“Cenobio Hernandez, Westside Composer”
The inaugural segment of Hidden Histories features the life and work of Cenobio Hernandez, a local composer in the 1920s and 30s who wrote music for silent films, which screened on the Westside of San Antonio at the Palace and Nacional theaters. A trove of his music was recently found by his grandson, Ricky Hernandez, who produced the album Recuerdos: Musica para Piano por Cenobio Hernandez, and who hosts and facilitates a discussion of his grandfather’s work.
“Hemisfair ’68: A Stamp in Time”
Just in time for the 50th anniversary of Hemisfair ’68, March’s episode of Hidden Histories will recall the 1968 World’s Fair from the perspective of its youth workers. Curator Becky Barrera, Advisory board member for the Institute of Texan Cultures and former Hemisfair ’68 VIP Guide, will moderate a roundtable discussion with several former employees of the fair who were in high school or college at the time about the lasting impact of Hemisfair on the course of their lives, as well as on San Antonio’s history and sense of cultural identity.
“Fiesta Noche del Rio: A Community History”
Since 1957, Fiesta Noche del Rio has been an annual showcase of regional culture, celebrating the Mexican, Tejano, Latin American, and Spanish dance and musical traditions that make up San Antonio’s cultural landscape. Produced by the Alamo Kiwanis Club as a charity event for children’s organizations and held each year on the Riverwalk at the Arneson River Theater, Fiesta Noche del Rio archives a rich community history of the many working musicians and dancers who have performed over the decades–not least Rosita Fernandez, San Antonio’ “First Lady of Song,” who helped spearhead the event as a venue through which to showcase local talent. Curated by members of the Alamo Kiwanis Club, May’s episode explores the contributions of these artists, their intersection with the making of the modern Riverwalk, and the long term community impact of the event.
“El Ojo del Agua: Sacred Springs, Sacred Stories”
On Monday, June 4th, URBAN-15’s Hidden Histories series returns with a focus on San Antonio’s sacred headwaters—in particular the stories, poems, songs, and other artistic expressions the springs have inspired for millennia among diverse peoples. Facilitated by Sister Martha Ann Kirk of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, this discussion will premiere video of URBAN-15’s performance at the Blue Hole for last year’s Global Water Dances and feature conversation with Isaac Cardenas, Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan elder and others.
“Hidden Houses: Neighborhood Histories of Removal and Resistance”
Like many cities around the world, San Antonio is a city paradoxically founded on removals, erasures, and writings over, beginning with the displacement of Indigenous languages and lifeways to more contemporary histories of Urban Renewal and downtown redevelopment. Curated by Marisol Cortez, Ph.D. of Deceleration, “Hidden Houses” examines key moments in San Antonio’s history of removing homes and entire neighborhoods from view, as well as the resistance to these removals on the part of residents. As recalled via the photos, words, and memories that remain of these places, this episode considers the disappearances that continue to haunt both the contemporary urban landscape and our collective memory as a city.