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How Southwest School of Art is hoping to keep San Antonio culture alive amid pandemic, Fiesta delay

‘San Antonio is the heart of culture in Texas... and we only will miss it when it’s gone'

SAN ANTONIO – The Southwest School of Art is the only independent college of art in Texas. Around this time, during what would typically be Fiesta, the nonprofit brings in more than 100 talented artists from across the continent to showcase during their Fiesta arts fair.

Paula Owen is the president of the school and says they are currently anticipating a $2 million deficit by the end of their fiscal year.

The school’s Fiesta arts fair is one of their most popular, bringing in 12,000 art lovers and more than $150,000 for the school through ticket and art sales, Owen said.

At the fair, their main goal is to reach new audiences, get the artists some exposure and promote their classes and programs. Though the event has been pushed back to November and students had to finish their semester in a virtual classroom, Owen hopes people remember arts and culture as a piece of what makes San Antonio special.

“It will help us if people can advocate for arts and culture, that they can recognize the part that arts and culture play in the cultural and economic vibrancy of San Antonio. I think of San Antonio as the heart of culture in Texas, and I think many people would agree with that, but they don’t really stop to think about it. And we only will miss it when it’s gone. So advocacy is definitely one of the things people can do for us,” Owen explained.

Like other organizations right now, Owen says the school has lots of other missing revenue streams that they would normally get from renting their campus for weddings and events.

“We know that health and human services, basic human needs are really vital and at the top of our list. But we hope that those people who value arts and culture will distribute a little bit of their contributions to us, even though they have a lot of competing objectives right now,” said Owen.

Find out more about about how to help Southwest School of Art on their website.


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