It’s not over, continued.

I recently found out the funding for the arts education advocacy group I work for dries out at the end of this month. Below is the announcement posted yesterday. This news could change the art camp & materials collection schedule for July. I’m in the process of trying to figure out a way to raise the funds needed for next month. Ultimately this project leads to the creation of a permanent materials reuse center for artists & educators.

If you’re interested in continuing the effort, please see the links I included in the message below. Volunteer information (I used to organize the help needed. It does not require anyone to create a separate account. All one has to do is submit their email so I can stay in touch with everyone.) & the materials wish list is found on this website’s home page, too.

Dear STEP UP Supporter,

July 1 marks an end and a beginning to a major effort to advance the arts in San Antonio schools.

On that day, contract funding from the City of San Antonio’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) comes to an end for STEP UP for Arts Education. OCA deserves tremendous credit for having supported STEP UP, and helping us get this far. We also thank SAY Si for serving as our fiscal sponsor and home base.

As you know, funding for many programs that support creativity and the arts has been slashed at all levels – national, state and local. Funding for the Texas Commission on the Arts has been cut in half. Public schools in Texas are struggling to manage a $4 billion dollar cut in state funding, with $240 million coming from Bexar County schools alone.

In the midst of a dropout crisis that threatens the economic future of our state, schools now have to cut back on essential programs – like the arts – that keep kids engaged.

That’s why, if we want to sustain this movement to cultivate creativity in the classroom, it’s time we explore a different kind of advocacy. This is an opportunity to show that, in spite of cutbacks, we still have the will and the passion to innovate for our kids.

That’s why I’m reaching you – a critical member of a community of San Antonians committed to bringing creativity and the arts to every classroom in the city. I’m asking that you show your continued support for arts education.

Read all upcoming emails in this critical time of transformation.

Volunteer time to support community-wide advocacy, starting with the August 4 Teacher Fair. Please email me at  sparepartstudio  @   to let me know you are willing to help.

Donate arts supplies, instruments,  as well as any materials that San Antonio’s young and ingenious minds can creatively repurpose in the classroom. We’re still moving forward with the August 4 Teacher Fair as planned, and we need your help.   (Please note: This effort is separate from a recent, programming-related call for materials through SAY SI.)

Keep an eye out for an email listing materials local kids will need, along with drop-off times and locations. As a friend of the arts, we need your support more than ever. You can STEP UP for San Antonio kids and teachers by volunteering one or two hours or donating to this eco-friendly event.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Moving forward,

Mary E. Cantu