Since it’s located 80 miles south of the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capitol of the World,” it is easy to write off the San Antonio arts scene in favor of a short trip to Austin. Headlined with massive festival experiences, Austin claims the role of San Antonio’s cultured cousin who spent a gap year abroad, which, like, totally changed their life. But if Austin is our cultured cousin, San Antonio is definitely taking note, learning from Austin’s mistakes, and on the rise. There is no better time to see that in the arts than now.
Gone are the days of quiet bars, empty mic nights and echoing halls of silent art galleries: San Antonio is a hot spot of culture, and it’s time that we recognize this. Not only is the live music scene blossoming with the resurgence of locations like the North St. Mary’s strip, but San Antonio has also seen major growth in the improv comedy scene. Troupes such as Missed Opportunity, an all-women, long-form improv comedy troupe made up of Trinity alumnae, are cropping up and capturing the interest of many even outside the Trinity bubble. In addition to performance art, San Antonio’s visual art scene has never been stronger. From street vendors out during the monthly King William’s First Friday celebration to international artists opening exhibits in its vast gallery scene, San Antonio’s visual art demands appreciation.
San Antonio is home to several arts festivals. Examples include Maverick Music Festival, Mala Luna Music Festival, Jazz’SAlive, and Luminaria the annual celebration of local art and artists. Not only do these feature international superstars, they also highlight the arts close to home. Good music does not require hours of driving and hundreds of dollars to enjoy; it’s right in our backyard.
Finally, the San Antonio art scene is a collection of old and new, traditional and modern, and is so unique to San Antonio that no other city comes close to matching our style. So it’s time we stop comparing ourselves to them. It’s time we claim our city and celebrate our arts for what they are.
We are not small. We are not quiet. We are not dull. We are Live in SA.