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We gathered Wednesday night at Luce Loft for stimulating presentations and conversation about highlights in the local arts scene. The room was buzzing for a while afterward with new ideas and plans to check out things we’d heard about.

Here’s a cross-section of thoughts, ideas and reactions. See what audience members said, and add your two cents below.

Carrie Knoblock, 42, Little Italy

What might you go visit?

Probably a lot of them. I’ll probably go check out the opera. I’ll definitely look up the literary series. I definitely want to go to the park. I was really interested in the public art. I want to go to the campus to see those pieces.

What idea is sticking with you?

One of the ideas is that everyone was kind of down on San Diego, like no one can believe people stay here. And I find that a very unusual thing about a city. And I’m really grateful for everyone sticking around.

Jane Eguez, 60, Bonita 

What idea is sticking with you?

The jazz musicians, that was very eye opening. I knew about Moody, the tenor saxophone player who just died. And I’ve been starting to follow Joshua White, which is really exciting. But I didn’t know about all the other musicians that are here in town.

Enrique Meza, 35, Barrio Logan

What might you visit?

Obviously, Barrio Logan and my neighborhood. I walk through the park every so often. So, one of the things that brought me here is the scaffolding, and getting an update from Mario and looking at the before and after pictures. Of the other presentations, I was very intrigued by the art at UCSD and the jazz.

Bennett Peji, 48, Mission Village

What might you go see?

Well, definitely D.A. Kolodenko’s speech showed us a part of San Diego that we’ve been missing. We didn’t know how rich the jazz scene history is in San Diego, so we’ll definitely see more of that. And there’s no question we’ll go to Chicano Park right away.

What idea is sticking with you?

I’m actually an arts commissioner for San Diego and my passion is working with communities to teach them how to live their neighbrhoods through the arts. This opens our eyes to great stuff that’s literally in our own backyards.

Colleen Finnegan, 61, Golden Hill

What idea is sticking with you?

Tonight, as I listen to everyone, having come here more than 30 years ago to work in the arts in San Diego, the main idea I had is that if we had this meeting 30 years ago in San Diego, we would not have had three-quarters of these things to talk about. It is so exciting. I came to a town that barely has the oldest anything, because in Southern California, when you find the oldest anything, you tear it down to make the newest something. The arts doesn’t do that. The arts preserves our history and builds upon it.

And I looked around and thought, we’re always being told to apologize because we’re not Los Angeles for visual artists, and we aren’t New York for jazz and theater. And I’ve been to those places, and you know what? We have way better theater than Los Angeles, we have as good of art as anybody, and we have a dedicated community of people who are willing to really get together and understand each other.

Shannon Roark, 31, South Park

What idea is sticking with you?

I think the great thing about this event is you get introductions to things that I’ve heard inklings of, but to have more thorough introductions is wonderful. And then, things like the Chicano Park mural and the installation at UCSD felt like a virtual tour. So when I go there, I’ve felt like I’ve already had the tour guide experience and I can relate to what I’m seeing more.

Lucia Hermans, 32, Golden Hill

What idea is sticking with you?

Chicano Park. I live in Golden Hill and am basically walking distance so I’m looking forward to going down there and looking at it live and seeing the virtual tour. It’s motivating. I noticed the scaffolding a while ago being put up. And to see the finished project so vibrant just pulls you in.

Charlie Compuesto, 38, Paradise Hills

What idea is sticking with you?

I’m really amazed by how deep our jazz history goes. I’ve always known that San Diego had something with jazz, but to see how rich we are with music is something else.

Joel West, 27, Golden Hill

What idea is sticking with you?

I love Nuvi Mehta, just because our city is not like L.A., where (here) you can just be one person that loves what they do and it resonates with somebody even though they’re not connected with it. He doesn’t have to do as much as he does, but he just loves to do it. And you can feel that and it makes the whole experience really exciting. So that sparked the whole night for me.

What idea is sticking with you? What’s on your mind? Leave a comment below, or on Twitter with the hashtag #mindsmeet, or on our Behind the Scene Facebook page.
Correction: An earlier version of this post spelled Carrie Knoblock’s name incorrectly. We regret the error. 
Sam Hodgson is a freelance photojournalist and contributor to voiceofsandiego.org. You can contact him at samhodgsonphoto@gmail.com and check out his work on his website.

Sam Hodgson

Sam Hodgson is a freelance photojournalist and contributor to Voice of San Diego. You can contact him at samhodgsonphoto@gmail.com...

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