No News is Bad News. Join the SA Current Press Club.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire 

On March 17, longtime ARTS San Antonio Executive Director and President Frank Villani will cross the funding aisle to the City's Office of Cultural Affairs, where he'll take over an expanded version of the role previously filled by Ernesto Rubio, who retired February 29.

Rubio's official title was executive assistant, but his job duties grew along with the city's arts scene, and in recent years, its arts funding. Villani's title will be Cultural Affairs Manager, and his job description includes overseeing the often contentious arts funding program. Villani says his experience as a recipient of City cultural funds, and as a member of the Cultural Alliance, will help him strengthen and improve the public funding system, which distributes HOT tax proceeds to local cultural organizations using peer-panel ratings and City-staff reviews in a process overseen by the Cultural Affairs Board.

"I think when you look at any type of funding process, you always have to have the process evolve," Villani said of OCA's system, which recently was overhauled. "I think that's what everyone wants, is a level playing field."

"It's a definite asset, someone who's been in the community the past 20 years," said OCA Director Felix Padron. "The learning curve will be diminished" because Villani already knows the players and dynamics that make up the scene. They share a common vision for the arts-funding process, Padron added.

ARTS San Antonio, which presents a season of diverse programming ranging from dance to theater to live music, has just begun the search process to replace Villani, but Padron says he's not worried that OCA's gain will be ARTS loss: "What really maintains a good organization is their board."

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation