Nuvi Mehta is not a bookish, mind-numbing history mumbler. He’s figured out a way to make the stories of politics and music and composers and instruments a liquid that he can absorb like a sponge.

His job, in part, is to unspool those stories to people who come to hear the music, to give them threads to follow when the orchestra takes the stage.

He gave us the first of several quick video tastes of the tales the symphony will weave this season, its 100th. The first one told the tales of subversion and power featured in last weekend’s concerts.

In other news:

• What is the point of public art? Why should or shouldn’t governments invest money in commissioning artists to make works of art for public places like parks, fire stations and libraries? We’ve been asking those questions and our conversation continues. Lucas O’Connor, a “progressive campaign consultant,” got inspired by our conversation a few weeks ago to write his own manifesto of sorts: Public art and positive interaction with the government makes real community: “It’s the difference between an actual community and just a bunch of people who are near each other.”

A commenter on our blog felt this conversation is just “a cog in the wheel of defining the mission of government.” In his second post, O’Connor responded with an opposite take.

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• KPBS rounded up more perspectives on public art from the last notable time this topic hit the public consciousness, the installation of the soldier’s kiss statue on the bayfront. The urban planning blog Planetizen picked up on the San Diego conversation, too.


• One of the best opera singers in the world in the 20th Century, Dame Joan Sutherland, passed away Sunday. She sang with the San Diego Opera seven times. The local opera company’s blog included photos from the company archives and a reflection from director Ian Campbell. The San Diego Reader’s Don Bauder said Sutherland and her husband, a conductor, “were instrumental in the growth of San Diego Opera.”

I liked this quote from Sutherland’s husband, conductor Richard Bonynge, in Sutherland’s Kennedy Center biography:

We are both supremely ordinary people with the most ordinary tastes in the world. We are full of energy and don’t know the meaning of boredom. We love life and are happy it has worked out the way it has.

• The guy who started Ray at Night in North Park has moved and is up to something in Hillcrest now that make his “eyes nearly bulge out of his head” with excitement, reports CityBeat’s Kinsee Morlan.

• “Do you think it’s important to have theater that challenges and discomforts or do you think theater should be about pure entertainment?” This is the question when a theatre puts on a play like the psychologically tumultuous Notes from Underground, playing through this weekend at La Jolla Playhouse. KPBS’s Angela Carone rounds up a good cross-section of reaction and wants to know: What do you think?

• Who’s the guy who wrote the jingle for Corky’s Pest Control? (via CityBeat)

• This Oceanside musician makes your heart sing, at least if you’re a trumpeter: The owner of Wild Thing Trumpets fashions horns for trumpet players like the guy who plays on David Letterman’s show. (North County Times)

• The rave-worthy calendar from North County Times highlights Irish pop-rock, a ceramics show, metalcore and Mozart this week.

• Take a peek at a new 20-foot sculpture by local artist Matt Devine, installed at the San Diego Design Center (via Riviera magazine).

• Tales from a century: San Diego Magazine celebrates the symphony’s 100 years. And the U-T calls the symphony’s opening concert a “dream.”

• Finally, here’s the U-T’s snazzy new visual arts hub, which includes “sketchbooks,” the paper’s new arts bloggers. I rounded up their first posts here.

What blogs (besides, I hope, that of yours truly) do you find interesting, helpful, a good diversion from your work? (I won’t tell your boss!) Drop me a line.

Please contact Kelly Bennett directly at or 619.325.0531 and follow her on Twitter: @kellyrbennett.

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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