Since 1957, Fiesta Noche del Rio has been an annual showcase of regional culture, celebrating the Mexican, Tejano, Latin American, and Spanish dance and musical traditions that make up San Antonio’s cultural landscape. Produced by the Alamo Kiwanis Club as a charity event for children’s organizations and held each year on the Riverwalk at the Arneson River Theater, Fiesta Noche del Rio archives a rich community history of the many working musicians and dancers who have performed over the decades–not least Rosita Fernandez, San Antonio’ “First Lady of Song,” who helped spearhead the event as a venue through which to showcase local talent. Curated by members of the Alamo Kiwanis Club, May’s episode explores the contributions of these artists, their intersection with the making of the modern Riverwalk, and the long term community impact of the event.
As part of the city’s calendar of Tricentennial arts activities, Hidden Histories is a new monthly, magazine-format video series that pursues and preserves the stories, lives, and places that make San Antonio an inspiring cultural treasure. Over the course of 2018, Hidden Histories will premiere 12 monthly screenings live in our studio, free of charge. Each screening highlights 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. Live screenings are supplemented by interviews and discussions with participants, family members of those featured, and field experts. Following each live screening, video segments are archived online for 24/7 access.