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Organizers of the 4th Annual Arts, Culture and Preservation Symposium hosted by Mermaid Society SMTX have created an expanded lineup of topics and presenters for the event slated to take place on Sunday, Sept. 8 from 1 – 6 p.m. at the Price Center in downtown San Marcos. This year’s event will include separate panel discussions on arts and cultural activities and opportunities, as well as preservation activities and opportunities, and an hour-long wrap-up session featuring a town hall like format will conclude the day. The symposium is free and open to all; however, seating is limited for each session to 100 people, so a reservation is required. Light refreshments will also be provided. All the sessions will be held in the Center’s 1910 Room.

“We’d like to see this year’s participants walk out with specific take-aways and action items to help harness the energy keep momentum going after the symposium to better help realize some of these efforts and ideas through the year,” said Ryan Patrick Perkins, symposium chair.

The following line up for the Symposium reflects the goal of building engagement and action between the various local, state and in some cases, federal groups and organizations working on arts, culture and preservation initiatives. Local, state, and national presenters are scheduled to appear.

  • 1 PM - 2:15 PM | The Business of Art in Our Local Economy - Tools for maintaining the community-building role that the arts can play in San Marcos. | Panelists: Anne Graham - Executive Director, Texans for the Arts; Clay DeStefano - Executive Director, Price Center; Dr. John Flemming - Dean, College of Fine Arts & Communication, Texas State University; Jamey Poole - San Marcos Arts Commission; Trey Hatt, City of San Marcos Arts Commission Coordinator; Randy Polk - Film Friendly Volunteer; John H. Gilliam, Esquire a.k.a “Missoula Slim” - Cheatham Street Foundation

  • 2:30-3:45 PM | Sensitive Treatment of Culturally Significant Communities & Resources - Tools for managing and maintaining living heritage embedded within historic fabric. | Panelists: Claudia Gurerra - Cultural Historian, City of San Antonio; Griffin Spell, Chairman San Marcos Historic Preservation Commission; Dr. Ricardo Espinoza - Executive Director Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos; Dr. Shetay Ashford - Assistant Professor in Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies at Texas State University

  • 4 - 4:45 PM | Leveraging Living Heritage for Economic Prosperity - Tools for empowering people to manage change and build prosperity based upon our cultural heritage. | Panelists: Haley Wilcox - Partner OGEE Preservation; Lindsey Derrington & Kelly Little - Austin Preservation Society; August Harris III, Preservation Texas Board of Directors; Kate Johnson - Chairwoman, Hays County Historic Commission and 2019 Symposium Honoree; Representative(s) from the Texas Historic Commission

  • 5 – 6 PM | Town Hall style recap - Open discussion with all panelists and community attendees.

Moderator: James Russell - freelance writer for The Quorum Report, HuffPost, Houston Chronicle, Times of Israel,, Counter Punch, Truthout, D Magazine, Dallas Voice, Fort Worth Weekly, Georgia Voice, Texas Jewish Post

To register for the symposium, visit For more information about the entire Mermaid SMTX schedule of events for 2019, please visit

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