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Celebrate Year of the Dragon: ITC's 25th annual Asian Festival, Jan. 28


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(Jan. 5, 2012) -- Firecrackers, cymbals, drums and Lion Dancers will herald the Chinese New Year and the 25th annual Asian Festival at the Institute of Texan Cultures, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28.

The Year of the Dragon celebration will feature cultural groups representing the diverse cultures of Asia: mainland China, Korea, Japan, the Indian sub-continent and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. These groups will share their heritage through food, music, dance, cooking demonstrations, martial arts demonstrations and other crafts.

"We are honored to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Asian Festival with all of the Asian communities that live, work and celebrate in San Antonio," said festival director Jo Ann Andera.

San Antonio's Asian communities continue to grow and evolve and the festival has become a family tradition to many. Festival founder May Lam says the festival now is attracting second-generation festival attendees and participants.

"The Asian Festival has become such a success in part due to family tradition," she said. "We've seen some of the Lion Dancers grow up and have children of their own who are now members of the Lion Dance Association. One of our friends from the Arathi School of Indian Dance came to the festival as a performer and is now the mother of a young Arathi performer."

Festival steering committee members Evelyn Crow of the Philippine community and Reneé Park of the Hawaiian community echoed Lam's comments, citing multiple generations in their own organizations. They view the festival as a means to pass their heritage and traditions to the next generation, now separated from their nations of origin.

"Because most of us are immigrants, it is very important for us to preserve our heritage, being far away from where we came," said Crow. "It is critical for our children to know their roots, where their parents and ancestors began their journey."

Festival performances include the Karilagan Philippine Dance Group, Hula Halau Ohana Elikapeka, Jones Korean Dance Company and other notable talents. The Asian Festival is an opportunity to appreciate art forms and craftworks from the continent. In addition to the many vendor offerings, guests can view beautifully crafted floral arrangements in the Japanese Ikebana tradition and delicately maintained bonsai trees.

Aside from dance and musical performances, the festival offers guests the opportunity to explore other aspects of Asian culture. San Japan hosts a series of animé showings. There are offerings of Kamishibai, a Japanese storytelling tradition with live, mural-like illustration. Children can visit the museum's "Timeless Texas Toys" exhibit for a make-and-take craft: a Japanese-style paper doll with Asian attire.

"The Asian Festival is truly a celebration for our entire community," said Andera. "We invite our community to come celebrate this 25th anniversary and this San Antonio tradition with our Asian friends and neighbors."

Advance tickets are $8 for adults (13 or older), $5 for children (6-12). Check for tickets or purchase advance tickets at the ITC museum store. Gate prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children (children five and under free). Group rates are available for groups of 20 or more, online and in advance only.

The Institute of Texan Cultures is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. For details on becoming an Asian Festival sponsor, call 210-458-2249. For general festival inquiries, call 210-458-2300 or visit



Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

Visit the Curtis Vaughan Observatory and see the wonders of the sky over San Antonio with experienced astronomers.
4th floor, Flawn Science Building, Main Campus

Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.

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A fun and festive evening featuring Corridos from Texas and Northern Mexico sung by AZUL and a reading of new and classic works by Carmen Tafolla, the new State Poet Laureate.
Buena Vista Theater (1.326), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

Campus Carry Listening Session

Listening session will seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited.
John Peace Library, Faculty Center Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus

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Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
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Oct. 5, 6 p.m.

Film Screening: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John Valadez

The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

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Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

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Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus

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College of Sciences Research Conference

The day-long research conference will include a keynote address, faculty and student oral presentations, poster sessions, and an awards ceremony. Lunch will be provided for those who register. Abstract submission deadline is September 20, 2015. Event registration deadline is October 4, 2015.
H-E-B University Center, Main Campus

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