December 31, 2015

The 20 Most Captivating People in San Antonio This Year

In a city of over 1.4 million people, picking out 20 for pretty much anything is a tall task. But that’s what we’ve done for the San Antonio Current’s first-ever People Issue — selected 20 folks doing captivating work in the Alamo City. Getting down to 20 made for some tough choices. But we think our final list — which includes artists and activists, a chef and a Spur — represents the diverse makeup of the city itself. Some of them inspire us, some entertain, some make the city go. All of them help make San Antonio what it is.
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The 20 Most Captivating People in San Antonio This Year
Spot Barnett
Saxophonist and bandleader
We don't have Etta or Aretha. Nor do we have Jimi or Jackie. No Brother Ray, Otis or James. We can't claim Elvis, Chuck or Richard. We can't brag about B.B., Muddy or Wolf. We do, however, have Spot.
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Spot Barnett
Saxophonist and bandleader


We don't have Etta or Aretha. Nor do we have Jimi or Jackie. No Brother Ray, Otis or James. We can't claim Elvis, Chuck or Richard. We can't brag about B.B., Muddy or Wolf. We do, however, have Spot.

Read more.
Melanie Cawthon
Outreach & Development VP,
Reaching Maximum Independence
While recovering from a back injury and finding work through a temp agency, Melanie Cawthon discovered the world of nonprofit work. “I’d been in catering prior to that … and they placed me at nonprofit and ministry of the church I grew in,” Cawthon said.
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Melanie Cawthon
Outreach & Development VP,
Reaching Maximum Independence


While recovering from a back injury and finding work through a temp agency, Melanie Cawthon discovered the world of nonprofit work. “I’d been in catering prior to that … and they placed me at nonprofit and ministry of the church I grew in,” Cawthon said.

Read more.
Chuck Cureau
Master of Ceremonies,
San Antonio Spurs
If you’ve been to a Spurs game anytime over the last eight seasons, you’re probably familiar with Chuck Cureau. At a svelte 6-foot-2-inches with a self-described “light bulb-shaped bald head,” the in-arena host for the Spurs leaves a lasting impression. A bundle of energy that embraces challenges, Cureau even filled in as the PA announcer for the team in his rookie season, despite knowing little about basketball.
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Chuck Cureau
Master of Ceremonies,
San Antonio Spurs


If you’ve been to a Spurs game anytime over the last eight seasons, you’re probably familiar with Chuck Cureau. At a svelte 6-foot-2-inches with a self-described “light bulb-shaped bald head,” the in-arena host for the Spurs leaves a lasting impression. A bundle of energy that embraces challenges, Cureau even filled in as the PA announcer for the team in his rookie season, despite knowing little about basketball.

Read more.
Alvaro Del Norte 
Accordionist and bandleader,
Piñata Protest 
If singer, songwriter, accordionist and norteño-punk wizard Alvaro Del Norte were going to be made into a fictional lotería card, he’d be El Chingón (colloquial Spanish for “all around badass with an angsty streak”). As ringleader of the nationally acclaimed norteño, mojado punk band Piñata Protest, Del Norte has proven a gifted songwriter, a cyclonic and riveting performer, and one hell of an intuitive accordionist.
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Alvaro Del Norte
Accordionist and bandleader,
Piñata Protest


If singer, songwriter, accordionist and norteño-punk wizard Alvaro Del Norte were going to be made into a fictional lotería card, he’d be El Chingón (colloquial Spanish for “all around badass with an angsty streak”). As ringleader of the nationally acclaimed norteño, mojado punk band Piñata Protest, Del Norte has proven a gifted songwriter, a cyclonic and riveting performer, and one hell of an intuitive accordionist.

Read more.
Elsa Fernandez
Owner,
Eye Candy Boutique 
Elsa Fernandez takes nothing for granted. After running her own pop-up shop for three months as part of the Center City Development & Operations Department’s effort known as OPEN Downtown Pop-Up Shops, she signed a lease to make her store, Eye Candy Boutique at 531 Navarro St., a permanent part of San Antonio.
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Elsa Fernandez
Owner,
Eye Candy Boutique


Elsa Fernandez takes nothing for granted. After running her own pop-up shop for three months as part of the Center City Development & Operations Department’s effort known as OPEN Downtown Pop-Up Shops, she signed a lease to make her store, Eye Candy Boutique at 531 Navarro St., a permanent part of San Antonio.

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Lorenzo Gomez 
CEO, 
Geekdom 
Lorenzo Gomez makes his gig sound more like a cruise director than a tech executive.
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Lorenzo Gomez
CEO,
Geekdom


Lorenzo Gomez makes his gig sound more like a cruise director than a tech executive.

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Anya Grokhovski 
Artistic Director, 
Musical Bridges Around the World  
Anya Grokhovski is an esteemed concert pianist, a musical educator and an important community advocate for the arts. Hailing from a family of professional musicians in Moscow, where she received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in piano performance and pedagogy from the Russian Academy of Music, Grokhovski taught music before coming to the U.S. in 1989. In a recent phone interview, speaking of her first impressions of America, Grokhovski said “[her] first trip to Walmart felt like [she] had arrived in Versailles.”
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Anya Grokhovski
Artistic Director,
Musical Bridges Around the World


Anya Grokhovski is an esteemed concert pianist, a musical educator and an important community advocate for the arts. Hailing from a family of professional musicians in Moscow, where she received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in piano performance and pedagogy from the Russian Academy of Music, Grokhovski taught music before coming to the U.S. in 1989. In a recent phone interview, speaking of her first impressions of America, Grokhovski said “[her] first trip to Walmart felt like [she] had arrived in Versailles.”

Read more.
Ken Little 
Artist and professor, 
University of Texas at San Antonio 
Around 1959, a 12-year-old Ken Little penned an essay called My Utopia, writing, “I want to be the most famous artist of the 20th century.  Now that may sound like some stage struck kid, but I am serious. The idea of becoming a run-of-the-mill commercial artist haunts me. I would rather not be an artist than be lost in the crowd.”
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Ken Little
Artist and professor,
University of Texas at San Antonio


Around 1959, a 12-year-old Ken Little penned an essay called My Utopia, writing, “I want to be the most famous artist of the 20th century. Now that may sound like some stage struck kid, but I am serious. The idea of becoming a run-of-the-mill commercial artist haunts me. I would rather not be an artist than be lost in the crowd.”

Read more.
Joey Lopez 
Professor,
University of the Incarnate Word  
Joey Lopez lived in Austin for a decade where he got firsthand experience in the tech world. “Even 80 miles away is a whole other world,” he said. “Young adults were treated as having just as much radical potential as anyone else.”
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Joey Lopez
Professor,
University of the Incarnate Word


Joey Lopez lived in Austin for a decade where he got firsthand experience in the tech world. “Even 80 miles away is a whole other world,” he said. “Young adults were treated as having just as much radical potential as anyone else.”

Read more.