Debbie Racca-Sittre was appointed Director of the Department of Arts & Culture in January 2017. She previously served as Interim Director of the department since April 2016. As director, she oversees the department’s day-to-day operations, as well as the planning and execution of strategic initiatives related to arts and culture in San Antonio through the department’s main divisions –Marketing, Film & Music, Core Grants, Cultural Events and Exhibits, and Public Art.
In this role, Racca-Sittre has led the effort to create the Cul-TÚ-Art Cultural Plan which is a coordinated planning document that is comprised of multiple focus areas including: Core Grants, Centro de Artes Gallery, Public Art, Film, Music, Cultural Districts, Performing Arts and Individual Artists. Racca-Sittre is particularly proud of the department’s focus on Cultural Equity in all activities and actions, including the adoption of a Cultural Equity Statement for the Department and the San Antonio Arts Commission as well as implementation of equity in grantmaking and Public Art Commissions. Under the Public Art Plan, Racca-Sittre has implemented a city-wide concept to connect art with visitors downtown through the development of the River Walk Public Art Garden, an open-air gallery showcasing the work of local and international artists as well as providing links to San Antonio’s neighborhoods, parks and greenway trails through art.
Racca-Sittre has over 20 years of experience with the City of San Antonio. Prior to joining the Department of Arts & Culture, she served as assistant director for the City's Public Works Department. During her time at the City, she has managed more than 800 contracts and a $1.7 billion capital budget. Racca-Sittre negotiated numerous high profile contracts including a design-build construction contract for the expansion of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center valued at $325 million. She also negotiated and managed contracts for the capital expansion of the Witte Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art and The DoSeum; the renovation of the Guadalupe Theater/Progreso building and Lerma’s building. Racca-Sittre has led the City of San Antonio 's United Way Charitable Campaign for two consecutive years, raising more than $1 million each year. Racca-Sittre also serves on the board of Texans for the Arts and is active in the Americans for the Arts' United States Urban Arts Federation (USUAF) which is an alliance of the chief executives of local arts agencies in the nation's 60 largest cities.
Racca-Sittre holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Master of Science degree, and a Master of Public Administration degree all from Angelo State University. She is a native of the San Antonio area, is married and has three children.