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Luminaria Set To Rise In The East

Credit Jack Morgan
Alan Warrick

Musicians welcomed several dozen artists and media to the Carver Cultural Center where details were revealed about the city's next celebration of the arts called Luminaria. City Councilman Alan Warrick was the first to speak, and he cited the gathering's distinctly party vibe.

"Usually a press conferences is just that--a press conference but this is like a party," he said. 

Warrick  was speaking because Luminaria is crossing I-37 for the first time and will be in his district on the East Side.

Luminaria Executive Director Kathy Armstrong describes the art event as magical.

"It creates a city within a city where you might be coming because you learn about one musician that you follow," she said. "But when you get there you will be amazed by the other arts that you will see." She paused. "It is one of the most exciting events in San Antonio!"

Luminaria starts Wednesday, Nov. 9, with a mural unveiling at the Nolan Street underpass and other artworks on Cherry Street. Then on Thursday night, Armstrong says, it's all about the Hays Street Bridge.

"The entire top level of the bridge will be activated with the musical arts and visual arts and performance," she says. "And then on Friday night we will have a very active festival with two main plots: one at the parks and one at the Carver."

The biggest of the mostly free events are on Friday and Saturday nights. Entertainer and artist Jesse Borrego is one of the many artists and musicians who will be performing.

"I'm doing an event called Los Tres Artistas, the Three Artists. And it's Oscar Alvarado, [and] Jacinto Guevara, and Oscar created this moving bike stage that's going to move all over the landscape. I'm going to be performing--acting, singing, dancing on top of it, and Jacinto's going to be on there painting all the things that he sees," Borrego says. "It's going to be a crazy thing, man!"

Several speakers spoke and the day was perhaps stolen by DaRell Pittman, who performed a poem about a childhood friend, that left many with tears in their eyes. Palpable enthusiasm was everywhere, but best expressed by Borrego.

"Luminaria is illuminating the best in life, which is art," he said.

Find more on Luminaria here.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii