Tuesday, November 07, 2017

UTSA Distinguished Scholar named Texas Medal of Arts honoree

UTSA Distinguished Scholar named Texas Medal of Arts honoree

John Phillip Santos, who specializes in mestizo studies, is recognized for his literary achievements


(Feb. 6, 2017) -- A Distinguished Scholar at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) joins 14 talented Texans who have been recognized for their contributions to the arts by being named a 2017 Texas Medal of Arts honoree.

John Phillip Santos, a University Distinguished Scholar in Mestizo Cultural Studies in the UTSA Honors College, is being honored for his literary achievements. Santos has written "Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation" and "The Farthest Home Is in an Empire of Fire". He has also written an opera Las Fundaciones de Béjar and a collection of poems "Songs Older Than Any Known Singer". A collection of Santos’ edited manuscripts, research notebooks, clippings and audiovisual materials are part of the UTSA Libraries Special Collections. In addition to his written work, Santos has produced documentaries and news programs in 16 countries for CBS and PBS. Santos teaches courses and mestizo studies seminars to UTSA Honors College students.

“I’m truly humbled by this recognition and honored to be included in this litany of Texan artists. I’ve always believed Texas arts present a unique challenge, to speak of our birth in the epic of Mexico, adopted into the American Republic, with all of the profound questions of identity, myth, and destiny that unique heritage presents us,” said Santos. “Whether with music, dance, visual arts, media or literature, Texas artists continue to make profound work out of our deep legacy.”

The first-ever Latino Rhodes Scholar joins other literary greats who have received this award in the past, such as author Sandra Cisneros, who is also from San Antonio.

“John has been doing extraordinary work incorporating highly theoretical work in the humanities in such a way as to create new and exciting forms of civic engagement,” said Sean Kelly, dean of the UTSA Honors College. “His career as a writer, thinker and filmmaker make him unquestionably deserving of such an award.”

Santos will be awarded the Texas Medal of Arts February 21-22, 2017 at the University of Texas at Austin. Legendary Texas artists, entertainers and arts patrons will be honored during a series of events, including a Stars of Texas brunch at the Governor’s Mansion, an awards show and a gala dinner. This is the ninth biennial year for the Texas Medal of Arts Awards, the signature event for the Texas Cultural Trust.

Past Medal of Arts honorees have included Jamie Foxx, Eva Longoria, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Dan Rather, Tommy Lee Jones and Walter Cronkite.

Since its inception in 2001, the Texas Medal of Arts has awarded 99 medals to 105 Texas legends.

The 2017 Texas Medal of Arts Awards honorees include:

Corporate patron: John Paul & Eloise DeJoria, Paul Mitchell/Patrol Tequila, Austin
Multimedia: Kris Kristofferson, Brownsville
Television: Jaclyn Smith, Houston
Individual Arts Patron: Lynn Wyatt, Houston
Dance: Lauren Anderson, Houston
Music: Yolanda Adams, Houston
Arts Education: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas
Theatre: Renee Elise Goldsberry, Houston
Foundation Patron: The Tobin Endowment, San Antonio
Visual Art: Leo Villareal, El Paso
Architecture: Frank Welch, Dallas
Literary: John Phillip Santos, San Antonio
Journalism: Scott Pelley, San Antonio
Lifetime Achievement: Kenny Rogers, Houston

UTSA is ranked among the top 400 universities in the world and among the top 100 in the nation, according to Times Higher Education.

- Kara Mireles

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Learn more about John Phillip Santos.

Learn more about Texas Medal of Arts Awards.

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