It's not every day you get an invite where the dress code is "black tie with a calavera flair," but that's the recommended attire for the upcoming Catrina Ball. Hosted by the San Antonio Public Library Foundation (SAPLF), this Día de Muertos Celebration returns on Saturday, October 22, as one of the city's most colorful and extravagant fundraisers.
Benefiting SAPLF's mission to strengthen the library in service to the community, the event is an opportunity to don Día de Muertos-inspired makeup, flower crowns, and colorful headpieces — all for a cause. And if you've never painted your own calavera (a colorful representation of a human skull), never fear: Makeup artists will be on hand to help guests achieve their own Catrín and Catrina look.
Taking place from 7 pm to midnight in the newly renovated Central Library at 600 Soledad St., the event will feature a silent auction, as well as delicious food, drink, festivities, and, of course, incredible decor. Colorful animal spirit guides, or alebrijes, will preside over the event, while beautiful Día de los Muertos altars will honor departed loved ones — including a special alter for beloved pets.
Sponsors and donors may honor their loved ones with framed photographs placed on the altars, while specially designed commemorative bookplates are also available, and will be placed on volumes in circulation throughout the library system. Live entertainment will include folklórico dancers, mariachis, and colorful performers throughout the evening.
Special honorees preside as La Catrina and El Catrín for each festive annual affair. This year's honorees include Erika Prosper Nirenberg, business executive, community leader, and first lady of San Antonio, and talented musician Rick Cavender, owner and partner of the Cavender Auto Family. Executive chairs for the event are Gwen and Chris Graham and Liecie and Nick Hollis, and Norma and Fernando Reyes are this year's honorary chairs.
Combining rich cultural tradition with philanthropy, the gala benefits special projects in the San Antonio Public Library. In 2019, $50,000 from Catrina Ball proceeds supported matching 2017 bond dollars to renovate the Texana/Genealogy Department. In 2020, the SAPLF made an annual gift of $247,000, plus a one-time gift of $274,000, to help address the urgent need for outreach and digital accessibility during the pandemic.
“We are grateful for the generosity of our donors and guests at this primary annual fundraiser, and we are confident this partnership will allow us to continue to positively impact and enrich thousands of lives through the Library,” said Amy Hone, Executive Director of the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, in a release.“The entire San Antonio Library Foundation is thrilled to return to the iconic Downtown San Antonio Central Library," continued Amy. "The landmark building has been renovated and will provide a dazzling backdrop to our annual Ball. For over a half-decade our Foundation has brought people together to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos in a unique and purposeful way. 2022 is going to be our best event yet!"
For more information about Catrina Ball 2022, visit www.SAPLF.org/Catrina2022.