URBAN-15 creates. We motivate creativity, inspire imagination and bring optimism to our community.
Using Music, Movement and Media, our vision realizes:
Productions that merge traditional Latino culture, modern artistic aesthetics, and creative technologies;
Educational programs that develop skills and creativity; and
Life-long access to and participation in artistic exploration for both the artist and the community.
URBAN-15 pursues a philosophy of inclusion that crosses lines of gender, class, race, and religion. Breaking prejudicial barriers of size, age, and norms of physical beauty, we have transformed the way our community celebrates and revolutionized community access to music, media and dance.
URBAN-15 began in 1974 as an experimental performance ensemble, with fifteen artists–electronic music composers, dancers, conceptual artists, and environmental sculptors—using the city as our stage and canvas. After forty-one years as an arts group and thirty-two as a San Antonio-based non-profit, we are still using the city as our canvas as street dancers, drummers and media artists. Our goal is to create situations that stimulate the imagination of all who encounter them.
URBAN-15’s CENTER FOR CELEBRATION ARTS
In 2003, URBAN-15 purchased a property at 2500 S. Presa, consisting of a three-building complex that includes a red brick church, a two-story dormitory, and a one-story structure with an enclosed garden. This is now the permanent home of the URBAN-15 Group, as it transforms the campus into the Center for Celebration Arts, to include a 150-seat auditorium as well as rehearsal and studio spaces and classrooms. With its diversity of programs and projects, URBAN-15 remains committed to a broad vision of arts creation and mentoring into the future.
Some of these ongoing programs and projects include:
CARNAVAL DE SAN ANTO: Now in its 29th year, CDSA is our multi-generational, award-winning drum and dance ensemble.
UTOPIAN PERFORMANCE ENSEMBLE: The touring wing of CDSA, often used as cultural ambassadors for our beautiful city. This ensemble officially represented San Antonio at the presidential inaugurations of Obama, Bush, and Clinton; on tours of Mexico via the US State Department and Mexico’s CONARTE; and in the annual Carnaval de los Muertos Procession.
THE CULTIVATION PROJECT FOR YOUTH: A free, year-round Music, Media and Movement program with artists in the schools, events in our studio and major city-wide concerts.
THE CULTIVATION PROJECT FOR SENIORS: A free, year-round music and dance project for people over 60. Programs are held in senior centers around the city and in URBAN-15’s studio.
INTERNET STREAMING VIDEO LAB: A real-time video streaming studio for screening performances and classes. The TriCaster system makes it possible to create and distribute live television with professional production values.
MEDIA FESTIVALS AND WORKSHOPS: Screenings of local to international media productions, including the annual Manhattan Short Film Festival, as well as workshops in media technology which provide professional and community technical assistance.
URBAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND DANCE: Community classes in Latin/African dance and drumming forms.
NOS UNIMOS SA PROJECT: A senior computer access/training program amassing an online, interactive exhibit of photographs of San Antonio families and functioning as an online “e-museum.” Over 3,700 images have been acquired thus far and reside on the server.