About Us

History. Culture. Creativity.

Celebrate creativity and joy of the human spirit presented at the Carver.

The mission of the Carver Community Cultural Center is to celebrate the diverse cultures of our world, nation and community, with emphasis on its African and African-American heritage, by providing premier artistic presentations, community outreach activities and educational programs.

History & Mission

For over 75 years, The Carver Community Cultural Center (“The Carver”) has served as the San Antonio Eastside’s foremost gathering place of cultural exchange and performance arts. It was originally erected in 1918, as a community center for African-Americans. By the 1930s, the building was repurposed as the Colored Library and renamed the Carver Library and Auditorium, in honor of Dr. George Washington Carver. From the 1940s through the Civil Rights Era, prominent African-American entertainers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong played at the Carver. However due to desegregation, the Carver fell into neglect by the early 1970s.

Carver Community Cultural Center has over 100 years of history of serving San Antonio.

In 1973, the City moved to have the Carver demolished, but community members galvanized in an act of civil disobedience, effectively using their bodies as human shields to protect the building from bulldozers. Under the ownership and management of the City of San Antonio (CoSA), the Carver was renovated and reopened in 1977, as the Carver Community Cultural Center. It now operates as a special project of the CoSA’s Conventions Sports and Entertainment Facilities Department.

Nationally-Acclaimed Performances

Our Board

The Carver Development Board is a 501 (c) (3) organization whose mission is to undertake fundraising activities and to provide financial, programming and advisory support to the Carver Community Cultural Center.

Officers

Mark Wittig, Chair

Mark Wittig is the President of Wittigs Office Interiors. He has been with the company since 1980, holds a degree from Texas State University and currently serves on various boards. Mr. Wittig serves as President of ACTS Missions and is a board member of Say Sí, Hope for the Future, Catholic Worker and the AIA Foundation.Mr. Wittig has served as President of the Downtown Optimist Club, North Central Lions Club, St. Anthony School Board, Haworth Dealer Council and the Metropolitan Hospital Board. Mark was the recipient of the Benita Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence and of the Archdiocese of San Antonio Education Hall of Fame. Mark and wife, Bebe have been married since 1974, they have five children.

Della Guidry, Vice Chair

Della Guidry is the President and Owner of AlliedPRA Destination Management San Antonio since January 5, 2000, and on August 1, 2009, she expanded her ventures to open AlliedPRA Austin. Both offices reflect the high standards and consistent delivery of impeccable service that has made AlliedPRA a leader in the industry. While servicing her clients and community, Della works with many CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies along with networking with celebrities. Della currently serves on the board of the San Antonio Tourism Council and serves as Vice Chair of the Carver Development Board. Among her many accomplishments, she has been married to Theo Guidry II for 37 years; they are proud parents of three children, Cloe, Neichelle, Theo III and three grandchildren.

Chris Karcher, Director of Finance

Vice President of Consumer Strategy at TAVHealth
Chris started his career with a regional advertising agency. Through the 1990’s Chris worked as staff epigrapher for the South Texas Epigraphic Mission to Karnak, working in Luxor, Egypt. During this time, he also ran the fine art program at the Judson Montessori School. Later Chris was the marketing concepts manager at Clarke American. He went on to lead marketing and operational restructuring for Gunn Automotive where he directed innovative programs that doubled the company’s market share. Prior to joining TAVHealth, Chris served as a manager of jazz station KRTU at Trinity University. Chris received a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Sandra Pratt, Secretary

She is currently the President of Shiny Penny Property Management Group and has been in Real Estate for 15 years. Prior to Real Estate consulting, Sandra served in the United States Air Force as an Intelligence Officer. She provided broad intelligence support to Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command and Special Operations Command. In addition to her service on the Carver Development board, Mrs. Pratt currently serves as a board member of the Stone Oak Toastmasters and What It Takes To Succeed (WITTS), a non-profit mentoring organization designed to empower individuals by facilitating discovery and development of personal skill sets required to achieve success. She holds a degree from the University of Texas San Antonio. Sandra and her husband Bryan have lived in San Antonio for 24 years and have three children.

Board Advisors

Seymour Battle, III

Seymour Battle is currently Vice President, Accounting Process Optimization & Information Support for Valero Energy Corporation. Prior to joining Valero, Mr. Battle was employed with Thomson Reuters. In addition to his service on the Carver Development Board, Mr. Battle currently serves on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters South Texas and has served on the Community Leadership Board for the American Diabetes Association, Brackenridge Park Conservancy, served on various leadership committees for the Lone Star Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and as Treasurer for San Antonio CARES. He is an avid motorcyclist and is an active member of several motorcycle rights organizations on the local, state and national levels. Seymour became Treasurer of the Carver Development Board in 2011 and served as Director of Finance in 2015. He currently serves as Board Advisor. Seymour is a graduate of Jackson State University with a B.B.A. in Accounting.

Melanie G. Cowart

Melanie Goins Cowart is originally from St. Louis Missouri and moved to San Antonio with her US Air Force husband in 1996. For eighteen years, Ms. Cowart was employed by the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Recently retired, Ms. Cowart devotes her energy to community service. Ms. Cowart holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri at Columbia and a Juris Doctorate degree from Saint Louis University School of Law. Ms. Cowart serves on the board of the Roseville Housing Trust of San Antonio, and she has previously served on boards for: Alpha Tau Omega Senior Opportunity Services of Texas, Inc; San Antonio Ivy Educational Fund, Inc.; and Kids Sports Network, Inc. Ms. Cowart’s term on the Carver Development Board began in January 2011 and currently serves as Board Advisor.

Janice Dolliole

Janice Dolliole is a 32 year veteran of the Aviation and Transportation Industries. Janice Dolliole is currently the President and a principal of USA Travel Agency. Janice has been with USA Travel Agency for over twenty years. Janice also holds the designation of Certified Meeting Professional since 2002 as conferred by the Convention Industry Council. Janice Dolliole has held memberships in Jack and Jill of America, Inc., National Coalition of 100 Black Women and served on the board for the PREMIEre Program of the Pediatrics Division of Neonatology at University Health System-SA and is a member of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. Janice Dolliole is a native of New Orleans and a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana with a B.S. in Business Education. She and her husband Kevin of thirty-one years have lived in San Antonio for eleven years and have two children.

Danielle L. Hargrove

Danielle Hargrove is an active full-time attorney, mediator and arbitrator. Ms. Hargrove’s Alternate Dispute Resolution practice has focused primarily, on employment and labor law disputes and recently expanded her practice to include developing sports and entertainment. Ms. Hargrove is a member of the National Bar Association Region V and Arbitration Section; the San Antonio Black Lawyers Association, the San Antonio Bar Association ADR Section, as well as the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section and Forum Committee on Entertainment and Sports Industries. She also is a member of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association, Inc. She served as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force, Assistant United States Attorney, Civil Engineering Officer and most recently as In-House Counsel for CPS Energy. Danielle is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Board Members

Tracey D. Blakes

Tracey D. Blakes recently retired from CPS Energy after having served as the Director of HR Services for CPS Energy, since November 2011. Prior to working in the Human Resource field, Tracey served 10 years as a member of the United States Air Force where she proudly served two tours in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. In her personal time, Tracey is most dedicated to the civilian career transition and advancement of veterans. She regularly speaks to groups of veterans who are leaving the military and are seeking career guidance. Ms. Blakes serves on the board of the Texas Diversity Council and is a member of the National Forum of Black Public Administrators (NFBPA). Tracey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Administration from St. Leo College and a Master’s from Webster University. She and her husband Edwin have one daughter, Lauren.

Danielle Campbell Steans

Ms. Campbell has had extensive dance experience performing with the Georgia Ballet and Nashville Ballet II dance companies. Ms. Campbell taught at Ballet San Antonio Academy and served as associate director of the school’s dance ensemble for five seasons. She has taught at the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas, Boys & Girls Clubs, and various schools in the greater San Antonio area. In 2013, Ms. Campbell joined the Ballet San Antonio staff. Ms. Campbell initiated a partnership between Ballet San Antonio and American Ballet Theatre’s prestigious Project Plié program. In the summers of 2015 and 2016, Ms. Campbell’s work with at-risk youth at Boys & Girls Clubs in San Antonio earned her a full-tuition scholarship to attend American Ballet Theatre’s National Curriculum Training. She is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Instructor.

Cheryl E. Davis

A special EPA Research Fellowship from the US Environmental Protection Agency was an added incentive to attend Prairie View A&M University to pursue a Master of Science degree in Environmental Toxicology. Cheryl became a research assistant in the Department of Microbiology at UTHSCSA and at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; later pursuing dental school. She was commissioned in the USAF, and upon after being discharged worked as an adjunct Professor at Northwest Vista Community College and a dentist at the Correctional Health Services/Bexar County Jail. Cheryl opened her dental office in 2006. Cheryl is a member of several organizations, America Dental Association, TBW and AAUW, board member of Planned Parenthood South Texas, Women’s Global Connection and Chrysalis Ministries. Cheryl Elise Davis graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University with BA in Biology/Chemistry.

Marcheta P. Evans, Ph.D.

Marcheta P. Evans is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, School of Professional Studies and Social Service at Our Lady of the Lake University. She has worked extensively with various non-profits including United Way, Catholic Charities, AVANCE, Baptist Children Home Ministries and more. She is a licensed professional counselor and supervisor and nationally certified with an additional certification as a distance credentialed counselor. Dr. Evans has authored numerous articles and book chapters, focusing on issues of diversity, multiculturalism, women’s issues, and leadership. Her international work includes extensive time in the African country of Malawi with additional work in Cuba, and Jamaica. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Counselor Education and Supervision specializing in Student Affairs, Administration in Higher Education and Human Resource Management. Her husband Ed is an IT executive at USAA. They have six children and nine grandchildren.

Rick Goff

H. Rick Goff was commissioned in the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1981. While on active duty, Rick served in many duty stations world-wide and earned many awards and decorations for outstanding performance. Rick also served as Vice President of Operations for Six Flags Theme Parks from 2001-2010. He oversaw world-wide operations for over 35 theme and water parks and managed a staff of over 10,000 full and part-time employees. In addition, Rick was Vice President of Facilities, Real Estate, Security, and Critical Systems for Sirius XM Satellite Radio from 2011-2016. Rick served as President of the local American Business Clubs (AMBUCS) chapter in Edmond Oklahoma. Mr. Goff has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia and is a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force ROTC program. Rick is currently in semi-retirement and living in San Antonio with his wife Carol V. Goff.

Yasan Gooding

Yasan Gooding, PhD, is a lead information systems specialist with Valero Energy Corporation, Inc. Prior to joining Valero Energy Corporation, Inc., he was a global configuration analyst for Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive. Yasan has been in several pivotal positions as technologist and consultant for Fortune 500 companies. His research interests cover several areas in technology and education. He has authored and co-authored several articles on data warehousing technologies in trade publications and on-line magazines. Yasan currently serves on the School of Excellence in Education, a charter school board. A life-long member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Yasan believes in community service and reaching back to help others, and promoting the arts to all communities. Yasan received his PhD (2001) and M.S. (1993) from Iowa State and a B.S. degree from Saint Augustine’s College. Yasan is married to Dr. Velma Gooding; they have 3 children.

Jo Ann Harris

Jo Ann Harris was employed by Alamo Community College for 25 years as Professor in the Department of Nursing Education; she is currently retired. She also retired from the United States Army as a Major. She has served on the San Antonio State Hospital Volunteer Service Council, and the Texas Volunteer Service State Council Board. Currently she is a volunteer for Bexar County Detention Center Match/Patch Program, Texas Peer Assistance for Impaired Nurses and Alpha Tau Omega Senior Opportunity services. Ms. Harris holds an Associate of Arts from Schreiner College, Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from St. Mary’s University.

Larry D. Jackson

Larry D. Jackson has served in a variety of leadership positions for the past 16 years at Palo Alto College, one of the Alamo Colleges. Currently, Jackson is Dean of the Corporate and Community Education Division. In addition, Jackson has provided countless hours of service in various capacities serving as Past President of the Palo Alto Staff Council and Past President of the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education – San Antonio Chapter. Currently, Jackson serves as Chair of the Alamo Colleges Continuing Education Operational Issues Council on Deans. Mr. Jackson holds various degrees including a B.A. from Washburn University, M. A. degrees from Webster University and Capella University. Jackson’s distinguished career in the Air Force as a Human Resources Officer was prompted by his bestowment of a commission into the United States Air Force as an Officer through Washburn’s Recruited Officers Training Corp. (ROTC) Program. Jackson is married to Pauline M. Jackson since 1994.

Sarah Magill McLornan

Sarah McLornan has served as the Director of Constituent Services to Mayor Julian Castro since 2009. Prior to this, she worked as the Director of Adoption Services with Baptist Child and Family Services. Sarah served as the mayor’s liaison to the board of Luminaria and the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women. She has served on the Carver board since 2011. Sarah was recently hired to serve as Director of Constituent Services and Senior Policy Advisor for Mayor Ron Nirenburg. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. Sarah is a native of San Antonio and is married to her husband Paul, a dentist, for 7 years.

Dionne Roberts

Dionne Roberts President and CEO of the TDA family of companies, which focus on increasing the capacity of communities to provide quality affordable housing and community development programs. As President and CEO, she leads TDA’s overall strategic development. Prior to TDA, Dionne worked in the nonprofit, local government and national policy arenas developing and implementing integrated approaches to community and economic development needs. Ms. Roberts is an active member of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. In 2014, Ms. Roberts has launched SA Noir, a local website and newsletter dedicated to promoting activities potentially of interest to the San Antonio African-American and diaspora community. Dionne has a Master’s of Science in Organization Development from American University, School of Public Affairs and numerous professional certifications.

Nishell Robinson

Nishell Robinson, a dedicated banker for 20 years, currently serves as a Business Banker at Comerica Bank. Nishell works with personal account holders as well as small business owners to determine their needs. She specializes in developing and deepening full relationship banking to include personal and small business loans, lines of credit and depository solutions for her clients. She is very committed to her clients and long term client relationships that she’s developed over the years. Nishell also serves as a Board Member for Ella Austin community center on the Finance Committee. Nishell has a very strong since of self and is very committed and involved with her church and community events in the San Antonio market. Ms. Robinson has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Wayland Baptist University.

Billy Ray Sheppard

BillyRay Sheppard, saxophonist living in San Antonio Texas has been performing since the 80’s. His musical roots run deep with earliest experiences in Blues, R & B, Reggae, Latin, Tejano and Country bands. It’s his love for music that keeps him grounded and his love for jazz that keeps him performing. He has shared his talents on stage with Ray Charles, Julio Iglesias, Willie Nelson, Roy Hargrove, The Dirty Dozen Band, Johnny Bush and many more. With his rich, warm soulful tone he has made a name for himself with his saxophone. In addition to performing in concerts, BillyRay is available as a soloist, or band performer (leader of The Main Event Band of San Antonio TX) for private functions including conventions, weddings, private parties, fashion shows etc.

Nicole Silveira

Nicole Silveira is the owner of Heart2Heart Films and Co-Owner of Serrano Productions. She started her film production companies with her partner, Sixto Serrano in 2014. Nicole is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a first generation American. Her parents are Brazilian immigrants and have raised her in a dual-language household. She speaks English and Portuguese fluently and is currently learning Spanish. Nicole eventually found her passion in entrepreneurship and educating the community with impactful videos that help fund local nonprofits and capturing special events. Ms. Silveira holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management and a Minor in International Business from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Maria M. Williams

Maria M. Williams is the owner of Majestic Events by Maria, LLC., a full-service event management company. Maria started her company while still attending St. Phillips College where she majored in event management. In addition, Maria served as Director of Community Events for District 2 and is a champion for small business and has spoken on several occasions on behalf of Liftfund to its investors and The Women Business Center. She was invited to accompany CEO Janie Barrera to Washington D.C where she spoke at The Community Funded Economic Development Conference on the importance of allowing people the opportunity to live the dream of owning their own business. Maria has served as Fundraising Chair on the Carver Development Board since January 2015. One of Maria’s main responsibilities is to fundraise for the annual Cavalcade where all proceeds collected are donated to the Carver’s education programs.

President Emeritus

Betty Green

Sponsors

The Carver Community Cultural Center wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation for the kindness shown to us by the following corporations, organizations and foundations. Their support enables the Carver to continue offering the quality programming for all to enjoy.

  • AT&T Foundation
  • Bank of America
  • City of San Antonio Department of Convention & Sports Facilities
  • Clear Channel Communications
  • Combined Federal Campaign – San Antonio, Texas
  • David Robinson Foundation
  • Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation
  • Greehey Family Foundation
  • H.E.B. Tournament of Champions + H.E.B. Helping Here
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • KONO FM 101.1
  • James Lifshutz Foundation
  • John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation  – San Antonio Area Foundation
  • Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation
  • Myra Stafford Pryor Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Performance Network
  • New England Foundation of Arts
  • NuStar Energy L.P.
  • Oppenheimer Foundation
  • Prudence Curry Society
  • Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts
  • San Antonio Area Foundation
  • San Antonio Conservation Society
  • San Antonio Current
  • San Antonio Express-News
  • San Antonio Metropolitan Area Campaign
  • San Antonio Spurs Foundation
  • San Antonio Tricentennial Commission
  • Sisters of the Holy Spirit
  • Texas Commission on the Arts
  • The Charitable Foundation of Frost National Bank
  • The Fund
  • Time Warner Cable
  • USAA Foundation, Inc.
  • Valero Energy Corporation
  • Mark Wittig, Carver Development Board – Wittig’s Office Interiors

2016-17 Cavalcade Sponsors

  • City of San Antonio Center City & Operations Department
  • City of San Antonio Department of Convention & Sports Facilities
  • City of San Antonio Department of Culture & Creative Development
  • City of San Antonio Department of Human Services
  • CNG Engineering, Pllc
  • Dr. Marcheta Evans, Carver Development Board – Our Lady of the Lake University
  • KRTU 91.7 Trinity University
  • James Lifshutz Foundation
  • San Antonio Tricentennial Commission
  • San Antonio Zulu Commission, Inc.
  • Second Baptist Church
  • South Texas Center for Pediatric Care
  • Valero Energy Foundation
  • Mark Wittig, Carver Development Board – Wittig’s Office Interiors