"Remember El Alma" First On-site Performance Challenging the Alamo, March 2010

"Remember El Alma," First on-site performance
challenging the Alamo
original poem written by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez

Adapted by Virginia Grise; Produced by Bihl Haus Arts, Kellen McIntyre, Ph.D; Performed at Luminaria!
San Antonio, Hemisfair Plaza, San Antonio, Texas, March 13, 2010; 5 Actresses, 1 Musician
A cast of beautiful women, all ages and colors, from
all over San Antonio
; Foto Credit: Joan Frederick @2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

La Perra de San Antonio

I saw her four days ago on San Jacinto and Martin, here on the westside.  She was crossing a tiendita filled with men drinking outside.  I followed La Perra as she crossed the street to the creek below where a couple of homeless men have their mattresses.  She let me touch her, and ate just a little wet food, wagged her tail, and left.

If I take her to the Dog Pound she will be put down because there are 100,000 stray dogs already in San Antonio.

Today, Sunday, she ate a little barbacoa.  She could barely walk.  Neither the Alamo nor the Riverwalk is the true symbol of San Antonio, it's dogs like this that roam the city. 
So many of the people in my neighborhood are working-class, and they don't believe in taking
care of animals when they are hurting to take care of themselves. 

Son criaturas de Dios, my father told me.  Animals are divine, my father taught me.  They are angels, and they carry messages from God to us. 
San Antonio is a beautiful city, but equally poor and struggling.  This is San Antonio.  Take a good look.  Because it's gonna get worse.  
A mile from the Riverwalk.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010


For the first time in history, more than half of all the students attending public schools in the 15 Southern states (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia) are children of color -- predominantly African American, Hispanic and Native American.

The Texas State Board of Education has denied our stories in the public schools for the next ten years. Our children are growing up without knowing who their heroes and heroines are. It is up to the artists to tell the story.

If you live in San Antonio and south, get 5 people to vote on November 2nd!
Because the Stories can save us

This is for Emma Tenayuca. Willie Velasquez. Lydia Mendoza. Americo Paredes. Gloria Anzaldua. And hundreds, thousands more, heroes and heroines whose stories
must be shared with the children.

Fundraiser: Wednesday, October 27th
Gallista Gallery Courtyard
1916 S. Flores Street, San Antonio, Tejastzlan
8:00 - 10:00 pm
With Readings, Watos, and Laberintos by Selected Artists
Organized by Artistas for Michael Soto
David Zamora Casas and Barbara Renaud Gonzalez, hosts with the mostest
$5.00 Contribution and mas if you can

‘Stoy ganando!
Willie Velásquez loved the rain.
It made the bluejays sing with gusto, like the fire and honey of his mother’s Spanish words. The rain made the frogs jump for gold medals, and the weeping willow tree in front of his house cried happy tears with so much green.

But the rain also made Willie sad.

---from The boy made of lightning/Willie Velasquez, American Hero, to be published 2011
Written by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez, illustrated by a San Antonio artist TBA

Monday, October 18, 2010

The story of Adonis, the dog who was supposed to die

It happened in April. There are 100,000 stray dogs wandering in San Antonio -- more
common than graffiti. But I'd never seen anything this bad.

He was stumbling down the street, covered in bloody sores with flem streaming down his eyes. It was a wonder that he was still alive, a dog made of ravaged fur, mange, abandoned who-knows-when. And yet -- something told me to feed him, to save him. That he would be alright.

I always carry dogfood in my car, and yes, he came to the bowl, a good sign. A man in a pickup truck stopped and helped me wrap a moving rope around his neck, and then I lifted him into the back of my van. He didn't resist. He was even more repulsive up close, yet it hurt me more to leave him behind, so I didn't.

Once I got him home, the neighbors gathered to talk about how crazy I am, watched me feed him more bathe him. I think they felt more sorry for me than the dog.

What was crazy was that I didn't have a cent at the time -- only blind faith that
I could get him to a veternarian and then the City's animal clinic here that does
low-cost sterilization and shots.

The other thing is that I live in a shotgun house in the barrio, a house that is about 650 sq ft, and I've already got seven cats from the neighborhood -- all sterilized with their shots. Can't afford to keep middle-sized dogs around for
too long, and my house is a rental, besides.

I named the dog Adonis, which means God of Love. It was the least I could do, and the only place I had for him was in the outdoor utility room,
where he stayed, and thrived for three days and nights until I remembered that I have a friend who had some antibiotic for dogs. Another friend gave me some medicine for his conjunctivitis. Of course this isn't the way it should be done...

Adonis got better every day. My friends told me he had the mange, and that it was probably curable. Sure enough, three weeks after I found him I took him to a vet who confirmed our diagnosis, gave me a discounted deal, along with the good news that Adonis didn't have heartworm! Adonis ended up having 6 weekly dips along with medications, sterilized, shots, microchipped. He's gone from 32 pounds to 52 pounds, and is now 11 months old.

I think he's an Akita/pit bull/shar-pei mix, and he's about 10 months old.
He loves playing loves, children and is very attached to one of my cats, Baby Kitty.

I can't keep him in my rental house forever. He deserves a family, and if you know someone, let me know. He's an excellent watchdog and good at walks.

His fur is now turning from off-black to brown-gray with blonde patches and streaks.

Please help me find a good home for Adonis. I know there is a little boy or girl out there who's been looking for him as much as he was seeking them that day in April.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The night that San Antonio artistas became one moon

Franco Mondini-Ruiz; Joan Frederick; Vincent Valdez (with a trumpet instead of a brush); Joaquin Abrego with Los Nahuatalatos; Terry Ybanez, Deborah Vasquez, David Zamora Casas, Rita Contreras, Rolando Briseno, Dee Murff, and many many more, came together at Bihl Haus Arts to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Bihl Haus Arts, one of San Antonio's cultural centers and gathering place for some of the city's most interesting and best artists.

It was a night of ART. LITERATURE. MUSICA! BAILE. Over 40 visual artists created original covers for the first Chicana novel published by the University of Texas Press, "Golondrina, why did you leave me?" by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez.

It was a humbling noche that left me hallucinated by the beauty of what we can
make together.