A motley, lively crowd from different neighborhoods and niches all over San Diego County descended on the Luce Loft in East Village last Wednesday for our second arts illumination event, A Meeting of the Minds. Six plugged-in speakers each had 20 images (displayed for just 20 seconds each) to highlight something in local arts and culture.

Some were delighted to hear about San Diego’s jazz history — “a part of San Diego that we’ve been missing,” said Bennett Peji, a city arts commissioner. Another attendee, Enrique Meza, said he enjoyed seeing the before-and-after pictures of Chicano Park, which is in the neighborhood where Meza lives.

Here’s a cross-section of what audience members were saying afterward in person and on Twitter.

Did you miss it, or want to jog your memory about something you heard? We’ll be posting videos of each presentation, thanks to our partners from the Media Arts Center San Diego.

You can watch the first three posted so far: Vanessa Dinning on the intersections of words, music and drama; Lynn Susholtz on the footprint of Eveoke Dance Theatre; and Constance White on the collection of public art at the Stuart Collection at UC San Diego.

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

Top of the List

• The Old Globe’s “August: Osage County” received the most honors at last night’s San Diego Critics Circle awards honoring the best in local theater. Among the winners you may remember following in Behind the Scene: The La Jolla Playhouse’s “Susurrus” picked up an award as a “special event,” the Playhouse’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” won best touring production and Jennifer Brawn Gittings won for her costume designs for “In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)” at San Diego Repertory Theatre.

• A list of the country’s top philanthropists includes a dozen arts donors, including Joan and Irwin Jacobs, who’ve given to the San Diego Symphony, and Conrad Prebys, who donated to San Diego Opera. (L.A. Times)

In case you missed it, I wrote a story last summer exploring the effect the Jacobs’ support of the symphony has had over the last decade.

• The School of Music and Dance at San Diego State turns 75 years old this year. (Daily Aztec)

Happening Here

• An unusual collaboration of dancers and musicians happened in San Diego last weekend. The Bach Collegium San Diego performed pieces from Johann Sebastian Bach’s “The Art of the Fugue” while contemporary dancers performed alongside the 1700s-era composition. Choreographer Yolande Snaith is not used to creating dances with classical music, she told us. Listening to each instrument enter the piece of music is like following a kite string, she said. Once the kites get flying in the wind, it’s easy to lose track of the individual strings as the colorful kites dance.

Watch our video, produced with NBC 7 San Diego, to see how that feeling shows up in her dances.

• More than two million beads are encrusted on a Volkswagen Beetle in a celebration of indigenous and Mexican art; you can see the “Vochol” piece and a mural by the Writerz Blok collective for free at the San Diego Museum of Art through March 10. (U-T San Diego)

• As the company prepares for the West Coast premiere of Moby-Dick, a new opera, San Diego Opera staff tweeted a photograph of the sloped climbing wall the cast is using to practice on. A couple of months ago we brought you a sneak peek of the auditions for the tumblers and acrobats that will be swinging from and sliding down these rungs.

• You might recognize the artist behind a new statue at the Coronado Community Center — in “Home Alone,” he played “one of the blundering burglars tricked by a young Macaulay Culkin.” (U-T)

• The Jewish Film Festival’s 22nd season kicks off this week. (KPBS)

More than 150 dancers from 15 international cultures will perform this weekend in the Nations of San Diego International Dance Festival. (North County Times) We visited a rehearsal last night and will post video later this week.

National City native John Baldessari has a career-spanning collection of prints on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. In a quick conversation with CityBeat, he remembers the San Diego art scene of the ’50s and ’60s as “not so great.”

• Twitter Stories, a stream of interesting stories on or about the social networking platform, linked to our live-tweet compilation of San Diego Opera’s “Salome” and included a great illustration of soprano Lise Lindstrom serenading a severed head.

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

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

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