Monday, October 25, 2010

It's ¡Tamalada! time @ the Library!

UPDATE: All tickets have been distributed and are no longer available.

Tickets for the San Antonio Public Library’s popular annual holiday celebration ¡Tamalada! will be available at the Central Library, 600 Soledad, beginning Monday, November 1, when the library opens at 9:00 a.m.

¡Tamalada! gives San Antonians a chance to enjoy the long-standing tradition of getting together at the home of a friend or relative to make tamales for the upcoming holiday season. The Library’s version offers two classes on how to make tamales, with a choice of times, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., or 12:00 noon-1:30 p.m., followed at 2:30 p.m. by a preview presentation of the hilarious bilingual play Las Nuevas Tamaleras, a San Antonio holiday tradition in its own right.

This year’s ¡Tamalada! is scheduled for Saturday, November 20. All activities are free and open to the public, but seating is limited, and tickets are required for admission. Each customer may pick up two tickets for a tamal class and two tickets for the Las Nuevas Tamaleras performance, while supplies last.

The cooking classes are presented by Sandra Vásquez, the inventor of the Más Tamales masa spreader. Sandra offers glimpses into the long tamalada tradition while giving tips on short cuts and time-savers to help busy families make their own tamales.

A comedy which can be enjoyed by English-speakers and Spanish-speakers alike, Las Nuevas Tamaleras follows the adventures of three modern Hispanic women as they try their hands at making tamales for the first time. During their “ordeal” they are guided by the spirits of traditional Hispanic women who have been allowed to return as invisible angels to oversee the project.

Las Nuevas Tamaleras was written and is directed by San Antonio author and playwright Alicia Mena, and first opened in Houston at El Teatro Bilingüe’s First Annual Latino Playwright’s Festival. Its first San Antonio performance was in 1993 at the Guadalupe Cultural Center, and it has since become an annual tradition.

¡Tamalada! is presented by Bolner’s Fiesta Products, Burras Finas Productions, Mex-Sales Company, the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, and the San Antonio Public Library.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Welcome home, Fiesta Tower!

In October 2009, Dale Chihuly’s colorful glass sculpture, Fiesta Tower, was disassembled from its display location in the Central Library and placed in secure storage during roof work and replacement of the Central Library’s skylights located directly over the tower.

Now the Fiesta Tower has been reinstalled and the Central Library’s second-floor atrium will shortly reopen.

To celebrate the Fiesta Tower’s homecoming, the San Antonio Public Library will host a family craft event from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, in the second-floor atrium at the Central Library, 600 Soledad.

During the come-and-go event, local artist Susie Monday will guide participants in creating their own Chihuly-style works of art. The event is free and open to the public. One hour of free parking is available in the library parking garage with validated ticket.

A gift of the Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts through a grant to the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, the Fiesta Tower was originally installed in the Central Library in 2003 as part of the celebration of the San Antonio Public Library’s 100th anniversary.

Notes: The Memorial Branch Library, 3222 Culebra Road, will close for renovations on Monday, November 8, 2010. The project is expected to take approximately one month to complete.

All San Antonio Public Library locations will be closed on Thursday, November 11, in observance of Veterans Day.