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Best of SA 2005 - Arts Turning our face to the dawn

Apr 6, 2005

Best of' voters wallow in 'Memory,' while visionaries build the cultural districts of tomorrow

Business and community synergy comes naturally to recent transplant Angela Martinez. She's been here only four years, but already this Robert Frost-quoting, bird-loving, hard-bowlin' movie fanatic has made an indelible mark on San Antonio's Southtown community. In that time she's co-founded independent movie rental store Planet of the Tapes, helped revive Hermann and Son's bowling alley, launched an outdoor film series at the slab, built the community calendar website, and contributed much time and love to the Southtown neighborhood organization board.

Ask her what she's been up to lately, and Martinez will briefly mention her day job - designing websites for non-profits and artists - and then steer the conversation to her latest community-building project, such as Southtown's Oscar night party fundraiser held February 27. RACSO has raised more than $4,000 for Southtown's Mainstreet Alliance, which Martinez says is great but not the soul of the endeavor: She observes merchants and neighbors working together to create RACSO, and believes that collaboration helps strengthen Southtown as a community.

What drives this focus? "In part, it's that we have a child and we really want to build a nurturing environment for him to grow up in," says Martinez. "But it's also San Antonio; this place really let's you make a difference."

(photo caption: Planet of the Tapes proprietrix Angela Martinez keeps her finger in a half-dozen pies, including the online community calendar, Southtown's Oscar night fundraiser, and the summertime outdoor film fest Movies on the Slab. (Photo by Laura McKenzie) )

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