From October 5–9, San Antonio Report hosts its third annual San Antonio CityFest, a free virtual urban ideas festival. In response to the impact of the global pandemic and renewed call for racial justice, the theme of 2020 San Antonio CityFest is “Urban and Statewide Resilience.”
Below is the full schedule of events.
Monday, Oct. 5
Conversation with the Mayor and County Judge
City and County leaders reflect on the pandemic and shutdown as unique challenges in their careers. The mayor and judge will look back at the last six months and consider how the lessons they’ve learned can be applied moving forward.
Managing Texas Cities During a Pandemic
With relief packages stalled at the federal level and state orders often contradicting medical experts, local governments are on the front lines of coronavirus response and recovery efforts. Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick will be joined virtually by city managers from San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, El Paso, and San Jose for a discussion on the unique challenges of managing a city through a pandemic and historic civil unrest.
The conversation will center on San Antonio’s current and future growth, with a look at both the smart jobs economic growth and the city’s challenges with its population of working poor families. The pandemic has only exacerbated conditions for the city’s most vulnerable workers and their families.
A Performance by Marisela Barrera
Theater artist and Tejana, Marisela Barrera, shares an intimate segment channeling her mother on her rancho in Mexico. Barrera shares more about her creative journey and multiple characters in an interview with Arts and Culture Reporter Nicholas Frank.
Cabeza de Vaca: Historical Lessons on Resiliency
Podcaster Brandon Seale will talk with San Antonio Report Arts and Culture Reporter Nicholas Frank about Seale’s recently-completed third season of A New History of Old Texas featuring 16th-century explorer Cabeza de Vaca.
Tuesday, Oct. 6
Chasing the Curve Part II
As we enter the fourth quarter of the year, we are sitting back down with UTSA mathematician Juan Gutierrez for a follow-up conversation to Chasing the Curve that will address how the pandemic will collide with the cold and flu season.
A Performance by Nicolette Good
In the comfort of her home, Nicolette Good gives an alluring and captivating performance. Reverie is her latest recorded album, a collection of six folk-pop songs layered with irresistible harmonies. Arts and Culture Reporter Nicholas Frank catches up with Good on what’s to come for future performances.
Business and the Pandemic Pivot
Success in business is about having a solid plan and flexing to market conditions. While few business owners can say they had in their plans a pandemic survival strategy, one that would carry them through shutdowns and an economic recession, some have managed to pivot toward new ways of doing business in a landscape that may forever be altered.
Access to transportation is integral to our workforce economy and without it could lead to a disconnected workforce. Connecting employees to jobs with accessible transportation enhances opportunities for communities and businesses alike.
Chef Elizabeth Johnson of Pharm Table, Chef Alejandro Paredes of Carnitas Lonja, and Pete Cortez, chief operating officer at La Familia Cortez discuss the challenges of running their businesses during a pandemic and the innovative solutions that were born out of those challenges.
Wednesday, Oct. 7
An honest conversation about the big challenges facing Texans as we approach the next legislative session. Leadership will talk through recent survey data and what policy issues are coming on the horizon.
A Pulse Check on Startups
Startups are a unique sector of San Antonio businesses that have been affected by the pandemic. This panel looks at what difficulties startups in San Antonio face in the economic downturn and what opportunities have arisen amid the challenges.
The $1.3 Billion Proposal
Superintendent Pedro Martinez, Trustee Christina Martinez, and Blue Ribbon Committee Co-Chair Victoria Moreno-Herrera will join the San Antonio Report to talk about the district’s $1.3 billion bond proposal. District voters will weigh in on the city’s largest bond package in November.
Difficulties in Distance Learning
Students were sent to learn from home last spring when coronavirus began spreading in Texas. Families grappled with distance learning and continue to attempt at-home lessons. What worked well and what didn’t? A panel of speakers will examine the transformational shift in this hour-long discussion.
A Performance by DJango with the AM Project
Last year we featured an 11-year-old DJ at CityFest that had everyone dancing and vibing with ’90s hip hop and R&B. He is one year older now, and the pandemic didn’t slow down his creative energy one bit. DJango talks with Nicholas Frank and the AM Project Creative Director Louis Cardenas about how DJing builds confidence in youth beyond just being a creative outlet.
Thursday, Oct. 8
When local disasters strike like flooding or storm damage, how does our city address these issues to keep citizens safe? A detailed look at the intricacies of engineering and city planning that goes into building flood-resistant communities.
Bexar Facts: Amplify Your Voice
The polarization at the national level has perhaps rarely been as palpable in San Antonio as it is now. From social unrest in the wake of national protests and the politicization of nonpartisan institutions such as the U.S. Postal Service to the differing views on how to respond to the evolving coronavirus crisis, the wedge issues have grown in 2020. So how do we take the pulse of residents and their ever-evolving feelings on the issues of the day? Enter: Bexar Facts, a local polling organization that began this year with the mission of amplifying the voices of Bexar County.
How will November 2020 look compared to previous presidential elections? Since the beginning of the year, the United States has seen a pandemic begin, social justice issues reignited, and heightened scrutiny of election security following the 2016 election. Panelists will discuss voter turnout, access, security, and perceptions around voting in this one-hour discussion.
A conversation with the drivers behind Community Labs as they work to develop smart testing solutions for San Antonio provides an opportunity to better understand the spread of the pandemic and how to tame it in San Antonio.
Covering the News
What is it like to cover the news in the middle of a pandemic? Learn from three Texas-based reporters about how the coronavirus crisis has altered the journalism process. How do they accomplish their goals as journalists when the pandemic has manifested a never-ending news cycle, and skepticism of media is at its peak?
A Performance by Dreambored
Dreambored is a dream-pop band from San Antonio, the duo of married couple Angela Guerra Walley and Mark Lee Walley. Dreambored shares a sneak peek of their debut album, Loved Ones, that is out October 16.
Friday, Oct. 9
Policing in San Antonio
City leaders and social justice activists examine the complex mix of issues facing San Antonio in the push for police reform.
San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea Sanderson performs as “Vocab” alongside The Foreign Arm giving light and life through rhythmic poetry. Arts and Culture Reporter Nicholas Frank digs in post-performance about where inspiration sparks for our guests and how to ignite it within others.
A special keynote presentation from Dr. Somava Saha, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Managing Editor Graham Watson-Ringo provides an inside look at how the community at large works together to advocate for and provide equitable access to healthcare.
Photojournalism During a Public Health Crisis
San Antonio Report’s visual team Bonnie Arbittier and Scott Ball co-moderate two discussions featuring photojournalists Bria Woods, and Christopher Lee. Woods and Lee bring unique perspectives and a distinctive eye to news imagery, both on local and national levels. Panelists will discuss how they’ve adapted to new ways of connecting and telling stories during the outbreak of COVID-19.
Future of the City
The new generation of leadership looks toward the future of San Antonio and how, amid a pandemic and a time of toxic political partisanship and economic uncertainty, there still exists opportunity, entrepreneurship, creativity, and disruptive change.