Westside San Antonio | Texas Public Radio

Westside San Antonio

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

Students from underprivileged backgrounds don’t often get to spread their artistic wings in the classroom. There’s a studio in San Antonio’s Westside that’s actually paying young people “to make art all day.”


Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

Poor communities that have a rich cultural history often battle developers and city officials who may want to demolish structures to make way for improved public housing, parking lots or apartment buildings.

Sarah Zenaida Gould, co-chair of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, said good intentions aside, it’s not what’s best for the community.


Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

The West Side of San Antonio is predominantly poor and Hispanic, and has a reputation for being crime-ridden. But many of its residents wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Many of the West Side’s oldest residents have stories to tell, but historians normally don’t come knocking on their doors. Their stories are now compiled in “Still Here: Homenaje al Westside de San Antonio.


Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

Reyna grande means “grand queen” in English. But author and memoirist Reyna Grande hasn’t always felt like she’s gotten the royal treatment as an immigrant. She joins us to discuss her memoir “A Dream Called Home” (0:18). Then, we bring you a story about a West Side San Antonio housing project, highlighting the history of the Alazán-Apache Courts (15:11).


Alazán-Apache Courts was the first public housing project in San Antonio. It was built in 1941, after San Antonio priest Carmelo Tranchese lobbied Eleanor Roosevelt to create affordable housing in San Antonio’s impoverished, mostly Mexican-American West Side. 

The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center and the Westside Preservation Alliance have collaborated for the new exhibit “Los Courts.” It highlights the residents and culture that grew out of the projects.  


A new book for young adults reflects on the life of voting rights activist and West Side San Antonio native Willie Velasquez. Author Bárbara Renaud Gonzalez  (0:17) joins us to discuss her new novel. Then, a West Side San Antonio record shop spins the oldies and keeps neighborhood pride alive (15:57).