Music, poetry and the business of art: Una Noche de Gloria en San Antonio

 With a little conjunto, some artwork and the puro slam rhythms of a young poet, the Contemporary Art and Literature Organization (CALO) is kicking off plans for another Una Noche de la Gloria. www.myspace.com/lagloriaarts

This “one night of glory” brings together dozens of musicians, fashion designers, filmmakers, writers, poets, and artists for a night of Latino-led creativity, said La Gloria founder Gabriel Quintero Velasquez, president of CALO.

 The second-annual La Gloria will be held 6 p.m. to midnight, Oct. 9 in the heart of the Guadalupe Arts District at Guadalupe and Brazos streets. 
 
The kickoff event featured the artwork of Yvette Shadrock and Chicano artist Raul Slavin, as well as the accordion-led music of Jacinto Guevara y Su Conjunto. 
 
Poet Amanda Flores, 22, who represented San Antonio recently in the 21st annual National Poetry Slam competition in Minneapolis, gave a reading of her work, which began, “I will not write poetry when the teacher is talking…”
 
Slam poetry is not demure recitation of poems from a podium. Flores moved with dance-like rhythms that matched her words that etched the triumph of poetry over decorum in the classroom. Her father, Anthony Flores, a noted San Antonio poet too, watched with pride from the front row. They will be among the participants in La Gloria.  
 
The idea, Velasquez said, is not only to showcase the diversity of Latino artwork but also to give area artists a means to organize and market themselves. 
 
“If you want to give an artist an award, buy their work,” said Jesse Trevino, San Antonio’s internationally renowned photorealist painter and muralist and a co-organizer of La Noche.
 
Brandon Olmos, a young filmmaker from Los Angeles, now relocated to San Antonio, announced that the ‘short’ film he shot of last year’s La Gloria is now a one-hour documentary he hopes will be aired on PBS before this year’s show. 
 
Olmos also announced that a new San Antonio Latino International Film Festival will be unveiled during La Gloria, featuring videos shot by artists from the United States, Mexico, the Americas, as well as Spain and Portugal.
 
“La Gloria is about creating an environment for Latino artists,” Olmos said. “It is not about proving ourselves.”
District 5 Councilman David Medina, a major sponsor of this year’s La Gloria, called the event a great opportunity for the artistic community to come together, to learn and to show their art.
 
“It’s also a wonderful opportunity for people throughout the community to get to know the West Side,” he said.
 
Another sponsor, Alamo Federal Credit Union – the first lending institution to locate on the West Side, presented La Gloria with a $5,000 donation.
 
Other sponsors include: San Antonio Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs, San Antonio Westside Development Agency, Citibank, The San Antonio Express-News, Conexion and Trends Magazine, Cesar Chavez Legacy and Education Fund, La Prensa, the San Antonio Culinary Arts Foundation, and World Audio and Lights Inc. 

 
For more information about Una Noche de la Gloria and a schedule of events, go to gqvelasquez.com/
 
In the video below, taken in 2009, event organizers Velasquez and Sandra Cortez talk about how La Gloria came to be: