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City to celebrate achievements in arts and culture with inaugural Distinction in the Arts awards reception

Posted 5 years 111 days ago ago by Javier Flores (WHO)


Contact: Javier A. Flores, Department for Culture & Creative Development

City to celebrate achievements in arts and culture with inaugural Distinction in the Arts awards reception
Honorees include: Teresa Champion, Naomi Shihab Nye, Flaco Jimenez, 
Vincent Valdez and H-E-B

SAN ANTONIO (November 17, 2015) – The City of San Antonio will celebrate achievements in arts and culture with the inaugural Distinction in the Arts awards reception on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 from 6-8 p.m. at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Hosted by District 1 Councilman Roberto C. Treviño, this first-time celebration will recognize Teresa Champion, Naomi Shihab Nye, Flaco Jimenez, Vincent Valdez and H-E-B for their contributions to arts and culture in San Antonio. 

“San Antonio is a city known throughout the world for having a vibrant and unique arts and culture scene,” said Councilman Treviño. “This would not be possible without the local visual and performing artists and organizations that contribute so greatly to our community. It’s only fitting that we honor them for their achievements.”

Honorees for the 2015 Distinction in the Arts Celebration include: 

Teresa Champion – Teresa Champion is a world renowned dancer who has had a lasting impact in the art world as an award-winning performer, teacher and advocate of the arts. Champion, along with her husband William, are the founders of Flamenco in San Antonio. A native of San Antonio, Champion has danced for presidents, royalty, and alongside Mexican artists including Lucha Villa, Pedro Almendáriz, Lola Beltran, Mario Moreno (Cantinflas), and many others. 

Naomi Shihab Nye – Naomi Shihab Nye is an award-winning Palestinian-American poet, writer, anthologist and educator who describes herself as a “wandering poet.”  She grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem and San Antonio. Nye is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes, and her books of poetry include: “19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East,” “Fuel,” and “You & Yours.” 

Flaco Jimenez – Leonardo “Flaco” Jimenez is internationally renowned musician best known for his Tejano accordion playing. Jimenez, a native of San Antonio, is a founding member of the Texas Tornados with Freddy Fender and Augie Meyers, recording six albums and winning a Grammy. In total, Jimenez has received five Grammy awards, including three for his solo work. He has been inducted into the National Hispanic Hall of Fame and the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.

Vincent Valdez – Vincent Valdez’s life and career have intensively focused on the practice of drawing and painting. Born in San Antonio, Valdez received a full scholarship to The Rhode Island School of Design, and is the recipient of the Skowhegan School of Painting, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Kunstlerhaus Bethania Berlin Residency. His collections include the Linda Pace Foundation, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Frye Museum of Art, and others. 

H-E-B – H-E-B, with sales of more than $22 billion, is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States and the largest private employer in Texas.  H-E-B has been a leading corporation donating to and participating in the arts in the communities it serves. In 2011, H-E-B received the distinguished Texas Medal of Arts Award in recognition for its vast contributions to the arts across Texas. In San Antonio, the corporation is known for its commitment to creating accessibility to the arts by sponsoring free access for families to museums in the city. Not only is H-E-B a place where Texans shop, it is a place to view public art and art created by local artists such as Alex Rubio, Vincent Valdez and the most recent announcement of H-E-B acquiring art by the late Chuck Ramirez. The H-E-B Performance Hall in the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is a recent example of the company’s long-term commitment to the performing arts, along with its long-standing support of the resident organizations including the San Antonio Symphony, Ballet and Opera.

The event has been coordinated by Councilman Treviño and a planning committee comprised of members of the San Antonio arts community including: Kathy Armstrong, Marisela Barrera, Mark Richter, Xavier Gonzalez, Bob Wise and Lorenzo Gomez, with support from the City of San Antonio Department for Culture & Creative Development. 

The event is open to the community, but seating is limited and RSVP is required by calling 210-207-6968. More information is available at 



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