San Antonio Public Library Foundation’s Catrina Ball
By Shannon Miller Turner Photography by Greg Harrison
THE SCENE: The San Antonio Public Library Foundation’s inaugural Catrina Ball celebrated the long-anticipated opening of the Central Library’s Latino Collection and Resource Center (LCRC), a dynamic and inviting 6,000 square foot space devoted to Hispanic and Latino education programs. Guests were welcomed by Catrina Ball chair Kye Kilpatrick Fox and Latino Leadership for the Library’s event co-chairs, Ellen Riojas Clark, Ph. D. and James V. Mazuca.
La Catrina, Rosemary Kowalski and El Catrín, Pete Cortéz, were honored and recognized for their invaluable contributions to the San Antonio Library System including the $100,000 gift that La Familia Cortéz has pledged to the Latino Collection and Resource Center.
THE VIBE: The Día de los Muertos-themed gala began with Mariachi las Coronelas and Adelita Folklorico performance as guests entered the iconic Ricardo Legorreta-designed library, which was framed by a lit sculpture of the Mission Espada by artists Momo & Pompa. The first floor was transformed into an elegant moving fiesta, enticing the crowd to mix and mingle as guests were treated to music by Henry Brun, and specialty cocktails and gourmet versions of favorite Mexican street foods by Rosemary’s Catering.
After hors d’ourves of Flor de Calabaza, lobster and avocado corn cake, and chorizo and manchego croquettes, Rosemary’s Catering filled the Central Library with uniquely designed, traditional & modern Mexican food stations that included: a campechana station with citrus-marinated seafood presented in individual martini glasses, and street taco stations with fresh pressed mini tortillas and house-made salsas.
The attendees were dressed in dramatic costumes and brought mementos to place on the community altar anchored by a larger-than-life Catrina. The silent art auction with many works donated by Drs. Harriett and Ricardo Romo amplified the fundraiser’s success and highlighted local Latino artists. Performers adorned with large, elaborately decorated Frida Kahlo heads led partygoers through the areas of the LCRC.
Celebrations continued as Urban 15, in full calavera costume, paraded through the crowd leading everyone to the Disco de los Muertos after party where Judy deLeón and the Latin Connection had the dance floor packed until the end of the night.
THE CAUSE: This year’s Catrina Ball raised essential funds for the Latino Collection and Resource Center’s future programming and outreach. Ramiro Salazar serves as the Director of the San Antonio Public Library System. The San Antonio Public Library Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to strengthen the library and its services to its community.