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Happ'nin's for you and your child

May, the month of green growth! It's the perfect month for your family to experience a bit of inner growth as well, but does attending church conjure up pious, god-fearing, and reverent imagery for you? Well I've found a few places in San Antonio where the religion comes in the form of music, stories, and true community uplift. In this often confusing, jaded world, perhaps we all have a deep need for unique spaces like this, especially when raising the next generation. I recently caught up with Rudi Harst and Zet Baer of Celebration Circle and learned more about what these South San Antonio residents are up to. Celebration Circle began in 1992, when Harst and Baer, veterans of the Whole Life Expo, were encouraged by friends to host an alternative, interfaith worship service. "Celebration Circle fosters spirituality through creativity and ritual. In short, it is a church for people who don't like 'going to church,'" says Harst. In addition to Harst's weekly performances with the Circle Band, Celebration Circle draws on a rich variety of Texas talent, including Terri Hendrix and Tish Hinojosa, plus prominent writers such as Naomi Shihab Nye and Barbara Ras. Weekly gatherings are held at 11 a.m. Sunday at Jump-Start in the Blue Star Arts Complex and at 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the Circle School (217 Pershing, upstairs in the rear carriage house). Harst and Baer also sponsor a variety of lectures, concerts, retreats, and social events designed to help people explore and express their spiritual experience. Children are also a big part of the C.C. program (Harst and Baer are parents of a lively 6-year-old son). "We believe in the importance of actively involving children in the co-creation of this emerging culture," says Harst. Children are encouraged to participate with their family, but they also have their own circle. For more information, visit celebrationcircle.org. Join the creativity at Gruene Hall for both the 9th Annual KNBT Americana Music Jam on the May 15 and the Old Gruene Market Days on the May 21-22. Visit gruenehall.com for the complete line up, or call (830) 629-5077. Watch the beautiful dancers and players at the Fiesta de Verano at the Guadalupe Theater on the May 21 and 22. The Guadalupe Dance Academy students showcase their newest Mexican Folklórico and Flamenco repertoire in beautiful traditional costumes. Visit guadalupeculturalarts.org or call 271-3151 for more info. May ends with the start of The Kerrville Folk Festival, held annually at the Quiet Valley Ranch, 9 miles south of Kerrville on Texas Highway 16. The music continues for 18 days with performances by more than 100 singer-songwriters and their bands. It's a great event for folks of all ages! For more information on the festival, call (830) 257-3600 or email info@kerrville-music.com Compiled by Jennifer Khoshbin

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