Much of the money for putting on arts events in San Antonio comes indirectly from those who visit the city. Many art events are created and managed though a city organization called the Department for Culture and Creative Development, who run the SA Hearts website.
The department plays the role of middle man between those tourist and tax dollars, and the art events we’ve come to value, like:
"Luminaria downtown, many of the festivals that take place in Market Square, in la Villita, a lot of film production that takes place downtown," said Executive Director Felix Padrón.
"People come here because they like the city, they think it’s pretty," I said. "And what they pay as part of their hotel/motel taxes goes back to making it even more of a city that they would want to come back to."
Padrón enthusiastically agreed.
"Exactly, exactly. Obviously, what better city than San Antonio," he said. "People do come here because of the culture and the art. San Antonio has become defined by its culture and artistic vision."
Padrón lists huge arts-related changes in the last half-decade -- the Pearl Development, the new Children’s Museum under construction, the accreditation for art degrees at the Southwest School of Art, and the impending opening of the Tobin Center.
"All those things, and there are many more other things that are going on," Padrón said. "[It] really has changed the dynamics, not only in downtown and in other areas of San Antonio, but the way that we need to invest in those organizations."
The Department for Culture and Creative Development is looking at making changes to the way it manages those art and marketing dollars and it is seeking input from the community.
- Saturday, January 25 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) -- public hearing
- Monday, February 3 (5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.) -- public hearing
- Saturday, February 15 (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) -- public hearing
- Monday, March 3 (5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m.) -- CAB consideration of revised guidelines
If you wish to explore it further, read the department's entire report at: sahearts.com