Can the Guadalupe dance again?
A Special Series featuring Interviews/Stories/Memorias/and Questions about the future of the nation's oldest and once-premier cultural center for and about
Back in the day, I used to come to the
But then I’m from the Texas Panhandle, and I didn’t grow up reading The House on Mango Street, or knowing anything about Latin American cinema besides el Cine de Oro. Conjunto? Accordion and bajo sexto? That was for la gente baja, but my parents sure liked to go to the cantinas on the weekends when I was a teenager to have some frias and listen to it. Until Juan Tejeda, musician and Music Director for the Guadalupe, took the fiery accordion out of the cantinas and legitimized it in a citywide festival and then talked about it on National Public Radio.
When I was appointed to the Commission for Cultural Affairs in
In the seven years since Pedro Rodriguez resigned after fifteen years of building the Guadalupe, there has been a series of interim and executive directors, dramatic staff turmoil, increasing financial debt, decreasing membership, decreasing attendance at the landmark events, and lavish scorn from the artists who were launched by the
In this series, I want to take you to the Guadalupe Center, examining its history, mission and budget, talking to the President, R. Bret Ruiz, the staff, past and present, national cultural leaders and most important of all, the artists and the people who live on 1300 Guadalupe Street, in the hueso of San Antonio.
The Guadalupe deserves this investigation as only we can do it. If it wasn't for the Guadalupe, this city would be a different place, I think.
So let's platicar, chismoliar, criticar, and debate. It's time that we ask each other, entre nosotros: Has the nation’s oldest cultural center for la raza – ended its reign? Should we start over? Is it time to say goodbye?
Or can the Guadalupe, like me, like you, come back home?
p.s. you might want to read a link from San Antonio's so-called alternative newspaper, the San Antonio Current. Click on www.sacurrent.com, and then Bret Ruiz to find their story.