The arts in San Antonio always seem to be a good subject of conversation. As well they should, especially in a city that boasts of such a diversified demographic of ethnic cultures and economic realities. It takes talented leaders and creative directors that ultimately dictate the pulse of a city’s arts collaborative. They are required to produce with impossible funding scenarios, scrutinized when things go bad and rarely celebrated when reaching goals. Arts organizations need the constant support of business leaders, city government and volunteers willing to give of themselves for the betterment of the vision of the city.
Our city is in the middle of an exciting cultural renaissance. In the past 25 years, there has never been such a unity of arts groups and a wealth of local artists. One only has to travel into the Blue Star and South Town district to witness the vibrancy of some of the best visual artists anywhere. Just five years past, the local theater scene was in very amateur status, with only a few theater groups producing licensed shows.
Let’s hope that the owners of Blue Star will not forsake the very treasures that made the location into a retail success. Today, the theater scene is growing not only in number of theaters, but more importantly, in quality and diversity of production. The Playhouse, Woodlawn Theatre and Overtime Theatre all are producing on a level of quality that would rival any city’s theater community. Each theater offers a diverse selection of Broadway standards and contemporary works.
Recently, local performers have grown in artistry and professionalism, with many having attended magnet schools like NESA and local university music programs. The classical arts are firmly represented by the San Antonio Symphony, under superb artistic direction of conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing. While the excitement for the much anticipated opening of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts continues to grow, the incredible leadership of the center is still raising the very last bit of the 203M needed to build it and fund an operational endowment.
The Center is on schedule to open in September 2014.