San Antonio's Political/Cultural Stars
12:55 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Mayor Castro at the DNC and the Future of the Museo Alameda

Democratic National Convention - Mayor Julián Castro

Tuesday night San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro stepped into the national spotlight by delivering the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The prime time spot at the convention has turned Castro into a national political figure and has spurred talk that he’ll soon seek a statewide elected office. However, Texas has not elected a democrat to a statewide office since 1997.

Nevertheless, Texas political junkies are wondering if Castro has what it takes to break that streak of losses. To get more insider info on Castro speech and the Democratic National Convention Texas Public Radio sent reporter Ryan Loyd Charlotte.

The Future of the Museo Alameda

The days are numbered for the once celebrated Museo Alameda – the downtown city run museum dedicated to Latino culture has been losing money since it was opened in 2007.

Last year the city council had to give it a quarter of a million dollar bail out. Now the museum is being taken over by Texas A&M University at San Antonio; the transfer is scheduled to take place on November 1. The lease is for five years with the option to extend the agreement.

Texas A&M San Antonio President Maria Hernandez-Ferrier
Vice President for University Communications Marilu Reyna

Sign to the former Museo Alameda, which is now called the Texas A&M University-San Antonio Educational & Cultural Arts Center.
Credit Ernie Villareal / Texas Public Radio

Ferrier: "We will really continue the vision that was there to begin with. Telling the Latino experience transnationally and locally of the Latino community and its building of our great nation - specifically the area around Bexar County."

Ferrier: "We are very blessed in San Antonio to have so many artists who really care - not only about art for art's sake, but art that tells the story of the people and the culture that we are. So we will be reaching out to all of them. Think of Jesse Trevino, these are amazing people. Many of the people here have actually had their works exhibited in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian Institute. So it is a really amazing culture we have here with artists that we will be bringing to the cultural arts center."

Ferrier said that the university has had talks with the Smithsonian about continuing the relationship and A&M San Antonio hopes to continue that association. Early on, the university will not be able to offer classes in the cultural arts center due to accreditation restrictions, so early programming at the center will be mostly symposiums and other presentations.

The school has established itself on the South Side of San Antonio and new buildings are under construction, but the new cultural center gives it the downtown platform. Ferrier said the acquisition of the Alameda is helping the new university build a foundation as a premier university for technological and cultural education.

On the Pre-K 4 SA initiative:

Ferrier: "When you start with children that young and then have this whole college-going culture, the chances of these kids being prepared and not having to take developmental education courses once they finish high school is so much greater... When we were looking at this dropout rate, we had to look at ourselves and say: 'What role do universities play?' We can't change the home, we can't change the trash that comes to kids from all arenas... but we know that even kids who've come from the most desperate home and community situations, who have turned themselves around and are doing well academically, they will tell you that is was a teacher."

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