“When we pause, allow a gap and breathe deeply, we can experience instant refreshment. Suddenly, we slow down, look out, and there's the world.” - Pema Chödrön

We are happy to announce that “PAUSE” is now installed at the intersection of S. Alamo, Pereida and Adams Streets, next to the parking lot of the Liberty Bar and near the B-Cycle station.  This piece of public art is made of limestone blocks with blue steel lettering, and is intended to invite travelers to take a break, unwind....pause. 

The Cultural Art Committee of the King William Association commissioned local artist Jennifer Khoshbin to create a seating area for the small green space.  Originally from Philadelphia, Jennifer has lived in San Antonio for about 14 years.  Her work has been exhibited throughout the country and in San Antonio at Flight, the Southwest School of Art and 1906 Gallery; she has a permanent installation at Hemisfair's Yanaguana Garden. "My goal was to design a space that maximizes restful, inviting opportunities to sit for a few minutes or for a long conversation," Jennifer says. "The site is well suited for a quiet, pocket-sized sitting area, encouraging ways to support community connections." 

"PAUSE" is a gift to the neighborhood. Many thanks to Liberty Bar for its collaboration on this project. We hope you will enjoy it and use it. We have more public art benches planned, so be on the lookout!

- Nora Peterson

The board met on May 17, 2018 to review various committee and financial reports.  There were no action items and no citizens to be heard.  Our guest from the Lavaca Neighborhood Association was Selsa Adham Gonzalez.

Tracy Moon provided the board with an overview of strategic planning.  In 2014, the board worked with a facilitator to develop a two-year strategic plan.  It is time to revise the plan.

Jacob Floyd, a planning coordinator with the City, introduced a draft of the SA Tomorrow Land Use Category Definitions, which would amend chapter 35 of the Unified Development Code.  The King William neighborhood is part of the Downtown Regional Center Plan, which in turn is part of the City’s comprehensive plan called “SA Tomorrow.” SA Tomorrow is broken down into 13 employment areas.  

We anticipate that Mr. Floyd will present an informational meeting and feedback session at a future general membership meeting.  His work is expected to become part of a new neighborhood plan.  More information can be found at downtown.sacompplan.com.

This column is not intended to replace the official minutes

- Rose Kanusky

After 32 years in education, the last five as Bonham Academy principal, Mr. Webber is retiring.  When he came to Bonham, then-Superintendent Sylvester Perez asked him to commit five years.  He gave us his all in those years, and more.

Growing up with a Spanish teacher (later college professor) father and a French teacher (later journalist) mother, it’s no surprise Mr. William Webber developed a love for languages.  His four brothers and sisters all learned German, as that was one language his parents didn’t know and they could speak without them understanding. 

On May 14, Brackenridge Principal Yesenia Cordova, art teacher Terry Ybanez and KWA Executive Director Tracy Moon joined a celebration for Maya Diaz, a junior at Brackenridge High School who was the winner of U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett’s (D-San Antonio) annual Congressional High School Art Competition.  Maya’s original piece, Picture Perfect, featuring the reflection of light against objects that remind her of her parents, will hang in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. for a full year, providing her with national exposure as she represents San Antonio.  Maya’s passion for art extends past the classroom: she served as the President of Brackenridge’s Art Club and will be applying to colleges to pursue art. 

- Analysse Escobar, Field Representative

This spring, magic ensued in Room 2612 during fifth period.  Bonham Academy and Gemini Ink teamed up to form a creative writing space for a group of 15 young learners for a nine-week reading and writing series. Students produced bound-book-worthy poetry – with the guidance and support of Carol Gonzales and Pam Deusing from Gemini Ink’s Writers in Communities (WIC) program, along with Maile Parker, sixth-eighth grades educator at Bonham. 

The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.  Leonardo da Vinci (Painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer).

I recently attended the ceremony for the Congressional Art Competition winner Maya Diaz of Brackenridge High School.  Watching this talented young woman beam with pride reminded me how important cultivating the arts is to our future.  I am grateful to be part of an organization that supports arts education and cultural development.  This caused me to consider the question: Why does art matter?

In 1963, when a little girl named Janice Barker skipped across S. Alamo Street to start her first grade at Bonham Elementary, she couldn’t have known that, in 2018, she’d be saying goodbye to Bonham Academy after 38 years teaching. 

Mrs. Janice (Barker) Schwab grew up in King William in the 1960s and 70s.  Back then, Bonham Elementary had open breezeways instead of hallways, and if it was pouring rain, the kids had to brave the weather to race to the outdoor bathrooms.  There was no air conditioning, so they made good use of the large windows and transoms. 

Monika Perez-Moad has been working at the King William Association for nearly seven years. Everyone who visits the King William Association office is greeted with a warm smile, hospitality, and extensive knowledge of the King William Association. She is truly the face of the KWA.  Monika runs the King William office with grace and skilled professionalism. It is with great appreciation for a job well done that we announce Monika's promotion to Office Manager.

 

 

When Sue Duffy, 2007-2017 Chief Parade Wrangler, first met Diana “Skullyvera” Schmelzer of the Alamo City Rollergirls (ACRG) in 2007, they instantly became friends.  In 2008, they hatched a new Parade tradition when the Rollergirls became Sue’s official wrangler crew.  You’ve no doubt noticed them skating alongside the Parade since then with their “Speed Up” and “Slow Down” signs to keep things moving smoothly.

This short column was launched to help keep neighbors informed about KWA board activities.  It is not intended to replace the official minutes, and the content can be blamed on the author, not the Association or its secretary. 

The board met on March 21, 2018, and welcomed its new executive director, Tracy Moon. The board took formal action to allow Tracy to be added to the bank accounts. Tracy was introduced to the neighborhood at the spring social at the recently reopened Francis Bogside on April 4, 2018. 

March marks the 32nd annual celebration of Contemporary Art Month in San Antonio.  What began as an event at the Blue Star Contemporary in 1986 has grown into an event featuring the work of local artists in museums, galleries and studios across the city and beyond. 

Coordinating the events of the month is the Contemporary Art Month organization (CAM), an independent non-profit started in 2003 in response to the need for a central source of information regarding the activities and calendar of the month.  The mission of CAM is “to promote and raise the national profile of San Antonio contemporary art and artists by organizing and facilitating a month-long celebration of contemporary art, providing marketing support, and by organizing and facilitating public programs.”  CAM sponsors several free educational programs during the month for the public, as well as an open call for artists.  On CAM’s website, contemporaryartmonth.com, artist-run spaces, commercial spaces and institutions can submit listings for the calendar for a nominal fee.  Artists are welcome to list their studios for free.  This website is a great resource for navigating art-y events.

Drive by the corner of S. St. Mary’s and Eagleland on Sunday morning and you can probably guess why the parking lot is full at San Antonio Mennonite Church.  But you might be curious about why so many people are there throughout the week.  You might be seeing the staff of the PEACE Initiative, planning a workshop for domestic violence victims or offenders.  It could be the yoga class for community workers, sponsored by the Center for Formative Action and Reflection.  Maybe you see students, young and old, taking accordion lessons with the Conjunto Heritage Taller.  Perhaps you catch the comings and goings of people affected by sexual abuse, helping to heal through a poetry class called Me Too/Yo Tambien.  If you see families working in the garden, they could be harvesting organic baby greens to sell to a local restaurant.  A young mom and dad might be taking advantage of the Teen Parenting Resource Room.  Volunteers might be coming to the building to be trained to work with refugees, in conjunction with the Interfaith Welcome Coalition.  If it is the First Friday of the month, there may be events happening on the lawn: poetry readings, live music performances, food, and crafts.  Last December, Teatro Audaz performed a Pastorela in the church sanctuary, and the same space hosted a Dream Week event in January.

"HIV CASES ON THE RISE” a recent edition of our local daily screamed in 48-point type. Behind the alarming headline — and the alarm is real and appropriate — lay another story, voiced in part by King William neighbor Dr. Barbara Taylor: a story of compassion, progress, and hope.

As clinician, researcher, and teacher — she is associate professor in infectious diseases at UT Health San Antonio and adjunct faculty at the UT School of Public Health — Taylor focuses on prevention and management of HIV infections. The rate of new HIV infections is in decline nationally but still rising in Bexar County, especially in populations underserved by medical care. While infection with the virus was effectively a death sentence when it first emerged in the 1980s, modern therapies can suppress both transmission of HIV and progression to AIDS — if patients are aware of treatment options and receive consistent care.“My patients are super inspiring to me,” Taylor said. “They face so much and come out determined to live, support their families, engage with the community. It’s amazing.”

In preparation for the reissuance of Mary Burkholder’s book, Down the Acequia Madre, Al Rendon is taking pictures of the exterior of houses in the Acequia Madre Historic District.  The pictures will be taken during the next couple of months, at all times of the day, whenever the light is most flattering for individual houses.

It is easier for Al to take a good picture if the houses are free of clutter such as yard signs, trash cans, empty flower pots, leaves on the roofs, etc.  One of the more important but most difficult things to have is the curb in front of your house free of cars!

We are launching this short column to help keep neighbors informed about KWA board activities.  This column is not intended to replace the official minutes, and the content can be blamed on the author, not the Association or its secretary. 

On January 17, 2018, several neighbors attended the board meeting to express their opinions about short-term rentals (STRs) and parking issues.  After hearing from these neighbors, the board finalized its letter to City Council, staff and applicable commissions that opposes non-owner occupied STRs (Type 2) in historic districts.  The letter also requests that the City prohibit any amplified noise at STRs, decline to grandfather existing STRs, and apply the bed and breakfast ordinance to STRs. 

Keep an eye on the convergence of S. Alamo and Pereida Streets in February.  A new public art project is being created and will be installed on that corner in the coming weeks.  The Cultural Arts Committee of the King William Association commissioned local artist Jennifer Khoshbin to create seating that invites travelers to take a “pause” in their stroll through our historic neighborhood.

As part of the ongoing San Pedro Creek Improvements Project, there is some planned construction taking place in the King William area at the bank of the San Antonio River.  The project requires the water level of the river to be temporarily lowered, which will also impact pedestrian access along the west bank of the river.  The San Antonio River Authority is working diligently to minimize the disruption to area residents and anticipates all construction in the area to be completed by the end of March. 

The San Antonio Art League learned in December that it was awarded a grant from the Semmes Foundation for $20,000 to update the outside studio and storage building next to the gallery. 

Among the details of our plans are an accessible restroom and expansion of the teaching space.  Several successful workshops have already been taught in the space, demonstrating the feasibility of the building as an effective venue for learning and outreach.  Future plans for the space include workshops for children and adults, and educational events for the public that align with the SAALM’s well-regarded permanent collection.

Villa Finale: Museum & Gardens, the final home of local preservationist Walter Nold Mathis and the only National Trust for Historic Preservation site in Texas, recently became the recipient of a generous grant from the King William Association.  This grant helps to ensure that Villa Finale’s educational series for children and families continues to thrive. 

Blue Star Contemporary fulfills our mission to inspire, nurture, and innovate through contemporary art in part through our MOSAIC Student Artist Program, led by renowned muralist and our Artist-in-Residence Alex Rubio.  Students are mentored five days a week, after school and during summers, for an intensive, year-round, arts education.  Students participate in BSC’s programs and also attend workshops, lectures and exhibitions at local cultural institutions and artist studios to gain further exposure to the city’s artistic landscape.

Student exhibitions and public art projects, which include a large hand-made mosaic mural at H-E-B’s East Side location and the River Walk’s Compass Rose designating the city’s geographic center, become part of San Antonio and its vibrant and rich visual culture.

To celebrate the King William Association’s 50th anniversary, two Christmas ornaments were created.  The ceramic ornament is from a Caroline Shelton 1977 watercolor print and costs $10.  The metal ornament was designed by Mike Schroeder using a window hood from 323 Adams Street and costs $20.  

Come by the King William office to purchase.  Your support is appreciated!

Our hands make us human.  We are different, for both good and bad, from all the other living things on our Earth, because of what we can do with our hands.  True, our simian brethren can make and use simple tools, but I doubt the average silverback gorilla is going to engrave treasury notes or sculpt the next David. 

The difference lies in our ability to do very fine work emphasizing highly sensitive control of pressure applied by our fingers and the ability to grasp and manipulate very small objects like engraving tools, bobbins and thread for lace making, rosin-coated bows and micro-surgical tools.

Dear King William Friends,

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the cooler weather.  It’s always a great time to be in San Antonio as the summer heat gives way to the arrival of fall and its mild temperatures.  For many, this change in weather allows folks to enjoy the outdoors and take care of projects that were delayed until triple-digit temperatures became a distant memory.