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Carver’s Jo Long Passes



Some people leave such an indelible mark that their loss is a palpable absence for all who knew them. Jo Long Williams was one of them. In the days since her passing on Tuesday October 12, 2021 at the age of 71, so many individuals across so many different communities have paid tribute to her. While it is hard to find words to adequately honor someone whose life and legacy continues to have such far reaching impact, some that have been used most frequently this past week to describe her are visionary, legendary, beacon, generous, fierce advocate, force of nature, uncompromising, brilliant, activist, humble and so many more. 

The impact Jo Long Williams had in shaping the cultural landscape of our City and beyond cannot be overstated. Many have spoken of her visionary and transformative role as an arts administrator and advocate, of her supporting the early work and careers of so many artists, of bringing up a generation of cultural leaders and laying the framework for so many other cultural arts institutions to come into existence and thrive. Almost all have spoken of her fierce love of and commitment to community, representation, inclusion and equity. In the world of the arts, Jo Long is indeed legendary. However, this is just one aspect of her identity. She was also beloved by her family, circle of friends and faith community. Her life, legacy and loss are felt deeply by so many. 

Jo became the first executive director of the Carver Community Cultural Center in 1976…a position she remained in until 2000. Under her leadership throughout those two decades, the Carver Community Cultural Center became globally recognized as a leading cultural institution trademarked by Jo’s visionary multicultural programming and uncompromising commitment to equitable access for all. These hallmarks continue to be the guideposts by which the Carver carries on the work today.

Prior to coming to the Carver, Jo began her career at Southern Methodist University (where she had received her MFA in Music History) as founding director of the Community Center for the Arts Association from 1972 to 1976. Her legacy of service continued after her tenure at the Carver as well when she went on to serve as an administrator at the San Antonio College Christian Student Center.

She was preceded in death by parents, Samuel Aaron and Marie Thompson Long, grandmother Willie B. Williams and grandfather Clark Thompson. She is survived by husband Woodrow Williams and stepson Ryan, siblings Sammye Shelvin (Charles), June and Michael Long, niece Adrienne Scales (Brandon) and nephew Samuel Shelvin (Amber).

A memorial service in celebration of her life will be held in the theatre named in her honor at the Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N. Hackberry St., San Antonio, Texas 78202 on Saturday, October 30, 2021, at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Carver Community Cultural Center or Church of Christ Student Center. 

Memorial Service:     

Carver Community Cultural Center – Jo Long Theatre

226 N. Hackberry

San Antonio, Texas 78202

Saturday, October 30, 202111 AM


San Antonio Chooses New Poet Laureate




The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture officially appointed Nephtali De León as San Antonio’s new Poet Laureate. De León will serve as the City’s sixth Poet Laureate for a three-year term spanning April 1, 2023 – March 31, 2026.

About the Program

The duty of the Poet Laureate is to promote poetry and the literary arts in San Antonio and is tasked with developing innovative and inspiring public events and programs in conjunction with local organizations and the Department of Arts & Culture. The Poet Laureate also makes special appearances and attends various functions throughout their term. The Poet Laureate initiative has led to a greater appreciation and understanding of poetry and helped preserve and express our culture through the written and spoken word. San Antonio’s Poets Laureate have participated in over 750+ events, programs, projects throughout the city, state, the US and internationally during their terms burnishing our city’s reputation in the fields of arts, culture and education.

The concept of a Poet Laureate originated in England in the 1600s.The title Poet Laureate dates to the ancient Greeks and refers to the tradition of placing a laurel wreath or crown as recognition for significant achievements in literature or the arts. The United States Poet Laureate was established in 1937 and the State of Texas has appointed a Poet Laureate since 1932. In 2012, San Antonio was the first major Texas city to appoint a Poet Laureate. Each municipality establishes guidelines and criteria for the selection of its Poet Laureate and their duties. 

About De Leon

Nephtalí De León is a Chicano writer and artist known for his poetry, children’s stories, essays, paintings and sculptures. He was born in Laredo, Texas in 1945 as the son of migrant workers. Although neither of his parents received much formal education, Nephtalí has stated that they were responsible for first exposing him to literature. He published his first book— Chicanos: Our Background and Our Pride —in the early 1960s during his senior year of high school. He then expanded his work to include poetry and plays.

De León is also a visual artist who has worked in painting, sculpture, and mural art. His first children’s book I Will Catch the Sun received great praise. He has been published in Mexico, France, the U.S. and Spain with his stories being translated into several languages. He is also credited with illustrating most of his books. Currently, Nephtalí is a full-time poet, writer and painter who performs lectures and poetry at schools and community events.

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MAVP365 and Timothy Lister at The Carver Gallery




San Antonio multidisciplinary artist Maverick Pascal and portrait artist Timothy Lister will have their work on display through Feb. 17 at The Carver Gallery. 

Pascal’s exhibit, MAVP365, depicts his self-reflection and mental health journey. Pascal says art is healing. 

In 2020, Pascal dedicated himself to creating at least one piece daily for the entire year, hence the name MAVP365. His inspiration comes from different parts of his trauma, lessons from his healing, or learning from others’ journeys. His work’s geometrical fragments and broken pieces draw inspiration from the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi, where broken objects are mended with gold to become more beautiful. 

Music and sounds also influence Pascal’s designs. “Whether or not I know what I want to express, the frequencies from the songs I listen to influence the storytelling of the colors, lines, and shapes.”

To learn more about Pascal or buy his artwork, visit (

Lister’s work is on display in The Carver’s Side Gallery. His work is realistic in form and media; however, his approach is cross-cultural. Lister’s paintings reflect a deep interest in African American culture and history.

A native of Texas, Lister has been inspired by the works of Jacob Lawrence, Ed Loper, and Henry Tanner over the years of art study. He has also been inspired by contemporary artists John Coleman of San Antonio and Guy Sheppard of Houston.

The Carver Gallery is located in The Jo Long Theatre lobby of the Carver Community Cultural Center at 226 N. Hackberry. The gallery’s hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. There’s no admission fee for the gallery.

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Between Yesterday and Tomorrow – Perspectives from Local Black Artists




Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, Perspectives from Black Contemporary Artists in San Antonio will have its opening reception from 6 pm to 9 pm on Jan. 10 at the Culture Commons Gallery at City Hall at 115 Plaza De Armas.

This event is free and open to the public and is part of DreamWeek San Antonio 2023. The exhibit will be displayed from Jan. 19 to Nov. 17. 

Curated by Barbara Felix and presented by The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture, this exhibition will showcase a multifaceted collection of local Black artists as they share their cultural and life experiences through their work. Themes include Black history and identity, family dynamics, social connections, spirituality and resilience. The artworks include drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, digital media, assemblage, sculpture and quilting. 

The 18 artists presented in this exhibition are actively engaged in their artistic practices. Each brings a unique perspective, covering Black history and identity topics, family dynamics, social connections, personal human experience, spirituality, and resilience. 

“The goal was to drive the collective vision of Black contemporary artists as documentarians of the historical and social conscience of their time,” Curator Barbara Felix commented. “When the individual selected works came together in the gallery, I realized the prospect of this show was coming to fruition in a way that beautifully celebrates each artist and their vision.” 

Featuring artworks by Carmen Cartiness Johnson, John Coleman, Kaldric Dow, Kwanzaa Edwards, Anthony Francis, Alain Boris Gakwaya, Deborah Harris, Edward Harris, Paul Hurd, Alethia Jones, Theresa Newsome, Wardell Picquet, Calvin Pressley, Don Stewart, Naomi Wanjiku, Angela Weddle and Bernice Appelin Williams. 

Culture Commons is located in the Plaza de Armas Building and is managed by the Department of Arts & Culture. It consists of a storefront gallery on the first and second floors and a 1,500 sq. ft. exhibit hall that features visual art exhibits, performances, invited speakers, and workshops. 

The vision for Culture Commons is to serve as the City of San Antonio’s cultural space that integrates the arts into civic conversation by encouraging creativity, supporting local culture, and engaging the community in transforming the future.

The exhibit hours are Wednesday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm and it’s closed during holidays.

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