Draco the Dragon

UTSA's ITC opens 'Here Be Dragons!' exhibit

By James Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(April 16, 2007)--UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) will be home to a 10-foot-tall, smoke-breathing dragon in the exhibit, "Here Be Dragons!," from April 22 to Nov. 4.

Draco, a green-scaled Western dragon with a 16-foot wingspan, will welcome guests to the exhibit exploring the origins, symbolism and cultural significance of the dragon through history.

"The dragon is a consistent image across countless cultures, many of which are represented in Texas," says John Davis, ITC executive director. "So many cultures tell stories of great serpents with magical powers over wind, water, lightning and fire. As stories and legends travel, each culture embellishes upon them to suit local needs. The result is a pantheon of stories that still inspire us today."

In addition to Draco, "Here Be Dragons" will include the legendary creatures of other dragon families, including a bright-red Chinese dragon, representing Eastern cultures, and the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl, representing Aztec and American Indian mythologies.

The family-friendly exhibit features "Draco's Den," a special children's area with building stations sponsored by the Texas Lego Users Group and a collection of dragon storybooks to read while sitting on "dragon's egg" beanbag chairs. Three wisecracking dragons will appear in a new puppet show, "Fantasy Idol." Finally, families can go on on a modern-day dragon hunt, giving GPS coordinates to track down dragons around San Antonio.

UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures is at 801 S. Bowie St., San Antonio, Texas 78205. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday; closed Monday. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children (ages 3-12), seniors (65+) and military with I.D.

For more information, call (210) 458-2330.


UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures is San Antonio's cultural-experience museum. Established as the Texas State Exhibits Building for HemisFair in 1968 and later designated as a campus of The University of Texas at San Antonio, the museum has spent nearly 40 years telling the stories of Texas' diverse citizens and inviting guests to join in the celebration of Texas' multicultural heritage. Home to the Texas Folklife Festival, Asian Festival and six other cultural events, the institute seeks to entertain, inform and inspire those aspiring to a greater understanding of the influence of multiculturalism in the Lone Star State.

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