Night at the museum: San Benito cultural center group to hold fundraiser

SAN BENITO — Museum representatives have organized a gala to raise funds for future displays.

Plans for the new museum have been ongoing for the last couple years.

The gala is just another stride made by the museum personnel to achieve their years of dedication to the dream of a new museum.

The San Benito History Museum, the Freddie Fender Museum and the Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame and Museum will be part of the much larger cultural plaza.

Earlier this year, San Benito City commissioners approved a design proposal from architect Steve Tillotson from Munoz and Company, an engineering firm from San Antonio.

The designs feature a guitar-shaped entrance that fronts Heywood Street.

The museum will be located at the corner of East Heywood Street and North Crockett Street.

Last month, consultant Ed Meza gave city commissioners a brief rundown on what he has been doing to get the museum up and running.

Work on updating operating policies for the museum to follow once its open are under way, Meza said.

Those policies will include incorporating information for museum loans, gifts, volunteer programs, board responsibilities, collections maintenance and handling.

It also means staying on top of the architectural plans. Meza encouraged commissioners to be vigilant while the building of the museum takes place.

“They might design it with expensive materials that you don’t really have to spend that much on to get the same quality,” Meza said.

For now, Meza continues to document, list and value the collections of the museums.

“These artifacts will be used for the new museum and must be accounted for and insured in order to be displayed properly,” he said.

Designers have already begun to develop designs for the exhibits.

“The museum board recommended some designs, also,” he said. “We want to make sure the exhibits are affordable.”

When the museum eventually opens, Meza hopes residents who have some kind of historical artifacts or heirlooms will allow the museum to put them on display.

San Benito native, political columnist and banker Carlos D. Conde will be the featured speaker at the gala.

His journalism career began with the Associated Press Austin bureau. He went to the Dallas Morning News where he won numerous writing awards for stories including “A Boy in a Coma” and the Bearden’s plane hijacking in El Paso.

He interrupted his career for a year of post graduate study at Universidad Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru.

He became a Washington correspondent for Copley Newspapers and later foreign correspondent in Caracas, Venezuela, where he won an award for an article on the world’s only male quintuplets, the Prietos.

He returned to the states and the Houston Chronicle where he was nominated in 1968 for a Pulitzer Prize for a five-part series on Mexican Americans, “The Hyphenated Americans.”

He later joined the Nixon administration to work on the President’s Hispanic Cabinet Committee and later moved to the White House where he served as a press aide on Hispanic Affairs.

He moved to the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington and then posted to IDB offices in Lima, Peru, and Nassau, the Bahamas.

In his later years he retired to Florida.

If You Go

WHEN: Oct. 13.

WHERE: Oak Hill Event Center, 1780 W. Expressway 77/83.

TICKETS: $50 in advance, $60 at the door. Deadline to purchase tickets is Oct. 10

CONTACT: Call 245-3998 after 4 p.m.