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San Antonio is a vibrant city, alive with many diverse art forms.

Musicians, painters, writers and entertainers tell multidimensional stories that highlight the many layers of creativity in San Antonio.

This artistic environment has drawn newcomers, like Arika Wade, from Dallas to the Alamo City.

Prior to her first visit last year, Arika didn’t know much about San Antonio except that it’s home to the River Walk and The Alamo. Following her visits and interactions with San Antonio residents and artists, she began to discover new and surprising positive aspects about San Antonio.

“Dallas has a one-of-a-kind art scene, and I didn’t think I would see that same level of talent in San Antonio because they are two very different cities,” Arika said. “But I was wrong. San Antonio has great artists with unique visions.

“I love most museums in San Antonio, especially the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum because it has a small community of art galleries and live music venues surrounding it.”

Arika is drawn to cities with thriving art communities because being surrounded by creativity inspires her to write and create mixed media. She believes that she will gain inspiration from her new experiences in San Antonio.

“I am a writer, and I have known since I was nine that it is my calling,” Arika said. “I am hoping to learn a lot from the writers that are already established here, and [I hope to] contribute to the voice of San Antonio.”

An additional factor that influenced Arika’s decision to move to San Antonio was discovering the widespread presence of same-sex families and LGBTQ people in San Antonio. She believes they play an important role in San Antonio’s artistic development.

“Most of the people I have met at art events or galleries are queer, and they seem to have a great deal of influence on the direction San Antonio’s art scene is taking. They seem to be the tastemakers.” she said.

“My main focus will be connecting with writer collectives for queer women of color around town. I feel like I would be able to learn more from them than any other group.”

Although Arika will be looking into general writer collectives, she has a more specific writing interest and style. Her work is centered around surrealism and futuristic science fiction.

“I became interested in science fiction when I read Octavia Butler’s books for the first time. She was the first black woman I read in sci-fi, and I never knew that black women wrote in that genre,” Arika said. “Sci-fi stories are the type of stories I like to tell because I like challenging myself to imagine a world that is not possible. Imagining things within our reality feels limiting.”

Arika is hoping to stay in San Antonio until she graduates from college and flourish in the River City.

“San Antonio is a great place to meet creative people. I am looking forward to starting a new chapter of my life here.”

Are you a newcomer to San Antonio? Do you want to share your story with our readers? Email the Arts Editor at arts@paisano-online.com. We would love to hear from you!

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