When Valerie tells her story at events or presentations, she starts by asking “What does homelessness look like to you?” People often take a stab at answering, referencing panhandlers they may very well have seen that same day. Inevitably, the description is stereotypical. Valerie answers them with a question: “What if I told you that was me?”
“I bet if you were an artist, you’d be pretty amazing,” said a friend to Albert Gonzalez as he doodled on a napkin. Those words stuck with him.
“I want people to feel like they’re in another world,” says Gilbert Glaster, owner of Unique Knits.
“I wouldn’t have been a musician if it wasn’t for the symphony in my city,” says Aimee Lopez, a proud member of the second violin section in the San Antonio Symphony. Aimee is a native of Washington, D.C. and moved to San Antonio in 2008.
“We love that our clients allow us to think outside the box,” says Christian. She’s had the opportunity to transform spaces from Hayes Street Bridge to Houston Street and everything in between. “What I love most about San Antonio is it allows you to do stuff that’s new.”
“People who gravitate toward Downtown are an eclectic group,” says Isabella, “We get to meet people from so many different walks of life.”
“I don’t think it was supposed to be a long term thing,” says Abe Cortez, Owner of Paris Hatters. “But it just went and went and went.” It’s unlikely that Abe’s father and uncle, who founded the business in 1917, could have imagined a simple hat repair shop lasting over a hundred years.
These three Lifetime Achievement Honorees, recognized at the 2017 Centropolitan Awards, changed the face of our downtown.