The city of San Diego decided last week to suspend setting aside money for art in city parks and public buildings like libraries and fire stations. Though probably not a lot of projects would’ve been completed this year or next year anyway, the move still had the arts community buzzing with concerns that public funding for art isn’t sacrosanct.

I followed the City Council’s 6-1 decision to suspend the city’s public art policy and discussed it in studio at NBC San Diego on Thursday.

Mayor Jerry Sanders has contrasted suspending this program with his commitment not to cut the $6.4 million the city plans to give in grants to arts and culture groups next year.

But the Union-Tribune noted Monday night that Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s plan to save libraries involves cutting arts grants by $620,000.

You’re reading the Arts Report, our weekly compilation of the region’s arts and culture news.

In other news:

• Join us Wednesday evening at North Park’s El Take It Easy to celebrate the release of our new book, a collection of Sam Hodgson’s excellent photography.

• Reader Lew Klein (also a commissioner for the city’s Commission for Arts and Culture) thinks I missed the mark on my fact check of Mayor Jerry Sanders’ statement about the economic impacts of city arts funding. Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know.

Hip Classical Music

• Art of Elan, the city’s hippest classical music outfit, packed ’em in last week for a concert at the San Diego Museum of Art. Kenneth Herman raved about the show for, as did CityBeat’s Kinsee Morlan, who was checking out the ensemble for the first time.

• One of that group’s founders, the symphony’s principal flutist Demarre McGill, announced that night he’s moving to Seattle but will be back next year to perform with Art of Elan in its season of concerts. (U-T)

The New Shows

• The Old Globe’s season next year includes four world premieres. (U-T)

• And the theater will put on the controversial musical, “The Scottsboro Boys,” which abruptly closed after a short Broadway run last fall but just garnered a dozen Tony Award nominations. (North County Times)

• Local journalist Troy Johnson will host a new show on the Food Network about “the biography of a food as told through my brain,” premiering in June. (KPBS)

Drip, Drop

• Fourteen local artists made sculptures about water conservation. (CityBeat)

• Local designer and artist Jon Hall tweeted about a piece of art he’d seen in Seattle by Do-Ho Suh this week, and I mentioned Suh has been commissioned to make a massive public sculpture on the Jacobs School of Engineering Engineering building at UCSD. Hall posted a video about the piece to his blog.

• The Ford Foundation picked UCSD architect Teddy Cruz as one of its 12 visionaries for a $100,000 cash prize. (U-T)

If you hadn’t heard, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City included Cruz’s work with San Ysidro nonprofit Casa Familiar in its show of innovative architecture for underserved communities last year.

(Want to recommend this arts newsletter to someone? Share this sign-up link.)

Kelly Bennett is the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach her directly at or 619.325.0531. Or you can keep up with her on Twitter @kellyrbennett or on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

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

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.