Mexican tapestery pattern

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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Anita Martínez

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(53 pages)

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Born in 1925 in Dallas, Texas, Mrs. Martínez was the first Mexican American woman elected to the Dallas City Council (1969) and is the founder of the Anita N. Martínez Ballet Folkórico Company. She was the recipient of the Mary McLarry Bywaters Award bestowed annually by the Dance Council, and has been listed in the "100 Most Influential Texas Women of the 20th Century" by the Dallas Morning News. During her career she has served as President of the Dallas Women's Restaurant Auxiliary and on the Board of Directors of the Young Women's Christian Association of Metropolitan Dallas.

Interview Summary:

Mrs. Martínez recalls the circumstances of her nomination for and election to the Dallas City Council and describes the support her candidacy received. She discusses her council service and her success in bringing improvements to West Dallas. Martínez talks at length about the Anita N. Martínez Ballet Folklórico, providing the reasons behind its founding, explaining her hopes for its influence, and relating the efforts made to combat the financial instability it suffered at various times. She also provides details of her ancestry and mentions her siblings and descendants, and briefly describes her schooling and early jobs. Martínez speaks of her various presidential appointments, especially that to a commission to evaluate the Peace Corps, and refers in some detail to her efforts to have St. Ann's school in Dallas declared a historic landmark.

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