Although San Antonio’s 2018 Tricentennial celebration is nearly two years away, planning efforts and partnerships are already underway, as such a historic event calls for detailed logistics as well as holistic programming that tells the city’s history in a complete and multi-faceted way.
Tuesday morning, more than 150 community leaders and organization representatives convened on the second floor of Centro de Artes, where the Tricentennial Commission’s offices are located, to listen to the announcement of official community partners that will participate in the year-long historic festivities.
“San Antonio is a national treasure … we are a modern, progressive, and cosmopolitan city, ” said Tricentennial Commission President Robert Thrailkill.” In the first week of May, for Commemorative Week (May 1-6), there will be daily events and celebrations for our 300th anniversary – from international celebrations to military commemorations to civic engagement. We’ll celebrate our city in a big way.”
Other individuals and organizations are invited to celebrate the Tricentennial in their own ways, but those wishing to be listed on the official Tricentennial event calendar as a partner must apply. The commission is still accepting partner applications until Nov. 1. Those interested can apply online, here.
Below is a list of the official Tricentennial partners announced Tuesday.
Tricentennial Community Partners
- San Antonio Living History Association
- Valero Alamo Bowl
- National Hispanic Institute at San Antonio
- San Antonio Parks Foundation
- Mari Tamez
- NAACP San Antonio Branch
- U.S. Army All American Bowl
- San Antonio Polo Club
- Women’s Energy Network South Texas Chapter
- UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
- Earn a Bike Co-op
- Fiesta San Antonio Commission
- Witte Museum
- Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy
- Daughters of the Republic of Texas – Alamo Mission Chapter
- Los Padres Prostate Cancer Charity
- Tehuan Band of Mission Indians
- Alamo Defenders Descendants Association
- The Pink Ring Club
- International Society for Historical Linguists, UTSA
- Sam’s Covers
- Piazza Di Colombo
- Palo Alto College
- Daughters of the Republic Texas – Alamo Couriers Chapter
- Alpha Home Inc.
- Opera San Antonio
- The San Antonio Choral Society
- Linda Pace Foundation
- Heart of Texas Concert Band
- Marisol Deluna Foundation
- Ole Flamenco Studios
- Musical Bridges Around the World
- Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
- Friedburg/Ran Duo
- SW ISD Fine Arts Department
- San Antonio Symphonic Band
- San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department
- Bill Fitzgibbons
- Children’s Ballet San Antonio
- San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet and Youth Orchestra of San Antonio (YOSA)
“The Tricentennial has many facets that tell San Antonio’s story, and it is both an opportunity and an honor to bring everything together for our community in a way that both commemorates and celebrates who we are,” said Tricentennial CEO Edward Benavides. “San Antonio is only as strong as our community of partnerships.”
Selected organizations align with the guiding principles of the Tricentennial Commission, Benavides added, which include having a positive and lasting impact on the community and showcasing San Antonio’s diversity, inclusiveness, and authenticity.
“Your organizations reflect the rich diversity of our community,” he said. “You truly are the ties that bind our city together and your activities will help shape 2018 and bring to light who we are as a community.”
Thrailkill said the celebrations will focus on three pillars or overarching themes: history and education, arts and culture, and community service. After announcing the selected partners, the Tricentennial Commission shared a video highlighting the key initiatives of the 2018 celebrations.
Several community partners are still in early planning stages when it comes to their specific involvement or performances for the Tricentennial celebrations, but others had a general idea of what they will be sharing with the community come 2018.
“(As a partner), we are going to be presenting a classical masterpiece that represents the rodeo, Fiesta, and the Hispanic heritage that we feel are major elements in the culture of San Antonio,” said Children’s Ballet of San Antonio Artistic Director Vanessa Bessler. “We are trying to help develop the arts in San Antonio so it can be recognized as an artistic town, and we work with children who are very high-skilled, and a lot of them have won awards and have recognitions in major competitions. We are developing these young dancers as a gem; we want them to be the gem of San Antonio, where the dancers can make the bridge from the educational world to the professional world.”
Opera San Antonio (Opera SA) General and Artistic Director Enrique Carreón-Robledo told the Rivard Report that as a community partner for the Tricentennial, the organization will produce opera at the highest artistic level during the May 2018 celebrations, and will make a point to include everyone in the community so they can be a part of the experience.
For the city’s 300th anniversary, Opera SA will put on a production called “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna,” a spectacle that was conceived mainly by the musical standpoint of Mariachi Vargas de Tecatitlán, Carreón-Robledo said. The show was originally created for Houston Grand Opera in 2010, but both organizations will be working on a collaboration so it can be a part of San Antonio’s Tricentennial celebrations.
“We are going to do a production that will be attractive for many different sectors of the population. We consider ourselves not only a company directed to opera lovers, we are a quintessential part of the cultural landmark of San Antonio,” Carreón-Robledo said. “San Antonio is an incredibly diverse city and there are many cities in the U.S. that have great diversity in every sense of the word, but San Antonio accompanies that diversity with inclusiveness and that is what we are trying to do.”
The excitement at Centro de Artes was palpable Tuesday – event partners mingled, arts representatives shared ideas, and Tricentennial Commission members explained the implications of such a grand event that will celebrate San Antonio’s unique, vibrant culture and history that has made the city what it is today.
Top image: Dancers from The Children’s Ballet of San Antonio wait for the presentation to start. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone.