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Luminaria artists announced for next month's celebration in downtown San Antonio

Jack Morgan
Yadhira Lozano and Jesse Borrego announce artists

The city’s nighttime Contemporary Arts Festival Luminaria is about a month away, and the artists were celebrated at a press conference Tuesday at Hemisfair, the historic park in downtown San Antonio.

Dozens of artists and passers-by gathered for a short event on the main walkway through Hemisfair. Actor and performer Jesse Borrego summed up the feeling many of the artists in attendance had.

Jesse Borrego and Yadhira Lozano
Jack Morgan
Jesse Borrego and Yadhira Lozano

“Arte es vida! Art is Life! The expression of it, the sharing of it,” he said.

He’s celebrating the return this year of Luminaria, alongside Executive Director Yadhira Lozano, who made an announcement.

“We are announcing all of the featured artists for this year's Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival,” Lozano said.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

More than 45 artists were cited, including music and performance groups totaling upwards of 150 artists in the various disciplines. This year’s Luminaria refocuses a little bit more than usual on local artists.

“These are Texas artists, the majority are from San Antonio,” Lozano said. “Because of the pandemic, we wanted to support our local artists first, right? A lot of these artists are internationally known.”

Lozano says they’re not using all of the Hemisfair footprint for Luminaria — it’s just a starting point.

Jack Morgan

“If you follow the path down the street to the main stage to Plaza Mexico, then you can go down into the grotto of (the) convention center and then you'll be right by the river barges all the way out towards Market Street to the Merida Plaza, will have another stage there,” she said.

Borrego noted that unlike some venues, these public events have a razor focus.

“Luminarias and events like it focus specifically on the artists, you know,” he said.

Borrego thinks artists and others have suffered here in the pandemic. Events like Luminaria honor them and provide a fountain for their emotions.

“It comes out in their expression and their art, in their music,” Borrego said. “This is our blues, man. Our arte is our blues. And so I think that it's important to be able to share that.”

Luminaria will light up downtown on Nov. 13 from 6 p.m. to midnight. Lozano said the free event is not to miss.

“The heart and soul of the San Antonio arts community is going to show up at Luminaria,” she said.

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