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SAISD Fine Arts Department and the SAISD Foundation to announce expansion of Ballet Folklorico and Mariachi programs

Aug. 5, 2021


Against a backdrop of performances, the SAISD Fine Arts Department and the SAISD Foundation to announce expansion of Ballet Folklorico and Mariachi programs in district schools in 2021-22

Daniel Loudenback, executive director of Fine Arts at SAISD
Dianne Marks, coordinator of Fine Arts at SAISD
Judy Geelhoed, SAISD Foundation executive director
Donna Finch, principal at DeZavala Elementary School

Performances (9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.):
SAISD alumnae Ballet Folklorico dancers
Fox Tech-CAST Tech-ALA Mariachi Vocalist

Aug. 6 (Fri) – 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

DeZavala Elementary School, 2311 San Luis St., 78207

The first Ballet Folklorico programs in decades in San Antonio ISD’s middle and high schools will begin again this fall, while more elementary schools will begin receiving Mariachi programs. The expansion is a partnership between the district’s Fine Arts department and the SAISD Foundation. 

The partnership will be announced during a Back to School event at DeZavala Elementary School, one of the beneficiary schools, this Friday. DeZavala is gaining an after school program in both Mariachi and Ballet Folklorico.

“Our aim is to add 10 new programs a year for the next two school years,” said Judy Geelhoed, SAISD Foundation executive director. “With 90% of the student population identifying as Hispanic, one of our strategic priorities is to expand cultural arts programs that honor the culture and heritage of our largest student population.”

The partnership with SAISD’s Fine Arts department will add five elementary Mariachi programs this year, as well as one additional middle school program. The expansion will increase early exposure to instruments and infuse talent into the growing secondary programs in the district. 

The relaunch of Ballet Folklorico classes in middle and high schools will support students who enjoyed this program at the elementary school level and give them the opportunity to grow their practice. Three elementary schools also will gain an after school Ballet Folklorico program.

Schools receiving Ballet Folklorico in 2021-22:

Bonham Academy (school day; new for middle school grades)
Brackenridge High School (school day)
DeZavala Elementary School (after school)
Jefferson High School (school day)
Longfellow Middle School (school day)
Young Women’s Leadership Academy-Primary (after school)

Schools receiving Mariachi in 2021-22:

Ball Elementary School (after school)
Barkley-Ruiz Elementary School (after school)
J.T. Brackenridge Elementary School (after school)
Democracy Prep at Stewart Campus (school day; middle school level)
DeZavala Elementary School (after school)
Herff Elementary School (after school)
Smith Elementary School (after school)

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