10th Annual Viva Poesía Festival at Mission Marquee Plaza

The City of San Antonio’s World Heritage Office and the Department of Arts & Culture present the 10th Annual Viva Poesía Festival at the historic Mission Marquee Plaza, 3100 Roosevelt Ave., on Saturday, April 6, 2024, from 6 -10 p.m. Three of San Antonio’s Poet Laureates, four San Antonio UNESCO Chef Ambassadors, three Visual Artists, and others will come together to create collaborative compositions through the power of creative expression. The event is free and open to the public.

This year’s theme is “Confluence of the Creative Arts,” inspired by the Surrealist exquisite corpse game. This artistic technique fosters collaborative compositions of words or drawings, weaving together the talents of creative minds.  The audience will witness the making of four original poems, visual art pieces, and culinary tastings that spark the imagination.

The chefs, poets, and artists will craft compositions using a pantry with 32 boxes of secret ingredients and words. This creative blending of activities will unfold simultaneously, infusing the event with spontaneous artistry while celebrating San Antonio as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

Emceed by Anthony “The Poet” Flores and Eddie Vega, Viva Poesía will showcase poetic performances from Poets Laureate: Andrea ”Vocab” Sanderson, Dr. Octavio Quintanilla, and Dr. Carmen Tafolla, plus Jacinto Cardona, Tomas Castillo Roque, Nate Zin, Joyous Winder, and others.  This event will include live cooking demonstrations and tastings prepared by San Antonio UNESCO Chef Ambassadors: Leo Davila, Stixs & Stone; John Tamez, Brackenridge High School; Sofia Tejeda, Blush Bakery; Juan Carlos Bazan, Cuishe Cocina and Torro Kitchen, and other local chefs. Visual artists Cruz Ortiz, Andriana M. Garcia, and Ashley Torres will also create original works of art. The celebration will also feature live music by Los de Esta Noche, energetic sounds by DJ Despeinada, a fruit tree giveaway, make-and-take art activities for the entire family, and more! Pop-up vendors will be on-site, and food and beverages will be available throughout the evening.

“With its ample artistry and creativity, San Antonio is a city brimming with vibrant culture and originality,” said District 3 Councilwoman Phyllis Viagran. “A friendly invitation is extended to families to partake in the sights, sounds, and tastings of this year’s Viva Poesia — an immersive collaboration of the arts held at Mission Marquee Plaza.”

Mission Marquee Plaza also welcomes the 2024 season of programming with the Viva Poesía Festival. This year’s season will begin before the festival on April 6 with the Farmers & Artisans Market and will include approximately 70 scheduled events. Other special cultural events will include the Viva Mexico Women’s Festival on May 5, Dia de los Muertos on November 2, and more. The popular Mission Marquee Plaza Outdoor Family Film Series will begin on Saturday, May 4, with a free “Sing 2” screening and will continue through November.

“Mission Marquee Plaza stands as a timeless nexus for the entire city,” said Colleen Swain, Director of the World Heritage Office. “It’s a dynamic space where our diverse community convenes and embraces our city’s distinctive cultural heritage.”

Viva Poesía is an annual event celebrated in April, made possible in part by the City’s Department of Arts & Culture. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of poetry in our culture and honor the artistic influence of local poets in our community.

“Viva Poesia is the keystone event for every National Poetry Month in San Antonio,” said Department of Arts & Culture Executive Director Krystal Jones. Not only does it shine a light on the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of San Antonio’s talented pool of literary artists, but it also kicks off a month-long celebration that includes over 30 readings, workshops, special events, and celebrations created to entertain and inspire our literary senses.”

In 2007, the City of San Antonio acquired the former Mission Drive-In property, nestled near the historic San Antonio Missions, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In June 2014, Mission Marquee Plaza officially opened its doors for the next generation of nearby Southside families and San Antonio residents and visitors to enjoy the site’s long tradition as a community gathering space.

The event is free and open to the public. Free parking will be available onsite. For more information on Viva Poesía, other events at Mission Marquee Plaza, and vendor registration information, please visit MissionMarquee.com. Information on the World Heritage Office is available at SanAntonio.gov/WorldHeritage.