24th annual Multicultural Conference hosts flamenco dancer

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Scobee Education Center File

International art is focus of event.

By Victoria Lee Zamora


About 80 people gathered inside Scobee Education CenterApril 24 to be a part of this college’s 24th annual Multicultural Conference.

This year’s theme is “Three Centuries of Encounters” to correlate with San Antonio celebrating its existence of 300 years.

English Professor Claudio San-Miguel is the chairman of the committee that planned the event.

“We planned to have 60 to 120 people show up — SAC students and people from the community,” Claudio San-Miguel said.

 “The past couple of years, our budget has been cut. This year specifically was definitely a little more challenging to plan,” San-Miguel said.

Two years ago the budget was five thousand dollars. This year that budget was cut 25%. Planers did not do a publication listing the events as had been produced in previous years, he said.

 “Typically, we start planning at the end of the spring semester. We get together the end of May or first week of June. To see what our theme will be and to also discuss  what performances we should book that’s within the budget,” San-Miguel said.

This three-day conference is not an average Fiesta San Antonio event, he said. 

 It is a chance to experience different cultures through art, dance, fashion and poetry.

 This event featured a flamenco dancer, Tamara Adira, who is the Artistic Director  of her Art company Arte y Pasión.

Arte y Pasión has gained international attention with participation of artists from Madrid, Sevilla, Marseilles, San Francisco and New Mexico.

“I wanted to use the quiet voice of art to express my feelings about what is going on in this world,” Adira said. 

Adira has been dancing flamenco for 18 years, but she has been a dancer for 40 years.

“I wanted my art to act as a healing force, so when my dear friend, Professor San-Miguel came to me about putting the performances together. I knew I wanted to inspire the public,” Ardira said. “Art can move people and flamenco is just one form of it. I want people to pay attention to how they feel after they leave this event. To see what actions their willing to pursue from it.”

 Marketing sophomore Victoria Garcia attended the event not only to gain extra credit for her English class, PUNC but to “learn about the Latin culture and the heritage behind flamenco dancing,” Garcia said.

 “The conference has changed every year. This year is much bigger than last year,” San-Miguel said.

Other than the flamenco performances there was a Haitian stylist Kirsten Thompson. Who styled all the performers including the flamenco dancers, as well as performing a traditional Haitian dance.

“Within the procession, there are people from Panama, Kenya, Haiti and even people with different religions like Tamara, who is Jewish,” Thompson said.

“Either way no matter what walk of life you’re from or what the color of your skin is,  art brings people together. That is what this event is about,” Thompson said. 


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