CONTACT: Lawson Picasso, 361-960-5493
SAN ANTONIO (March 12, 2020) — Councilman Roberto Treviño makes a statement in light of the decision to remove the video from the XicanX: New Visions exhibit:
“Centro de Artes was envisioned to be a space in which the best of Latino arts and culture would be showcased. Several years ago, that vision was on the brink of being compromised when the facility was being considered to be the home of an archive that would have been inconsistent with the mission of the space. In 2016, I, along with my City Council colleagues, reaffirmed the mission as prescribed by the ordinance and asked that the City’s Arts & Culture staff manage and program Centro de Artes.
Since the City assumed the operation of the facility, Debbie Racca-Sittre and her staff, with support from the Arts Commission and its Centro de Artes subcommittee, have worked tirelessly to program a public gallery space that’s both supportive and inclusive of the broad community it serves.
In order to ensure the facility supports the values of the community, protocols exist to inform how the space is programmed. All who seek to curate exhibitions in the City’s gallery space are made of aware of this before they submit their proposals. Additionally, submission deadlines are identified as part of the process to facilitate logistical planning and review programming.
Unfortunately, in this instance the deadline was not met and the video component of the exhibition was not provided in the timely manner stipulated in the contract.
Given the small window of time provided to review the submission, the Arts & Culture Department made the decision to err on the side of caution and remove the video they determined to be inappropriate for general audiences.
Centro de Artes is an asset for inclusive expression for our community and all artists utilizing the space.
With a re-established mission of Centro de Artes, the Department of Arts & Culture and its partners have successfully executed its identified purpose, grown the legitimacy and prestige of the gallery space, while learning from every exhibit.
I am unwavering in my support for all of the arts and our arts organizations and I believe art can challenge our way of thinking and even inform our policies.
We have an opportunity to reexamine or update our policies and we will delineate guidelines for curators and artists utilizing the space collaboratively. As policymakers, we value the input provided by all of our boards and commissions.
Along with public safety, our highest priority is always the consideration of the community and those who utilize our public spaces. We will do everything in our ability to organize thoughtful discussions on policies and protocol as soon as practical.”