Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, TX

Celebrate one of the Southwest’s pioneer Chicano arts organizations.

SATX Guadalupe Dance 1

The outfits alone should convince you to stop by. | Photo by Richard Vasquez via GCAC

The Guadalupe Dance Company performing in brightly colored dresses.

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Every car needs an engine. Every pen needs ink. And every city needs a community-based cultural hub — ours is in the Westside.

Specifically, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center sits at the heart of SA’s Chicano, Latino, and Native American arts communities. Expect tons of events through the end of the year — so let’s get right into it.

How it started

Before the Arts Center had a center, it was a group of Chicano/a artists determined to shape the San Antonio cultural arts scene. The mission of the Performance Artists’ Nucleus (PAN) was to support artists seeking municipal funds for their work, “[realizing] that vital decisions were being made for Mexican-American and Latino communities without their input.

In 1980, PAN secured funding for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, a national model for multidisciplinary community organizations. The GCAC offers year-round programming + classes across six disciplines: dance, theater, visual arts, music, film, and literature. Plus, community events like the Tejano Conjunto in May and Cinefestival in July. And performances at Guadalupe Theater. And a Latino bookstore.

When we say “national model,” we mean national supermodel. Whatever your genre, you’ll find some reason to visit the GCAC in the next couple of months.

How it’s going

Now (the start of Hispanic Heritage Month) through the end of the year is the busy season at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Look forward to:

  • Las Damas: Art, Loterí y Poesía en el Westside | Sat., Sept. 17 | Author Xelena Gonzalez + illustrator Adriana Garcia showcase Where Wonder Grows, The Turquoise room, and Lotería Remedios for the Guadalupe Latino Bookstore Author Series.
  • Folklorico Dance in Chicano Communities | Fri, Oct. 7 | A free symposium will celebrate the history of folklorico dance. In the evening, travel to Guadalupe Theater for a narrated folklorico performance by the Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia Ballet Folklorico.
  • Celebrando Tradiciones | Sat., Oct. 8 | Experience styles of dance from across Mexico, including performances by Guadalupe Dance Company + Mariachi Azteca de América.
  • Día de la Raza with Viva mi Cultura | Wed., Oct. 12 | Celebrate Día de la Raza with a lecture + dance demonstration, and volunteer for a “mini” dance class on stage.

Plus, sign up for Fall Academy 2022 dance + music classes through Dec. 15.

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