Teatro De Artes De Juan Seguin is bringing a group of artisan vendors as well as musicians to its facilities for a day of celebration as they revive one of their annual events this weekend.

The local nonprofit is bringing back its Viva Seguin Conjunto Festival from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at its cultural arts center, 921 W. New Braunfels St.

“The Conjunto Festival is actually something we’ve done in the past and we are bringing back. It is an opportunity for us to showcase local conjunto talent since we’re living in an area that conjunto is very prominent,” Teatro De Artes Program Coordinator Beto Rincón said. “We’re just providing the opportunity and space for Seguin to celebrate it. To celebrate an art form that is not only important to Mexican Americans but this region.”

The all-day festival kicks off at 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. with the De Mano a Mano (From Hand to Hand) Artisan Market featuring about 10 artisan vendors.

“We wanted to do it because we wanted to highlight the fact that there are a lot of people out there that have the skills involved in making handmade goods,” Rincón said. “We wanted to focus on handmade goods because the folks may not have the opportunity to sell or they might just be getting started. We wanted to give them the opportunity of using Teatro’s Cultural Arts Center to be able to sell their goods.”

Many of the artists that are coming from San Antonio and the surrounding smaller towns will have items such as baked goods, pillows, purses, makeup bags, clothes and jewelry.

Once the market wraps up, musicians 7 years and older are expected to fill the center from 2 to 5 p.m. for the Conjunto Taller Workshop.

Accordionist Robert Casillas and bajo sexto instructor Rodolfo Lopez are leading the three-hour workshop.

“We have heard community members wanting to bring back our conjunto classes. It’s one of the programs that we’ve been able to offer classes some years and some years we have not,” Rincón said. “This is a way we can offer some. It’s not a full year of classes, but it’s a little taste of what going through a conjunto class may be like.”

Registration for the class is $35 and it includes admittance into the conjunto baile. However, those attending the workshop need to bring their own accordions and bajo sextos. To register for the workshop, visit www.teatrodeartes.org for the application. 

Conjunto Calidad, Conjunto Cats and Ballet Folklorico De La Rosa will close out the Conjunto Festival from 6 to 10 p.m. with live performances. There also will be a special tribute for conjunto legend and Guadalupe County native Mike Carrillo.

“We are actually paying tribute to a conjunto accordionist and former Conjunto Juan Seguin instructor Mike Carrillo,” Rincón said. “We will be awarding him a lifetime achievement award for his work as a conjunto instructor here at Teatro.”

There will be food, drinks and treats available for sale during the Conjunto Baile, which is also a bring-your-own-beverage event.

Tickets for the event are available at Davila’s BBQ, Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce and Teatro De Artes for $8. Kids 10 years and under get in for free.

All proceeds from the Conjunto Festival are expected to help support Teatro.

“I would encourage people to come on out to a) check out Teatro because there are people who have never heard of this center. We’re always excited for people to come into our doors for the first time,” Rincón said. “I think more importantly, in this case, is that people need to know there are other conjunto festivals taking place in the state of Texas. Seguin is not San Antonio, but conjunto is still a huge part of our culture and heritage here in Seguin.

 

Valerie Bustamante is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail her at valerie.bustamante@seguingazette.com .

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