New department to manage UTSA event spaces downtown
As UTSA continues to expand and better meet the needs of downtown San Antonio, the Downtown Conference Center and Buena Vista Theater will unify under the Division of Academic Innovation as Downtown Conferences and Events. This change will allow the university to provide quality conference center and events management for university departments, as well as corporate and business partners across the city, and it will help UTSA promote community partnerships and share facilities and/or services with surrounding organizations.
Lisa G. Blazer, Senior Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation, will oversee the unified effort, with Martha Gutierrez-Saul serving as Interim Director of Downtown Conference Center and Events and JoAnn Andera serving as Director of Special Events, ITC Events. The department will enhance policies and practices to encourage utilization of the event space for internal and external partners at the Buena Vista Theater, the Downtown Conference Center and the Institute of Texan Cultures.
“UTSA is committed to promoting a welcoming environment on our campuses for San Antonians and to sharing facilities with our neighbors and community partners. Particularly with our venue spaces downtown, we have a unique opportunity to engage the San Antonio community, such as we are doing with the Alameda School for Art + Design or through our Westside Community Partnerships Initiative,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “By aligning and connecting the management of these valuable facilities, we will be able to create even more opportunities to engage the community at UTSA, in line with our strategic vision, and to offer a quality service experience to our partners.”
As part of this transition, the Division of Student Affairs is identifying new Student Union space for downtown students. Providing space for student organization meetings, events and leisure is a priority at the Downtown Campus, and this plan will allow for innovative and thoughtful design based on student feedback.