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SVREP: October Events

October 29, 2017

The SVREP team has had many opportunities to promote the upcoming opening of the collection. This month we were fortunate enough to attend two events: “Dia de la Raza,” and “An Evening with UTSA Special Collections: Latinos in San Antonio.”

IMG_4023The 6th Annual Dia De La Raza Celebration took place on Friday, October 13, 2017 at the El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel. The event paid tribute to the Chicano movement activists and also featured Andrea-Teresa Arenas from the Wisconsin Historical Society as the guest speaker. Ms. Arenas gave a wonderful speech about the work she has completed in Wisconsin involving her students, which included creating oral histories with the community. Her enthusiasm could be felt throughout the audience, and I appreciated her dedication and passion for her work. I am looking forward to reading her new book, “Somos Latinas, Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists,” which will be available next May.

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Amy Rushing, Jennifer Longoria and myself represented UTSA by featuring a pop-up exhibit at the event from our activist collections. We were grateful for the enthusiasm we received from the exhibit and had an amazing time mingling with the guests and the activists that were honored, as well as sharing the mission and materials from UTSA Special Collections. I was especially honored to be at this event because I was able talk with Willie Velasquez’s family, including his wife Jane Velasquez, as well as his brother and wife, George and Andrea Velasquez, who were honored later that night for their work.

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The second event was held on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at UTSA. Sonya and Jon Rodriguez invited their close friends to attend a private event that showcased materials relating to an area of their interest.  Amy Rushing, Katie Rojas and myself set up an exhibit that focused on Latinos in San Antonio. The small group allowed each of us to discuss their connections to different subject areas covered in the featured collections, which was very special. A lot of the guests recognized or knew people in the photographs and documents that were on display. Everyone who attended communicated their sincere appreciation and fascination with San Antonio history and the importance of preserving such history.

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Both events this month are a constant reminder of why I love what I do as an archivist. As someone who constantly gets a puzzled look whenever I explain what I do, I enjoy going to community events in order to offer people a better understanding of what archivists do and why it is so important.

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***This project is generously funded by the NHPRC**

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