Last June, we squeezed into a brick-walled photography studio in Little Italy for the debut of our arts and culture event, “A Meeting of the Minds.” In February, we moved to a dairy factory-turned-urban-loft for another dose of illumination.

And now, we’re taking our minds up to the rooftop. We hope you’ll join us Wednesday, Aug. 1 on the “7 Lemon” level of the parking garage at Westfield Horton Plaza. We’re thrilled to repurpose a space usually reserved for cars, right in the heart of the city.

We’ll be right near a big mural the mall commissioned with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Street artist Chor Boogie grew up here and returned to paint the mural with help from Writerz Blok, a local nonprofit designed to give kids a safe and sanctioned place to practice street art.

Here’s a video of the space where we’ll be:

The Circle (on 7 Lemon) from Westfield Horton Plaza on Vimeo.

San Diego’s arts scenes can be intimidating. And it can be easy to get stuck going to the same things — dance fans go to dance performances, theater buffs make the theater rounds. We started these events to help us let some fresh air into those routines. We’ve loved our chances to cross-pollinate and get to know some folks from other genres and neighborhoods.

Join us on Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Watch for our posters going up soon around the city, thanks to our friends at Sezio. Designer Chadwick Gantes has created all of our posters for these events, and he’s done it again:

Our six speakers will have 20 slides, displayed for 20 seconds each, to tell us about a topic in San Diego’s arts and culture scene.

That means each presenter will be up and down in less than seven minutes, giving you plenty of time to grab a drink and compare notes with engaged, stimulating people from neighborhoods and niches all across the county.

Your admission — free for VOSD members or $5 suggested donation for non-members — gets you tasty refreshment courtesy of our friends. We’ll have beer compliments of local brewery Karl Strauss and special cocktails from St. Petersburg Vodka.

We’ll film the talks and share them online, thanks to our partners from the Media Arts Center San Diego. (See how it works: Watch our six videos from last time.)

Here’s a bit more about our six presenters:

• I first encountered retired librarian Anna Daniels when she left this comment on our post about a San Diego star, Steven Schick. We’ll learn more about what’s stuck with her:

Steve Schick and the LJ Symphony and Chorus have been one of the greatest best things in our cultural community. I am eager to know what is happening in the world of “classical music.” Schick has stretched my mind and ears and musical sensibility.

• A big mystery in the art world in recent years involves UC San Diego scientists’ search for a lost da Vinci mural in Florence, Italy. The project’s manager, Alexandra Hubenko, will join us to detail the team’s effort to unpeel the masterpiece’s mystery. (She’s the one with the project’s leader, Mauricio Seracini, in this photograph that’s accompanied the story all around the world.) The team has used infrared, ultrasound and ultraviolet devices to analyze classic art and architecture non-invasively, but just drilled into a mural believed to be concealing the da Vinci in December.

Martin Poirier is a landscape architect who’s worked for years with renowned San Diego-based artist Robert Irwin. He worked with Irwin on plans for the new federal courthouse and he’ll tell us about what it’s like to work with the artist and what luminous and verdant art we can expect downtown.

• San Diego Symphony bassist Jory Herman will detail for us the learning curve for practicing such a giant instrument. And he’ll share about what’s happening at the San Diego Youth Symphony’s after-school program, Community Opus, in Chula Vista, where he volunteers. (That’s the program we’ve written about in relation to local scientists’ work to study music’s effects on the brain.)

Lauren Popp is an assistant curator at the New Children’s Museum who’s got her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in local visual art. She’ll describe for us the recent explosion of artist-driven and directed independent spaces in San Diego, like Space 4 Art in East Village. And she’ll paint that explosion in the context of what has caused the shift from traditional gallery spaces to artist-created spots, and what might come in the future in San Diego.

• San Diego Ballet co-director Javier Velasco always has his hands in projects all over town. Last year he worked with singer Candye Kane on a musical about her life at Moxie Theatre, a small theatre devoted to debunking stereotypes about women. He’s teaming up with Moxie on another project this year, and he’ll tell us more about why the theater’s caught his attention.

Please join us at the “7 Lemon” level of the fruit parking garage (entrance on G Street) at Westfield Horton Plaza on Aug. 1. No detailed registration needed, but please let us know you’re coming on our event Facebook page.

I’m Kelly Bennett, arts editor for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

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

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