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.
Tango Buenos Aires
Photo by: Lucrecia Laurel
Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band
Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker
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 challenging artistic presentations, community outreach activities, and educational programs. The Carver Development Board is a 501©3 organization whose mission is to undertake fundraising activities and to provide financial, programming, and advisory support to the Carver Community Cultural Center.
Sandra Pratt is originally from Oakland, California. She relocated to San Antonio in 1992. Sandra has been in the Real Estate industry for 17 years and is currently the CEO and principal of Shiny Penny Property Management Group. She holds a degree from the University of Texas San Antonio. She is also a graduate of the American Academy of Crisis Counseling and works with various community-based organizations. Sandra served in the United States Air Force as an Intelligence Officer and received numerous awards and decorations during her twenty-year career. She is an Honor Graduate from the Academy of Military Science. In addition to her service on the Carver Development board, Mrs. Pratt has served as Area Director of Toastmasters International and currently serves as president of What It Takes To Succeed (WITTS), a non-profit mentoring and coaching organization designed to empower individuals by facilitating skill set discovery and personal growth. Sandra and her husband Bryan have lived in San Antonio for 25 years and have three children.
George A. Williams, Jr., Ph.D. serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Assistant Professor at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree from Bethune-Cookman University, master’s degree from the University of South Florida, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, with distinction, from the University of New Mexico (UNM). Dr. Williams has held positions as a special education teacher and Academic Student Success Manger by managing the academic accommodations of university students with disabilities.
Dr. Williams has presented and served as a guest lecture at the state, regional, national, and international levels addressing topics such as diversity, leadership, and cultural responsive teaching. Among many earned academic accomplishments, such as Teacher of the Year with the School District of Hillsborough County and recipient of the Presidential Luminaria award for diversity, Dr. Williams has also served as a community trailblazer. He fulfilled positions as an international board member of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society, president of the New Mexico Association on Higher Education and Disability (NM-AHEAD), and a school board member for the Las Puntas Charter School. Currently, Dr. Williams is completing three successful terms as treasurer of the Texas Council for Exceptional Children, serves as chair of the Scholarship Committee with the San Antonio Dr. MLK, Jr., Commission, board member of the Carver Development Board, and board member of the Healy Murphy Center.
Dr. Williams vowed to make a difference in the lives of youngsters. From the start of his career in educating children with disabilities and children that demonstrate school dependence, his personal motto has been for them to Own the Knowledge.
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 an extraordinarily 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.
Sherri Stallings is currently Senior Director, Technology Sourcing at Visa. In her role, she manages the Technology Labor Category and all associated contracting activities supporting Visa’s Chief Technology Officer. She has held Procurement leadership positions with USAA, Limited Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Express and Bath & Body Works) and Nokia.
Prior to working in Procurement, Sherri worked as an Educator for seven years. She held elementary school teaching positions in both Wellesley, MA and Plano, TX.
Sherri was born in Newark, NJ and is a graduate of Rutger’s University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Simmons College in Boston, MA and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Sherri has also held Executive Board positions with Jack and Jill of America, Inc. North Suburban Dallas Chapter. She served as Editor and Publicity Chair for a total of six years.
Sherri lives in San Antonio with her husband Herry and their two daughters.
Melvin Amerson is a native of the eastside of San Antonio, and grew up in the Denver Heights neighborhood. Attended schools in S.A.I.S.D. Also, a lifelong member of the Historic St. Paul United Methodist Church.
Amerson serves as a consultant with the Texas Methodist Foundation and has over 20 years of experience assisting clergy and congregations with developing cultures of generosity through coaching, workshops, and seminars. He advises and consults with campus ministry directors and other nonprofit leaders on fundraising and board development. Additionally, facilitates vision and discernment discussions with churches throughout the state.
Further, he is the author of “Stewardship in African American Churches: A New Paradigm”, and “Celebrating the Offering”, which focus on funding ministry, with emphasis on developing cultures of generosity in local churches. Moreover, his writings encourage people to seek a spirit of generosity and philanthropy.
Melvin earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, an M.Div. degree from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Also, completed continuing education in Executive Leadership and Professional Fundraising from Cornell and Boston Universities.
In his spare time, he enjoys attending concerts and events at The Carver.
Randall Dawson currently serves as Chief Academic Officer in his role as Vice President of Academic Success at St. Philip’s College. As the Chief Academic Officer, he provides stewardship for all faculty in the areas of instruction and curriculum and reports directly to the President of the College.
Mr. Dawson regularly represents St. Philip’s College at community events and has been recognized for his outreach efforts to build collaborations with community organizations, local government, and other colleges and universities.
Most importantly, Mr. Dawson is passionate about student success. He values integrity, innovation, and student-centered learning. He perceives the role of Chief Academic Officer to instill, inspire, encourage, and cultivate positive character traits that will prepare students, faculty, and staff for success.
Mr. Dawson is a graduate of a community college, having earned an Associate of Arts from Coffeyville Community College. At Washburn University, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a Computer Science Emphasis, while being awarded both athletic basketball and business finance scholarships. As a graduate coaching and teaching assistant at Pittsburg State University, Mr. Dawson earned his Master of Science degree in Kinesiology.
Mr. Dawson is married to DoMonique Dawson and they have 4 children, Amanda (29), MoRanda, (22), Mya (20) and Jadon (13).
Dionne Roberts is a nationally recognized housing and community development professional. With over 25 years of experience as synthesizer and catalyst for change, she has a history of developing and sustaining productive relationships and partnerships with communities, citizens, and stakeholders. As President and CEO of TDA Consulting since 2014, she leads the organization’s overall strategic development and works directly with their partners to advance service delivery opportunities. 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 that reflected the values, diversity, aspirations, and priorities of communities. She is adept at the development of policy approaches that enhance the provision of programs and the identification of resources to facilitate direct development. Dionne has a Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from Syracuse University, a Master’s of Science in Organization Development from American University and is currently pursuing her Doctorate through the University of Southern California. She is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the San Antonio Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. She is a recent graduate of the Masters Leadership Program of San Antonio (Class XVIII) and a proud board member of the Carver Development Board.
Dr. Aisha Woods was born and raised on the eastside of San Antonio, Texas. She has an A.A.S. in Information Systems from the Community College of the Air Force, a B.S. in Social Psychology from Park University, a M.S. in Counseling Psychology and a PsyD in Counseling Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University. Dr. Woods is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPS-S) and has over 12 years of experience in mental health. Dr. Woods’ research interests include clergy member mental health, racial, gender, and age-related microaggressions, culturally affirming mental health experiences and the experiences of people of color in higher education. She proudly served on active duty in the United States Air Force for 7 years and continues to support Veterans causes. As a new board member on the Carver Development Board, Dr. Woods is excited about helping to bridge the age and cultural gap in supporters of the Carver. Dr. Woods is an avid traveler and enjoys all things related to wine.
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.
- A Dream Weaver Florist
- Alamo Beer Company
- ARTS San Antonio
- AT&T Foundation
- Avista Products
- City of San Antonio, Department of Arts and Culture
- City of San Antonio, Department of Convention and Sports Facilities
- City of San Antonio, Department of Human Services
- CPS Energy
- Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
- Greehey Family Foundation
- H.E.B. Helping Here
- H.E.B. Tournament of Champions
- Kiolbassa Smoked Meats
- KONO FM 101.1
- KROV FM
- KRTU FM 91.7
- Lifshutz Foundation
- Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation
- Muñoz & Company
- National Endowment for the Arts
- National Performance Network
- New England Foundation for the Arts
- David Robinson Foundation
- Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts
- San Antonio Current
- San Antonio Express-News
- San Antonio Food Bank
- San Antonio ZULU Commission, Inc.
- Spare Parts
- Texas Commission on the Arts
- The Big Bib BBQ
- The Chop Shop Produce Co.
- The MightyGroup
- The San Antonio Report
- Trinity University
- Tucker’s Kozy Korner
- USAA Foundation A Charitable Trust
- Valero Energy Corporation
- San Antonio African American Community Fund
- Sisters of the Holy Spirit
- San Antonio Chapter of Links
- John L. Santiko Charitable Foundation
- San Antonio Area Foundation
- Bank of America Charitable Foundation
2019-20 Cavalcade Sponsors
- CPS Energy
- Acelity / KCI
- City of San Antonio – Arts & Cultural Dept.
- City of San Antonio – Convention & Sports Facilities
- Commissioner Tommy Calvert
- Deneen Donnley
- John L Santikos Charitable Foundation
- NuStar Energy
- San Antonio Zulu Association
- Southeast South Texas Center for Pediatric Care, P.A.
- St. Philip’s College
- Theo & Della Guidry