The Luminaria Team
In 2015, curator and educator Kathy Armstrong was named Luminaria's first Executive Director. Armstrong has strong artistic vision, long-range planning skills, and extensive experience working with the rich diversity of San Antonio cultural organizations. She served for 18 years as Director of Exhibitions for the Southwest School of Art, where she commissioned and curated dozens of acclaimed local, national and international exhibitions. She was a curator for Luminaria in 2011, and was appointed by Mayor Julian Castro the festival’s Associate Artistic Director for Luminaria 2013. Armstrong has also served as a key selection panelist and guest curator for numerous local arts institutions and nonprofits, including Public Arts San Antonio Capital Projects, Texas State University, Planned Parenthood South Texas, Rockport Center of the Arts, Say Si, ArtPace and San Antonio's Distinction in the Arts Award.
Armstrong welcomes the opportunity to further develop Luminaria as a multi-disciplinary contemporary arts festival produced by, and featuring the artists, curators, and makers of San Antonio and beyond. She is especially excited to showcase the10th annual festival in November 2017.
Ethel Shipton is an artist, curator and producer. Originally from Laredo, she received her BA from the University of Texas in Austin, moved to Mexico City for a few years, and settled in San Antonio. Shipton is a key figure in the visual arts community of San Antonio. She was the Head Preparator at the McNay Art Museum for 13 years and prior to that worked for the San Antonio Museum of Art, Blue Star Contemporary Arts Museum and other galleries. Shipton has curated exhibitions for many venues including Guladalupe Cultural Arts Center and Parchman Stremmel Gallery. She directed an independent exhibitions space called The Project Room, giving artists the opportunity to create new works, and she currently directs Vacancy Projects with her partner Nate Cassie. Shipton has been involved with Luminaria since the first one in 2008 -- as an artist, member of the artistic steering committee, and as part of the production team.
Sarah Fisch works as a writer and media consultant in San Antonio, where she was born and raised. She is a Plan II alum at the University of Texas at Austin, earned her B.A. in creative writing from The New School in New York City, and was an Annenberg Fellow in Arts Journalism at the University of Southern California. Her arts writing and essays have appeared in New Statesman, the San Francisco Chronicle, Glasstire, The Village Voice, San Antonio Magazine, and McSweeney’s. She is the former Arts Editor of the San Antonio Current, where she is still a frequent contributor. She has performed stand-up comedy and written seven children’s books, including Shrek 2: Gag Book, the tie-in children’s joke book for Shrek 2. No kidding. Sarah hates mayonnaise, and loves Shark Week.
Artistic Advisory Committee 2017
Jenny Browne is the author of three collections of poems, At Once, The Second Reason and Dear Stranger. A former James Michener Fellow at the University of Texas, she worked for many years as a poet in the schools through the Texas Commission on the Arts and is currently a professor of English at Trinity University where she teaches courses in creative writing, women and gender studies and environmental literature. She has received the Cecil Hemley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and two fellowships from the Texas Writers League. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications including American Poetry Review, Oxford American, The New York Times and Tin House. She lives in downtown San Antonio with her husband, photographer Scott Martin, and their daughters. Jenny is currently the City of San Antonio’s Poet Laureate.
Garrett T. Capps
Garrett T. Capps has long been dedicated to the craft of songwriting and musical creation, and received special recognition for his album, Y Lost Lonely Hipsters, from the San Antonio Express News. He was a featured Luminaria artist, performing with Phillip Luna, and is currently preparing his next full-length “space country” album. Garrett was born in San Antone and received his BBA in Marketing from Texas State University. He has extensive experience in the field of live music production, with project management at World Audio & Lights and as a booking and Production agent for Paper Tiger, a music club on St. Mary’s Street.
Joe De La Cruz
Joe De La Cruz is an artist born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He currently works as an exhibitions preparator for museums, galleries and other arts organizations. Joe is also skilled in custom picture framing. In 2012, he opened the small artist-run space known as Silkworm Studio and Gallery, where he presents work by established and emerging artists at the 1906 South Flores Art complex. He exhibits his artwork locally, working in the mediums of drawing, watercolor painting and large-scale mural painting. Joe is known in the South Flores Arts District as a community facilitator and as a consultant in art presentation and exhibitions fabrication.
Cassandra Parker-Nowicki is the Cultural Center Supervisor for the Carver Community Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas. In this capacity, she is largely responsible for the Carver’s artistic programming as well as general oversight of the performing arts complex. Cassandra holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre from Southwestern University and has worked in arts administration for over 20 years, including an eight-year tenure at The Majestic and Empire Theatres in San Antonio, as well as three years at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center in Baltimore, MD. Cassandra is a member of Association of Performing Arts Professionals, National Performance Network, Southwest Performing Arts Presenters, Women of Color in the Arts & the Guild for Community Arts Educators. Cassandra believes strongly in the power and possibilities that exist within the arts to transform and heal individuals and communities, as well as celebrate that which makes us all unique and that which binds us together.
Troy Peters has been Music Director of YOSA (Youth Orchestras of San Antonio) since 2009. He has guest conducted many orchestras, including the Oregon Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, and Vermont Symphony Orchestra. His work has been the subject of national media attention from CBS Sunday Morning, National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition, Symphony, and The New Yorker. A popular lecturer, he has presented pre-concert talks for the Philadelphia Orchestra and Carnegie Hall. He has also gained international attention for his orchestral collaborations with rock musicians, including Blind Pilot, Jon Anderson (of the band Yes), and Trey Anastasio (of the band Phish), with whom he recorded two albums on Elektra Records. Working with dozens of San Antonio rock musicians, he created YOSA’s Classic Albums Live series, winner of a 2016 Centropolitan Award from Centro San Antonio. Troy holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Greenock, Scotland (of American parents), he grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and lives in San Antonio with his wife and two children.
Joel Celestino Settles
Joel Celestino Settles is a San Antonio based multidisciplinary performing artist, educator, and cultural arts administrator. He is a founding member of the award winning sketch comedy group Comedia A Go-Go, co-founder of Colectiva Arts & Culture, and a founding member of SALTA the San Antonio Latino Theatre Alliance. He has performed in, written and/or directed works at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Jump-Start Performance Co., Teatro Campesino, Dallas' Latino Cultural Center, MACLA in San Jose CA, and SA’s Attic Rep among others. He formerly served as the Theatre Program director for SAY Sí, a nationally recognized youth arts education center. Joel recently attended the prestigious Directors Lab at the Lincoln Center in NYC where he worked with 70 directors representing 35 countries. He currently serves as the Program Director for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.
Maritza "Blu" Vazquez
Maritza "Blu" Vazquez is an artist based in Guadalajara, Mexico and San Antonio, TX. Drawing inspiration as an avid diver, her work employs a wide variety of material to explore abstract forms impassioned by her exploration of marine life. She worked for sculptors Diego Martínez Negrete and Saúl Hernández Santoyo, who taught her bronze casting and finishing techniques and with Generoso Villarreal to complete her Coral Series in 2009. Her work has been exhibited internationally in galleries, museums, and public spaces. Blu received her degree in visual arts from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in 1986 and a BA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015. Active in the arts community, she has served on the Blue Star Contemporary Art Board of Directors since 2011, and currently serves as head of the Exhibitions Committee.
Artistic Advisory Committee 2016
A native Texan, Alcantar received his BFA from the University of Texas at Austin in general studio art practices with an emphasis on drawing and painting. Later, from the University of Colorado–Boulder, he received his MFA in Drawing and Painting. However you will find him making work in whatever media his concept requires. A strong advocate of art and critical thinking, Alcantar's interest is attached to art's ability to address what is universal and to point out the beauty that exists in the world. Alcantar’s work concerns human negotiation behavior and the impact of negotiated choices on the narratives and relationships between people, environments, and experiences.
Covo was instrumental in bringing Edible San Antonio Magazine to the Alamo City. Both Angela and publisher Frederic Covo are at the helm of Edible San Antonio Magazine, an artistic publication rich in photography and visuals devoted to chronicling the history and stories of people who enrich the local culinary and cultural terrain. Currently, she and Frederic are spearheading the effort to have San Antonio recognized and designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, boosting the city as an international culinary destination. As Managing Editor of La Prensa San Antonio, Covo reported extensively on the arts and other issues that affect the Latino community in San Antonio. She is also a recognized film critic who contributes to Criticwire and sits on the board of The San Antonio Film Festival. The award-winning journalist and editor earned a B.A. in Neuroscience and Spanish from New York University. She honed her writing and editing skills later in life at the journalism program at San Antonio College, where she worked as editor of The Ranger.
King is a Co-Founder of The Renaissance Guild-San Antonio’s Premiere Black Theatre Company, and her own company, Dramachild Productions. She is an accomplished, multi-award winning actor and singer and has worked in professional entertainment for 20+ years. Her most recent works includes: “Divas of Eastwood-A Celebration of the Chitlin’ Circuit” (The Renaissance Guild), “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Classic Theatre-ATAC Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy), “Smokey Joe’s Café” (Woodlawn Theatre-ATAC Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical), “Ragtime” (Playhouse San Antonio) “African Folktales” (TRG); “Steel Magnolias” (TRG); and “Ethics Follies” (ACS). She is honored to be the recipient of numerous Alamo Theatre Arts Council Globe Awards. King has a passion for training and inspiring others in theatre and entertainment performance, and conducts theatre classes.
Dr. Joseph Lopez
Lopez (aka “joey phd”) is a Professor and the advisor of the Convergent Media concentration at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. His background spans many fields, however his passion is teaching and working with students and the community to realize their aspirations. A northwest side San Antonio native and PhD graduate from University of Texas at Austin, Lopez creates a unique environment for students to feel encouragement to think and create freely while also giving them the professional and cultural attention needed to succeed in the real world.
The Singer-Songwriter, turned Radio Broadcaster is based out of San Antonio, Texas. Since 2011, Muniz has been working as a DJ for KROV 91.7HD2 on a local music program called, "Good Job Texas." There, she began working in Event Hosting, Photography and Video Production, Content Writing, Media Relations, and Marketing. This local music advocate has been recognized by multiple publications, including 'Best Radio Show' in 2015 for “Live and Local” on 91.7FM-KRTU by The San Antonio Current.
Quintanilla is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014). His work has appeared in Salamander, RHINO, Alaska Quarterly Review, Arcadia, The Bitter Oleander, Fugue, and The Texas Observer. Reviews of his work can be found at Pleiades, CutBank Literary Journal, Concho River Review, San Antonio Express-News, American Microreviews & Interviews, and Southwestern American Literature. He is a CantoMundo Fellow and holds a PhD from the University of North Texas. He is the South Texas regional editor for Texas Books in Review and teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the M.A./M.F.A. program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.
2016 Production Site Managers
Roxie Pena, Carver Jo Long Theatre
Maritza Quiroz, Carver Community Cultural Center & Idea Carver Academy Festival
Ethel Shipton, Production Manager
Rosalinda Herrera, Hays Street Bridge Festival
Yvonne Montoya, Dignowity & Lockwood Parks Festival
Kathy Armstrong, Executive Director
Jorge Lowree, Carver Little Theatre
Administrative Support 2015- 2017
Colin Bosworth-Clemens is a native of Vermont, but got to Texas soon as he could! An avid follower of culture, public affairs and life in the Southwest, he is currently studying Economics at the University of Texas at San Antonio. As an Intern at Luminaria, he assists with fundraising, researches Luminaria's economic impact, pursues W.A.G.E. certification for the organization, all while learning more about economics in the not-for-profit sector. His other interests include hiking, cycling and design.
Aquilina Castillo is a local San Antonio ceramist and aspiring educator. In 2013 she graduated with her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of North Texas. Currently, she produces work at the Alamo City Pottery Workshop in Lavaca of San Antonio's southtown area. This is her first year as an Administrative Intern for Luminaria.
Alyssa Michelle Danna was born and raised in LaBelle, a rural area just south of Beaumont Texas, and came west to San Antonio to earn her Masters of Fine Art in sculpture from UTSA. She continues to make and show artwork while cobbling a lifestyle together with experience from interning with the Registrar at the San Antonio Museum of Art, working as Exhibitions Assistant at the Southwest School of Art, and doing freelance contract preparator jobs. The stranger the better! Danna is the Volunteer and Special Events Coordinator for Luminaria.
Ashlin, from Midland, is a student at Texas State University with a double major in studio art, with a concentration in painting, and interior design. About painting, she writes "I sincerely enjoy the way the arts allows me to express thoughts and feelings". She is Luminaria's Image Management Intern and will soon become an expert on the past 9 years of festivals.
Norma Jean Moore is a painter, who taught art in the public schools for 24 years. She earned a Bachelors in Arts Education from the University of New Mexico and a Masters in Arts Education from Texas Tech University. Moore has been an administrative volunteer for Luminaria since May 2015, she is the coordinator of Community Art Events for the November 2016 festival.
Daniel Salas is a sophomore at Columbia University who is majoring in Architecture. Although technically not a Texas native, he has spent exactly 92.11618% of his life since birth in San Antonio and he thinks that’s close enough. His work an Intern includes analyzing data on Luminaria attendees, creating graphics for use in demographics reports, archiving materials and whatever else needs to be done. In his free time, Daniel enjoys drawing and books on art theory and history.
Artistic Advisory Committee 2015-6
Ms. Barrera is a stage director, actor, and playwright whose interests include community building through the arts. A Latino arts advocate, Barrera co-founded the San Antonio Latino Theatre Alliance and was a 2013 National Association for Latino Arts & Culture Advocacy Leadership Institute Fellow. Barrera has a BFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University and is pursuing a MA/MFA from Our Lady of the Lake University. She served on the Luminaria Performance Steering Committee from 2011 - 2013. Barrera honed her theater skills in Dallas with Cara Mia Theatre before moving to San Antonio to head the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Theater Program. At the Guadalupe, she wrote and directed the world premieres of Milagritos and Ay, Pedro!. Barrera’s focus shifted to conceptual performance when she performed with Guillermo-Gomez Pena in Jump-Start's Epcot: El Ala-MAL and with La Pocha Nostra in public space performances in San Francisco. Her independent projects include award directing of Oscuridad and Carpa for Jump-Start and Lydia for AtticRep. Barrera’s family play, La Chili Queen y El Serrano, is currently on rotation at the Witte Museum. This summer, Barrera is acting in AtticRep's La Mahabarata and her new play, Drop House, will be staged at Jump-Start Performance Co.
Ms. Berry is the owner and CEO of Trilogy Dance Center, which celebrates 6 years in July 2015. She has been studying the performing arts and landing time on stage since she was 5 years old. At the age of 19, she started her professional career as a dancer and began training as an instructor. Berry has studied and performed ballet, tap, jazz, mode and hip hop genres from Los Angeles to New York to San Antonio. Berry is a founding company member of San Antonio Jazz Ensemble, which was a dance performance component of Luminaria in 2011, 2012, and 2013. She has a BA in Communications with a focus in Public Relations from The University of Texas San Antonio. She is a musical theater regular in the San Antonio area and most recently played Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, Adelaide (Guys & Dolls), Ulla (producers) and Louise in Gypsy at theatres including the Playhouse San Antonio, Vexler Theatre and Woodlawn Theatre. She has been a volunteer with the Community Justice Program, participating in Ethics Follies at the Empire Theater and is a current member of Leadership San Antonio Class 40. She and her husband are advocates for no kill animal shelters in Bexar County and often foster dogs alongside their own furry pack of four.
Mr. Robinson is an artist living and working in San Antonio TX. Robinson has a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is employed by Artpace | San Antonio as the founding Studio Director, a position he has held for 21 years. Selected exhibitions of his artwork have been at Testsite in Austin TX; Texas A&M International University, Laredo TX; Sala Diaz, San Antonio, Texas; KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art Helsinki, Finland and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond Virginia. In 2008, Robinson selected 66 San Antonio artists to co-author Art At Our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists with writer Nan Cuba. As a public artist, Robinson has complete six major commissions in the last 5 years including new works for Tesoro Corp, San Antonio Water System, University Hospital System, City of San Antonio and NuStar Energy. Riley Robinson is married to artist Joey Fauerso and they two sons Brendan and Paul.
Mr. Rocha received a BS degree in Radio, Television, & Film from University of Texas at Austin. Currently, he is cinema teacher at John Marshall High School in NISD and at the Art Institute of San Antonio. Since 2009 he has been an adjunct teacher at San Antonio College and Northwest Vista College. He has continually worked in the field of film production for twenty-one years. Rocha is the founder and is the Executive Director of the San Antonio Film Festival, which is celebrating it's 21st anniversary. He has directed eight short narrative films and two short documentaries. His short films have screened at various film festivals in the USA. He received a National Association of Latino Independent Producers – Achievement Award in Cinema in 2002. Other accolades include a nomination for a Texas Emmy in 2009, a teacher of the year award in 2010 by WOAI television, and a Peabody Award in 2014. Rocha currently serves as an evaluator for the Texas Commission on the Arts.
Mr. Smart is a San Antonio based musician who's been writing, producing and performing for the past 35 years. He's fronted several bands including the Mechanical Walking Robotboy, Lung Overcoat and Thirteen. He has a BFA from Trinity University. For the last three years he's been touring internationally with singer Chrysta Bell performing music she co-wrote with director/artist David Lynch. Recent performances include the David Lynch Between Two Worlds exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland, Le Femmes S'en Melent Festival, Paris and the Akbank Arts Festival, Istanbul.
Anna Stothart joined the San Antonio Museum of Art in February 2015 as the Brown Foundation Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Stothart served as Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston where she organized the solo exhibitons of Mickalene Thomas, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berd, Adriana Varejão, and Meleko Mokgosi. She has also acted as presenting curator for critically acclaimed exhibitions Ragnar Kjartansson: Song; La Toya Ruby Frazier: WITNESS; and Jim Hodges: GIVE MORE THAN YOU TAKE. Stothart previously served as Curatorial Associate and Curatorial Assistant at the ICA, during which time she coordinated and assisted on multiple exhibitions, including Swoon: Anthropocene Extinction and Isaac Julian: Ten Thousand Waves. She received her master’s degree in Art History and Museum Studies from the Tufts University with an emphasis on Contemporary Latin American Art.
Are you intererested in being part of the Luminaria team? Please send a letter / email of interest to the Executive Director - be sure to include full contact information and support materials.
PO Box 120188, San Antonio, Texas 78212 • (210) 721-1670 • email@example.com