Staff


Nicole Amri, Class of 2006

Community Partnerships Director

Nicole Amri is a 2006 alumna of SAY Sí and a 2012 graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BFA in Painting and a BA in Communication: Public Relations. She is also a certified nonprofit professional through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. Driven by learning and creating, Nicole’s great passions are education and the arts. As a multidisciplinary artist she explores human rights issues with a focus on interpersonal relationships and societal conditions. In addition to her position as Program Director for SAY Sí, Nicole currently serves on local and national committees such as city-wide collective impact initiatives: SA2020 and Excel Beyond the Bell SA and national groups: the ALAANA Network and National Advisory Committee to the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. When she’s not working or creating, Nicole loves to dance, cook and listen to music (often at the same time).


    Hirrah Barlas

    Administrative Assistant

    Hirrah is a painter & mixed-media artist who believes that in vulnerability there is strength. She creates to express her love & admiration for others, and to spread uplifting messages throughout her community. Hirrah supports San Antonio's creative youth by serving as SAY Sí's Administrative Assistant.


      Michael Foerster

      Visual Arts & Woodshop Instructor

      Michael is an artist who dabbles mainly in the ceramic, soft sculpture and performative arts. His work focuses on simplistic forms and smiley characters that speak about innocence, youth, love, kindness, fun, happiness, and how we became who we are. Michael can usually be identified as "the one with the yo-yo" or found doodling on random tables.


        Cassidy Fritts

        Visual Arts Instructor

        Cassidy Fritts is a San Antonio local who has a dedication to community and youth empowerment. She graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word in 2017 with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts, concentrating in Painting. Fritts is currently a local artist exploring mediums of painting and printmaking and is also a local muralist. Her artwork typically explores topics of personal identity, mental health, and community. Fritts was a featured artist in the 2019 San Antonio Street Art Showcase Phase II and has murals, public and private, throughout San Antonio; she has also participated in assisting with San Anto Cultural Arts murals. In addition to the arts, Fritts has a passion for immigration advocacy, anti-gentrification work, and education reform. Fritts believes that the fight for justice doesn't end when you clock out of a job, but everyday and every hour that injustice exists, the fight persists. During any free time Fritts gets, you can find her walking her dog, cooking, trying new San Antonio restaurants, or finding even more things to occupy her time.


          Anahí Gonzalez

          Operations Manager

          Born in Monterrey, N.L. Mexico and later raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Anahí González moved to San Antonio, TX to fulfill her college career at Our Lady of the Lake University. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Psychology and quickly dived into the world of social justice. She has experienced the harsh realities of our foster care system having served a role as Residential Specialist for a long-term care facility, Investigator 1 for Child Protective Service and Case Manager for a child placement agency. Seeing the lack of government support/funding in these areas of need led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management. She graduated in 2014 with an MS in Non-Profit Management from her alma mater, OLLU, which has allowed for her to thrive as Operations Manager for SAY Sí.  Her passions include spreading the message of health and wellness through nutrition & exercise, cooking authentic Mexican cuisine and photography.


            Stephen Garza-Guzman

            Communications Director

            Stephen Garza-Guzman is a writer, photographer and graphic designer born and raised in the westside of San Antonio, Texas. Stephen holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Communications from St. Mary’s University. A lifelong learner, Garza-Guzman has been a nonprofit professional for 10 years. He currently acts as Communications Director for SAY Sí, San Antonio’s premier creative youth development organization, overseeing the organization’s brand by molding and sharing its multifaceted story with various audiences. In 2016, he participated in the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures (NALAC) Leadership Institute. He also sat as co-chair of the Engagement Working Group for Excel Beyond the Bell, San Antonio’s out-of-school time collective impact organization, from 2015 - 2017. Outside of SAY Sí, Stephen and his husband, Fred Garza-Guzman, co-own Curious Twins Paranormal, a San Antonio-based ghost tour company that shares curious, dark and often untold San Antonio narratives.


              Jon Hinojosa

              Artistic | Executive Director

              Jon is an artist masquerading as an arts administrator. He is active in professional: local, regional and national creative youth development initiatives and has presented and facilitated learning at numerous conferences and symposia on the value, tangible evidence, and the transformative power the arts have on urban youth. He also serves as a board member of Texans for the Arts. Jon has prioritized youth voice throughout the organization's timeline, empowering SAY Sí's artists to drive the growth of the organization and take ownership of the internationally recognized programs. He hopes his legacy will be inspiring and educating the next generation of our nation's creative leaders.


                Jasper

                SAY Sí Cat

                Jasper serves as the SAY Sí cat, whose main function is to attack people’s legs as they come through the office.  His favorite past times include eating, sleeping and pooping.  He was orphaned at a young age and spent some time in foster care before SAY Si adopted him.  He is obsessive about eating cactus and tearing up toilet paper rolls.  Jon is working to teach him to sign his name so he can stop coming to work.


                  Ned Meneses

                  New Media Teaching Artist

                  A native from Bolivia, Ned Meneses completed his high school education in the US and received a BA in Art from the University of the Incarnate Word in 1996. He has shown digital art at various galleries locally and internationally. As a media arts instructor he has participated in the evolution of the Media Arts Studio into a high performance film program. Ned has worked with SAY Sí since 2002.


                    Amalia Ortiz

                    Theater Arts Director

                    Amalia Ortiz is a performance-poet, actor and playwright with a BA in Theatre from UIW and an MFA in Creative Writing from UTRGV. She appeared on three seasons of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO. Amalia’s book of poetry, Rant. Chant. Chisme. was selected by NBC Latino as one of “10 Great Latino Books of 2015” and it won the Writers' League of the Texas 2015 Poetry Discovery Prize. She founded the poetry performance troupe Women of Ill Repute: Refute! which raises money and awareness for the Rape Crisis Center. She was chosen to speak at TEDx McAllen in 2015, and has been awarded the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Grant created by Sandra Cisneros and a writing residency at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and a Hedgebrook writer-in-residence alumna. Amalia has appeared on the NAACP Image Awards on FOX and starred in the indie film, Speeder Kills.


                      Ashley Perez, Class of 2003

                      Visual Arts Director | Middle School Coordinator

                      Ashley is an alumni of SAY Sí’s visual arts program and graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with her BFA in painting in 2010. As an artist she is primarily a painter but also enjoys drawing and mixed media collage. Perez currently acts as coordinator for the San Antonio Scholastic Art awards.


                        Alex Ramirez

                        Media Arts Studio Teaching Artist

                        Alex Ramirez is a Mexican-American filmmaker based in San Antonio, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas – Pan American with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre/TV/Film. A life long lover of film and cinema, he has worked professionally throughout Texas since 2010. He is the head of his own production company, Ruly Crescent Filmworks. His films have screened in both the US and internationally. He has also won several awards in his home state of Texas–most recently, the 2017 Creeper Film Festival Best Director Award and the 2014 WILD Film Festival Best Director Award. He was awarded “Most Awesome Local Filmmaker” by CultureSA in 2018.


                          Jules Vaquera

                          Theater Arts Instructor

                          Jules Vaquera started out as a teaching giving vocal lessons and serving as musical director at The Antonian College Preparatory High School.  She is an active member of the theater community in San Antonio.  She primarily produces work at The Overtime Theater where she is also the President of the Board of Directors.  Her specialities are theater tech and music.  She's been writing and producing theater in San Antonio for a decade and writing and performing music as a solo performer for 6 years.


                            Guillermina Zabala

                            Media Arts Director

                            Born in Argentina, Guillermina Zabala is a San Antonio media artist, filmmaker and photographer. She graduated from Columbia College-Hollywood with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts degree in Cinema. Currently, she is the Media Arts Director at San Antonio’s SAY Sí. In October 2008 she received the San Antonio Artist Foundation Award for her documentary project Juanito’s Lab (in post-production) and in November 2006 she was awarded the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant for the same project.

                            From August to October 2015, Guillermina was one of the participating artists at the Printmaking Exhibit “25Veinticinco” at the University of Texas in San Antonio. This exhibit included 25 original prints of prominent Latino artists. In 2014, she had a solo exhibit at the McNay Art Museum in the Octagon Gallery showcasing her single-channel video “I, Me, Light”. In November 2013, she was selected by the City of San Antonio to write and direct the short film “Yanaguana Woman” based on a poem by SA Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla, and in October 2013 she wrote and directed the music video “A Night in December,” a track composed by Joël Dilley. In March 2012, Guillermina had her fist solo exhibition “Juanito” at the Blue Star Contemporary Arts Museum, and that same year her mixed media 10-panel piece La Inmigrante was shown at Centro Cultural Aztlan. Additional exhibits include Waterflow at San Antonio Museum of Art, 50/250 at French & Michigan Gallery, New Media Festival, Los Angeles; Luminaria’s featured artist, Windows into our Community, Mujeres de Vision, and Ars Latina in Havana, Cuba. Her artworks have been shown in numerous galleries in San Antonio, as well as in NY, Los Angeles, Austin, Miami, Spain, Argentina, and Germany.

                            Presently, Guillermina is in post-production of Juanito’s Lab, a documentary that explores the life of blind musician Juanito Castillo, 26, proficient in 14 instruments.


                              Stevan Živadinović

                              New Media Director

                              Živadinović is a Serbian-born artist based in San Antonio. He graduated from University of Texas at San Antonio with a BFA in 2007. When he is not teaching video game design he moonlights as a designer, developer and comic book artist.

                                Board of Directors

                                • Mary Ann Beach, President
                                • Agosto Cuellar
                                • Andres Gonzalez
                                • Claudia Guerra
                                • Billy Lambert
                                • Jim Mendiola
                                • Andrew Meyer
                                • Jason Moran, Vice President
                                • Tom Payton, Secretary
                                • Ricardo Salazar
                                • Siboney Diaz Sanchez
                                • Mike Schroeder

                                Leadership Council

                                • Lainey Berkus
                                • Stephen Cavender
                                • Liz Chiego
                                • Teresa Corbin
                                • Doug Cross
                                • Dr. Mike Flores
                                • Susan Toomey Frost
                                • Brenda Gilpin
                                • Gisela Girard
                                • Maureen Gonima
                                • Debra Guerrero
                                • Kaye Lenox
                                • Dennis Martinez
                                • Michael Mazzei
                                • Marcia McKinley
                                • Dan Naranjo
                                • Margaret Schellenberg
                                • Diana Schumacher
                                • Cheri Seabers
                                • Lisa Wong