Jorge Cortez, artist and restaurateur. Photo by Al Rendon.
Jorge Cortez, artist and restaurateur. Photo by Al Rendon.

“Mayor Julián Castro’s leadership, with an emphasis on downtown living, is reshaping the soul of the city. I’m involved in the West End of downtown, where we’re developing a cultural zone that encompasses the visual arts and the performing arts. Texas A&M, with Dr. Maria Ferrier as president, will open a cultural center (in the former Museo Alameda building) that showcases local artists with an educational component.

With Lionel Sosa’s help, the Texas A&M Cultural Arts Center is also going to tell the story of Latinos in America. Ernest Bromley is leading a restoration of the Alameda Theater, the treasure of performing arts for Latinos, and we’re hoping it will be endorsed by the Kennedy Center – that should open in the next 4 or 5 years. Recently, the City of San Antonio approved a $9 million plan for a cultural corridor between Main Plaza and El Mercado, expanding sidewalks, installing special lighting, landscaping and benches.

We’re hoping to bring in the finest arts boutiques of Mexico to create a Mexican SoHo in the West End zone. More cafes, flamenco, tapas, entertainment, the list goes on. Downtown is going to be an exciting place to live.”

– Jorge Cortez

Al Rendon is San Antonio’s photographer, born and raised here and known for iconic photographs of the city and its culture. Al is an active Southtown gallery owner as well as an art and commercial photographer. Check out more of his work at

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