(Feb. 15, 2010)--Every year, in the week of the Lunar New Year, San Antonio's Asian community celebrates its heritage and shares music, dance, food and customs during the Asian Festival. This year's Asian Festival will be Saturday, Feb. 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures.
What started as a family reunion 23 years ago has become a day of activities held at ITC. An opening parade around the festival grounds will include popping firecrackers, beating drums and clashing cymbals, frightening away evil spirits and heralding the arrival of the San Antonio Lion Dance Association. The dancers, in elaborate two-person costumes, will perform dance and acrobatic maneuvers as they arrive at the main stage.
The day continues with the native dance and music of China, Japan, Korea and the Asian cultures of the Indian sub-continent and the Pacific Ocean. Guests can see traditional Okinawan dance, Hula-style fire dances and Filipino Binasuan, which challenges dancers to perform with glasses of water balanced on their heads.
Martial arts organizations from around San Antonio will showcase various techniques of defense and discipline from the swordsmanship of Kendo to the meditation of Tai Chi Chuan. Instructors will discuss the history of the techniques and the honor systems that govern them.
A series of lectures, discussions and demonstrations expand the educational aspects of the festival. Guests can learn about Eastern philosophies and religions, cooking techniques from the UTSA East Asia Institute and the St. Philip's College school of culinary arts, Asian games such as Mah-jongg, and the Asian styles of harvesting and brewing tea.
The festival is an opportunity to sample the native foods of several Asian countries. Many food offerings will be prepared in native styles from family recipes:
In a returning event this year, Sushi Zushi will offer a sake tasting. Guests age 21 and up can purchase an additional $5 ticket, first-come-first-served, for a presentation on rice wine and a taste of various styles and brands.
"The Asian Festival is a one-of-a-kind San Antonio family event with activities for all ages," said Jo Ann Andera, ITC director of special events. "It is an opportunity to share and celebrate the traditions of the distinct Asian cultures of Texas, and we invite everyone to join us for this unique experience."
Advance tickets are available at TexanCultures.com. Adult tickets (age 13 and older) are $8, children (ages 6-12) $4, age five and younger, free. Group ticket discounts are automatically applied to online purchases of 20 or more tickets. Gate prices are adult (age 13 and older) $10, children (ages 6-12) $5, age five and younger, free.
UTSA students, faculty and staff can enter the promotional code "UTSA" for a discount on their purchases. UTSA permit parking at the HemisFair Park Campus is not available the day of the event.
The Institute of Texan Cultures is at 801 E. Durango Blvd. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
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As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.