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Big doings over at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. The scrappy Westside institution turns 29 this year and, like many artsy types pondering their third decade, the Guadalupe’s working its ass off to bring ambition into fruition. On December 26, they announced a grant of $250,000 from the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. Four days later, GCAC and Chesney Morales Architects made plans public to give the 400-seat Guadalupe Theater a half-million-dollar face-lift. A Thursday-night media preview of February 2009’s CineFestival (the 31st annual, and the largest Latino film fest in the U.S.) promised a roster of stellar showings, including the Oscar-nominated doc The Garden. Then, on Friday morning, District 5 Councilwoman Lourdes Galvan gave a press conference to introduce a brand-spankin’-new executive director: Patty Ortiz, native San Antonian, graduate of Jefferson HS, UT Austin, and the MFA program at UTSA. Ortiz, who takes the helm in March, is coming home from Denver, where she served as executive director of the Muséo de las Americas. A li’l internet research on Ms. Ortiz reveals her to be an inventive curator with real contemporary art chops and particular interest in youth programs. Bravo, Guadalupe!


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