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Showing posts from March, 2006

Media Watchate! The San Antonio Current Mocks Me instead of investigating the Guadalupe Center

En vez de focusing on what I've uncovered about R. Bret Ruiz (see blog
archives/"What I've discovered about R. Bret Ruiz"), the alternative newspaper in this town, the San Antonio Current, spends valuable ink targeting me and this blog.

You call this journalism? Sad to say, it isn't. Tan jealous,porque my research is solid. Why don't they publish it? Because they work for corporate-owned media, bursting with sex ads, that doesn't want to deal with a character defamation suit. Because they know I'm right when I say all the media in this town is managed by whites. And they want to be in control of everything, even if they know it's wrong.

At the Guadalupe Board Meeting I attended on March 23rd, I spoke before the board, and listed my years of concrete board experience in Dallas - to substantiate why I thought the Board should resign. I reeled off my past board credentials, not my resume: I've been a boardmember of the Girl's Club; Women…

Media Watchate! The San Antonio Current, the "alternative newspaper," attacks me when I challenged their dictionary understanding of "rasquache"

On March 30, 2006, The San Antonio Current, the city's "alternative" newspaper, published a cover story about the Guadalupe's new President, R. Bret Ruiz.

Alot of my friends took issue with the friendly tone of the story toward the Guadalupe Cultural Center. Isn't an alternative newspaper supposed to ask hard questions, they asked? Apart from the journalistic problems with the story, i.e. quoting from Ruiz's former employee instead of the Anita Martinez Board which hired him, as I did - or checking his resume, as I did).Most of all, I was dismayed by the writers' texbook understanding of the word rasquache.
I wrote both of the writers and told them the story was a good beginning, but that Ruiz's use of rasquache - in the context that he made it in the story, referring to the Guadalupe community, was derogatory - one word that says everything about his qualifications for leading the Guadalupe Center. (And that's why I began to scrutinize him and th…

Guadalupe Center in Crisis: The San Antonio Express-News finally publishes a story/What took them so long?

The SAEN has suggested they will be doing a substantial
story on the Guadalupe Cultural Center. This is what happens when
a corporation owns a newspaper - you publish stories about
"good" latinos for the brown people to read your paper and read the ads. And blast/stereotype or don't write about the "bad"/rebellious/controversial/passionate brown ones because
they might upset the conservative advertisers and publisher.

Unfortunately, all the media in town is corporate-owned -
except for KEDA, the only independent radio station in
town - the conjunto station.

Dave Davies, the new executive at Texas Public Radio pretty much stated that the public radio affiliate could only react - to the Guadalupe Center story. In other words, no story.
He's called me before to complain about how not one Latina gets to have a real voice in San Antonio. A city where brown women are in the majority.

This is the San Antonio Express-News story below that ran last Friday, March 23…

San Antonio Walkout: Judson High School graduate says that Fox Tech first amendment rights are disrespected!

Its a rather poor and unappreciated fact
that in Texas, independent minds and
bodies are the most trifled of people.
Sad thing too,seeing how a bunch of independent
minds and bodies won our freedom
from Mexico.

The walkouts, from what I heard, were largely
ineffective. And they will always be.

For example. I am a 23 year old man. In my
freshman year of high school
at Judson,we had a walkout to
protest the firing of the principal
of the 9th and 10th grade campus.
somewhere near 1000 students simply got
up out of their chairs and walked out of class.

We gathered in the courtyard. Campus police (read:
Schutzstaffel) were called in and caused problems
which ultimately made this peaceful walkout turn
into a full-on riot. Utter chaos ensued, and to make
a long story short(haha) because of irrational fear,
this peaceful protest got ugly,students got arrested
and there were battered minds, bodies
and spirits.

Fox Tech High School's "lock
down" in response to a supposed
walkout is utterly and completely

Guadalupe Center in Crisis: Board Chairman Aguilera Blames the Community

Guadalupe's Board Chairman makes a Speech

Watch the Video

Juan Aguilera, the Guadalupe Cultural Center's Board Chairman, defended the Board, and accused the community of destroying the Guadalupe Center.


San Antonio Walkout: A college professor and veteran says "Lockdown" is savage

By the way...see why i don't want my kids being
educated in San Antonio schools? That savage,
militaristic, anti-intellectual way of existence has
no appeal to me. NOW you understand.

The phrase "lockdown" came from the military which
drifted in to the prison system and then in to our

a professor at St. Edward's University
in Austin
and military veteran

San Antonio Walkouts: A teacher writes from "Lockdown" at Fox Tech High School

they tried the walk out here. i heard the kids rumbling. there was
screaming and it was diffused by administrators. i am not sure if
there was press downstairs. i am not sure because i am practically
locked down-upstairs. i love the students. mine stayed in the room
with their little strong faces. they know that it needs to be
organized. they know that the reality of making a difference is
much larger.

Walkouts in San Antonio: Schools go into Lockdown as Students try to protest Immigration Bill

Yesterday, Brackenridge High School, an inner-city school in this latino-majority city, went into "lockdown," responding to student plans to walkout along with their peers in Los Angeles, California, as the U.S. Senate debates a controversial immigration bill.

"Lockdown," a term more commonly used in the Texas prisons, is a policy that local teachers explain as a shutting down of blinds, doors, and all exits in response to student shootings or an unlikely terrorist threat.

Community leaders here in San Antonio are concerned that students' civil rights are being violated - by treating the students' desire to speak out - as a terrorist threat.

Yesterday, students at Lee High School, it is rumored, walked out. Or attempted to. Teachers and students alike are cautious in talking to community leaders, fearing repercussions to their jobs or punishment of some kind.

But Fox Tech High School, in downtown San Antonio, a short distance from the San Antonio Express-News…

The Guadalupe Center in Crisis: Why we are fighting to save it

Why we are fighting for the Guadalupe
Watch the videoThe Guadalupe Cultural Center was organized 27 years ago by Chicana/o artists in San Antonio, Texas who wanted a place to exhibit their work. Now the Guadalupe is in crisis. The Board of Directors has failed in their responsibility to take care of Lady Lupe. But the Guadalupe belongs to us, and it is time that we defend her. by

Two police on duty, media, and the BoardChair makes a speech at the Guadalupe's March Boardmeeting

From the Guadalupe Cultural Art Center's March 23 Boardmeeting at the Guadalupe Theatre, in San Antonio, Texas.

The Guadalupe Board doesn't distribute board agendas or reports to the public, so there's no way for me to give you details, but I will uplink the video from the meeting this weekend on the vlog.

About fifty people in the audience, very orderly. In other words, nobody threw chingazos. Two policemen watching us.

There were seven boardmembers, two new ones - both business types. No artists. As usual, they sat around a table facing each other - not the audience. Falta de respeto, and it was pointed out at the meeting.

From Juan F. Aguilera, the Board Chairman, who actually turned to the audience halfway through the boardmeeting and made a short speech. Here are some excerpts:
"If you hear things out there that the board doesn’t care, wants to destroy, I’ve instructed them [not to talk to the public] and they’re honoring the request... I’ve been concerned tha…

Guadalupe in Crisis: Conjunto Festival "on track" says Mae Escobar

Mae Escobar, contracted to hire logistics for the Guadalupe Conjunto Festival, told me today that she's got 19 bands lined up. There will be 20 bands in all, she said. Ken Slavin is handling the Public Relations and Marketing, and information on the Festival should be available on the Guadalupe's webpage,

The Conjunto Festival is scheduled for May 10-13, 2006.

Escobar told me that she's been fielding calls from "all over," and that the Conjunto Festival had made the Hollywood Reporter.

She was unaware of the Guadalupe's problems, as I related them to her.

Photo Credit: "Leroy at Salute," by


Lady Lupe,
Why Have You Abandoned Me? Come speak out and support la cultura as we confront the
Guadalupe Board of Directors at the March Board Meeting,
this Thursday, March 23rd, 5:30 pm. At the GuadalupeTheatre.
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is in crisis.
The Guadalupe Board of Directors has betrayed us by hiring R. Bret Ruiz, the current President.
We have learned that R. Bret Ruiz lied about his resume. As president of the Guadalupe, his finances were so bad that he couldn’t even get a corporate American Express card under his own name. Juan Aguilera, the Guadalupe Board Chairman, was warned about R. Bret Ruiz. Mauricio Navarro, Board Chairman of the Anita Martinez Ballet Folklorico in Dallas, where R. Bret Ruiz last worked, called Aguilera last summer, and told him that Ruiz “was the worst executive director we ever had.” The Guadalupe belongs to us, not to the Board of Directors who aren’t listening to the community they are supposed to serve. We will not wait until the Board of Direct…

How the Guadalupe Board Betrayed the Community: A Three Part Investigative Report

Part 3:No 25th Conjunto Festival Director, No Money, and the Artistas Speak OutNo director has yet been hired to organize the golden anniversary of the Tejano/Conjunto Festival, scheduled barely two months away, May 10-13, 2006.In addition, the wholesale exit of the Arts Education team has left the GuadalupeCenter with a devastated picture of student enrollment, with artists scrambling for their paychecks. Typically, says Mary Jessie Garza, the Guadalupe records up to 350 cabezitas per month in their in-house programs that see students. This number was confirmed by the Guadalupe’s past Board Reports that I secured via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the City of San Antonio’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Because the GuadalupeCenter will submit their student enrollment report to the City in mid-April, it was impossible to verify the actual number of credible enrollments. The Guadalupe’s January Monthly Operating Report lists 67 students in art classes at the Guadalupe – on…

How the Guadalupe Board Betrayed the Community: Part 2 of an Investigative Report

Part 2:The Deception of R. Bret Ruiz, President of the GuadalupeCenterI’ve been scrutinizing R. Bret Ruiz for the last three weeks. In that time, I’ve discovered that he inflated his resume, lying about the date of graduation to presume curatorial experience he doesn’t have.I’ve also learned that he couldn’t get his own American Express card for GuadalupeCenterbusiness because of his bad credit.
And a former Board President of the Anita Martinez Ballet Folklorico in Dallas, his former boss - warned the Guadalupe Board Chairman, Juan Aguilera, that R. Bret Ruiz was the “worst executive director we’ve ever had.” Wait. While Ruiz was Executive Director of the Anita Martinez Ballet Folklorico, he worked evenings at a Mexican restaurant. And yes, I have the papers and sources to prove all this. Mauricio Navarro, former Board President of the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico in Dallas, picked up the phone last summer as soon as he heard that R. Bret Ruiz was running the GuadalupeCultura…

How the Guadalupe Board Betrayed the Community: A Three Part Investigative Report

By Bárbara Renaud González
Wordcount:2903 total in a three part investigative story
Part 1:Lady Lupe meets R. Bret Ruiz, MBA, the new President of the GuadalupeCulturalCenterIf you’ve ever been to San Antonio, you’ve seen the Alamo. But if your skin is brown you’ve also visited or heard of the GuadalupeCulturalCenter, a mecca for latinos across the country who want to know where they came from.The GuadalupeCulturalArtsCenter is comprised of a blue-tiled historic theatre and adjacent buildings on 1300 Guadalupe Street, 78207, in the corazón of San Antonio’s barrio, the city’s Westside, it’s oldest and most established neighborhood. To the tourist coming from the suburbs to the funky hueso as we call it, our city’s cultural offerings must seem colorful, quaint, the poverty of faded blue uniforms.
But hueso means bone, and to the rest of us living with the memories of our grandparents who courted, married, worked menial jobs, dreaming of a better life for their children, the GuadalupeCenter…

The Guadalupe Center in Crisis: La True Story began February 18/Archives

The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is in crisis. It's a complicated story, and not one that you will read in the newspapers or on radio. So I'm writing it, with the help of people in the community who care deeply about our beloved 'Lupe. To begin reading the series, check the archives for February 18, 2006: A Special Series in Seven Parts (so far) featuring Interviews/Stories/Memorias/and Questions about the future of the nation's oldest and once-premier cultural center for and about la raza.

Write me at, tell your friends, and help us
Save the Guadalupe!

photo credit: Dulces de Guadalupe, courtesy of Joan Frederick
(the partial painting you see is by Rolando Briseno, photographed at the home of Sandra Cisneros, arranged by Franco Mondini)

A boring blog about a boring letter from the Guadalupe's attorney denying me information

I got another registered certified letter yesterday from Galo & Cantu LLP in San Antonio, Texas.

I would share it with you but I don't want to put you to sleep with the two-step double-talk which I don't understand, except that I think they're trying not to give me any information. (which I already got anyway, thank you Mr. Cantu!)

Let's just say that Juan F. Aguilera, attorney-at-law, and Chairman of the Board of the Guadalupe Center, has turned over my Freedom of Information Act request to Ruben Cantu,, Galo & Cantu LLP, who in turn has written to Attorney General Greg Abbott for a clarification on my rights to secure public information!


The Guadalupe Board denies me Board Reports

I asked Juan Aguilera, an attorney, and the Board Chairman for the Guadalupe Center's past Board Reports and other information at the February 23rd board meeting - basic stuff - under the Freedom of Information Act. This is a formal letter that I submitted because R. Bret Ruiz, the Guadalupe's President, and Loretta Zevallos, also denied me this information when I interviewed him.

These reports are public information because the Guadalupe gets federal, state and city funds.

Instead, I received this legal letter on March 8, 06. Last week.

Dear Ms. Renaud Gonzalez:

On behalf of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, I am responding to your Texas Public Information Act request. Please know that the Guadalupe is a private, non-profit entity. Private entities are not subject to to the provisions of the Act. However, to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Act, the Guadalupe has asked Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to determine whether the requested information is…

Who's to blame? The Guadalupe Board of Directors

This is the most current list I have for the Guadalupe Board of Directors
I will post their emails when I get them.

Chairman of the Board
Juan F. Aguilera
Law Offices of Escamilla & Poneck
100 Travis Park Plaza
711 Navarro SA TX 78205
210 225-0001

Vice Chairman
Bexar County Housing and Human Services
Ismael Chavez Hernandez
Vista Verde Plaza
233 N. Pecos Suite 590
210 335-3666 ext. 3135
210 379-8286 cell

Valero Energy Corp
Sammy Nieto
P.O. Box 500
SA TX 78232-0500
210 370-2209

8000 ih-10 West Suite 600
SA TX 78330
Patricia Celis
210 525-7999 office

Dr. Mary Ponce 210 887-1277 cell

Oralia Salame
Tommy's Restaurant
1205 Nogalitos
SA TX 78204
210 223-9841
210 875-0225 cell

Rudy Ruiz
119 Patterson Ave
SA TX 78209
210 930-3339

Harriet Romo Ph.D.
UTSA North Campus
6900 North Loop 1604 West
SA TX 78249-0603
210 458- 2549
and she is the wife of Ricardo Romo, the UTSA President
According to "Dee" Murph, former Guadalupe…