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Finally! The San Antonio Express-News BBguns the Guadalupe Center

My friend, journalist Elda Silva interviewed me some weeks ago about the Guadalupe Center, and today the story ran on the front page of the San Antonio Express-News.

In private, she expressed much she couldn't say in the story, because she has to be "balanced." She's not the only journalist who's concerned about the Guadalupe, dismayed at what they've witnessed, but who can't "say anything."

But I can.

Look, there's no Guadalupe Bookfair in San Antonio anymore. The Cinefestival was a washout this year, and the Conjunto Festival was three days when it's been five days long in the past. How do you think I feel?

The Guadalupe Cultural Center Board must resign. A key member of the Westside Coalition, the coalition of non-profit art and cultural organizations representing San Antonio's oldest barrio, has told me off-the-record - that they have not "invited" the Guadalupe Center to participate. They are also dismayed and offended by R. Bret Ruiz, the Guadalupe's President.

But they are even more afraid of losing city funding, since all are up for review on May 19th of this year. In San Antonio, the struggle for city funding for raza programs continues, and a harsh spotlight on the Guadalupe, necessary as it is, means to the Westside Coalition even more scrutiny, questions, and possible loss of funding.

The Guadalupe Cultural Center is the largest latina/o cultural center in San Antonio, and one of the biggest players in the city's artscene, receiving approximately $450,000 for 2006.


Juana Gallo said…
It is unfortunate that the local arts administrators did not have the foresight and quite frankly, balls, to distance themselves from Ruiz. Had they done that, perhaps some of the "mierda" they fear will smear on them, wouldn't. But as it stands, no one has stood up and spoken against Ruiz or the board and now they are worried about what might happen to their respective butts. So the question on the floor is it because they don't want to speak out against a brown man in a suit? is it because they fear scrutiny of their organizations? the argument about closing ranks around our own DOES NOT PASS THE SMELL TEST.
My disappointment is that I was told over and over by a close "friend" that happens to be an Executive Director of another organization that "it wasn't that she did not want to support and protect the Guadalupe by going on the record with first hand information about Ruiz's inappropriate behavior and racist attitude but that it would be viewed by the other major orgazinations (mainly the white ones) that we were attacking each other instead of supporting one another...the brown crab theory." my response was that by remaining silent we were indeed enabling Ruiz to continue to abuse the women on his staff and abuse the children in our community who could no longer afford services. By staying quiet, we were indeed no better than Ruiz or his Board of Directors the true assasins of the Guadalupe.....I personally don't believe that we need to "circle the wagons and defend Ruiz or his actions or Juan Aguilera I say "Aguilera pa fuera"...the Board must fire Ruiz and resign before they are removed by force. As for the other arts administrators clean up your own houses because you are next, which is the real reason no one went on the record against Ruiz. Everyone has their own skeletons in their own closets......

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