November 2015 Accomplishments

arch day feat
A Gault Site educator crafts a primitive tool out of obsedian. The Gault Site and UTSA Center for Archaeological Research participated in the Free Second Sunday event, Texas Archaeology Adventures

ITC November 2015 Accomplishments

Marking El Dia de los Musertos in traditional fashion: It’s something rarely seen outside of Southern Mexico. Unique to the state of Oaxaca, a unique style of sand art is used to create images celebrating the Day of the Dead. The ITC, in cooperation with the UTSA Department of International Programs, sponsored a team of Oaxacan artists to prepare a sand art installation at the museum. Depicted in the image were skeletons wearing traditional hats: Texas cowboy hat, Mexican sombrero, Russian ushanka, Chinese douli and Sikh turban. They were all connected by a series of veins and beating hearts, showing that a common blood gives life to all people.

Constellation Awards: ITC Executive Director Angelica Docog received the "Comet" award from the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce. The chamber presents the award to "someone who leaves a trail" for others to follow, and enables others to succeed. Docog has helped community organizations shine, and empowered the ITC staff as they pursue museum projects and operations.

Create, Connect and Collaborate: ITC received a grant from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation; a $25,090 Arts and Cultures grant to serve a 14-county area, providing teaching methodologies using the museum and its resources to connect teachers and students to the community.

From the museum to the classroom: The ITC began offering distance education opportunities explored earlier this summer. This first month saw some 269 4th and 5th grade students from San Antonio and Aledo, Texas.

"Texas Archaeology Adventures": A popular destination for Free Second Sunday, the ITC welcomed 441 visitors on November 8. They were treated to a day of archaeology projects, including a mock dig with the team from the UTSA Center for Archaeological Research, atl-atl throwing, a demonstration of flint-knapping from Gault School educators, along with other hands-on activities.

Front Page News: November 9, leading into the week of Veterans’ Day, Express-News writer Vincent T. Davis had a story on the ITC’s "Our Part of Victory" exhibit on the front page of the San Antonio Express-News. Davis spoke at length with ITC’s Dr. Bryan Howard on the stories, the families, and aspects of war people do not often think about. Photographer Ron Cortes captured images of the exhibit, including numerous artifacts, displays and museum visitors exploring the exhibit.

Honoring Texas Military Members Opens: On Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, the ITC welcomed Brandeis High School students and their teachers for the opening of the new student exhibit, "Honoring Texas Military Members." The reception had a strong presence from area veterans and a keynote from World War II WAVES veteran and Mayor Emeritus Lila Cockrell. (

"Thank you for calling the Institute of Texan Cultures": Blanca Valdez answers the museum’s main phone line and schedules all field trips and group tours. In November, she marked 20 years of service to ITC. Blanca helps school groups and adult tours make their way to the ITC for the perfect visit and has advised countless visitors about current exhibits, events and general information on the museum. We’re thankful to have her on the team.

Airman reunited with his dog tags after 50 years: World War II veteran Joe Valdespino held on to his dog tags after his military service, but lost them at some point 50 years ago. As the ITC began work on the Los Tejanos exhibit, the exhibits team found an object to depict the Tejanos’ service in the armed forces. It was Valdespino’s dog tags, turning up on E-bay. The museum purchased the dog tags and contacted Mr. Valdespino, who was excited to see them once again, and just as proud to see them placed on display. (

ITC docents visit Yanaguana Garden: Life is returning to Hemisfair and we’re getting to know the neighbors. The ITC docents recently had a field trip to get acquainted with the new Yanaguana Gardens, the municipal park on the corner of Chavez and Alamo.

"Los Tejanos" exhibit tells a story like few others can: In November, the Education and Interpretation Department welcomed a history class from the University of the Incarnate Word for a tour of "Los Tejanos." The professor of the class wants to make the trip to the exhibit a part of the class. The museum also welcomed the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists, who toured the exhibit after their monthly meeting.

Working toward a common goal: The ITC recently met with Region 20 administrators, looking for opportunities to collaborate. Region 20 is the Education Service Center based in San Antonio and serves all public school districts in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. The ITC and Region 20 teams will lay out a strategy in the coming month.

Teaching Teachers: The ITC welcomed 14 pre-service teachers -- education majors -- from UTSA; helped create the interpretive plan for the National Park Service to teach on the Spanish Colonial Missions; and presented a standing-room-only session at the Texas State Historic Association teachers’ conference in Houston, on teaching with objects

Celebrating American Indian Heritage: November is American Indian heritage month and the ITC was invited to prepare a table at USAA, where 100 employees visited with Lynn Yakubik from the museum staff.  The 4th grade classes from Lytle Elementary School came for a field trip and brought some of their Native American display projects to share with staff and docents.

ITC accepts Confederate plaques: The Institute of Texan Cultures has agreed to accept plaques commemorating Texas’ involvement in the Civil War from Bexar County. Entrusting the plaques removed from the Bexar County Courthouse to a museum collection ensures they will be professionally preserved and, as appropriate, displayed and studied in the context of the historical record.




Receive Texan Cultures E-Blast Updates

Official Institute of Texan Cultures Periodic Bulletin:

Enter your e-mail address to receive periodic information on announcements, news, events and event schedule changes.