May 5, 2018
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December 8, 2018


This Happened Here: Hidden History Tour of the Westside

In 2018, San Antonio celebrates its 300th anniversary! As part of the celebration, the Westside Development Corporation (WDC) is partnering with SERVE 300 SA, a citywide community service initiative designed to positively affect the quality of life in our neighborhoods, for the tricentennial festivities.

In this role, the WDC is hosting the SA 300 event This Happened Here: History in Hidden Corners of the Westside Tour next year, and is currently seeking storytellers from the community to share their own rich experience with the history of the Westside.


San Antonio values its history; its citizens wear their pride and passion on their sleeves. SPARK 300 SA reflect the city’s commitment to education at all levels – public, private, charter, and collegiate – and can be found in all parts of our community. It’s little wonder then that History and Education would play a central role in the city’s Tricentennial celebration. We imagine featured exhibits, a commemorative book, interactive learning opportunities, thrilling reenactments of events in their original settings, and many other learning opportunities.

The WDC in partnership with SA 300 is currently seeking selected storytellers for the project who will share their local tales that honor the Westside’s history, culture, people, and places as part of Westside bus tour in addition to having their story published in local media outlets.

Contact Dawn Hanson at or call (210) 501-0192 in response to this letter and any questions. Thank you for your interest!

SA 300 Storytellers

Pablo Escamilla
Program & Development Officer of Madonna Center
Story Synopsis:
Anna will share the history of the Madonna Center, founded in the Westside in 1939 by The Sisters of the Divine Providence.
Address/Location: 1906 Castroville Road, SATX 78237
Additional: Guests will be invited to step-off the bus and walk onto the Madonna Center property. The Madonna Center will also provide light refreshments and display a photo gallery.

Ethel Garett
Former long-term resident of the West End neighborhood in the Westside
Story Synopsis:
Ethel will share the story of what used to be the Rex Theater, an African-American only theater in the 1940-1950’s, on Zarzamora St.
Address/Location: 1301 N. Zarzamora St. at West Poplar street.
Additional: Guests will be invited to step-off the bus and examine the projection and ticket booth which remains today while listening to Ms. Garett recall the history of the West End.

Joe Aguilar
Born and raised in the Westside and Publisher of the Westside Sol
Story Synopsis:
Joe will share his experience of attending Lanier High School and his background of working in the print industry in the Westside and running the Westside Sol since 2001.
Address/Location: Lanier High School

Jose Esquivel
Lifetime Westside resident, accomplished artist and former CPS Employee
Story Synopsis:
Jose will share his experience of growing up in the Westside and his career as an artist which started while working with CPS Energy in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Address/Location: TBD

Teresa V. Rodriguez
Former State of Texas social worker and Brackenridge HS Teacher who grew up in the Westside
Story Synopsis:
Teresa will share her experience of growing up in the Westside in the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Address/Location: 451 South Rosillo at Cesar Chavez
Additional: Guests will stay on the bus and hear Teresa’s story.

*The fee for this event is not associated with the VIA bus.

Storyteller Application

Storyteller Application

Select dates you would be willing to participate if selected

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