Penelope as Co-Plaintiff

esperanza v. City of San Antonio


for Summary Judgment

Declaration of Penny Boyer

July 14, 1999



ESPERANZA PEACE & JUSTICE CENTER, a non-profit corporation;
THE SAN ANTONIO LESBIAN & GAY MEDIA PROJECT, an unincorporated association,
and VAN, an unincorporated association,


HOWARD PEAK, in his official capacity as MAYOR OF THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO,



Declaration of Penelope Boyer

Personal Information

  1. My name is Penelope Boyer. I am one of the founders and collaborators of VAN. I have a master's degree in Performance Studies from New York University, I have extensive acting experience, and I have worked in numerous aspects of art programming and organizing. Prior to moving to San Antonio six years ago, I was employed by the National Association of Artists' Organizations. In that capacity I worked with local, regional, and national arts organizations and became well acquainted with many artists, in many disciplines, from around the world. I have been active in the San Antonio arts community for six years.

VAN - General Information

  1. VAN is an unincorporated association. It is an entirely volunteer organization, with no paid staff. The Esperanza serves as our 501(c)(3) fiscal agent for the purposes of City and other funding procedures.

  2. VAN was formed in 1994 with a mission of "augment[ing] programming and presenting programs in San Antonio by supplying extremely flexible funds for artist fees and transportation for artists around the world who get as far as Texas (i.e. Austin, Dallas, Houston)" and who could, with a small increment, travel on to San Antonio for presentations, workshops, and networking activities here. VAN ceased operations in 1997, following decentralization of the Texas Commission on the Arts funding and defunding by the City of San Antonio.

  3. During the three years of its operation, VAN provided support to facilitate performances, exhibitions, and networking opportunities for San Antonio residents and visitors by or with such outstanding artists as: Elia Arce (Costa Rican performance artist); Leonard Cruz (Filipino San Antonio dancer/choreographer), Marcus Kuilland-Nazario (Puertoriqueño performance artist), Rick Lowe (African-American visual artist), Vicky Meeks (African-American visual artist), Zakes Mofokeng (South African story-teller), Jaime Ortega (Mexican choreographer), Mark Pauline (multidisciplinary artist), Ntozake Shange (African-American writer), Melanie Smith (British visual artist based in Mexico City), Zocalo Mobile Village (interdisciplinary arts group), and many others.

  4. During the three years of its operation, VAN was funded through donations (individual cash and in-kind donations); and grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts ("TCA"). VAN received three project grants from the TCA: a grant of $1,014 for FY 1994-95; a grant of $1,267 for FY 1995-96; and a grant of $3,463 for FY 1996-97.

The FY 1997-98 Arts Funding Process

  1. As a consequence of the decentralization of the TCA organizational funding process in 1997, VAN was no longer able to apply directly to the TCA, but must instead apply for funding from the City of San Antonio. I timely filed a Project Grant Application with the City's Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs on behalf of VAN in January 1997, with the Esperanza as its fiscal agent.

  2. VAN's application was evaluated by the Multi-Disciplinary Peer Review Panel and, following an initial appeal, was recommended for funding by the Cultural Arts Board in the total amount of $2,000. In a letter dated August 5, 1997, I was notified by DACA staff that $1359 of the grant would be from City funds and that $641 would be from Texas Commission on the Arts funds.

    Consequences of the Defunding of VAN

  3. As a consequence of the decision by the City Council to eliminate funding for VAN from the FY 1997-98 City Budget, VAN ceased operations.

  4. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

    Penelope Boyer


Esperanza Peace & Justice Center
922 San Pedro
San Antonio Texas 78212
210-228-0201, Fax 210-228-0000
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