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JUNETEENTH FREEDOM DAY PROJECT

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ST. PHILIP’S COLLEGE INVITES ALL TO JOIN IN ITS FAMILY-FRIENDLY 2019 JUNETEENTH FREEDOM DAY PROJECT

SAN ANTONIO (May 22, 2019)–––As the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth Freedom Day is considered a special event project on the timeline of a college that was originated in 1898 for the daughters of former U.S. slaves.

All are welcome to join St. Philip’s College students as participants in the college’s 2019 Juneteenth Freedom Day project. The highlight of the SPC project involves marching with the college’s students in the local parade that celebrates the event—the Juneteenth Freedom Parade—June 15 at 10 a.m., beginning Sam Houston High School at 4635 E. Houston St., and ending at Comanche Park #2 at 2600 Rigsby Ave.

For details on the project, email jmartin139@alamo.edu or rguerrero@alamo.edu.

Juneteenth Freedom Day is a widely recognized celebration of the moment 154 years ago (June 19, 1865) when more than 200,000 enslaved persons in Texas found out that they were both free and independent from being considered as someone else’s property. One-hundred-fifty-three years is slightly more than half of San Antonio’s 301-year existence as a city, meaning Juneteenth—and slavery—and freedom—has more than a few deep roots in one of the nation’s largest states. 

The march is the signature element of the college’s engagement with the local organizers of the Juneteenth Parade. It began getting into early gear for the last two years when the parade organizers ran into a few issues scheduling the parade close to the actual date of Juneteenth.

When the nation’s first Juneteenth parade of the 2018 season took place June 2 in San Antonio, rather than the projected June 16 date, the college had two weeks to organize its 2018 participation early and appropriately. 

As in year’s past, the college’s 2019 Juneteenth project will be confirmed in coming weeks with at least a single day of family friendly activity and engagement, and the parade is once again announced to be aligned with the actual week that Juneteenth is observed nationwide.

Celebrations public and private began once the final reading of the proclamation on the ending of slavery in the United States occurred in Galveston have enjoyed continuity in North America, for freedom from living as property in legal and commercialized concentration camp-like conditions in a country where freedom is foremost is worth celebrating. Descendants of the enslaved in other parts of the Western Hemisphere where slavery thrived or was frowned upon commemorate similar human events with exhibitions or Juneteenth-like events for the intellect—and for human unity in avoiding such atrocities of the past.

A co-organizer of the 2018 project, Paul Lede is the college’s coordinator of student success.

“We all wore our college anniversary shirts and were waving out the window and honking the horn in our van when the students inside the van decided to get their Juneteenth Freedom Day message closer to the people. Most people in the parade were in cars, and once we got halfway there in vans our students decorated by hand, the students said, ‘We want to walk,’ explained Lede. “After they got out of the vans, our students gave kids beads as they walked in front of the Sam Houston High School Band, and our contingent included Collegiate 100 chapter, honor society and student government members. The students were creative. They took time to decorate our van with beads, ribbons and banners in our college blue and white colors, so people knew it was us,” said Lede.

The college will welcome all to join its contingent in the 2019 Juneteenth Freedom Parade lineup June 15. For full details on the college’s observance to include partnering in or scaling up college participation, service and excellence, contact college Juneteenth Freedom Day program co-chairs John Martin(director of student conduct and Title IX programs) at jmartin139@alamo.edu and Ruben Guerrero (senior multimedia specialist) at rguerrero@alamo.edu.

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“Councilman Joe Webb Day” in SA

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The family of Joe Webb, Sr. received a Proclamation from the County and is inviting the community to come out to celebrate “Councilman Joe Webb Day” Sunday, September 18, 2022. There will be a balloon release in honor of his legacy and first year of his death. The celebration will take place at the Joe Webb Bridge at 2:00 p.m.

Former City Councilman Joe Webb was a man of firsts. He was the first African American Manager of an HEB store; he managed Store #7 on New Braunfels Ave. for many years and then worked his way up to Store Director for different areas within the city of San Antonio. Webb eventually opened up his own full-service store called WebbWay on the city’s Eastside. Webb was also the longest serving councilman for District 2. He was elected in 1977 and served in that position until 1991.

At the age of 86, Joe Webb, Sr. passed last year following complications from kidney failure. Webb was a pastor and a devote servant of the Lord. For those who didn’t know him he was also known for his melodious baritone voice.

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Community

The 39th Annual Jazz’SAlive

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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – The City of San Antonio’s Official Jazz Music Festival is ensuring Jazz Is Alive in San Antonio! The San Antonio Parks Foundation, in partnership with The City of San Antonio and Michelob Ultra, present the 39th Annual Jazz’SAlive Festival on September 23 and 24 in downtown San Antonio. In addition to stages in historic Travis Park, for the second consecutive year, festival organizers will program a stage at Legacy Park. The San Antonio Parks Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) organization providing improvements to parks and the park experience to the area’s 250+ parks and over 150 miles of walking and biking trails.

Jazz’SAlive General Admission is free, all ages, and open to the public! No outside food or beverage is allowed. Tickets are available for premium seating and VIP areas.

Jazz’SAlive offers a limited number of premium Patron Seats at the main stage for those who want to upgrade their viewing experience and leave the lawn chairs at home. Patron Seats are sold as single-day tickets. Fans who wish to have a Patron Seat on both Friday and Saturday will need to purchase a ticket for each day. Each ticket includes 1 priority seat the main stage in Travis Park with access to a cash bar and cocktail service.

For more information visit https://saparksfoundation.org/event/jazzsalive/,

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Art

Introducing Labor Plaza – A Public Art Tribute to the Labor Movement in San Antonio

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DOWNTOWN PLAZA FEATURES SCULPTURES, POETRY AND VISUAL ARTS THAT WILL EDUCATE AND INSPIRE VISITORS.

SAN ANTONIO (September 2, 2022) – The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture invites the community to visit the newly completed Labor Plaza, which highlights the contributions of the labor movement and labor leaders in San Antonio and the United States. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg will be on-site for the official ribbon cutting ceremony which will be held on Monday, September 5, 2022 at 11:45 a.m.

Located in the River Walk Public Art Garden on Market Street across from the Henry B. González Convention Center, Labor Plaza is located in a space that was originally home to a sculpture of labor leader Samuel Gompers, created in 1982 by Betty Jean Alden. Due to irreparable structural damage caused by time and weather elements, the sculpture had to be decommissioned and deinstalled. The Department of Arts & Culture collaborated with American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) on a contemporary way to replace the sculpture and continue to recognize labor, civil rights and social justice in San Antonio in the space.

“Labor Plaza is a tribute to the contributions and sacrifices of labor leaders throughout the history of San Antonio,” said Department of Arts & Culture Executive Director Krystal Jones. “We hope that the community will find this space to be engaging, inspiring and educational as we commemorate the labor movement from the past to the present.”

Visitors to Labor Plaza will find etchings and visual artworks embedded throughout the plaza including a poem titled So that Our Crossing May Never be Obstructed and five artworks by Octavio Quintanilla, San Antonio Poet Laureate 2018 – 2020; an excerpt from labor anthem Solidarity Forever written by Ralph Chaplin in 1915; and biography etchings recognizing eight notable San Antonio labor figures. Influential leaders, who are honored at the space, include Emma Tenayuca, Hank Brown, Rebecca Flores, Joan Suarez, Robert Thompson, Linda Chavez-Thompson, Mario Marcel Salas, Samuel Gompers and Shelley Potter.

In addition, a sculptural series titled I Remember Everything by Washington-based artist Ries Niemi is installed within the plaza. The Department of Arts & Culture worked with San Antonio landscape architect firm Terra Design Group to craft the layout of the space to inspire learning and reflection on labor in San Antonio.

Linda Chavez-Thompson was the first Hispanic woman to serve as an Executive Board member of the National AFL-CIO in 1993 and then elected to a newly created position of Executive Vice-President of the National AFL-CIO in 1995. She served in office thru 2007, when she retired and came back home to San Antonio.  “We are grateful to the City of San Antonio for recognizing the hard-fought efforts and accomplishments of the local labor movement through this beautiful Labor Plaza,” said Chavez-Thompson. “Personally, it is an honor to be included alongside such influential labor leaders, who have all had a tremendous impact on the labor movement so that working people today have better wages and working condition and workers’ rights.” 

Labor Plaza is part of the River Walk Public Art Garden, which functions as an outdoor public art exhibition featuring works from San Antonio and international artists. Some artworks by San Antonio artists also featured here include  “Bloom” by Leticia Huerta, “Green Spaces at Market Street” by Cade Bradshaw and Ashley Mireles, “Spheres of Reflection” by Kaldric Dow and “Najo Jām” by Carlos Cortés and Doroteo Garza.

For more information about Labor Plaza, the River Walk Public Art Garden and the Department of Arts & Culture’s Public Art Program, visit SanAntonio.gov/arts or follow the Department of Arts & Culture on social media at @GetCreativeSA.

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