2015 Arts and Culture Year in Review

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Ballet San Antonio, now 30, will now be lead by Willy Shives. - Courtesy
Ballet San Antonio, now 30, will now be lead by Willy Shives.

Ballet San Antonio Turns 30, Artistic Director Leaves • When both Executive Director Courtney Mauro Barker and Artistic Director Gabriel Zertuche called it quits in August, Ballet San Antonio was left in a state of uncertainty, despite a new home at the Tobin Center and the celebration of its 30th year. The talented duo raised Ballet SA’s profile over their tenure since 2012 and some feared a regression would follow their departure.

New Artistic Director Willy Shives, a ballet master and native Texan who comes back to us after years of experience with Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet, had this to say on the matter: “I feel I have so much to offer the company and the timing of this appointment couldn’t have been better. The dancers are hungry for strong leadership, and I have no question in my mind that I can take them to the next level.”

Anjali Gupta Takes the Torch from Hills Snyder at Sala Diaz • Sala Diaz has been an important player in both the exhibition and creation of contemporary art in San Antonio since its founding in 1995. This year, after nearly 20 years as its Artistic Director, San Anto renaissance man Hills Snyder officially turned over operations to Anjali Gupta, who has been running the Casa Chuck residency program at Sala Diaz since 2013. While she will begin 2016 by finishing out Snyder’s programming, we can expect her own stamp on things to become apparent by next fall.

Hot Wells Designated as a Protected Site • Recent coal spill notwithstanding, San Antonio’s Hot Wells — the warm, sulfurous springs near the Edwards Aquifer’s saline/fresh water interface on the city’s Southeast side — won quite a victory this October, when Bexar County officially agreed to take over the property and transform it into an educational park. Following a history laden with mishaps and long sitting in various states of abandonment, Hot Wells’ future in the county’s hands seems bright and bubbly (pun intended).

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