Photo of the Carver Community Cultural Center's exterior.

The Carver, 226 N. Hackberry, San Antonio 78202

San Antonio has more than its fair share of performing arts spaces: the Majestic, the Empire, the Municipal Auditorium, the Alamodome, the AT&T Center, Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium, the Lila Cockrell Theatre, and more. The Carver Community Cultural Center on San Antonio’s East Side, however, may give you the biggest bang for your performing arts buck.

Photo of George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver

Why? Because the Carver seats 600. In a place this size, you are able to see the performers, the costumes and the sets without binoculars.

Last weekend, the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet performed the two-act fairytale ballet “Hansel & Gretel” at the Carver, and folks leaving the show said how much they enjoyed the intimate feel that this 1930s theater provides. This past June, my husband and I saw  “Generaciónes,” a wonderful flamenco performance, at the Carver, and we were delighted with our close proximity to the dancers.

So, for local folks who’ve never been to the Carver or for out-of-town folks who are looking for something to do while you’re in town, check out the center’s 2010-2011 season. The Carver, a five-minute cab ride from downtown hotels, is known for bringing both national and international performers to San Antonio. For those who are driving themselves, parking is free!

Photo of stairs to the Carver Community Cultural Center's balcony.

Get a birds'-eye view in the balcony!

Singer/Songwriter Terri Hendrix, Tenor Sax and Clarinetist Anat Cohen, Kuumba House Dance (South and East African) Theatre, Tango Buenos Aires, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet are just a few of the acts scheduled this season. The theater has an interesting history, as does the center’s namesake, George Washington Carver.

The Carver Community Cultural Center is located at 226 N. Hackberry. From downtown, go east down Commerce, pass through St. Paul’s Square, and take a left onto Hackberry. The theater will be on your right.

The Carver’s staff is extremely helpful and friendly. Their box office phone number is (210) 207-2234, and their hours are Mondays through Fridays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. plus two hours before performances on weekdays and four hours before performances on weekends.