Phase II - Project Y at Hemisfair


In 1968, the second phase of Unlimited Potential unfolded through Project Y at Hemisfair. Hemisfair was the World's Fair or International Exposition held in San Antonio from April through October of that year to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the city's founding, and Project Y represented the children’s area of the fair site and celebration.

Jearnine Wagner spearheaded Project Y as an effort to get the youth programs she had created—Ideas in Motion on the campus of Trinity and Unlimited Potential in a limited number of school in SAISD—to expand beyond the confines of the classroom and into the broader community. According to Julia Jarrell, it was Wagner's community vision for children, and her ability to connect people throughout the city, that drove the creation of the project. Close friend Sherry Kafta Wagner (no relation to Jearnine) wrote a successful proposal that won Project Y a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which helped fund the exhibition and programming. 

With that funding, Project Y hosted several "happenings" at the Hemisfair in the form of theater, visual art, and musical preformances. Other World Fair related community engagement occurred through Intercambio, an international teacher exchange that aimed to share the Integration of Abilities philosophy that underpinned Unlimited Potential with teachers and students in other countries. The joyful creativity that Project Y showcased created broader support and interest in the Unlimited Potential program.

In this video clip from Urban 15's Hidden Histories video program, Susie Monday explains what Project Y was all about.

Children's Garden

A main feature of Project Y was the Children's Garden. Parents could drop off their children in the garden where a team of teacher trainers and staff would interact with them as they created arts and crafts. Cindy Herbert, Julia, Jarrell, and Susie Monday were coordinators and instructors in the garden. The Children's Garden also hosted a number of happenings and arts performances, including plays that the Kenwood Community Players performed under the co-direction of Cindy Herbert and Johnny Gutierrez.


Hall of Issues

Israel Anderson was a student of the children's theater in Waco. As he explains in an oral history interview for Trinity, he made the decision to come to Trinity at the very last minute after his plans to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta changed. He knew Baker and Wagner had moved to Trinity and they assisted him in with a late application and registration in the summer of 1964.  

During the last semester of Anderson's senior year, Wagner recruited him to work on Project Y.  There, he oversaw the "Hall of Issues," which was a space for youth to process their feelings about all of the cultural change and political ferment that was happening in society at the time. Anderson also sought speakers for the pavilion.


Lesson plan notes for the teacher exchange program, from Cindy Herbert's Intercambio notebook, 1968.


Intercambio was an arts and education cross-cultural program that aimed to promote multicultural understanding. Partners included San Antonio Independent School Districts, representatives from eight Western Hemisphere countries participating in the fair, and teachers from Mexico City participating in a teacher exchange program with San Antonio. Cindy Herbert served as a project coordinator, as well as a translator and participant.


Pictured is a Hemisfair spread in the 1968 issue of the Mirage yearbook. A small paragraph talks about Project Y.  Israel Anderson is also pictured.