers Courtesy sanantoniolive. com
25th Annual Blessing of the Animals 12/10, Sat / 12pm-6pm Market Square
Rockbox Theatre Performers Courtesy rockboxtheatre. com November-December September-October 2011 | On The Town 53
Page 43 (L-R) Heidi Newfield Courtesy heidinewfield. com Honeybrowne Courtesy liveatfloores.com Mark Ackerman Courtesy olmosensemble. org
Michael Martin Murphey Photo by Barry McCloud San Antonio Brass Courtesy sabrass.org Henry Brun Courtesy Arts San Antonio Page 47 (L-R)
Page 50 (L-R) David Mairs Courtesy mtsymphony.org
Stomp Photo by Junichi Takahashi
Jerry Jeff Walker Courtesy jerryjeff.com
Page 53 (L-R)
Max Stalling Courtesy maxstalling.com
Gary P. Nunn Courtesy liveatfloores.com
Page 44 (L-R)
Reckless Kelly Courtesy recklesskelly.com
Page 51 (L-R)
Page 48 (L-R)
Morganstern Trio Courtesy morgansterntrio. com
Three Moâ€™ Tenors Courtesy Carver Community Cultural Center
Cory Morrow Courtesy liveatfloores.com Bob Schneider Courtesy liveatfloores.com
Mariachi Vargas Courtesy mariachimusic. com Wade Bowen Courtesy liveatfloores.com
Robert Earl Keen Courtesy liveatfloores.com Trans-Siberian Orchestra Courtesy trans-siberian. com Kevin Fowler Courtesy liveatfloores.com Zach Walther Courtesy liveatfloores.com Page 52 (L-R)
Page 46 (L-R) Charlie Robison Courtesy liveatfloores.com
Voci di Sorrelle Courtesy bennisimomusic. com
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Two Tons of Steel Courtesy twotons.com
Ken-David Masur Photo by Greg Harrison
SOLI Chamber Ensemble Photo by Kemp Davis
Jason Boland and the Stragglers Courtesy liveatfloores.com
Stoney LaRue Courtesy stoneylarue.com
Brandon Rhyder Courtesy brandonrhyder. com
Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight Courtesy Arts San Antonio The Case of the Deadly Detective Dinner Photo by James Teninty Page 54 (L-R) Fiddler on the Roof Photo by Carlo Rosegg The Nutcracker Courtesy Ballet San Antonio and San Antonio Symphony The Nutcracker Courtesy Alamo Dance Company Rachel Feinstein Courtesy rachelfeinstein. com
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Visual Arts 58-72
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58 On The Town | November-December 2011
'Tis the Artful Season by Cassandra Yardeni
he holidays are upon us, and there is no better time to treat yourself (and your family) than now. San Antonio’s local galleries and museums get in the spirit, hosting a slew of dazzling -- and festive -- exhibits this season. Head down the Texas highways, tap into your inner child or take a dive into the deep blue and beyond, without setting foot outside of San Antonio. ‘Tis the artful season!
style retrospective, highlighting fashions ranging from a fur-trimmed coat dating back to 1907, to a satin, sequined jumpsuit belonging to the 1980s.
The Witte’s Fotoseptiembre exhibit, Witte Through Time: 85 Years and Still Growing, celebrates the Witte’s past by exploring historic photographs that showcase how the Witte has grown and changed with the community since Through Jan. 8, the Witte Museum invites visitors on an 1926, as well as artist renderings of its exciting future. interactive journey 1,700 feet below the shores of the Atlantic with SHIPWRECK! Pirates and Treasure. Making Opening Nov. 17, Artpace introduces staggering works its Texas debut in San Antonio, the exhibit chronicles of artistry from its most recent international artists the world’s most infamous shipwrecks discovered by in residence, Frank Benson, Graham Fagen and Jeff Odyssey Marine Exploration. See artifacts from the SS Williams. Benson, a New York-based artist, investigates Republic, a side-wheel steamship lost in a hurricane off manufacturing processes and the suspension of the coast of Georgia in 1865; peruse genuine gold bars movement. Much of his work features manipulated and silver coins; operate the cutting-edge technology found objects, like an inverted rubber trashcan and a used to discover the wreck; get acquainted with the melted glass pitcher. From Glasgow, Scotland, Fagen most notorious pirates to sail the seven seas, including examines cultural relations, their “forms,” “formers” and Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Privateers and Buccaneers, and boundaries through mixed media, combining video, much more. photography and sculpture with text, live media and even plants. Williams is a Texas artist whose sculptural works This October, the Witte Museum celebrated its 85th are site-specific and involve manipulating a structure’s anniversary. The museum hosts three exhibits to honor architecture to reveal layers of a building’s historicity. this milestone: Out of the Vault: Celebrating 85 Years Past practices include sealing voids, compressing spaces, of Collecting at the Witte Museum; Opening the Witte and opening and constructing walls. Often he uses Wardrobe: 85 Years of Collecting Textiles; and Witte Through natural phenomena such as air, light, water and gravity to Time: 85 Years and Still Growing. marry the present with the past. In Sunlight/Substratum from 2009, he redirected sunlight using mirrors through Through April 29, Out of the Vault displays the best and subterranean passages in the oldest building of the most coveted artifacts from the Witte’s vast collection, American Academy in Rome, where Galileo briefly including art, arms and armor, anthropological and worked. The piece was viewable for only a few minutes historical items. Opening the Witte Wardrobe is a veritable each day, when the sun was in position, thus contrasting November-December 2011 | On The Town 59
centuries of the building’s existence with the fleeting moments of light. Also on display at Artpace is work by artistic dream team Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Each of the video and audio works in their exhibition explores the process by which fantasy is made real and reality is turned into cinematic fantasy. Through Dec. 31, San Antonio-based artist Justin Boyd’s Window Works will showcase installations which employ sculpture, video, light and sound to produce layered narratives that investigate Americana folklore and what it means to participate in the collective experience of being American. Until Jan. 15, the McNay takes viewers on a trip through the Orient, with its captivating exhibition, The Orient Expressed: Japan’s Influence on Western Art, 1854-1918. The collection is a valentine to Japonisme, which influenced Western art and culture throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This traveling exhibit showcases more than 150 objects, to include ceramics, drawings, glass, paintings, prints and silver. Continuing with their nod to the East, the McNay hosts Cassat and the Orient: Japan’s Influence on Printmaking, an exhibition that chronicals Japanese motifs and their staggering inspiration on French and American artists alike. All the world’s a stage at the McNay, where the Shakespeare to Sondheim: Designs From the Tobin Collection boasts Greek gods and heroines, remorseless Elizabethan villains, Romantic ballets with tragic lovers, and artifacts from Broadway’s most beloved musicals. Through Dec. 18, visitors are encouraged to step behind the curtain and feast on visual confections such as maquettes from Hector Berlioz’s opera Les Troyens and William Shakespeare’s Richard III. Center stage are costume designs, including Ivan Bilibin’s exquisite watercolor of Odette in Swan Lake and Ann Hould-Ward’s drawings for Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George. Also on display through Jan. 1 at the McNay is The Nightmare Before Christmas, a haunting revisit to Tim Burton’s 1993 stop-motion masterpiece. Explore original character puppets of Jack Skellington; Oogie Bookie; Lock, Shock and Barrel, and relive the mischeif as they kidnap “Sandy Claws” and remake Christmas in the ghoulish image of Halloween. 60 On The Town | November-December 2011
Head over to the Institute of Texan Cultures for a restrospective ride down the state’s remarkable highways. Griff Smith’s Texas features more than 50 photographs taken by J. Griffis Smith, photo editor of Texas Highways Magazine. Among the diverse collection is a cowboy silhouetted against a neon Texas flag, a stately lighthouse in Port Isabel and a trick roper from Bandera. The exhibit also examines the creative process of magazine publication, from concept to finished product. Timeless Texas Toys, an ITC exhibit on display beginning Nov. 19, is a veritable treasure chest for tots, teens and parents alike. The collection explores the cultural values, ingenuity, art and design expressed in handmade folk toys. In a child’s hands, these playthings come to life in the world of make-believe, engraining in the children societal mores and cultural expectations through adulthood. Delve into the world of pulp painting and paper at the Southwest School of Art’s Gene Pool Therapy. Opening Nov. 17, this exhibit features work by Brooklyn-based artist Shannon Brock. Local artist Marie Swartz presents Constant Churning, on display at SSA beginning Dec. 8. Swartz masterfully interweaves elements from folk tales, personal viewpoints and mysterious happenings to produce out-of-this-world digital collages. Rounding out SSA’s impressive roster of art this season is work by prolific Virginia artist Sonya Clark. In her Solo Exhibition, Clark explores the potency of ancestry and historical biases, marrying subversive humor with traditional American iconography. One noteworthy artifact is Afro Abe II, a hair-raising depiction of the 16th president, hand-embroidered and French-knotted thread on a $5 bill. From Nov. 18 through Dec. 17, Bihl Haus Arts presents Sobreviviente, an exhibition of new works, video and installation by Deborah Kuetzpalin Vasquez. The collection is composed of recycled material used as metaphors for the mujeres that have survived violence at the hands of love ones across the border. Each woman tells her tale on film, and the artwork and video will be placed within the installation of a home characteristically defined by Chicana culture, with nuances of the violence transformed. The San Antonio Museum of Art hosts 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade, a renowned international exhibit held November-December 2011 | On The Town 61
in conjunction with the city of San Antonio’s yearlong celebration of Taiwan. With its broad historical approach, the exhibition provides an opportunity to experience the great breadth of Chinese history through outstanding works of art. The exhibition is arranged chronologically, and showcases ritual objects, weapons, scholar’s objects, adornments and jewelry, and vessels, all in various shades, and sizes, of jade. Tap into your wild side and explore Animal Instinct, a survey exhibition of Daniel Lee’s photography from 1993 to 2010. The collection, on display at SAMA through Feb. 19, portrays animal and human-being hybrids, and the idea that people often exhibit behavioral, personality and physical traits which resemble those of animals. Across the city and all around town, art is thriving and offers an assortment of cultural and historical explorations. A museum membership, an exhibit tour or an afternoon at your favorite gallery may be the perfect present this holiday season.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 58 John La Farge (American, 1835–1910), The Great Statue of Amida Buddha at Kamakura, Known as the Daibutsu, from the Priest’s Garden, 1887. watercolor and gouache on off-white wove paper. 19.25 x 12.5 in. Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York. Gift of the Family of Maria L. Hoyt, 1966, 66.143. Courtesy McNay Art Musuem Page 60 (Above) Shannon Brock Check Your Tension, 2009, pulp painting, 8.5 x 8.5 in. Courtesy Southwest School of Art (Below) SHIPWRECK! Pirates and Treasures Gold on the ocean floor from Courtesy Witte Museum 62 On The Town | November-December 2011
Page 61 (Above) SHIPWRECK! Pirates and Treasure Bottles from a sunken ship Photo courtesy Witte Museum (Below) Celebration (from Harvest) 2004, ink jet on vinyl 48 x 96 in. San Antonio Museum of Art Page 62 (Above) Deborah Kuetzpalin Vasquez I Didn’t Mean to Break It! – Sobreviviente Exhibit Courtesy Bihl Haus Arts (Below) Laura McPhee River of No Return – Snowmobile Headlights, Valley Road, Custer County, Idaho, 2004, analog c print Courtesy Southwest School of Art Page 63 (Above) Louis Rhead (English-born American, 1857–1926), Woman with Peacocks (published in L’Estampe Moderne), 1897. lithograph. 8.86 x 13.39 in. (image). Private Collection. Courtesy McNay Art Museum (Below) Bear Late Western Han dynasty to Early Eastern Han dynasty, 1st century BC-1st century AD, Nephrite M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution,Washington, D.C.: Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, S1987.25 Courtesy San Antonio Museum of Art
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64 On The Town | November-December 2011
The Art of Growing Art The Artist Foundation of San Antonio Nourishes the Arts for the Future By Regina Villalobos Photography Dana Fossett
n 2005, seeds were planted to help further the momentum for the arts in San Antonio. At the time, the co-founders of the Artist Foundation (AF), Patricia Pratchett and Bettie Ward, did not imagine the support and readiness to give life to the project they were envisioning existed in San Antonio. The idea of an entity that would identify and recognize the artistic excellence of local area professional working artists seemed improbable, but as it turns out there was critical mass -- and then some.
Founded in 2005, the first grants were awarded the following year. “We took our first call for applications in 2006 and received over 200 applications. We were blown away,” Pratchett said. Since then, AF has awarded $400,000 to 74 area artists in diverse disciplines.
Each award the foundation approves is for $5,000 and is made for the creation of new, original work. The awards are designed to recognize artistic achievement, dedication to an artistic discipline and the potential for further professional Fast forward to November 2011. Today the Artist development in the categories of literary, visual, Foundation celebrates its sixth year of awarding media and performing arts. Additionally, winners grants to accomplished artists in Bexar County. in each category are considered for the Tobin Prize Pratchett, a former USAA executive, and Ward, for Artistic Excellence in the amount of $7,500. a visual artist, reflect on how their labor of love has blossomed into a springboard that helps to To nurture AF’s vision, funding is gathered from catapult both San Antonio and local artists’ names a variety of sources, such as estates, foundations, to a national arena. “One thing we knew for certain, private funds and, of course, fundraising events. we wanted to create monetary awards that would Ward remembers planning the Artist Foundation’s nourish, honor and recognize professional working first fundraiser, The Artball, in February 2007. She artists in San Antonio. That was the genesis of it recalled the reaction from some when developing all,” Pratchett said. the idea for the event. “We told them we wanted November-December 2011 | On The Town 65
to give a party for 500 people, and they said, ‘Oh, yeah, right. You’re never going to get that many people,’ ” Ward said. Pratchett said, “People said, ‘What? You have no history. How are you going to do this?’ ” In fact, 500 people came to an art party with local artists being the principal designers, and the AF raised more than $80,000. In the past six years, the Artist Foundation has seen enduring, cutting-edge work emanating from its awards. Pratchett is enthusiastic about what’s next. “My goal now is to publish a catalog where this is documented for the community and for supporters and funders to see the collected works created with AF grants,” she said. Exciting outcomes occurred recently when USA Artists, a national organization that gives awards to individual artists, selected the Artist Foundation as a USA Partner. This is significant for AF award winners who will be able to post their proposed art projects on the USA micro grant site. (www. unitedstatesartists.org). This gives AF artists more visibility and exposure, which in turn should help them get additional funding. Moving forward, the Artist Foundation continues to encourage the cultivation of its program and the talent it brings. It’s evident its efforts have harvested great works, and it appears there are more to come upon the horizon. For information, visit www.artistfound.org.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 64 Bettie Ward Page 66 Patricia Pratchett
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Witte Museum Celebrates Milestone Anniversary By Shannon Huntington Standley Photography Courtesy Witte Museum
68 On The Town | November-December 2011
ct. 8, 2011, marked the 85th anniversary of San Antonio’s beloved Witte Museum. The city’s first museum celebrates this milestone with three collectionbased exhibitions that highlight the depth, diversity and importance of the Witte’s collections of almost 200,000 artifacts and archives amassed over 85 years. Discover some of the best artifacts drawn from the vast Witte collections that have been growing since 1926 through Out of the Vault: Celebrating 85 Years of Collecting at the Witte Museum. On view through April 29, this exhibition gives visitors a glimpse into the wide variety of the permanent collection, including natural history, art, military, arms and armor, anthropology, textiles, archives and history. Learn how the diversity of the Witte’s collections reflects the heritage of South Texas and our place in the world. The Witte Museum’s collection grew rapidly after the museum opened in 1926, shaped by judicious purchases and donations. Today,
guided by a collection plan, areas of the collection continue to grow. Highlighting one of the Witte’s largest collections, textiles, is Opening the Witte Wardrobe: 85 Years of Collecting Textiles. On view through March 25, this exhibition presents the beauty and artistry of a portion of the Witte’s textile collection—the fashion collection. Through a selection of clothing and accessories spanning more than 150 years of fashion, beginning with the 1830s, Opening the Witte Wardrobe illustrates how fashion for men, women and children changed from decade to decade in South Texas. The Witte Museum began collecting historic clothing after opening its doors to the public. Over the next 50 years, the collection grew rapidly. In 1976, curator Cecilia Steinfeldt sought to bring order to the collection and focused on a fashion-based collection, chronologically, which became a resource for a variety of organizations, from university costume history classes to needlework guilds. In 1995, Michaele November-December September-October 2011 | On The Town 69
Haynes, Ph.D., became curator, and her background in anthropology brought a new perspective to the textile collection, adding emphasis to the everyday artifacts and their social context. Today, the Witte Museum continues to collect textiles that tell the story of life in South Texas. Witte Through Time: 85 Years and Still Growing, which also was the Witte’s 2011 Fotoseptiembre exhibit, is on view through May 26. This exhibition provides the opportunity to see how the Witte began, where it is going and the 85 years in between. The photographic exhibition celebrates the Witte’s vibrant history by exploring historic photographs that showcase how the Witte has grown and changed with the community since 1926. See major moments, vital growth and important changes that the Witte went through to become the vital institution it is today. Then catch a glimpse of the fast-approaching future Witte through campus expansion artist renderings. The Witte’s anniversary exhibits are all included with museum general admission. Take a moment to experience history through art, artifacts and archives, and see what truly has made the Witte Museum the “people’s museum” for the past 85 years and many to come.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 68 Crockett Street looking West Out of the Vault Exhibit Page 69 Street Scene in Old San Antonio Out of the Vault Exhibit Page 70 (Above) 1934 Evening Gown Opening the Witte Wardrobe: 85 Years of Collecting Textiles
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(Below) Dawn in the Hills Out of the Vault Exhibit
Christmas at First
December 11, 2011 | 5:30 p.m. & 7:15 p.m
This annual presentation of the glorious sounds of the most beautiful season of the year is presented by the 150 voice Sanctuary Choir with the additional 130 voices of the Childrenâ€™s and Youth choirs of First Baptist Church San Antonio. A professional symphony orchestra accompanies these choir members on stirring and worshipful arrangements of traditional carols which tell of Christâ€™s birth. Congregational caroling and gifted soloists are also featured.
Stephen T. Carrell, Associate Pastor, Worship & Music
Free tickets are available beginning November 13th Call (210) 226-0363 First Baptist Church 515 McCullough Ave | San Antonio, Texas 78215 November-December 2011 www.fbcsa.org
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Culinary Arts 74-90
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Jeffrey Balfour: Executive Chef of Hotel Valencia and Citrus By Ashley Festa Photography Greg Harrison
effrey Balfour ’s girlfriend taste-tested recipes the fledgling chef invented while he was in college and developing his skill. She later became his wife. That’s how you know Balfour is good at what he does. The executive chef of Hotel Valencia and its upscale restaurant, Citrus, didn’t attend a culinary school. Apparently he had all the schooling he needed while imagining new dishes and letting his five roommates and girlfriend, now wife, Allison, do the grading.
most notably when he was asked (on the day of his daughter’s birth almost 10 years ago) to move to San Antonio and open a new restaurant called Citrus. Still in his 20s at the time, Balfour knew it was a great opportunity, and it’s still one of his proudest achievements. “It was really scary,” he said. “We built it from nothing.” Because the hotel was not a chain, he and the rest of management had no template to work from. They developed everything from scratch, just like Balfour learned to do in the kitchen.
“I spent a lot of time reading,” Balfour said. “I would “ We had to figure out who we we re g o i n g to sit in the library reading old classic cookbooks and b uy silver from ,” Balfour said. “ Wh at k i n d o f make copies.” glasses d o we want ?” Even now, h e’s i n c h a rg e of all t he food and b everage, t he b a r, a n d t h e Balfour grew up in Galveston. After getting an look of t he rest aurant. undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin, he went on to the University of Houston to When he’s not wor k ing, he st ill en joys co o k i n g study hotel and restaurant management. at hom e, b ut wit h t wo element ar y s c h o o l - a g e k id s, he d oesn’t have t he luxur y ve r y o f te n . When opening the cabinets in the kitchen shared H is d aughter, Alex, and his son, J a c ks o n , ke e p with his roommates and finding only a “block him b usy. “ We eat out at C huy ’s at l e a s t o n ce a of Velveeta and two potatoes, I learned how to week . I t ’s a k id t hing,” he said. “Or s o me p l a ce make something out of nothing,” he said. Those wit h a p layground.” early masterpieces weren’t polished, but the challenge of working with what little he had Occasionally when he runs into someone during helped him develop his inner creativity. Now, he the week, he’ll visit the friend’s restaurant if he rarely follows a cookbook and couldn’t write a hasn’t been in a while. But typically, the family recipe to save his life. tries to eat vegetarian at home. Allison is more dedicated to the diet than Balfour, who usually That creative talent has paid off in many ways, orders meat when dining out. November-December 2011 | On The Town 75
Balfour realizes that the dining- out experience is of ten not a healthful one, and though he does tr y to have wholesome options on his menus to accommodate ever yone, “I t ’s not my intent to be healthy. “We don’t try to be bad for you, either, but we use a lot of butter and cream,” he said. “Honestly, it tastes good. And we’re trying to be the best. “But we try to buy straight from the farm whenever possible,” he said. When venison or boar is available, it makes for an interesting menu. But the chef admits to getting bored quickly with any particular dish, so he likes to keep up with trends and change his menus often. “I always want to do what I haven’t done before,” he said. The one thing he doesn’t like to cook, however, is pastry. “It’s an entirely different form of cooking altogether,” he said. “It’s too by-the-book,” says the chef who used to argue with his father about following recipes to the T when he was younger. Now, he finds he enjoys leaving more room for creativity with his dishes than pastry allows. It’s especially fun when he gets together with his team to brainstorm new dishes. The flow of multiple ideas often results in an even better dish than he originally imagined. “My ideas don’t always end up the way they are in my head,” he said. With the quickly approaching holidays, this awardwinning chef offers all at-home cooks a word of advice when planning a meal. “Focus on one or two ingredients and go from there,” he said. “Too often people see a huge, broad recipe. But it’s about what you have [on hand]. Create from one idea. “Think in terms of color, flavor and textures. Then add and build from there.” Thanks, at least in part, to that basic thinking, this chef has earned many culinary awards. When considering his biggest, he admitted, “I don’t know if I’ve gotten there yet. It’s not something I can say, ‘OK, I’m done.’ I think maybe it’s still out there.” 76 On The Town | November-December 2011
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Holiday Tables: A Conversation with Di-Anna Arias By Bonny Osterhage Photography Greg Harrison
he holidays are upon us, filled with fabulous foods, beautiful decorations, family, friends and fun. Of course, they also can be a stressful time as we try to balance all of the demands of life with the demands of the season, but you donâ€™t have to be Martha Stewart or have a full-time staff to pull it off.
and by using items found around your home. Not only will you be creating a memorable event, you will be creating a lasting memory.
Di-Anna Arias, director of culinary vision at Don Strange of Texas Inc., is known for her creativity and her ability to think outside the box. But regardless of how elaborate In fact, you can design a beautiful holiday table laden an event she designs, Arias always starts with a firm with delicious holiday fare without spending a fortune foundation based on the basics. 78 On The Town | November-December 2011
“I am a traditionalist, and I love the classics,” Arias said. inspiration, take a mental inventory of what you already “But I also like to tweak it and infuse that ‘what if’ factor.” have available to carry the theme throughout the décor. Arias recommended approaching table design in much the same way as an architect would a building. That is, start with the foundation and work your way up. Perhaps it is a beautiful set of glassware, silver, or linens. It could be a color, a shape or anything that inspires your creativity. “I run across items every day that inspire me,” said Arias, who once designed an entire wedding around a Texas Clam, a heart-shaped fossil she stumbled upon at the Don Strange Ranch.
“Think of like things,” said Arias, who once pulled together every blue item in her home to create a table that was inspired by a blue and white English-style plant container. “Pick a color, pick a shape, pick a word and run with it!” Just because you are decorating a holiday table doesn’t mean you are limited to specific colors. After spying a copper ball in a grocery store, Arias was inspired to create a holiday table using red and antique copper for an old-world feel.
“I keep an inspiration board with swatches of color, “I simply took inventory in my mind of items in my home photographs, fabrics, quotes, anything that inspires me. and in my office, and picked up a few items from other I might not use it today but I might in a year or two.” stores to pull it together,” she said. Build on the Basics Once you have settled on your central theme or
Make It Personal A traditionalist at heart, Arias loves honoring family and November-December 2011 | On The Town 79
incorporating items that evoke fond memories or create new ones. “Make whatever you do all about you,” she said. “Don’t ever feel like you have to create something directly from a magazine or trend. You may be inspired by a trendy color or theme, but make it your own.” Arias recently put that advice into practice when creating a vintage-themed wedding for her sister. In addition to all of the vintage coffee cups and vintage suitcases for holding party favors, Arias offered her own collection of vintage cake stands, crystal candlesticks and depression glass for the florist to use as vessels for the centerpieces at the head table. “It was breathtaking, unique, and gave the event a personal touch,” she said. “We tend to keep special things put away in a box when what we should do is get them out, live with them and enjoy them!” Keep it Real The most beautifully lain table in the world means nothing if it is not functional. A gorgeous centerpiece becomes an eyesore if it impedes your view and keeps you from communicating with your guests. You need to make sure that the table flows and guests are able to serve and be served easily, and that they can communicate, pass food, get up if necessary and move about without impediment. Although creativity is a must, Arias cautioned against going too far. “Don’t go so far overboard with the theme and décor that guests don’t get it, but do cross that ‘safe’ line,” she said. Demonstrate Good Taste Your good taste extends far beyond the table to the palate of your guests. When planning a menu, Arias said, the same rules apply: Start with the basics and give them a “tweak.” For example, Thanksgiving guests might expect a succulent turkey accompanied by a tangy cranberry sauce and creamy mashed potatoes. What they might not expect is a turkey and cranberry crepe, or brie-infused mashed potatoes.
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Avoid trying to carry your color theme throughout the menu -- it rarely works. Instead introduce color through cocktails and beverages such as a pomegranate-infused mimosa or even with a punch — a beverage that is making a huge splash once again at parties and brunches.
As for desserts, again keep it real and make it personal. People love the tradition of pumpkin pie, but you could serve pumpkin tarts, or serve a large platter of cookies made from a time-honored family recipe. “People want the real deal,” Arias said. “That’s what the memories are made from.” Tips For A Table To Remember • Begin with a basic foundation such as linens, china, silver or crystal. • Find your inspiration or theme and keep it consistent. • Look for objects around your home that can be incorporated into the theme, such as items of a similar color or shape. • Keep an inspiration board of ideas—you never know when you might use them. • Make it personal by using those “special” items that you usually keep tucked away. • Make sure your table is fabulous but also functional. • Combine traditional foods in non-traditional ways. • Add color to the menu through cocktails and beverages.
• • • • • • • • • • • “Even though life is hurried, you must take the time to stop and create memories. When will you do it if not now?” –Di-Anna Arias “A table can look fabulous but if it isn’t functional, forget it!” –Di-Anna Arias
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Max’s Wine Dive Is DiVine! By Michele Krier Photograpy Dana Fossett
ax’s Wine Dive is the kind of place where you feel instantly at home -the combination of great food and an amazing wine collection sets your happiness meter somewhere between pulling up a bar stool at Cheers, where everyone knows your name, and getting the VIP treatment.
us, and we do that in all the cities in which we operate. That’s been great for us to be involved, to help us get to know the community as a company.”
Max’s commitment to charity extends a bit into the Dive itself. Wish you could sample an expensive vintage without making a major investment? You can! Many of the most expensive wines, once This hot new haunt -- which is intimate with an uncorked, are kept in a special Enomatic wineopen kitchen, but deceptively large -- has seating dispensing system which makes it possible for for 120 and a reserved area available for private Max’s to serve them as a taste or by the glass. A dining. Featuring exposed ceilings, dark wood clever concept of being a restaurant-cum-wine tables, and floor-to-ceiling windows, Max’s rocks retailer allows patrons to buy their favorite wines a warm version of “industrial chic.” The main (more than 150 are on hand) by the case, with the attraction is a 50-foot-long steel bar where guests added bonus of being able to mix reds, whites and can enjoy a drink and listen to a vintage jukebox a choice of vintages in one nicely discounted case. with songs from the 1960s and ’70s. Henry, the wine steward, said, “Being able to Marking its second anniversary in the Quarry offer the retail price on our wine makes it very Village (across from the smokestacks), Max’s Wine reasonable for people to take home their favorite Dive is known for excellent gourmet comfort food selections, and it’s also very affordable for giving and a wine list to please every palate. And here’s wine bottles as gifts.” a little something we want to let you in on: Max’s Black Door wine retail program gives members Horowitz, a former lawyer who happily found his amazing deals on some of the world’s best wines. way from litigation to libations, said: “When I was practicing law, after six years I realized it wasn’t Jonathan Horowitz, Max’s owner, along with Jerry going to be my life’s work. I was figuring out what and Laura Lasco, said: “It’s been a fantastic first year to do, and I knew I had an appreciation for family, in San Antonio. The reception we have received good food and wine. At the end of 2004, I met here has been incredible. Wonderful folks we’ve the founders of the company, and about six moths partnered with have become our regular clientele. later I became their first partner. Since that time, Of course, it is wonderful to have that, but the we’ve grown the business, added tasting rooms other thing that is great is that we have been able and developed Max’s Wine Dive concept.” to get involved with the Witte Museum, the Junior League and other charities. That’s important to More reasons to pop a cork? The number of company November-December 2011 | On The Town 83
employees has grown from five to more than 300, perhaps not surprisingly due to powerfully effective word-of-mouth recommendations. “No need to advertise -- we think our philosophy of not doing paid advertising and instead working directly with charities and nonprofits helps us because we get written about a lot. We don’t rely on a lot of advertising. We do a lot of relationship marketing to get people into the space, to get them to know about us. And we then work with media through these relationships,” Horowitz said. The company’s new concept, the Boiler House Grill and Wine Garden, will open at the Pearl complex in April. “Boiler House is a different concept: a much larger restaurant which is double the size of Max’s Wine Dive. We’re going into the old historic building connected to the brewery and the smokestack, and it will feature Texas ranchstyle grilling,” he said. Horowitz’s personal favorite item on the menu at Max’s Wine Dive? “I’m a real fan of our classics, and I am especially partial to the mac and cheese, and our fried chicken (recently named by Travel and Leisure as ‘one of the best fried chickens in the country’) has always been my favorite.” Among other popular choices are the pear salad, cauliflower soup and Kobe beef burgers. The left side of the menu features Max’s classics, and the right side features chef James Moore’s selections, which vary by season and his inspiration. Expansion plans for the privately held company include other cities in Texas. “We’re working on Dallas right now and will look at a few more cities before we look outside of the state,” Horowitz said.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Pages 82 & 84 Jonathan Horowitz
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Mixing Things Up Downtown Inaugural San Antonio Cocktail Conference to Benefit HeartGift By Ana Flores Photography Greg Harrison
city-wide cocktail party is taking place in downtown San Antonio. The inaugural San Antonio Cocktail Conference will kick off at Bohanan’s Restaurant and Bar on Thursday, January 26, and conclude with a Bloody Mary brunch at the same establishment on Sunday the 29th. In between, there will be plenty of tastings, seminars and events designed to combine cocktail culture education with fun. Proceeds from the four-day event will benefit HeartGift, an organization dedicated to providing life-saving heart surgery to disadvantaged children in developing countries.
revival of classic cocktails in 1999. After the success of Milk and Honey, he went on to create Little Branch, also in the Big Apple, as well as The Varnish in Los Angeles and The Everleigh in Melbourne, Australia.
“This is not a cocktail festival, it’s a cocktail conference,” stresses Bohanan’s Bar manager Carlos Faz. “Fun though it may be, the necessary ingredient of a cocktail conference is that it takes the form of education on the art of classic cocktails, and provides information and instruction for those interested in learning more about the craft.”
As a result of Petraske’s relationship with Bohanan’s, he and Faz were able to collaborate on the idea of the conference. “We are very excited about this first effort,” says Faz. “We hope that the cocktail conference will be around for years to come.”
Petraske was introduced to San Antonio through Chef Bohanan who brought him into his restaurant as a bartending consultant in 2009 to spruce up the cocktail offering at the downstairs bar, and to educate the Bohanan’s bartenders on what it takes to elevate a cocktail from a mere drink to a one-of-akind experience.
The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is not only about educating people on the art of classic cocktails, but also about highlighting a non-profit with a heart. HeartGift is the proud recipient of proceeds from the event that will go towards helping this group of surgeons, pediatric cardiologists, medical personnel, volunteers and host families in their efforts to provide life-saving heart surgery to disadvantaged children in developing countries where specialized treatment is scarce or nonexistent. Since its establishment in 2000, HeartGift has helped more than 120 children in 22 countries on five continents.
Mark Bohanan, chef-owner of Bohanan’s adds, “the San Antonio Cocktail Conference is a four-day event that is modeled after the wildly successful Manhattan Cocktail Classic and New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail Event, both of which draw more than 20,000 people. We are bringing in 19 of the most talented and notable bartenders from across Texas, the United States and Australia, to teach the 24 classes that will be held over the course of the weekend. Those classes will include topics such as ice making, crafting perfect cocktails for home entertaining, an introduction to gin cocktails and many more. There will also be contests “We are delighted to be able to support this amazing with celebrity judges, tastings, seminars, and other group,” says Faz. “The work they do is inspired and we special events designed to combine cocktail culture are blessed to be a part of it.” education with good old-fashioned fun.”
Sasha Petraske, proprietor of Milk and Honey in New For more information on the San Antonio Cocktail York City, is one of the dignitaries coming to the Conference and a schedule of classes, go to www. conference. He is credited with starting the current sacocktailconference.com. Jake Corney - Bohanan’s Bar
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Pinch Pennies & Dine Well:
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Bon Appétit at a Discount! By Marlo Mason-Marie
hile in New York City a few months ago, my husband and I lunched at Le Perigord, a legendary bastion of traditional French cuisine on the upper eastside, and saved $25 because I was in possession of a gift certificate acquired for $2 from Restaurant.com.
Taking advantage of dining bargains isn’t rocket science but rather a study in Internet surfing followed by the use of organizational skills to inventory purchases. Believe me when I say you really should become familiar with Groupon, Living Social, KGB Deals, Buy With Me, Eversave, Dealfind, Urban Dealight and other daily deal sites on the web. On the evening of that day we enjoyed a wonderful They make it possible for you to save 50 percent or “two filet plus all the trimmings” dinner at Gallagher’s more at cafes and restaurants down the street, up on West 52nd Street. For this occasion, at one of the road and across the nation. Buy the offer of your America’s most prestigious steakhouses, I offered choice, print it today and use it tomorrow. It’s that up a $100 gift certificate secured for $50 from the simple. Entertainment Book, the old standby, has website of CBS Radio. After our first two meals in entered the daily deal arena in addition to its regular Manhattan, we were well ahead in the “saving money coupon book. I’m betting Val-Pak will be next to join on absolutely incredible food” department. the ranks of daily dealers. Day two in the city featured a short cab ride from our midtown hotel to Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill near Union Square for lunch. At this distinguished eatery we feasted for zero thanks to a $50 dining check I earned by making a series of free reservations on Open Table.com. Steak was once again on the menu that evening at The Palm, the original one at 837 Second Avenue. As a member of the restaurant’s 837 Club, I accrued sufficient points to walk through the door with a $50 gift certificate to offset the overall cost of what was a delicious dining experience.
It’s also a very good idea to check out restaurant loyalty programs offering the opportunity to build up points (based on purchases) that are redeemable for gift certificates. Included are upscalers like McCormick & Schmick’s, The Palm, Del Frisco’s and Sullivan’s Steak House, to name a few.
Two other favorite savings services are Restaurant. com and Open Table.com. The former offers amazing discounts at more than 18,000 restaurants nationwide for as little as $2 for a $25 gift certificate and $4 for a $50. The latter lets you make free Over the course of four meals we saved $175, a reservations across the country and awards points privilege purchased for $52. My investment of time toward free dining checks valid for use at any of its in researching the many ways to accumulate dining member restaurants. dollars paid off big-time in the Big Apple and allowed us to make culinary memories at four of the city’s Restaurant e-clubs are important savings vehicles as finest restaurants. well. Via email, club members get everything from “buy one, get one free” coupons to complimentary The point is, it doesn’t matter where you live or entrees on birthdays and anniversaries. To join costs where you might be visiting, you can salt away cost nada and the benefits are noteworthy. cuts at quality restaurants by being deal savvy and unafraid to say to your server “This is for you” while What I have offered here is food for thought. handing him or her whatever certificate the dining Research, purchase, organize and use – the four steps establishment has made available through the to spending less and enjoying more. Bon appétit at myriad of discount services now in existence. a discount! © James Camp / dreamstime.com
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Literary Arts 92-96
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E-BOOKS ARE CHANGING THE PUBLISHING BUSINESS Story and Photography by Jasmina Wellinghoff
There is no question that the birth and steady growth of e-book publishing represents the most revolutionary transformation of the book business since the invention of the printing press. It snuck up on us gradually, and some publishers and many readers still are resisting it. What’s more, many of us are still confused about the whole thing. So, Book Talk decided to talk to a publisher and a writer who have embraced e-publishing in the hope of benefitting from wider exposure and improved sales. The Publisher’s Experience: Bryce Milligan, owner of Wings Press The small but nationally respected Wings Press currently offers about 100 titles in poetry, fiction, memoirs and non-fiction. Though most of these originally were released as print editions, Bryce Milligan has been working hard to convert them all into e-books, as well. At present, about 65 percent already have undergone the e-transformation. Milligan defines “e-book” as any book that can be read on an e-reader, the latter referring to portable digital devices such as the Kindle, the Nook, the iPad or the Sony Reader. “ The evolution has been going on for 10 years,” Milligan said. “It began with PDF files that made it possible for libraries to put coding on them for lending. It wasn’t commercial at first. Then Amazon came up with its Kindle that used proprietary software and competition started.” Fearing that Amazon would garner the new market for itself, other companies such as Barnes & Noble and Apple rushed to develop their own electronic readers, each using different proprietary software. As a result, there is no uniformity of format, making life more difficult for publishers such as Milligan. Nevertheless, four years ago he decided to go digital in a big way. Bryce Milligan
“It just seemed like common sense,” he said. “It became obvious that (this form of publishing) was going to have a major impact on the market, and it had clear advantages for our markets. A lot of our books are bilingual and read in Latin America. Getting books to Latin America was costly and uncertain. But as e-books they go everywhere quickly and easily. There was also another aspect that appealed to me. With e-books, somebody who reads a good review of one of our books – and we usually get good reviews – can go online and instantly purchase what they want. So we get the advantage of impulse buying.” Translating intentions into reality, however, involved a lot of learning. Though there are specialists who can convert your texts into various e-formats for an everincreasing price, Milligan opted to do it in-house. With the help of an assistant, he eventually mastered the “computerese” necessary to turn his files into the three most commonly used formats: Mobipocket (or its very slightly modified version known as AZW) used in Amazon’s Kindle; e-pub used by Barnes & Noble’s Nook and other readers, and the Adobe PDF format still favored by many libraries. Each format also required its own separate ISBN number. (The Library of Congress, however, does not catalog e-books.) Wings Press’ e-book sales have gone up 300 percent in one year, increasing total revenues by about 20 percent. This is largely due to renewed online interest in titles that were no longer selling in hard copy. The intangible “books” are sold through the company’s website and through traditional distributors who pitch e-products to retailers such as Amazon and iBookstore, albeit at substantially lower prices. Milligan described a recent case in which a retailer wanted to set prices very low for certain offerings– like 99 cents – while promising publishers to offset the loss in revenue through massive advertising and potentially huge November-December 2011 | On The Town 93
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sales. Milligan refused to play that game. His prices are matters in his own hands. He successfully negotiated about half of what a traditional volume would cost. for the return of his copyright from Eakin and then proceeded to research digital self-publishing options, Once a consumer purchases a title it’s hers to keep, “to breathe new life into some sales.” but there are limitations regarding usage, known as DRM or Digital Rights Management protections, “I just finished my third novel, and I am in the process of which vary depending on the retailer. There’s also finding an agent,” Coalson said. “If it becomes popular, another aspect to consider: the possibility that the people will want to read the other two.” material can be altered, Milligan said. “Last week (a company) published an e-book with lots of errors His first step was to take a Writer’s Digest webinar and then automatically issued a corrected version called “Do Your e-Book Right (and Start Making to all buyers. That sounds fine but it’s actually scary,” Money).” Like Milligan, he quickly came up against he said. “You can rewrite history that way. You the need to convert the PDF files he got from Eakin can (theoretically) download things into people’s into formats used by various e-readers. But unlike readers without them knowing.” Milligan, Coalson opted to go with an existing online service, and after some research, chose BookBaby. For the time being, Wings Press has no intention com. The company charges $99 for the conversion of abandoning print, but editions are likely to get plus $19 for a new ISBN. smaller and more specialized. Certain scholarly titles, for instance, will be printed “on demand” “They also collect my sales and make deposits into in the numbers needed. Some hard copies also my account, and there’s no fee for that,” the author will continue to be published for general-interest said. “When you go to e-publishing, you need a new material, mostly to send to reviewers and the Library cover, and they can provide that, too. Basically, you of Congress. If there’s enough interest, printing-on- upload your files, pay, and in 10 days they send it demand is always an option. down (to retailers).” Barnes & Noble took a month to make the novel available to Nook owners, but others Poetry, however, will remain a printed pleasure. were much faster, he said. Most poetry is sold at readings, the publisher said, where people directly experience the impact of the Coalson said he picked BookBaby.com primarily poems and enjoy the contact with the author. That because his files were PDFs. Writers dealing with Word cannot be duplicated via high tech. In fact, Milligan files can upload them themselves to, say, Amazon by said readings and book signings will continue to following the company’s website instructions. attract readers and buyers across the board simply because there is a human need to meet the creator Of course, the difficult part is: How do you get of “the world I am reading about.” someone to notice and read a new book? Since newspapers won’t review self-published work, The Writer’s Experience: Les Coalson, author of websites and blogs, such as GoodReads.com and eco-thrillers the afore-mentioned Reader Views, have sprouted on the Internet to review and comment on books A former manager of military recreation programs issued by small and non-traditional publishers. And who has a master’s degree in natural resources retailers such as Amazon have author pages and development, Les Coalson is also the author of readers’ reviews, as well. Links to groups that may be two environmentally minded mysteries set in the interested in the subject matter – environmentalists Texas Hill Country: Sever the Darkness and Color of in this case – are helpful, and the old standard, Blood, published by Eakin Press in 2003 and 2008, advertising, is perennially useful. respectively. But despite an award from Austin-based reviewing organization Reader Views for Color of “It takes years to get published through a traditional Blood, sales were poor, partly because the price was publisher,” Coalson said. “With this, I keep the rights set too high, the novelist said, and partly due to lack and if I choose to do so I can remove my book (from the of promotion. While writing his third thriller in what Web) with a stroke of a key and give it to a publisher, has become a series, Coalson recently decided to take should one become interested.” Les Coalson
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If I Lived Downtown By Giles Armstrong Photography Greg Harrison
i v e d a y s a w e e k a t 7 : 3 0 a . m . , I d r i ve f r o m the suburbs amidst semi-stopped traffic o n I - 3 7 t o a d o w n t o w n p a r k i n g g a r a g e. Fro m t h e re, I w a l k a c o u p l e o f b l o c k s t o my o f f i c e n e a r H o u s t o n S t re e t . Co n s i d e r i n g I h a v e a t w o - w e e k v a c a t i o n , p l u s a fe w d a y s o f f fo r h o l i d a y s, I p ro b a b l y m a k e t h i s t re k m o r e t h a n 2 2 5 t i m e s a y e a r. 98 On The Town | November-December 2011
When five oâ€™clock rolls around each work day, I reverse the process and do it all over again. My daily round trip measures 28 miles, which extrapolates to 6,300 miles on a yearly basis. At 22 mpg, the annual commute swallows up 287 gallons of gasoline. At $3.50 a gallon (the price at the time of this writing) that â€™s $1,004, not to mention two oil changes. These hard, cold
numbers are only overshadowed by the singular lived downtown, I could walk to my power walk thought that my downtown experience is all on the museum reach por tion of the river. I could work and no play. Bummer, eh? rent and ride a white bicycle anytime I wanted. If I lived downtown, I could free myself of many Since I feel this way, why haven’t I left suburbia issues involved in home ownership, such as yard in my rear view mirror and moved to the center work. I could simplify my life and have more time city? The truth is, I’ve planned a move for years for the things I truly enjoy. If I lived downtown, but just couldn’t seem to pull the string, until I could become more in touch with the histor y now. I’ve finally gotten off stuck by taking steps and culture of the city. I could easily hop on a toward relocating to within a few blocks from trolley and explore. If I lived downtown, I could my work. What got me off the snide? I filled in conver t my $1,004 annual savings on gasoline the blank. If I lived downtown, I would _____. into quality-of-life items such as delicious dining at downtown restaurants and tickets to Here’s the thought process that led to my the symphony or Majestic shows. After work I upcoming move. If I lived downtown, I wouldn’t could be home at 5:05 p.m. spend an hour each workday on an expressway (225 hours equals more than nine days in total). What ’s wrong with this picture? To me, the By living close to work, I could go home for lunch, answer is absolutely nothing. If I lived downtown, something I haven’t done since high school. If I I could work and play. November-December 2011 | On The Town 99
Holiday Traditions Begin with the 2011 Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony By Marcie Hernandez Photography courtesy Paseo del Rio Association & Rio Magazine
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sher in the holiday season on the River Walk this year with the 2011 Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony. Join the Paseo del Rio Association as they stage the 30th per formance of a parade that has gained national acclaim. Watch the San Antonio River Walk come alive under approximately 1.8 million LED lights at 7 p.m. Nov. 25. Tourists and locals alike can enjoy the show from seats located along the parade route. The kickoff to the holiday season begins with the ceremonious flipping of the switch that star ts the lights a-glowing. Always festive, the San Antonio River Walk will be brighter than ever this holiday season with 20 times more Christmas lights. It ’s par t of the city ’s plan to switch from incandescent to more eco-friendly LED lighting. In total, the River Walk will be dressed with 1.8 million holiday lights; a stunning sight for the city ’s many holiday visitors. Almost 200 trees will be wrapped in 10,000 lights each, while some 20 stone bridges will be color fully illuminated in various patterns. Local ar tist Bill FitzGibbons is the designer behind this new lighting scheme. Known as an international ar tist and ar t leader, FitzGibbons also is the executive director for San Antonio’s Blue Star Contemporar y Ar t Center. To comp lem ent t he R iver Walk ’s n e w l i g ht i n g sc heme, t he Cit y of S an Antonio i s h o l di n g i t s inaugural Light Up D owntown Hol i day Co nte s t, whic h encourages d owntown b us i n e s s ow n e r s to com p ete for t he m ost d eco rat i ve a n d c reat ive use of LED light s. This w i l l co mb i n e d owntown’s r iver and st reet leve l s i nto o n e magic al holid ay d est inat ion. A grand p rod uc t ion, t he 2011 Fo rd H o l i day R iver Parad e and Light ing Cere mo ny i s t h e offic ial k ic koff to t his fest ive hol i day s e a s o n . This year ’s p arad e will b e cente re d o n t h e t heme “Holid ay Trad it ions.”
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“ The theme Holiday Traditions was chosen to showcase some of our community ’s uniquely special traditions that set us apar t from other places,” said Nancy Hunt, executive director of the Paseo del Rio Association. “Our grand marshal represents one of the oldest and most-
treasured holiday traditions in San Antonio.”
which have prepared dinner, room and parade ticket specials for guests who schedule ahead Leading this year ’s parade is Patricia Jimenez, for one of the most memorable River Walk events daughter of the late Raul Jimenez, founder of the of the year. The Ford Holiday River Parade and Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner. During the Lighting Ceremony also will be broadcast on holiday season, many senior citizens are alone networks statewide and nationwide. and cannot afford to prepare a holiday meal for themselves. In 1979, San Antonio restaurant On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the San owner and businessman, Raul Jimenez, Antonio River Walk will usher in the holiday spirit recognized this need in his community and with colored lights in the trees that will reflect established a Thanksgiving Day event designed the warmth of the season into the waters of the to ser ve these forgotten individuals. river and the eyes of visitors and residents of the city. “ We are so honored to be a par t of the Ford For more than three decades, the Raul Jimenez Holiday River Parade,” Patricia said, “and in the family has provided a traditional Thanksgiving spirit of the holiday season, we look for ward to dinner and celebration to thousands of San celebrating this momentous occasion with the Antonians. Volunteers from ever y walk of life San Antonio community.” have joined the Jimenez family in giving of their time, resources and suppor t, to ensure that San This ar ticle is published cour tesy of Paseo del Rio Antonio’s elderly and needy are not forgotten Association and Rio Magazine. on America’s national day of Thanksgiving. Never hesitating, Patricia Jimenez stepped for ward when her father passed away 12 years ago. To honor him and his legacy, the family continues to work alongside the San Antonio community to ser ve 25,000 traditional turkey dinners on Thanksgiving Day. Her countless hours and personal dedication are just some of the reasons that Patricia Jimenez was chosen as grand marshal of this year ’s parade. Photo Credits:
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“I am ver y honored to ser ve as this year ’s grand marshal of the Ford Holiday River Parade,” Patricia said. “ To be chosen to represent the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner in one of San Antonio’s favorite holiday traditions is a testament and tribute to all of the volunteers, donors and sponsors that make the event a great success each year.”
Pages 100-101 Starbuck ’s Holiday River Parade float Page 102 (Above) Santa and Mrs. Claus at Arneson River Theatre
All of this year ’s parade floats will be decorated (Below) to compliment the Holiday Traditions theme, Barge carolers serenade folks along the River and guests watching them go by will recognize Walk hints of some favorite San Antonio traditions including midnight Mass at San Fernando Cathedral, La Gran Posada, Holiday Pops and the HEB Christmas tree at the Alamo. During a two-hour tour, the parade will float past the Drur y Plaza Hotel and Casa Rio, as well as many other hotels and restaurants, many of
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Chattanooga's Comeback By Julie Catalano
ooking at Chattanooga, you never would believe the Tennessee town once was declared the most polluted city in America – by Walter Cronkite, no less, on the evening news in 1969 – where white shir ts turned black from the filthy air, sulfuric acid ate holes through laundr y hanging on clotheslines, and cars had to keep their lights on during the day just to navigate through the choking haze. Such devastating news might have destroyed a 104 On The Town | November-December 2011
lesser city. But Chattanoogans had no time for a pity par ty. Determined to save their hometown – the victim of atmospheric inversions that kept stagnant air trapped against the mountainous terrain – the city formed an air pollution control board and worked with area businesses to get a handle on the problem. By 1972, the number of airborne par ticulates had been reduced greatly, and by 1974, Chattanooga made the national news again – this time in recognition for its drastic reductions in air pollution.
In short, Chattanooga cleaned up its act. Now, in an incredible turnaround that has served as a model for other industrial-type cities, there’s hardly a year that goes by that it doesn’t make one “best of ” list or another. There’s Top Destination to Live, Work and Play (National Geographic Traveler, Southern Living), Bike-Friendly City in the United States (Bicycling Magazine), and 2011 Best Town Ever (Outside Magazine), to name a few.
-The BluffView Ar t District (bluffviewar tdistrict. com). A picturesque collection of galleries, gardens, shops and dining on the bluffs overlooking the Tennessee River, the awardwinning BluffView is a cultural and culinar y center. The River Galler y Sculpture Garden – listed in Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens – features an impressive permanent collection and changing exhibit. The charming, European-style district also allows After the ugliness of old, the “new ” Chattanooga visitors to get up close and personal with their became a haven for creatives, ready and willing food. Watch chefs, bakers, pasta makers and to help in the reinvention. “ They saw this kind coffee roasters per fect their craft. of cool, hip place to move to, to tr y something new and different,” said Stephen Genovesi, -Hunter Museum of American Ar t (huntermuseum. vice president of sales and marketing for the org). The undisputed masterpiece of the city, the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hunter is actually three buildings representing 100 years of architecture in the original mansion, The result is that Chattanooga is one of the a 1970s addition, and the ultra-modern expansion most surprising, enticing and exciting ar tistic in 2002. The stunning complex houses one of the destinations in the South. Check out these must- nation’s largest collections of American ar t. The sees on any visit to the Scenic City : lobby ’s 40-foot wall of glass offers spectacular November-December 2011 | On The Town 105
views of the Tennessee River. Equally spectacular is the Holmberg glass bridge connecting the Hunter to the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge. -Bessie Smith Cultural Center African American Museum and Per formance Hall (bessiesmithcc. org). Named for the “Empress of the Blues” – native daughter Smith is considered the greatest classic blues singer of the 1920s – the center ’s mission is to recognize and promote the histor y and achievements of the African and African American heritage. In addition to permanent and traveling exhibits, the center hosts an annual heritage music and ar ts festival. The $120 million, 21st centur y River front Project – on track to spur even more development by 2015 – also was a huge factor in Chattanooga’s rebir th, with the Tennessee Aquarium (tnaqua. org) credited with sparking the “Renaissance on the River.” Even if you think you’re not an aquarium fan, you will not be disappointed in this awe -inspiring facility, named the nation’s top aquarium (Impacts 2010 sur vey) for its amazing exhibits and innovative layout. Visitors also can navigate easily from there to surrounding attractions via paths and bridges. The river front is also home to the annual Riverbend summer festival (riverbendfestival.com) and its major musical acts. With a calendar over flowing with ar tistic events, ongoing commitment to revitalization, top museums and galleries, a walkable, ecofriendly environment, and a youthful ambience that transcends age, Chattanooga has rightfully earned its title of “comeback kid.” “A lot of cities talk about their renaissance,” Genovesi said, “but they ’re talking about maybe two or three streets. We took a whole city approach. It ’s really the entire city, and a lot of people don’t believe what ’s going on here until they see it for themselves.” What you need to know : A new visitor center opened in 2011 at 215 Broad St., and is a one stop information/hospitality/ticketing center. The free, downtown electric shuttle runs daily about ever y five minutes, connecting downtown hotels, restaurants and the river front. The 106 On The Town | November-December 2011
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airpor t (chattairpor t. com) has daily flights on Delta, Allegiant, American Airlines, American Eagle and U.S. Air ways. For more information, visit chattanoogafun.com.
• • • • • • • • • • • • Photo Credits: Page 104 Aerial View of BluffView Ar t District Cour tesy BluffView Ar t District Page 105 Riverbend Festival Cour tesy Chattanooga Area CVB Page 106 (Above) BluffView Ar t District entrance Cour tesy BluffView Ar t District (Below) Tennessee Aquarium Cour tesy Tennessee Aquarium Page 107 Lover’s Leap Cour tesy Rock City
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Seasonal Changes in Your Fitness Routine By Tom Trevino
he change of season in South Texas doesn’t mean you’ll be getting out your snowshoes anytime soon, but it does mean you may need to change your routine a bit so that you can continue to remain active and stay healthy. Here are a few ideas, tips and tricks, to help you do exactly that.
(you can “untuck” once you warm up). For runners and walkers, gloves and a thermal hat that covers your ears will be worth its weight in gold; for cyclists, thicker gloves, shoe covers and a helmet cover or Lycra head sleeve will work wonders. Those minor adjustments should get you through just about all but the most frigid of days.
Get Strong Chances are you spent most of the year outdoors: hiking, biking and swimming. So now is a great time to get in the gym and focus on the element that most folks seem to neglect: strength training. It’s an element of health that even the CDC recognizes as vital, encouraging all adults to partake in at least two 30-minute full-body training sessions a week. Need a quick routine? Try dumbbell chest presses, cable pull-downs, squats and planks, for starters. Shoot for three to five rounds of six to 10 reps of these exercises, and modify them as you get more proficient.
Hit the Water The pool par ties and backyard barbecues may b e o ve r, b u t t h a t d o e s n’t m e a n yo u n e e d t o s t o p s w i m m i n g. I n d o o r p o o l s a r e t e m p e r a t u r e c o n t r o l l e d , m e a n i n g e ve n i n t h e d e a d o f winter the water should be maintained at a t o l e r a b l e l e ve l. Po i n t b e i n g, e ve n i f i t ’s f r e e z i n g o u t s i d e, yo u h a ve n o e xc u s e t o m i s s yo u r w a t e r a e r o b i c s c l a s s.
Get Out, and Stay Out If you’re determined to continue to hike, bike, or run outdoors, make sure to follow some basic rules when dealing with the cold weather. Dress in layers, and make sure to tuck your base layer into your shorts or pants to keep in body heat
Hot Stuff Classes of all kinds continue throughout the winter, so if you choose to stay indoors, use it as an opportunity to try something new, like a bootcamp or spin class. And if you really want to get away from the cold, consider taking a specialty class, like hot yoga, where the room temperature can reach a toasty 105 degrees. You’ll be hot on the inside, even though it’s cold on the outside, just like a microwave burrito. November-December 2011 | On The Town 109
Office Olympics Fact is, you don’t need a gym, pool, or any special equipment to stay fit when it’s rough outside. If you work in an office, use the stairwells as your personal training space. Walk up five to 10 flights of stairs (two at a time if possible) and follow that up with a set of incline pushups on the stairs or handrails. Walk back down and finish the circuit with a set of dips. If you’re more fit, you can do a series of stair jumps followed by a set of pullups. You can even buy an inexpensive band or two, securely attach it to the handrails, and really expand your repertoire. The more creative you are, the better. Everyone in the office may think you’re crazy, but crazy never looked so good. Move It Extreme temperatures outside (cold or hot) usually mean we spend more total time indoors and less time moving, and that is not a good thing. So at the very least, whether you’re at work or home, get up once an hour during the day and either stretch (especially if you’re hunched over a computer) or go for a short walk, or both. If need be, set an hourly timer on your watch or computer as a reminder. Also, whenever possible, split your lunch break in half, and spend half the time walking or doing mobility work, and the other half standing and consuming your healthy vittles. Your goal, if you have a desk job (and most people do), is to get your work done, but spend as little time as possible in a seated position. More and more research is beginning to support the idea that we sit way too much, and that the old office chair is the new office coffin.
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8th Annual Urban Spaces Tour By Angela Rabke Photography Greg Harrison
owntown Alliance’s eighth annual Urban Spaces event is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 1. Kick off the holiday season and support one of San Antonio’s most important institutions, the Downtown Alliance, with this fun-filled, guided walking tour that covers downtown’s most exciting residential, commercial and cultural spaces, with a focus this year on the freshly renovated River North portion of the River Walk, which extends from the San Antonio Museum of Art to the Pearl Brewery, and includes many points of interest in between. With a dedication to making downtown a better place to live, work, eat and play, Downtown Alliance hosts the Urban Spaces tour to give participants a true feel for downtown living. The event weaves together all aspects of urban living, such as residential properties, cultural spaces, dining experiences, and office or retail environments. It’s a per fect chance for folks
inside and outside of the loop to check out buildings, renovations and residences that they might not get to see otherwise. “ This event is educational in nature,” said Downtown Alliance founder Ben Brewer. “Our goal is to familiarize people with an urban lifestyle and to show them all of the amazing things that downtown has to offer.” The walking tour includes about a dozen stops and is kept to a fairly tight geographic area. While the exact locations on the tour are kept a surprise, planners have announced that the 2011 event will include a VIP tour of the San Antonio Museum of Ar t, a behind-the -scenes look at 1221 Broadway and visits to several private residences. Stops at the Pearl Brewer y will be included, and the tour also includes a stop at a top-secret “iconic veterans’ post ” located on the River walk. November-December 2011 | On The Town 113
“We joke that the tour is per fect for ‘nosy’ folks, because these are places you usually would not have access to,” Brewer said with a laugh. Delicious food and drink are another important part of the event, which begins with a reception at the San Antonio Museum of Art and ends at the Center for Architecture at the Pearl, home of San Antonio’s American Institute of Architects. Groups (each with 20 to 25 people) also will enjoy libations and snacks at some of the other stops along the way and will close the evening with a river taxi ride from the Pearl Brewery back to SAMA, compliments of Rio San Antonio. “ This is such a fun and edgy event,” Brewer said. “People get all of their friends together, many wear crazy outfits, and this year we have temporary tattoos and fake body piercings. We have great tour guides who are in the urban studies degree program at Trinity University, and they really bring the tours alive.” This is the first time the tour has focused on the River North area, so tickets are likely to move quickly. To reserve space in this year ’s tour, visit www. downtownsanantonio.org or call (210) 225-3862.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • “This event is educational in nature. Our goal is to familiarize people with an urban lifestyle and to show them all the amazing things that downtown has to offer.” - Ben Brewer
Founder of Downtown Alliance
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Published on Oct 30, 2011
Our November/December 2011 issue features 24 articles and an extensive events calendar. As a reader, you will be informed of shows and conce...