The Public Theater has announced its dedication to relate the history of the San Pedro Playhouse, promising to tell the story of the land and the people that came before the “little theater” was erected in the early 1900s.
A special presentation held on Wednesday, Feb. 16, marked the beginning of the theater’s commitment to uplifting the voices of local indigenous people, acknowledging their contributions to this commitment.
The presentation was attended by Isaac “Papa Bear” Alvarez Cardenas, Spiritual Leader of the Tāp Pīlam Coahuiltecan Nation, a leader and cultural bearer of the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions.
Also in attendance was the Public’s Executive Artistic Director, Claudia de Vasco, who read a statement about the land acknowledgment.
“The Public Theater of San Antonio believes that acknowledging the history of the first inhabitants of the park in which our historic theater sits was a critical step as we work to transform our internal culture, heal the relationship with our artistic and local community, and set us on the path towards inclusion and equity,” said Ms. de Vasco.
“We also understand that acknowledgment is only the first step, and that making an ongoing commitment to uplifting indigenous voices and serving as good stewards of their sacred land is key to this new relationship.”
Ronaldo Gutierrez, Board President from American Indians in Texas at Spanish Colonial Missions, said “I think it’s a great opportunity for American Indians in Texas to be a partner of The Public Theater.
“It matters that indigenous communities be finally recognized as part of the narrative of these public spaces where our ancestors welcomed the first settlers into our home.”
The mission of the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions is to work for the preservation and protection of the culture and traditions of the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation and other indigenous people of the Spanish Colonial Missions in South Texas and Northern Mexico through: education, research, community outreach, economic development projects and legislative initiatives at the federal, state and local levels. Visit aitscm.org/about for more information.
Feature photo: Isaac “Papa Bear” Alvarez Cardenas.