© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fronteras: San Antonio's Unsung Heroes Of The West Side Honored In Virtual Exhibit

Ways To Subscribe
Graciela Sánchez — daughter of San Antonio neighborhood and education activist, Isabel Sánchez — is director of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, which is spearheading the Museo del Westside project. | Credit: William Luther / San Antonio Express-News
William Luther/San Antonio Express-News
Graciela Sánchez — daughter of San Antonio neighborhood and education activist, Isabel Sánchez — is director of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, which is spearheading the Museo del Westside project.

The historic Westside of San Antonio is a culturally-rich part of the city. It’s primarily Mexican-American and many of its residents live in poverty. Poverty doesn’t define the neighborhood, however.

The political power duo of Julián and Joaquin Castro was raised on the Westside. It’s celebrated in paintings and murals and even birthed its own musical genre, the “West Side Sound.”

Some of the neighborhood’s lesser known figures are getting their due in a virtual exhibit at the Museo del Westside — a museum that celebrates the community’s unique history, heritage and pride. The Museo is a project of the grassroots cultural organization, the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, and is currently in development at the historic Ruben's Ice House, located in the heart of San Antonio's Westside.

Esperanza’s director, Graciela Sánchez, explained the project is intended to uplift the perseverance of the Westside and foster a deeper appreciation of the neighborhood and its people.

Antonia Castañeda, professor of history emeritus at St. Mary’s University, said the Museo del Westside is a way to amplify the voices of the community and dispel negative stereotypes of West Side neighborhoods.
Antonia Castañeda, professor of history emeritus at St. Mary’s University, said the Museo del Westside is a way to amplify the voices of the community and dispel negative stereotypes of West Side neighborhoods.

“The story of the community, of the people who live, worked, played, suffered, danced and flourished,” said Sánchez, who is also a member of the Westside Preservation Alliance.

Specifically, the Museo’s “Women & Activism in the Westside” exhibit takes a focus on the women who marched, boycotted and rallied for social change.

Antonia Castañeda — professor of history emeritus at St. Mary’s University — said the exhibit came together from personal recounts of community members about the women that inspired them and will continue to expand with more submissions from the public.

If you know of a strong woman who could compliment the exhibit email museo@esperanzacenter.org, call 210-228-0201, or click the “Share Your Story” button at museodelwestside.org.

TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter at @terrazas_lauren