SPC's First Heritage Celebration of 2019

January 24, 2019

Public Information Officer


As filmmakers, music makers, art makers and social scientists make college debuts with innovative high-performance programs for the intellect, two rapidly-filling San Antonio Symphony Young Person’s concerts have been added for Feb. 1 at 9:50 and 11:15 a.m.

St. Philip’s College announced today updates to its 2019 African-American Heritage Month lineup of seven events (six free and one paid) Feb. 1-26 at the college’s 1801 Martin Luther King Drive location.

With all event times, dates and appearances subject to changes that will be shared online, all are welcome to attend the following 2019 observance events, and keep an eye out for a web page for the observance in coming days:

*** = SPC Debut

++ = Paid Event 

About the season… 

  • San Antonio Symphony and St. Philip’s College have partnered to begin the city’s African-American History Month observances by inviting all to attend a concert with both complimentary admission and parking. The symphony’s Feb. 2 concert is one of three in the African-American Heritage Month project with the college that includes two rapidly-filling Young Person’s Concerts for grades 3-5 on Feb. 1 at 9:50 and 11:15 a.m. and the aforementioned performance in the symphony’s Concert(210) series on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m., and all three are led by associate conductor Noam Aviel in her conducting debut at the college in an African-American History Month partnership that dates to the college’s 23-season San Antonio Symphony in Residence project (1988 to 2011). The bevy of public, private and home schools that have reserved seating for the Feb. 1 Young Person’s Concerts as of Jan. 24 includes Will Rogers Academy, St. Anthony Catholic, Scobee, Southwest, Heritage, Spicewood, Park and Sarah King elementary schools. The Feb. 2 partnership event marks the first time the symphony has been privileged to kick off the heritage month observance at the nation’s only college with federal Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institution designations, and with the college’s selected theme of migrations and globalism, programming for the entire 2019 season project includes works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Antonín Leopold Dvořák. The business and social consciousness reaches of England's Coleridge-Taylor were global and both coincide with the tenure of Saint and St. Philip’s College President Emeritus Artemisia Bowden at the 120-year-old college. In 1899, the year after Bowden herself migrated west in a steam locomotive to San Antonio in 1898 to become corporate leader of an emerging sewing school for the daughters of former slaves who themselves were migrating through Texas, Coleridge-Taylor first heard American spirituals sung by the legendary Fisk Jubilee singers on one of that HBCU’s fundraising tours. Coleridge-Taylor became interested in African-American folk song and began incorporating it into his compositions, to the keen interest of such parties in the United States as an American president. But the composer’s interest in America---and his appreciations for migration and globalism---were likely deeper. His physician father was a descendant of African-American slaves who escaped slavery to serve with the British in the Revolutionary War in southern slave states in return for passages to freedom and refuge in such countries as Mexico and Sierra Leone—yet another migration of global scope.
  • With her B.S. in Architecture from Prairie View A&M University and her M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from UTSA, Kimberly Hopkins is a native Houstonian who has lived in San Antonio since 2011 and makes her SPC art exhibition debut in February. She gives back in her capacities as a city planner at the City of San Antonio---the nation’s seventh largest city---and as owner of K.Hop Photography. While in college at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, Hopkins led as a student member of the American Institute of Architecture. While her photography explores and chronicles the poetic and lyrical nuances of daily life; city streets, people and public transportation are her visual language. Her passion for photography ignited when she picked up her first digital camera in architecture school, where she applied this passion by mixing her design influences to create her unique style. Hopkins believes every photo has a story behind it that allows viewers to see her outlook on everyday life. Hopkins says she has a specific passion for visual literacy, photo sequencing and the power her images have to inform and enrich one another. Each photograph is an independent moment. As a collection, a narrative is built, guided by emotion rather than linear time.
  • As the premier youth wind ensemble in San Antonio, the St. Philip’s College San Antonio Youth Wind Ensemble observes its ninth year in the 2019 season. From its home base in the college’s Watson Fine Arts Center at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive, the fully integrated performing arts program for young musicians between the ages of 12 to 20 years old is led by music director and conductor Roderick Leonard.
  • In the African-American History Month debut screening of the 2018 film Walk on the River-A Black History of the Alamo City, the filmmakers take the time to share and speak live at St. Philip’s College about both the history and the contributions African Americans have made to the fabric of San Antonio from emancipation to the present time. In their St. Philip’s College debut, producer Baba Aundar Ma’at (a U.S. Air Force veteran) and director Born Logic Allah co-chronicle the path of freed Blacks establishing communities, churches and schools in the 1800’s to thriving Black owned businesses that flourished during the Jim Crow era. The audience will join in conversation on religion, politics, education, social organizations and community all in an attempt to paint a vivid picture of life for Black San Antonian’s in the past to help create a knowledge base, a sense of pride and a blueprint for the next generations moving forward. Be prepared to see St. Philip’s College represented well in the film, and to learn about the film’s self-financing business model.
  • An event where all begin the process of healing and reconciliation by truly listening to those most impacted invites all to share their story as the 2019 Truth & Reconciliation Oral History Project makes its St. Philip’s College host site debut. Student-conducted interviews will document experiences of racial discrimination faced by loved ones of color and much more. In this effort to heal society from the effects of racial discord in America, a record is kept where all can expose and hear the experiences of those who have suffered.
  • The Soul Food Taste at St. Philip’s College is the signature closing event for the African-American Heritage Month Celebration at the college. Students at the college’s Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts create the event that San Antonio’s soul foodies belove most---a traditional soul food taste that includes everyone’s favorite comfort foods. The event is the only paid event on the schedule, and tickets for this event can only be purchased online.
  • In addition to the formal season, groups are welcome to visit the 2019 event anchor piece and the 2019 featured collections of two honorary alumna: The Honorable Ruth Jones McClendon (public service) and The Honorable Lila Cockrell (art) during regular hours in the college’s Center for Learning Resources, G. J. Sutton Learning Center and Turbon Student Center buildings. Group appointments can be made online throughout the year through the college tour program at https://www.alamo.edu/spc/about-spc/our-college/tours/. A mural created during the 2018 NAACP National Convention in San Antonio for display during voting awareness events at St. Philip's College’s Turbon Student Center will help prospective voters brush up on unity and diversity this spring. The mural artist is Yocelyn Riojas and her African-American Heritage Month debut project at the college as an artist-in-residence at the Austin-based organization Jolt Texas is themed Diversity is Resistance. The pre-and-post viewing experience of Diversity is Resistance can be enhanced by viewing the artist's work online, and thinking about diversity and voting in new, personal ways. The signature work of Riojas is an event anchor piece that will also provide inspiration during both the Walk on the River and the Truth and Reconciliation Oral History Project debut events.

All events are open to the public, and parking is free for all events. For information, contact observance team lead Dr. Sharon Crockett-Ray at 210-486-2887. (Image courtesy Library of Congress)