Hidden Histories Debuts at URBAN-15


As part of the city’s calendar of Tricentennial arts activities, URBAN-15 in 2018 will debut “Hidden Histories,” a new monthly, magazine-format video series that pursues and preserves the stories, lives, and places that make San Antonio an inspiring cultural treasure. With the support of the San Antonio Film Commission and the San Antonio Area Foundation, URBAN-15 has developed this project to ensure that the histories memorialized by the Tricentennial celebration and by World Heritage efforts truly reflect the diversity of this region, which has been inhabited for over 10,000 years—well before 300 years of European settlement. Community-produced media is one way we can broaden public participation in official histories.

Over the course of 2018, Hidden Histories will premiere 12 monthly screenings live in our studio, free of charge. Each screening will highlight archival interviews with community leaders; significant performances by musicians, dancers and poets; interactions with working artists; lost documentaries; forgotten narrative films; and vintage discussions of important community issues. Held in our studio, these live screenings will be supplemented by interviews and discussions with participants, family members of those featured, and field experts. Following each live screening, video segments will be rescreened throughout that month via our internet broadcasting studio, and afterwards archived online for 24/7 access.

January’s segment will introduce the series and then feature the life and work of Cenobio Hernandez, a local composer in the 1920s and 30s who wrote music for silent films, which screened on the Westside of San Antonio at the Palace and Nacional theaters. A trove of his music was recently found by his grandson, Ricky Hernandez, who produced the album Recuerdos: Musica para Piano por Cenobio Hernandez, and who will host and facilitate a discussion of his grandfather’s work.

All live and online screenings of Hidden History are free of charge. Live screenings will take place at the URBAN-15 studio (2500 S. Presa 78204) at 7pm on the first Monday of the month, with the exception of this first month, which takes place on Monday, January 8th. Online screenings can be viewed at urban15.org/live-stream.

This project is supported in part by the City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture, the San Antonio Film Commission, the San Antonio Area Foundation, VuTURE Arts, and Friends of URBAN-15. 

Camera Projecting Logo - Dec 2017

The 2017 Josiah Media Festival Runs October 19-21!

In 2017, the Josiah Media Festival celebrates its 11th consecutive year as one of the world’s longest-running film festivals exclusively for young filmmakers 21 years old and under. Each year, this festival has received increased international attention and participation. During the 2017 call for entries, we received over 1800 films, adjudicated 217 entries from 38 countries, and selected 12 winners from around the world!

This year’s Josiah Media Festival will take place at the URBAN-15 Studio in San Antonio from Thursday, October 19 through Saturday, October 21. Over the course of the three-day festival, we will screen the best 54 films from four categories (narrative, documentary, animation, and experimental) and offer three free Saturday workshops for young filmmakers and film educators. The festival also includes a special Saturday matinee screening that will feature all of the selected films made by young San Antonio filmmakers attending Northeast School of the Arts, Say Si, Communication Arts High School, and Saint Mary’s Hall.

Screening Schedule

  • Thursday, October 19 at 7pm
  • Friday, October 20 at 7pm
  • Saturday, October 21 at 2pm (highlighting young San Antonio filmmakers)
  • Saturday, October 21 at 7pm (12 winning films followed by award ceremony and Skype conversations with winners from around the world)

Workshop Schedule

  • Saturday, October 21 at 11am: “3-D Filmmaking with Merge VR”
  • Saturday, October 21 at 12pm: “Feed Your Crew on a Budget” (lunch included!)
  • Saturday, October 21 at 3:30pm: “The State of Youth Media Education in Bexar County: A Roundtable Discussion.”

For full screening schedule, click HERE. For filmmaker bios, click HERE.

When Marcus and Nancy Neundorf met with URBAN-15 directors in 2007, no one could have envisioned that a memorial screening of films by their recently deceased son, Josiah Neundorf—a talented young media artist from San Antonio, Texas, USA who succumbed to bone cancer in 2006—would evolve into an internationally-recognized film festival. Since its founding, young filmmakers participating in the Josiah Media Festival have gone on to receive acclaim at other film festivals worldwide; garner attention from national and international media; excel at schools such as Tisch, USC, AFI, Chapman, Columbia and Ringling; and begin thriving professional careers.

Tickets are $10 per screening and $30 for a festival package. Tickets are available at the door and presale HERE. We are happy to make press screeners of the four 1st place films available to local media.

Want to watch from outside San Antonio? Click below to access a livestream of the event!

For more information, email josiahfestival@urban15.org or call us at (210) 736-1500.

Bacon Bacon Bacon: A Fundraiser

Saturday, August 12, 2017

6-9pm at Freetail Brewery

2000 S. Presa 78210

Free Admission / Food and Drinks for Sale

On Saturday, August 12th, URBAN-15 will host a novel summer fundraising event called “BACON BACON BACON.” Featuring vendors who agree to donate samples of their best bacon-inspired dishes for sale, this fundraiser will take place at our neighbor Freetail Brewery from 6-9pm.
We will be offering bacon samplers at $5 per item, along with a special, custom-printed URBAN-15 pilsner glass for $20, which includes one Freetail beer of your choice. Admission to the event itself is free of charge.
All proceeds from BBB will be support the continued renovation of URBAN-15’s Center for Celebration Arts and the youth and senior arts programming it serves.
This is a wonderful opportunity for us to meet our neighbors, for the wider community to learn more about what we do as a community-based arts organization, and to sample some toothsome bacon recipes by talented culinary artists. Please stop by!
For more information, please contact URBAN-15 at events@urban15.org or (210)736-1500.

A Public Art Input Session with David Blancas

URBAN-15, David Blancas, Oscar Alvarado, and the City of San Antonio invite the Presa Real neighborhood and wider community—particularly its elders—to attend a free exhibit on June 30th, starting at 7pm at 2500 S. Presa. Come meet one of the key artists involved in creating murals beneath the US Highway 90 underpasses, and contribute your family stories and photos to be considered as potential mural vignettes!

This event is part of a larger project sponsored by The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture, in collaboration with the City’s World Heritage Office, to develop the World Heritage Mural Trail by placing murals in key areas along the trail to enhance the experience of place. To date, a mural has been dedicated at Stinson Municipal Airport, final designs have been approved for locations at Villamain Road (underneath Loop 410) and along US90 underpasses (including Presa, Roosevelt, and Mission/Steves), and an artist has been selected for a site on Mission Parkway at SE Military.

For the US90 underpass mural locations, the City is working with local artists David Blancas and Oscar Alvarado to create and install mosaic tile and murals on concrete columns to convey the neighborhood’s history and culture. Additionally, the City is partnering with URBAN-15 on a community engagement process for this project, publicly exhibiting a full-scale model of one of the proposed mural columns and hosting a session with the neighborhood to gather stories and input for incorporation into the mural vignettes. On June 30, mural artist David Blancas will be present at URBAN-15 to present his and Alvarado’s progress to date and visit with community members about the mural content and its historical/cultural references.

The artist team will be displaying project work and gathering photos all summer at URBAN-15. After June 30, stop by the URBAN-15 Studio on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 12-6pm to view the latest work and learn more.

About the artists:

David Blancas is a visual artist with a repertoire spanning public art, murals, sculpture, portraiture, mosaics, and contemporary artwork. Born in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, in northern Mexico, he became a San Antonian at age four. His calling to become an artist came at the early age of five when he began realizing his natural ability to draw. With a lifetime to develop his artistic skills as a painter and mixed-media artist, Blancas enjoys creating different collections and private commissions with personal, cultural, experiential and political expressions.

Photo Credit: Al Rendon

Oscar Alvarado has created art for over twenty years, from found-object, electric assemblage sculptures to large-scale sculptures intricately covered with thousands of mosaic pieces of tile and glass. Utilizing muraling, mosaic, and sculpture materials and methods that have been in use for millennia, and inspired as well by architects like Antoni Gaudi and Frederick Law Olmsted, Alvarado endeavors to create pieces that are both beautiful and built to last. Through a collaborative process, he often works closely with design professionals on large-scale and/or public projects, and when appropriate builds community participation into the construction/installation process to involve the public itself in the making of public art.

Global Water Dances: San Antonio 2017

June 24, 2017 at 7 pm
@ The Blue Hole at Headwaters Sanctuary, Incarnate Word Campus
4301 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209

The University of the Incarnate Word Office of Sustainability and the Headwaters at Incarnate Word join with the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word who have issued a statement in support of the Paris Climate Agreement and invite all to a gathering to affirm our united efforts for environmental justice though words, music, and dance.

The Urban-15 Group, famous for their street performances under the artistic direction of Catherine Cisneros and her musician husband George Cisneros, is joining the movement called Global Water Dances, in which people on six continents will dance on June 24 to raise awareness of global water issues. Creativity is urgently needed, locally and globally, in the face of environmental destruction.

We will gather by the Blue Hole, source of the San Antonio River and the heart of the Headwaters Sanctuary preserved by the Incarnate Word Sisters. Headwaters at Incarnate Word promotes science, sustainability, and sanctuary for all. This 53-acre sanctuary offers a space for reflection and environmental education for people of all ages and may be explored at any time. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the hill below the Brackenridge Villa.

For more information, contact Sister Martha Ann Kirk, Chair of the Incarnate Word Sisters International Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee at Kirk@uiwtx.edu or (210) 883-5934.

Media Coverage

What have we been up to recently? Click on the links in the photo captions below to view media coverage of our panoply of community programs!

JMF in Dainik Asam

Josiah Media Festival in Dainik Asam, September 22, 2017

JMF in Subaico Post - Cropped (Australia)

“Animation Wins Texas Prize” in The Subaico Post, September 2nd, 2017















































Radio Aztlán San Anto Returns!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

8pm at URBAN-15

2500 S. Presa 78210

$10 Presale HERE / $15 at the Door…buy early!

On Saturday, May 20, 2017, the Jazz Poets of San Antonio present two installments of “Radio Aztlán” as part of URBAN-15’s Sonic Provocations series.

A satirical radio show/podcast performed as live teatro, “Radio Aztlán” delves into the world of the “barriocosm” in a spoof of NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion.” In turns surrealist, hilarious, and biting, the show features Jazz Poets founder Eduardo Garza as the host of the Lalo Cavazos show, with Sylbia Garza, Dee Lusk, and Kiane Naranjo supporting as different characters on the show.

Following an opening segment, the “Aztlan” performers will slide into Jazz Poetry mode, with Garza, San Juana Guillermo, Mandy Lynn Lara, Shawn Sitton, George Moreno, Liz Vera, K.C. James, and Ray Z reading atop musical improvisation by the Jazz Poetry Band (E.C. Garza, Capitan Crush, Shawn Sitton, and Thom E.).

After a brief intermission, the Jazz Poets will present another installment of “Radio Aztlán,” followed by another jazz poetry session with Aaron Coffey, Wolf, Tina Uribe, Brian Mata, Jenn Morales, Mitchell Hornbeak, Monica del Fierro, Joyous Windrider, and Sylbia Garza.

This event is part of URBAN-15’s Sonic Provocations series, an experimental project whose aim is to provide a setting for sound artists to showcase original material, taking it out of the laboratory and into the ears of the public. Sonic Provocations offers artists the creative freedom to present their work beyond the constraints of audience expectation—and in turn offers audiences the opportunity to experience something acoustically different and unique.

Tickets are $10 presale HERE and $15 at the door. Seating is limited to 80, and event is BYOB.

For more information about this event, please contact URBAN-15 at (210) 736-1500 or events@urban15.org. For more information about the Jazz Poets of San Antonio, contact Eduardo Garza at (210) 573-5115 or eduardo_cavazos_garza@yahoo.com.

Incognito: A Fiesta Street Fair

Since 1993, URBAN-15 has been an official Fiesta Presenting Member Organization, hosting an annual masquerade ball and dance party called Incognito. In previous years we have held this event as an evening, ticketed formal at the Villita Assembly Hall and other spaces around the city. This year, we feel that our Presa Real neighborhood needs a Fiesta event of its own to celebrate the artists and families from this unique community, and are excited to announce that in 2017 we will hold Incognito as a masked street party for the neighborhood. This official Fiesta event will take place at our 2500 S. Presa location from 1-9pm on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017.

Incognito will be FREE and open to the neighborhood, featuring live music by Los de Esta Noche, The Indigenauts, and Los Nahualatos; dance performances by Carnaval de San Anto; children’s activities; raffle; vendor booths; food and drink for sale; and a costume contest (dogs welcome!).  This is a wonderful opportunity to meet our neighbors, and for the wider community to learn more about what we do as a community-based arts organization. Please stop by!

All proceeds from Incognito will be dedicated to funding URBAN-15’s many dance and drumming programs for youth and senior citizens.

If interested in reserving space as a vendor, providing a children’s activity or for more info, please contact us at (210) 736-1500 or events@urban15.org.

Simultaneous Monologues/Spontaneous Dialogue: An Evening with Oppenheim and Saenz

Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 8pm

@ URBAN-15 Studio (2500 S. Presa 78210)

$10 Presale HERE, $15 at the Door…Buy your tickets early!

On the heels of two sold-out performances by the Invincible Czars, jazz saxophonists Richard Oppenheim and Rene Saenz return to URBAN-15 as the second installment of our Sonic Provocation series, which provides a setting for sound artists to showcase original material, taking it out of the laboratory and into the ears of the public.
Multi-instrumentalists versatile in all genres of reed music, Oppenheim and Saenz are nationally recognized jazz saxophonists who have performed across genres—from Tejano to jazz, country and rock to blues—and with such noted musicians as Marvin Gaye, Tito Puente, and Count Basie. Taking full advantage of the creative freedom offered by the Sonic Provocation series, Oppenheim and Saenz’s performance eschews easy listening or covers of jazz standards for experimentation, with the jazz duo at times playing in parallel and at times in conversation—the simultaneous monologues/spontaneous dialogues of the title—in an exploration into the nature of improvisation.
In this highly abstract performance–with 20 minutes of improv followed by intermission, drinks, and audience interaction followed by another 20 minute set–Oppenheim and Saenz are sure to challenge and provoke listeners, but also reward their intellectual curiosity. How do we create distinctions between sonic beauty and sonic discord? When is music? Bring your thinking ears!
Seating is limited to 80, and tickets are $10 presale HERE but rise to $15 at the door, so buy now! Event is BYOB.
For more information about the event, contact 210-736-1500 or events@urban15.org

The Invincible Czars Return to URBAN-15 Jan. 27 & 28!


TWO shows!

FRI, Jan 27th & SAT, Jan 28th

9pm @ URBAN-15

2500 S. Presa 78210


Austin’s Emperors of Eclecticism, the Invincible Czars have been all over the US in the last year with their silent film soundtrack to Nosferatu.  They kicked it all off at URBAN-15 last spring and now they’re coming back with a new silent film score for Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

Released in 1920, and considered by many as the first significant American horror film, this film stars Drew Barrymore’s grandfather John Barrymore as both Jekyll and Hyde in one of the most memorable performances of early film. Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 19th century gothic novel, the movie tells the by-now-classic story of Dr. Henry Jekyll , a scientist, philanthropist and all around upstanding English citizen.  When a colleague invites the uptight doctor to a cabaret show, Dr. Jekyll’s attraction sends him on a Victorian quest to separate humanity’s good and evil aspects.  Using himself as the test subject, Jekyll unleashes his own evil alter-ego in the form of Edward Hyde.  But Jekyll’s imperfect science sends the good doctor into an uncontrollable oscillation between these two selves that imperil his reputation, his finance and eventually his own life.

The Invincible Czars’ soundtrack is minimal, spooky and even includes audience participation!  Line-up features Leila Henley (winds, vocals, loops, percussion), Josh Robins (guitar, sound effects, percussion), Phil Davidson (violin, organ) and Hen3ry Q Vines (bass guitar).  The band has incorporated music from the classical realm into the score, arranging Eric Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1 and No. 5 alongside an eerily beautiful but obscure Debussy piece entitled Footsteps in the Snow. Just like their music, The Invincible Czars’ wardrobe is meant to complement the film, and they encourage audiences to do the same!

Tickets are $10 presale and $15 at the door; presale tix can be purchased HERE.

This event is part of URBAN-15’s Sonic Provocation series, an experimental project whose aim is to provide a setting for sound artists to showcase original material, taking it out of the laboratory and into the ears of the public. Sonic Provocation offers artists the creative freedom to present their work beyond the constraints of audience expectation—and in turn offers audiences the opportunity to experience something acoustically different and unique.