First book store to open on San Antonio’s West Side cultural districtGuadalupe Cultural Arts Center launches its Latino Bookstore
SAN ANTONIO – A historic building on the city’s West Side got a major facelift to help preserve the Hispanic and Latino culture.
On Friday, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center will debut its new book and gift shop featuring Latino artists and authors.
The new shop sits on the corner of Guadalupe and South Brazos Street inside the former Progresso Pharmacy. The iconic white and black building has been transformed into the Latino Bookstore.
“Given that we are a multidisciplinary center at the Guadalupe, and we like to cover the literary arts as well, I thought it would be important to have a hub of literary, academic and children’s offerings as well,” Christina Ballí said. Ballí is the executive director of the nonprofit.
Ballí said the project started five years ago and was made possible with bond funding from the City of San Antonio of more than $1 million. Now, they’re excited to finally open to the public and get the space activated.
“Unfortunately, we have low literacy rates. Of course, it’s a book desert, just like it’s a food desert sometimes, you know,” Ballí said. “It’s a resource desert in many ways (and) in many areas, but it’s not a cultural desert. This is a culturally-rich area. So, having a Latino specific bookstore here in this area will make it even more so more of a culturally-rich neighborhood.”
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center will open on a small scale on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m., followed by a book reading.
The book reading will be lead by authors Carmen Tafolla and Tomás Ybarra Fausto at 6:30 p.m.. The celebration will continue across the street at Plaza Guadalupe with the 30-year anniversary performance by Guadalupe Dance Company.