Friday, November 27, 2015


UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures hosts 'Sounds on the Margins' symposium July 23-25


From the group Mexican Stepgrandfather are Marcos Cervantes (left) and Eric Rosales

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(July 9, 2013) -- San Antonio is a city where cultures collide, combine and create something new. At the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, visiting scholar and UTSA Assistant Professor Marco Cervantes has viewed Texas' cultural history through the lens of music, finding a unique overlap between African-American and Mexican-American musical traditions. He will discuss his discoveries at an educational symposium July 23-25 as educators gather at the ITC for a continuing education opportunity. The "Sounds on the Margins" teachers' institute is about learning to feature music in classroom teaching, while satisfying Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills requirements.

The offering from the museum's Education and Interpretation department, with assistance from partners at Humanities Texas and Alamo Music, has 50 teachers from grades K-12 pre-registered and will award continuing education hours. During the three-day course, teachers will explore music-infused instruction through histories of African-American and Mexican-American musical intersections in Texas.

Cervantes has studied influencers and performers who have followed in the tradition, including some prominent and fondly remembered performers: Beto Villa, Lydia Mendoza, Sunny and the Sunliners, Little Joe, Bobby Butler, Mickey and the Soul Generation, Selena and Third Root.

"African-Americans and Mexican-Americans in Texas have been engaged in unique cultural fusions that indicate how both groups, while marginalized, maintained a sense of identity through transcultural music performance," said Cervantes. "For me, helping develop this workshop has opened up further possibilities of connecting cultural studies and education. I think presenting these cultural and historical fusions, beyond the university environment, can give teachers more tools to use in the classroom."

The three-day experience culminates in a concert, free and open to the public, 6-8 p.m., Thursday, July 25, at the museum. Cervantes, in the guise of "Mexican Stepgrandfather" will lead the concert, followed by DJ J.J. Lopez, noted for a "Chicano Soul" sound, then Bombasta, known for their hip-hop Cumbia sound.

"For educators, this workshop is an opportunity to explore collaboration, connections between subjects, critical thinking, different learning styles, and the possibilities of teaching through music," said Christian Clark, ITC senior program coordinator.  "For the public attending this performance, it's an opportunity to experience something unique -- a rich history and tradition that melds the creative styles of two cultures into something new and different. We're looking forward to bringing some great performances to the community."

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. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership or UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

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

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

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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UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

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.

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