Best Salsa Club

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

Arts & Culture: San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and its history stretches long before the people behind the American or Texas Revolutions... By Mark Reagan 10/15/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


City Scrapes: Building the arts

Photo: , License: N/A

The Tobin Center (2011 plan)

We do a great job building buildings. We built an AT&T Center for basketball and an Alamodome for the promise of big league football. We built the space formerly named Museo Alameda for Latino art. Now we’re building a new performing arts center, renovating and restoring an historic movie theater and creating a new western art museum

But while we spend lots of money on buildings, we don’t seem to manage quite so well with institutions and people. Jack Downey, president and CEO of the San Antonio Symphony, recently resigned after just three months on the job. Local and national reports attributed his departure to a “budget dispute” with the symphony board. At a time when Bexar County is spending $100 million to build the Symphony a new home at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, news of yet another change in symphony leadership and uncertainty over the group’s finances is far from encouraging. The Symphony has struggled with a host of budget and financial issues in recent years, and Downey’s abrupt departure suggests things are far from resolved

Over at Texas Public Radio, home of KSTX and KPAC, there have been other leadership changes and issues. CEO Dan Skinner departed in December for Kent State University in Ohio. Then in August, there was an abrupt and dramatic change in the programming and staff at KPAC, the classical music station. Where once we heard (at least for most of the day) a longtime staff of talented local announcers and hosts, they have largely now disappeared. The music and the programming no longer come from San Antonio. Listen today and you hear “Classical 24,” a continuous 24-hour music service provided by American Public Media from Minneapolis. The local hosts who have long been major parts of San Antonio’s arts and cultural scene—James Baker, John Clare, Randy Anderson and Ron Moore—have all disappeared from the airwaves. One national blogger ran the story under the headline “Classical radio sacks presenters and goes auto-feed.” The official line for the changes, from acting TPR chief Wayne Coble, is that the classical station was running in the red. But that argument raises far larger questions, relevant for the San Antonio Symphony, TPR and a whole host of local arts organizations: can this community support a vibrant and diverse arts and cultural scene, and why are we building a massive new performing arts center (effectively replacing the still-standing Majestic Theater) when the Symphony—the Tobin Center’s prime tenant—appears to be struggling for both money and leadership?

At least a part of the answer is obvious in the set of other new public buildings we’re busy planning or constructing. There’s the rebuilding (it’s not really an “expansion”) of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, with a price tag of $325 million. Then there’s the spending from the County’s venue tax bond issue: $80 million for amateur sports facilities (including $15 million for UTSA), $100 million for the AT&T Center and Freeman Coliseum, $6 million for the Alameda Theater, $4 million for the Briscoe Western Art Museum (plus another $2 million for the city/county “history museum” in part of the same building) and finally $100 million for the Tobin Performing Arts Center. All of that paid for, in part, with hotel and car rental tax revenues, much of which might actually have been used to support arts and cultural organizations and programs

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus