Institute of Texan Cultures Heritage Awards Gala

For the first time, UTSA Institute that preserves Texan culture will host a gala event on January, 19 to honor exceptional individuals and organizations. These are Texans who have thrived to preserve Texas heritage and traditions. They are champions of the museum mission of voicing the experiences of people across the globe who call Texas home. This event is meant to honor individuals at both local and regional levels. It will also feature businesses or organizations that work to advance the cause. The institute is also pursuing funds as a means of honoring outstanding businesses and individuals.

Awarding Event

Some of the honored parties are Janie Barrera a small business advocate, G.P.Sign the leader for Sikh and OCI, firm that focuses on social responsibility. They are the guests of honor during a formal dinner which will be full of entertainment. This event will be held under the institute’s 26-screen projection dome. OCI was chosen as Business honoree by the panel of judges. This honors their effort of working with nonprofits, educators, businesses and government bodies in ways benefited the community. Tickets to the gala are 150 dollars per person. 10-seat tables are reserved for sponsors ranging from 3,000 to 15,000 dollars.


Our Community Inc has worked locally in voter involvement, literacy, youth education and community engagement. They equate economic and leadership development with social responsibility. They are known for enabling Lyft rideshare company enter San Antonio. They helped launch The Voting App to increase civic engagement. OCI have provided translation services for Bexar County Bibliotech. They also facilitated networking for Time Inc. and en Espanol locally. Nationally and Internationally they are known for representing companies in emerging markets.

Sign who was the founder of Karta will be awarded for preserving the Texan culture. He has been educating people on Sikhism since 9/11 terror attacks. He has dispelled confusions about turbans won by men and unshorn beards as outward reflections of Sikh beliefs. Sign indicated that they are people who serve humanity. They along with have stood against oppressors for more than 500 years. But they are still misunderstood because of their appearance. He expressed himself last year following the attacks in Paris.

Janie Barrera, founding president and CEO of LiftFund will be awarded for making a regional impact. This 22-year old non-profit business operates in 13 states. It has lent more than 104.4 million dollars in Texas between 2010 to 2015. This includes 23.3 million dollars lent to San Antonio which helped in creating jobs and boosting economic activities. Barrera said her work combines socialism and capitalism. She aims at enabling people reach their potential.