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Individuals with Visual and Intellectual Disabilities Create and ‘See’ Touchable Art in New Class

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Do not touch’ is a common mantra in art galleries, exhibitions and museums. Viewers are asked to observe compositions, textures, colors, brushstrokes, carvings, materials and castings. Individuals who are blind, have visual impairments or other disabilities that require a tactile, sensory experience are often deprived understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of art.

The Carver Community Cultural Center intends to change that with a new Saturday art class for these individuals, in collaboration with San Antonio’s annual interactive art show The Color of Blind and its creator Trina Bacon.

The new four-week class, Ceramics for the Visually Impaired, is designed exclusively for individuals with visual impairments and individuals with intellectual disabilities, ages 10 and older, who are able to function independently without the assistance of a caregiver (excluding transportation needs).

Instructors Trina Bacon and Laura Salazar will offer students an understanding of art and color through touch, technique and association by working with clay, paints and glazes to produce electric kiln-fired projects. Additionally, class participants will be invited to show and sell their work at the next iteration of The Color of Blind, to be exhibited at The Carver in September 2019.

Each class session will occur from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Carver’s ADA-compliant art studio, 215 N. Hackberry, 78202, beginning Saturday, October 20. The cost is just $10, which includes all supplies and four weeks of instruction. Online enrollment is available until Friday, October 19.

For more information or enrollment assistance, contact Andrew Gordon, education coordinator, at 210-207-2719 or email andrew.gordon@sanantonio.gov. To request disability related accommodations a minimum of 48 hours in advance of the program, contact Relay Texas by calling 7-1-1.

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Black Worship VIII Show Recording

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Air Conditioning on the Way for Vulnerable Residents

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A needed step was taken today to improve the dignity and quality of life of some of San Antonio’s most vulnerable residents.

The City Council’s Comprehensive Plan Committee recently approved a funding recommendation to install air conditioning in over 2,500 public housing units on San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) properties that don’t have them.

“Some of these SAHA housing units were built in the 1930s,” said District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, chair of the Comprehensive Plan Committee. “Two thousand, five hundred families in our city including children and the elderly have lived through scorching summers without air conditioning for generations because their housing is old – that needs to change.”

The recommendation, which is pending the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regulatory approval and will be sent to the full City Council for final approval, is to allocate $500,000 in CDBG funds that will be leveraged with private and non-profit funding to purchase and install air conditioning units at 22 SAHA facilities. The City’s CDBG funds will be matched by SAHA in the same amount of $500,000.

SAHA will work on a short deadline in order to install the air conditioners before the summer. If approved by Council, purchasing will begin in March and April with installation finished by the summer months.

According to San Antonio Housing Authority CEO David Nisivoccia, one-third of the residents of the public housing units that need air conditioning are elderly and disabled. Those units will be prioritized, followed by families with children.

State Representative Diego Bernal attended the Committee meeting to thank the members for their approval and commented that all concerned were racing against the summer to get the project going.

“This will help the most vulnerable in our City,” Councilwoman Gonzales said. “Public housing should not reflect a community’s poverty.”

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Sharing Stories of Racial Discrimination

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San Antonio residents of color are invited to share personal stories of racial discrimination for the third annual HBCU Oral History Project, hosted at St. Philip’s College Feb. 15-17, from 9 AM to 5 PM in the Sutton Learning Center, 1801 Martin Luther King Dr.

The HBCU Truth & Reconciliation Oral History Project is an endeavor that uses the power of spoken and documented words to heal and create spiritual and social change. These stories and, the related research, will be used to inform policy changes within the political environment and spiritual changes from a grassroots and common person’s perspective.

Under the direction of Rev. Steve Miller, the Project’s founder, digitized oral history accounts will be gathered by the HBCU academy which includes; Huston-Tillotson University, Jarvis Christian College and Southwestern Christian College. Participating partner universities include, Austin Presbyterian, Baylor University and TCU.

Miller’s work has resulted in federal civil rights investigations by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the United States Department of Justice’s Community Services Division, primarily, within the Texas educational system. His work has brought increased equity to hiring processes, enlarged job opportunities, and fostered greater understanding of institutional partiality through education.

Miller has coordinated and won legal actions at the federal court level and has been the stimulus of rewrites of discipline policies, whose ends resulted in fewer minorities being exposed to and caught in the educational system’s disciplinary apparatus, which correlates highly with elevated juvenile justice and mass incarceration rates.

For more information, contact St. Philip’s Director of Student Success Dr. Angela McPherson Williams at (210) 486-2090, awilliams284@alamo.edu or Project Founder and Director Rev. Steve Miller at (713) 557-6520 – (512) 404-4800, stevemiller@usclo.com

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