About Us

City of San Antonio, Department of Arts & Culture Logo

Dept. Initiatives

About SA2020

The mission of SA2020 is to “catalyze the entire San Antonio community into passionate, focused, and sustained action to achieve the shared goals that will transform San Antonio into a world-class city by the year 2020 in eleven key vision areas.” In 2011 the Department of Arts & Culture became the Strategic Lead Partner for Arts & Culture, focusing on the following indicators:

  • Economic impact of the arts
  • Level of funding for arts programs
  • Level of attendance at arts programs
  • Level of citizen satisfaction with San Antonio arts and cultural activities

Since that time the department has worked on reviewing its arts funding guidelines, supported studies to enhance arts access to all parts of the community, expanded its global cultural exchange initiatives, and enhanced arts educational opportunities to help drive the community conversation on arts and culture. In 2012 the Department, in partnership with SA2020, released a public survey to determine how the City is aligning its arts and cultural efforts with the SA2020 vision for San Antonio to "lead the world as a creative community" and to gauge residents' opinions on the state of the local cultural life. By connecting individual and business resources to nonprofits working in these areas, SA2020 will transform San Antonio into one of America’s most exceptional cities by 2020. 

 SA2020 Arts & Culture Survey Report

Arts in the 11 Causes

Arts and culture are intertwined through each of the SA2020 causes.

  • A recent government study showed that students of low socioeconomic status who were involved in drama and music had better grades and lower dropout rates.
  • Better-educated and high-achieving workers contribute directly to greater economic competitiveness and civic engagement.
  • Blighted neighborhoods come back to life thanks to an influx of artists and public art displays, leading to greater public safety and opportunities for physical activity.

Find out how the Department of Arts & Culture is working to answer the SA2020 call for a world-class city by 2020 and see how you can help. You can also search by cause area and find a list of opportunities available in the community on the SA2020 site.

San Antonio’s Creative Economy

What is the “Creative Economy?"
The creative economy includes the full range of the arts and culture: fine arts as well as popular, ethnic, commercial and design arts. It also includes cultural events, such as festivals and celebrations, concerts and dances in the parks, and the preservation of history and heritage. It encompasses all individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations that directly or indirectly produce cultural products or services. Also, thinkers and doers trained, whether formally or informally, in specific cultural and artistic skills.

Creative individuals include visual artists, performing artists, designers, media artists, film makers, arts educators, craftspeople, architects, writers, production technicians, volunteers and others.

Creative businesses include advertising, marketing, architecture, design, digital media, music and dance clubs, art galleries, art-related retail stores, film production and post-production, art-related printer, live theaters, festivals, and others.

Creative nonprofits include all types of arts and cultural organizations, professional and volunteer association, arts-related departments within a college or university, and others.

  • From 2012 to 2014, employment in the creative industry grew by 6.05%. Over this same time period, impact in the industry grew 11.95%. 
  • The creative industry in San Antonio generated $4.3 billion in economic activity in 2014 while employing 21,736 workers. 
  • The leading sectors were printing, broadcasting, and related activities; design and advertising; performing arts; and museums and collections.
  • We are seeing the emergence of the design economy – the successor of the information economy.

 Creative Industry Report - 2011

 Creative Industry Report - 2015

Diez y Seis de Septiembre

On September 16, 1810 Miguel Hidalgo y Castillo, a man known as the Father of Mexico’s Independence, initiated the fight for freedom as he made a cry, or grito, which sparked the beginning of Mexico’s battle for independence from Spain. The anniversary of this major event beginning in 1825, is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day.

Nearly two centuries later, led by the City of San Antonio’s Diez y Seis de Septiembre Commission, San Antonio continues to celebrate that historic day.

 More About San Antonio’s Diez y Seis de Septiembre Initiative

Poet Laureate

In keeping with the SA2020 goal of turning San Antonio into a renowned creative community, in 2012 Mayor Julián Castro appointed Dr. Carmen Tafolla as the city’s first Poet Laureate. Nominations are solicited from the community over a period of several months and a selection panel of writers from around the country reviews all materials to recommend an appointee.

The duties of the San Antonio Poet Laureate, who serves a two-year term, will include hosting events to promote poetry and the literary arts in conjunction with organizations such as Gemini Ink and the Department of Arts & Culture.

 More About San Antonio’s Poet Laureate Initiative

Background Color:
Background Pattern:
Tuesday, November 12, 2019