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A bevy of arts leaders showed up yesterday among hundreds of their fellow San Diegans to discuss a plan to remake Balboa Park’s western entrance. The City Council voted 6-to-1 to approve the project, whose lead proponents include Mayor Jerry Sanders, Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs and basketball legend Bill Walton, all of whom attended the seven-hour meeting yesterday.

In the first public appearance I’ve seen from her except at museum events, San Diego Museum of Art chief Roxana Velásquez came to support the project. She moved to San Diego a couple of years ago from Mexico City. The plaza in question is her museum’s front yard.

“We really look forward to the day when the plaza is really for people and not for cars,” she said.

A lot of people didn’t agree with her that the Jacobs plan is best. What do you think? Tell us.

Meanwhile, if you’re just catching up on these plans, check out our background: Here’s our Reader’s Guide primer, the alternative pushed by opponents and what the remodel would look like.

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

Meeting of the Minds

• Please save the date for August 1. We’re going to take our third installment of our popular arts and culture event, “A Meeting of the Minds,” up to the rooftop “7 Lemon” level of the parking structure at Westfield Horton Plaza. We’re wrapping up some details and will formally launch next week, but I wanted to bring you in the loop first.

Here’s the spot we’ll be occupying — a space usually reserved for cars, reclaimed for people discussing culture on a summer night under the stars.

Yeah, I know; I can’t wait, either. I hope you can join us.

We’ve done a couple of these already, and we’ve been lucky to be in other cool spaces like a daylight photography studio in Little Italy and a converted dairy factory loft in East Village.

New Color

• Repainting continues in Chicano Park, with many of the original muralists back after several decades to touch up and reinvigorate their colorful murals. San Diego Reader stops in at the park and catches one of the muralists, Armando Nuñnez, recalling bringing a half-gallon of green bathroom paint to the first days of the mural back in the 1970s. We learned more about the revitalization effort earlier this year.

One of those original artists, Michael Schnorr, died late last month. A memorial service will be held in the park this Saturday. (Reader)

• The accidental simultaneous firing of thousands of fireworks landed San Diego’s Fourth of July mishap in news outlets across the country last week. The Washington Post saw it as “unintentional art”:

“It’s a meditation on excess, and a bit of wish fulfillment — as one spectator tweeted, who hasn’t wondered what would happen if all of the fireworks went off at once?”

• A new drive-in theater opens in Pacific Beach next week. (USA Today)

• A muralists’ duel takes the stage at The Old Globe to detail animosity behind da Vinci and Michelangelo. Angela Carone brings you a few audio glimpses of the intense dialogue from the play. The playwright’s a longtime political journalist. (KPBS and North County Times)

• The U-T continues its in-depth look at artist Margaret Noble’s work behind the scenes to prepare for her upcoming show at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Noble is making a large multimedia work, and the latest installment focuses on the way she finds, records and tweaks sounds to try to make hundreds of paper dolls come alive.

• CityBeat has more details on a mural on the side of the Alibi bar in Hillcrest, where passersby use chalk to fill in the sentence, “Before I die I want to…” The bar’s entertainment honcho wipes down the 98 spots each day so more people can add their thoughts the next day.

Art School

• With the help of high school students, San Diego Repertory Theatre is staging “Zoot Suit,” which Rep chief Sam Woodhouse calls “the most influential piece of Latino theater in American theater history.” (U-T San Diego)

• A temporary mural project in southeastern San Diego features photographs of kids in graduation regalia. (KPBS)

• An octogenarian San Carlos resident spends hundreds of hours building miniature ships — more than 1,800 hours on “a 1:90th scale wooden model of the H.M.S. Victory.” (U-T)

• To understand Comic-Con (which Mainly Mozart’s Tyler Hewes calls “nerd prom”), follow Con guru Beth Accomando’s guide from the inside. (KPBS)

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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.

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