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Cultural Vibrancy: A Conversation About The Future of Arts & Culture In San Antonio

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A city’s culture is its life and soul. A city’s culture is its story. But the pandemic drastically impacted the viability of creative industries and overall cultural vibrancy in cities around the world, including San Antonio.

Lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19 resulted in closures or curtailed operations at museums, art galleries, theaters, music venues, restaurants and historical sites; caused the cancellation of local cultural events; and prevented in-person arts education and other hands-on experiences.

Lost jobs and other economic uncertainties meant less discretionary income for outings and experiences, and a devastating dip in cultural tourism, which in turn jeopardize the livelihoods of artists, cultural institutions and organizations, and individuals working in San Antonio’s arts and culture and hospitality sectors.

How can we help culture get back on its feet post-pandemic? Why is doing so important for both economic and social recovery in San Antonio? In rebuilding, how can we better preserve and invest in San Antonio’s cultural identity?


  • Cassandra Parker-Nowicki, director of the Carver Community Cultural Center
  • Ben Tremillo, executive director of San Anto Cultural Arts
  • Elaine Ayala, Metro columnist for the San Antonio Express-News

Vital Conversations is a series of community conversations centered on the San Antonio Area Foundation’s four impact areas: Livable & Resilient Communities, Youth Success, Successful Aging, and Cultural Vibrancy. This program is made possible through a collaboration between Texas Public Radio and The John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation, a Fund of The San Antonio Area Foundation.

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Thursday, January 28.

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