Roberto Treviño is an architect, a former San Antonio Councilman for District 1, and as of June 2023, he is the new Executive Director of the San Antonio Philharmonic. We sat down with him to discuss his new role, being an advocate for arts and culture in San Antonio, and some of his preferred places.
MiSA: You have a unique vantage point on our city having an architecture background, being an advocate for arts and culture, and working as a public servant. How is San Antonio doing on a state-wide and national level? What would you love to see us doing as a city in arts and culture?
Treviño: San Antonio is a vibrant city with a rich artistic community and a diverse range of talented artists. However, it is worth noting that many artists often feel a lack of support and opportunities, leading them to seek artistic careers elsewhere. Despite this challenge, the arts community in San Antonio has shown resilience and continues to thrive through grassroots efforts and the determination of local artists.
Investing in the arts not only enriches the cultural fabric of a city but also creates pathways to a well-cultivated life of opportunities. By fostering an environment that values and supports artistic expression, San Antonio can attract and retain talented artists, encourage innovation, and contribute to the city's overall growth and development.
In addition to strengthening institutional support, it would be beneficial for San Antonio to prioritize the development of cultural infrastructure, such as dedicated art spaces, galleries, and affordable performance venues. This would provide artists with more platforms to showcase their work, engage with the community, and attract visitors from both the state and the nation.
Furthermore, fostering collaborations between different sectors, such as the arts, education, and business communities, can lead to innovative partnerships and initiatives that amplify the impact of the arts in San Antonio. By nurturing these connections, the city can create a supportive ecosystem that fosters creativity, encourages artistic entrepreneurship, and enhances the overall cultural vitality of San Antonio.
MiSA: What can the fans of arts and culture in San Antonio do to help support the San Antonio Philharmonic starting today?
Treviño: As the newly appointed Executive Director of the San Antonio Philharmonic, I am pleased to convey our organization's commitment to community-centric initiatives and our dedication to establishing a regional orchestra that serves as a catalyst for collaboration and participation among various organizations and artists who contribute to the enrichment of our community. We firmly believe that the San Antonio Philharmonic has the potential to bring about positive change, enhancing the overall quality of life for all the communities we engage with. In pursuit of this vision, we aim to offer educational opportunities and support economic development, thereby contributing to the holistic growth of our region.
Aficionados of the arts possess the ability and responsibility to articulate the profound influence that artistic endeavors have exerted on their lives. Taking this discourse a step further, it is imperative to actively facilitate public engagement with the arts. Encouraging one's neighbors to attend performances, supporting local artists by purchasing their works, seeking artists' perspectives on their desired representation, and, above all, advocating for the integration of the arts into the fabric of local institutions—for instance, in infrastructure projects, educational initiatives, and community development—are all crucial actions that must be undertaken. By doing so, we can foster an environment where the transformative power of the arts is fully recognized and embraced.
MiSA: Where do you like to eat in San Antonio and why?
Treviño: My preferred dining experiences are diverse, reflecting the variety of places I enjoy depending on my mood. We are fortunate to reside in a city distinguished as a UNESCO World Heritage City of Gastronomy. When gathering with my family on a typical Sunday morning, I gravitate towards venues that evoke the traditions of family breakfasts, where we reconnect and share our lives over barbacoa or pan dulce. When socializing with friends, I appreciate the number of exceptional establishments where we can unwind and savor an array of culinary delights. Moreover, when seeking solitude, I am grateful for San Antonio's peaceful locations that offer an opportunity to relish an amazing meal in tranquility. Considering the multifaceted nature of my life, I cannot designate a sole favorite place, as I embrace the richness and diversity of my experiences.
MiSA: Do you have any books you would recommend on the topic of arts and culture?
Treviño: I would like to offer my recommendations on notable books pertaining to arts and culture. Firstly, "The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley," by Eric Weiner, provides insightful exploration into the profound relationship between geography and artistic expression. As Plato would say, “What is honored in a country is cultivated there”.
Secondly, "The Lives of Artists" by Giorgio Vasari offers a comprehensive first-hand account of the lives and works of various influential artists during the Renaissance, shedding light on their significant contributions.
Lastly, although not directly centered on art, "Don Quixote" by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra, conveys a powerful message about purpose, making it a compelling read with valuable implications for personal fulfillment. It is ok to be misunderstood.
To stay in the loop with the San Antonio Philharmonic, visit their website for ticket information and sign up for their newsletter to receive updates at saphil.org/tickets-and-packages.