San Benito hires new museum coordinator, PR director

SAN BENITO — This city welcomed two new employees to the team this month.

Aleida Garcia became the city’s new museum coordinator and David Favila is now the public relations director. They both began their roles on Sept 8.

“I am pleased to welcome both Ms. Garcia and Mr. Favila to our team, and I look forward to working with them,” San Benito City Manager Manuel De La Rosa stated.

Garcia is a native of the Rio Grande Valley and has 20 years of cultural arts leadership and administrative experience.

“Her commitment to the arts and ability to connect communities is demonstrated by her extensive experience in arts administration, as well as recognition for her multidiscipline artistic practice,” a city press release states.

Garcia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas — Pan American.

Early in Garcia’s professional career, she helped open Sala Arte, which is one of the first contemporary art galleries in McAllen. As gallery director, she featured work from Valley artists and initiated a young collector’s forum.

In 2006, she was the program coordinator for the Brownsville Heritage Complex.

“Garcia’s dynamism provided culturally rich programming and events to the Brownsville community, hosting book signings and coordinating traveling and long-term exhibitions,” the press release states.

Additionally in her career, Garcia oversaw and facilitated several museum exhibits, including international exhibitions from Mexico.

She worked as a register at the International Museum of Art and Science (IMAS) for eight years. There she managed a permanent collection of more than 8,000 objects.

“At IMAS, Garcia also led a technology team to assess and update the overall hardware and software needs for the entire museum, successfully bringing the collections, donor and membership databases up to modern standards,” the press release states.

Since 2014, Garcia has worked as an independent collection’s management consultant.

Additionally, she was hired as a curatorial assistant who was in charge of organizing, documenting and maintaining the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s permanent art collection.

Garcia also served as co-founder, director and curator of Titan Studio and Exhibit Space in downtown Harlingen from Sept. 2014 through March 2020.

“Drawn to the cogency of recognition for local artists and the need for a cultural community, Titan Studios functioned as an alternative exhibition space that featured rotating exhibitions by regional guest artists,” the press release states. “She expanded the vitality of the contemporary art landscape in the Rio Grande Valley by providing an experimental space to create and explore that bought with its creation a new significance to the artists as well as their patrons.”

Public relations

Favila is originally from El Paso, but has lived in the Valley since 1996. He is replacing Martha McClain, who retired earlier this year.

Favila has a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism with a minor in political science from the University of North Texas in Denton.

“Prior to working for San Benito, Favila spent more than two decades in the newspaper business with the bulk of that coming at the Valley Morning Star,” the press release states.

Favila began working at the publication as a general assignments reporter who covered everything from city politics in San Benito, Harlingen and the Mid-Valley to healthcare and various city police beats.

He then transferred from the news desk to sports. After some time, he was promoted to sports editor, which he remained for more than 10 years.

Favila later became managing editor for the La Feria and Los Fresnos News, as well as Rio Sports Live Magazine. Prior to this, he was the research director at the Dallas Business Journal.

ahernandez@valleystar.com