Let me point you to a few of the events that are happening right here in our neighborhood.
Film Screening: Not in My Neighborhood
In spite of the title, this event is definitely in our neighborhood. The San Antonio Black Film Festival (SABIFF) is teaming up with Azania Rizing Productions to present a screening of the award-winning documentary Not in My Neighborhood. The screening will be followed by a virtual discussion with South African driector/producer Kurt Oderson.
The movie documents how ordinary citizens in Cape Town, New York City, and Sáo Paulo have responded to the effects of violence and gentrification in their communities. “This film aims to build solidarity among active urban citizens by illuminating the tools and approaches used by urban activists to shape and navigate their beloved cities that have been affected by colonization, architectural apartheid, and gentrification…” Click here for information and to get tickets for this donation-based event.
When: Thursday, January 13 (6 - 9pm)
Where: Brick at Blue Star, 108 Blue Star. Because of COVID concerns, THIS HAS BEEN CHANGED TO AN ONLINE EVENT
Taste of Soul
Urban Soul is a San Antonio vegan soul food restaurant that redesigns traditional African American and Latino dishes into healthy, plant-based meals. Their DreamWeek 2022 event — Taste of Soul — offers guests a diverse meal curated by Urban Soul’s head chef Tia Rodriquez. Enjoy their version of traditional favorites like macaroni and cheese, fried chkn, yam fries, peach cobbler, and more — a 100% plant-based meal.
“Taste Of Soul will take you on a journey of our history through your palate. Be prepared to sample an array of vegan African American delights. Stories of Black History and food will fill the room.”
Purchase tickets here for $35, or purchase at the door for $50. Click here for more information.
When: Friday, January 14 (6 - 10pm)
Where: Brick art Blue Star, 108 Blue Star. Because of COVID concerns, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
Piecing Together A Story of Courage: Civil Rights in San Antonio
The Coalition for the Woolworth Building invites you to its DreamWeek 2022 event to learn about African Americans across the south — and right here in San Antonio — who protested racial discrimination and fought for equal treatment.
The event includes screenings of The Texas Sit-ins, 1960 and San Antonio, 1960: A Quiet Revolution. Archival recordings and images that depict the stories of local citizens and their struggle for opportunity and equality will be on display. And, a panel of professional archivists will be on hand to discuss the preservation and care of historical documents and images.
You can contribute to San Antonio’s collection of historical records by bringing your own family items to the event. Documents and images will be scanned on-site to be archived in SAAACM’s digital collection. (SAAACM is the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum.)
Click here for more information on this free event.
When: Saturday, January 15 (10:30am - 12pm)
Where: Instituto Cultural de México, 600 Hemisfair Plaza Way
Our culture here in the United States has grown out of a broad and diverse mix of residents who have ancestors spanning the globe — ancestors with different traditions, histories, beliefs, and cultures. This fashion show brings together designers from all walks of life and backgrounds. They have created representations of their past, present, and future cultures in fashion.
“Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream Speech: ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by their character.’ Can a life style or diverse culture reflect ones character? How can we show the best character as Americans through our style and fashion? This is a thought for all participants to ponder during the show…” (read more about this event here).
$40 donation at the door; $10 for children 17 and under.
When: Sunday, January 16 (5 - 7pm)
Where: Brick at Blue Star, 108 Blue Star
The Circle of Hope: Latinas Making a Difference
The San Antonio AIDS Foundation offers services aimed at preventing the spread of HIV and helping those affected by it. It also works to reduce the stigma surrounding the HIV community. You are invited to its DreamWeek 2022 presentation and ‘exchange of ideas’.
“Participants will enjoy talks from Latina activists living with HIV and local leaders looking to end the disparities in health equity. The presentations will be followed by a Q&A. Refreshments and appetizers will be available at the event during the social hour.” Angela and Rick Martinez, owners of Slab Cinema Arthouse, are donating use of the venue for this event.
Click here for more information and to reserve your spot. $20.
When: Thursday, January 20 (6 - 8pm)
Where: Slab Cinema Arthouse at Blue Star, 134 Blue Star
This is a two-part event — Blueberry Day and Blueberry Nights — aimed at promoting ‘safe space’ to people; that is, a space where people are free to express themselves in an environment of respect, unity, and acceptance. The event will feature poetry, theater, live music, a drag show, dance, and art.
Enjoy a market and talent show at Blueberry Day (from 12 - 4pm). There is no admission charge for this part of the event.
Blueberry Nights will feature poets, theatre performances, live music, drag queens, a vendor market, and a dance party. This part of the event is $15 at the door, or $10 in advance through Eventbrite.
When: Saturday, January 22 (noon - 4pm & 5pm - 1am)
Where: Brick at Blue Star, 108 Blue Star
MENA: The 2nd Annual Celebration of Middle Eastern and North African Women’s Excellence
“With a focus on representation, this celebration will highlight the diverse ways in which women from across the MENA region are challenging stereotypes and making their mark in San Antonio. Our hope is that by bringing participants together for a day of discussions, recognition, networking and more, we will in some small way begin to empower the next generation of leaders from across the MENA region to pursue their passions and break new ground…” (read more here).
Special guest Mrs. Erika Prosper Nirenberg will be the Keynote Speaker. She is an executive at H-E-B, chair of the Hispanic chamber, and San Antonio’s First Lady.
“Come for a night of enchanted discussion, compelling music, and Middle Eastern handcrafts, and feast on delicious treats from the Middle Eastern Kitchen.”
When: Monday, January 24 (6:30 - 8pm)
Where: Brick at Blue Star, 108 Blue Star
I hope this gives you a good feel for the diversity of DreamWeek 2022 offerings and inspires you to participate in this worthy event . There are several additional events here in the neighborhood, and more than 200 throughout San Antonio. You can see a full schedule of events and learn more about DreamWeek at https://dreamweek.org.
Updated Monday, January 10th, 10:30 AM
On Monday, January 17th, our country celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Cities throughout the US — including San Antonio — will hold marches in his honor. Schools, banks, businesses, and government offices across the country will be closed.
San Antonio, however, pays tribute to this iconic civi rights leader on a whole different level. San Antonio does more than celebrate Dr. King’s life. San Antonio keeps his vision alive in its annual DreamWeek summit — a series of events spanning eighteen days that are aimed at engaging the community in dialogue and activities that foster diversity, inclusiveness, tolerance, and equality. What could be a more fitting tribute?
DreamWeek was started 10 years ago by a small group of individuals who met to discuss ways to advance and grow Dr. King’s vision. In 2013, their efforts led to the first DreamWeek summit which engaged twenty partners hosting 35 events. It has grown quite a bit since then.
This year’s summit offers events daily between Thursday, January 13 and Sunday, January 30. The DreamWeek team is working with over 150 hosting partners who are offering over 200 events in the city. They are expecting to draw over 100,000 attendees.
The events are diverse in both form and content. Each focuses on one or more of the summit’s ‘themes’, which are City, Sports, Cuisine, Health, Environment, Technology, Education, Arts, NextGen, Spirit, Justice, and Business. They take the form of panel discussions, presentations, concerts, art exhibits, theatrical and dance performances, film screenings, mixers, food tastings, fashion shows, and of course the march itself with its associated ceremonies and events.
Events will take place throughout all of San Antonio and surrounding areas, but 24 of them are right here in the ‘LNF’ neighborhood (Lavaca, King William, Blue Star and Hemisfair). The neighborhood events will take place in Brick at Blue Star, Arthouse at Blue Star, Pharm Table, Instituto Cultural de México, Hemisfair, and Magic Theatre.
In fact, Brick at Blue Star - now in its 8th year of supporting DreamWeek SA — is hosting an event every day during the summit, and they are not charging any of the sponsoring organizations for use of the venue. They’ll be hosting a film screening, art exhibits, performance art, a food tasting, a fashion show, and music and dance performances. Elizabeth Ciarfeo of Cube Projects - a 501c3 non-profit housed at Brick - told me “this fits right in with our core mission to provide services, space and technology to artists and micro entrepreneurs.”
Jane Gennarelli is co-editor of LNF Weekly. She also edits the Lavaca & Friends weekly arts and entertainment newsletter.
San Antonio keeps his vision alive in its annual DreamWeek summit