UTSA social work class inspires B Heard Music Festival, Saturday, April 30

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(April 28, 2011)--"Creating moments, connecting lives" -- that's the sentiment behind the B Heard Music Festival this Saturday, April 30, from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. outside the gates of Haven for Hope, near the UTSA Downtown Campus.

The free event at the corner of N. Frio and N. Medina streets in San Antonio is the work of graduate students in the Advanced Communities class at UTSA. The course, taught by Robert Ambrosino, senior lecturer in the Department of Social Work, takes classroom learning into the community through hands-on projects aimed at transforming lives.

The B Heard Music Festival was created to promote healing through music and to connect members of the Haven for Hope community with each other as well as the community-at-large. It will feature performances by the San Antonio Symphony String Quartet, Groove Doctors, Capoeira Lua, Acoustic Dream, ComeDrumForFun, Mac B and many more. The highlight of the event will be the Haven for Hope band, organized by UTSA students with the help of community partners who donated instruments and other equipment.

The public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for the cafe-like concert. Food will be available and other events are scheduled for the family-friendly evening.

This is the third project for Ambrosino's class focusing on Haven for Hope. In 2009, his students lead a mural project -- recently dedicated -- to depict the meaning of transformation. The mural was in partnership with San Anto Cultural Arts.

In fall 2010, his class decided to encourage fitness by creating a Haven for Hope recreational soccer program that culminated in a friendly tournament, which included Ambrosino's students, Haven for Hope staff and Haven for Hope members. The championship UTSA women's soccer team helped make the project a success by leading the teams in fitness activities and providing assistance in the fundamentals of the game.

This semester, music is the focus.

"The idea for the music festival was to create a moment where people were transformed out of their daily grinds," said Ambrosino. "That's what happened with the soccer event. We asked the members to tell us what they liked about the program. They said it was the fact that for two hours they felt the same as everybody else. And that's what this is all about."

Through word of mouth and friends knowing friends, students secured bands, food and other donations for the B Heard Music Festival. Alamo Music Center donated instruments for Haven for Hope band members, a local musician donated the stage production, and Haven for Hope secured the stage.

The event is supported by Haven for Hope and SAMMinistries.

For more information, contact Marian Bownds at 210-458-2566.