Arts academy renamed to honor George A. Ramirez - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Arts academy renamed to honor George A. Ramirez

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Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 9:00 pm

The city commission voted unanimously to pass a resolution that renames the Brownsville Performing Arts Academy to George A. Ramirez Performing Arts Academy Tuesday evening during a regular meeting.

The item passed with Commissioner Ben Neece making the motion and Commissioner Rose Gowen seconding it. Commissioners Nurith Galonsky, John Cowen and Joel Munguia and Mayor Trey Mendez joined them. Commissioner Jessica Tetreau was absent from the meeting.

“I am very happy that my friend George can be honored in this way. You know, that is something that I don’t think he expected but it is something that was worthy,” Neece said in a Wednesday interview. “I think also that by recognizing this kind of dedication, it can inspire others to do the same.”

The resolution states George Ramirez was the longtime president of the Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts and Co-Founder of the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival. It also mentions the efforts led by Ramirez to create a number of other cultural events including the Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition, Brownsville International Flamenco Festival, Handel’s Messiah Concert, EarthFest and Hansel and Gretel Opera.

“George A. Ramirez dedicated his life to making the arts accessible to the citizens of Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley and also contributing to music students in the form of scholarships and sponsorships for attending specialized trainings or to watch world class performances not available in Brownsville,” the resolution reads.

The Brownsville Performing Arts Academy embodies everything that George A. Ramirez wanted for the City of Brownsville and the city recognizes the extraordinary contribution to the culture and arts by Ramirez.

“George A. Ramirez was a fierce advocate for the power of music education that led him to lead the effort of the establishment the Brownsville Performing Arts Academy and the rehabilitation of the Stegman Building,” the resolution states.

Hilda Ledezma, founder and director for the Revival of Cultural Arts, said it is a great gesture from the city to rename the arts academy.

“I think it’s a great gesture that the city commission is commemorating George Ramirez and recognizing all his effort in the realization of this project,” she said.

Ramirez died Oct. 12 at the age of 73 after complications from surgery. A tribute and celebration of his life was hosted on Oct. 25 at the then named Brownsville Performing Arts Academy where University of Texas Rio Grande Valley students and alumni that Ramirez supported throughout the years performed.

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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