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San Antonio's Creative Economy and SA2020 

Last week, I attended the Creative Economy Luncheon, hosted by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs. Held at Pearl Stable, the luncheon was an unveiling of the 2011 Growth and Prosperity report by Dr. Steve Nivin, Chief Economist for the SABÉR Institute. Except for the colorful report brochure, I was bit disappointed at the lack of any artistic expression in the decor or program. But the overall message of the correlation between the creative industry and the health of San Antonio's economy managed to wriggle its way out.

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Mayor Julian Castro told us, “You cannot separate the arts from economic development--they go hand in hand.” As early as 1912, groups like the San Antonio Art League have understood that by creating a city which fosters art and culture, all sectors of its population will thrive.

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Toward the end of the program, Artistic/Executive Director of Say Sí Jon Hinojosa served on a discussion panel that included Elizabeth Fauerso, Gini Garcia, Luis Gallo, and was moderated by Daryl Byrd, CEO of SA2020. Hinojosa caught my attention when he credited the nonprofit sector as the "creative thread that runs through the community." Yes!

SA2020 is dreaming big for San Antonio. They hope to make San Antonio "a world leader as a creative community by the year 2020." William Butler Yeats once wrote, "in dreams begin responsibilities." What do you imagine our responsibilities might be in regard to the creative community? Gary Whitford from Extraordinary Words, answered by saying this was a "discussion of economic impact; a celebration of our cultural city and a warning that failure to gain private and public support will tarnish our gleam as we lose symphonies, operas, galleries and the education that births the next generation of artists." That might be why there were two PR/Marketing people on the panel. Because it is also our responsibility to sell this dream. Many thanks to Dennis M Ayotte, Jr., writer at large, who shared his photos with me. San Antonio activist and nonprofit veteran Laura Carter believes in enabling the community to work from the heart, not just the wallet. During her time at the San Antonio Area Foundation, Laura implemented new technology, managing website design and social media and content for all published materials. She is currently Communications Director at Providence Catholic School helping young women become Learners, Leaders, and Women of Faith and Justice.        

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January 26, 2022

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