Frequently Asked Questions

Southwest School of Art is an important part of San Antonio’s rich history, its architectural past, and its creative soul. For many years, we have provided an unforgettable setting for many beautiful gatherings and we would love to do the same for you!   

 What is the venue capacity?

See the Event Space Options for accommodations.

 What are my options for touring the facilities?

We welcome your visit.  To ensure the best possible experience, we recommend making an appointment for a private tour with Marta Solís - Events Manager at UTSA Southwest. To set up an appointment please contact Marta at We can occasionally meet with clients outside our normal business hours or on weekends. Please contact Marta to make arrangements.

 What is the process for securing a date?

A non-refundable deposit, equal to one-half the rental rate is required to reserve a specific date and space.

 Is my deposit refundable and can I change my reservation date later?

Due to the high demand for our rental spaces, we are unable to refund deposits, should cancellation become necessary (notice of cancellation must be received in writing).  Additionally, a contracted date may not be changed after the deposit is made and contracted dates are non-transferrable. Please be aware that no exceptions will be made to the policies outlined above.

 Does SSA provide tables and chairs?

Tables and chairs are provided by the client, caterer or décor professional. 

 Can I choose my own caterer?

Catering for all events in our rental facilities must be provided by one of our approved caterers (no exceptions will be made). Protection and preservation of our nationally recognized, historical site is very important to our institution and the communities that we serve.  Our approved caterers are trained to adhere to our protection and preservation standards and meet our exacting standards for quality, responsiveness, and level of experience.

 What about alcoholic beverages?

All alcoholic beverages must be provided by the event caterer and served by the TABC licensed bartender who has been provided by the event caterer. UTSA Southwest clients are not permitted to bring alcohol to the premises to be served at the event or to purchase alcohol that will be served by the event caterer. Please be aware that no exceptions will be made to the policies outlined above.

 Are there decorating or AV restrictions?

The Coates Chapel, Urschel Dining Hall, and the Bolner Conference Room are part of our historic site, and as such special restrictions do apply. No open flames are allowed. No nails, screws, metal hooks, adhesive, tape of any kind or other materials may be driven into, or affixed to any wall, paneling, molding or light fixture, inside the premises.  Nothing is to be hung, tied, draped, fastened, suspended or placed on any balcony, wall, column or any light fixture inside the Coates Chapel. Amplified music and amplified performances are allowed inside the buildings, but are not permitted on the outdoor grounds without prior approval from the events manager.  Prior to 10pm, some types of amplified dialogue, such as speeches and wedding vows, is permitted on the outdoor grounds.

 How much time do I have for set-up and take down?

Your caterer will be allowed to access the facility up to four hours prior to the event start time.  No equipment may be delivered before this time.  Your approved caterer must complete clean up within two hours of the ending time of the event. All food, beverages and equipment must be removed from the event venue immediately following the event. All trash must be neatly disposed and all rental equipment and furniture must be removed. The contracted client will be charged a minimum of $250, should the facilities be left in an unsatisfactory state. 

 Can anyone perform wedding services in the Coates Chapel?

Yes, the Coates Chapel is now deconsecrated and as such, is available for wedding ceremonies for any denomination. We suggest that those interested in conducting a Catholic service, first contact the office of The Archdioceses of San Antonio ( 210.734.2620).

 What can be used to celebrate during the wedding recessional?

We recommend the use of birdseed and bubbles.  Due to the historic nature of our site, we do not permit the use of rice, confetti, sparklers, or cascarones.  Flower petals may be used, with express agreement from the caterer to clean them up. Cold sparklers or LED wands are encouraged.

 Can I schedule a rehearsal?

Subject to availability, a one-hour rehearsal may be scheduled to occur prior to the contracted event date.  Rehearsals that occur after 5pm on weekdays, or on a weekend or holiday will require a minimum $60.00 security fee.  Scheduling of a rehearsal can occur no earlier than three (3) weeks before the contracted event date.


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