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San Antonio's Luminaria Names New Executive Director

Siyon Jin

The citywide nighttime contemporary Arts Festival called Luminaria now has a new director, Yadhira Lozano. Her participation in the arts goes way back.

“My brother and I were in the Harlandale Mariachi in the ’80s. Art and culture has always been part of my life. That's been part of my career, and it's just something that I've always loved to do,” she said.

Lozano graduated college in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, then worked at a series of different arts organizations, capped by her time as Public Relations Director at LA’s Autry Museum of the American West.

“That was just almost a decade's worth of immersion in the arts and culture, meeting all types of people from all walks of life and learning about our shared history,” Lozano said.

Yadhira Lozano
Marielena Arocha
Yadhira Lozano

She moved back to San Antonio in 2013 when she helped launch the Briscoe Western Art Museum, then Directed Conjunto Heritage Taller. After that, she worked for two years at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Centercoordinating the Tejano Conjunto Festival.

“I’m just super excited to be taking on this next chapter,” Lozano said.

She said that while Luminaria is known for its incredible art, it’s also an economic driver to bring people to the city.

“They're coming here because we had the best mariachis. We have the best ballet folklóricos,” Lozano said. “But we also have this super vibrant and energetic contemporary arts community. And the more that we showcase that, the more tourism we attract.”

This year’s Luminaria was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she’s hoping next November’s Hemisfair event will be back to normal.

“If we can do this safely in person, then that is the goal. If we have to go online, we'll go online,” she said. “If we can do a mix of both, that would be ideal.”

In either case, she and Luminaria have another 11 months to determine the best way forward.

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