San Anto Cultural Arts is a San Antonio, TX nonprofit founded in 1993 with the mission to foster human and community development through community-based arts. A focus on art through community engagement led to the creation of our community-based arts programs: the Community Mural Program, the El Placazo Community Newspaper, and the After School Arts Program (ASAP). These dynamic programs engage residents and foster the talents of youth by educating them on the history and techniques of public art while documenting and preserving the rich history and heritage of San Antonio’s Westside.
San Anto Cultural Arts was originally established in 1993 by community youth and arts advocates Manuel Castillo, Cruz Ortiz, and Juan Miguel Ramos as a project of Inner City Development. San Anto Cultural Arts became an independent nonprofit in 1997. The target demographic of San Anto Cultural Arts is inner city youth ages 6-19, but its mission impacts the entire community as San Anto is an incubator for local artists. In San Anto’s 23-year history, 63 murals have been created and over 234 issues of El Placazo have been published.
Through mural painting, thousands of young people learn skills in design, drawing, and painting. Participants work alongside professional artists and learn problem-solving, the importance of creativity, and build self-confidence as they hone their skills and abilities. The murals produced by our program are public-art works, and many have become iconic symbols of the neighborhoods they represent.
Through our El Placazo Newspaper Program, community youth learn writing, photography, and journalism skills that contribute to their academic achievement, critical thinking skills, and personal success as responsible future stewards of our community.
In 2017, San Anto Cultural Arts served over 300 youth, painted two new murals & published 6 issues of El Placazo. Currently, we have 6 people on staff and 200+ volunteers; we commission 5-15 artists each year. Our long-term goals are to build stronger partnerships with the school systems and local government to create systemic change in our community.
Although we employ lead artists for these projects the conception, design, and execution of these murals is completed by the community being led by artists. These are not the works of a singular or even multiple professional artists but a team of artists, community members, families, children, and teens. San Anto Cultural Arts’ mission is to foster human and community development through community-based arts. The 50th mural is a prime example of that mission and tells the story of our community as they see it.
Cover Art Title: El poder del Muralismo mural #50
Lead artists : Gerry Garcia, Cardee Garcia, Mary Agnes Rodriguez, and Juan Ramos