Margaret Noble’s a teacher at High Tech High Media Arts, so she’s used to figuring out what learning outcomes she should expect from her students’ projects.

But when it was time for Noble, also an artist, to work on her own multimedia project at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, she realized she had a huge list of things to learn herself: “design, sculpture, narrative structure, developing a color palette, how to support visuals with sound in a non-performative context, how to manage time, how to work with people in complicated situations, how to manage interns, how to talk to the media …”

And the list continues, as the U-T’s James Chute describes.

Chute’s been following Noble’s process since March as she creates her show, “44th and Landis,” which opened at the museum last week.

Angela Carone used Noble’s own voice and the sounds she’s captured for the artwork to narrate a television piece on KPBS. Noble spent her childhood in the ‘80s in multicultural City Heights.

“I am a white woman, and here I am to tell a story about a much more nuanced and complex neighborhood that no one really is sure that I come from or that I understood,” Noble says. “So, yeah, it’s complex, and I’m not sure if everyone is comfortable that I am the one to tell the story. But the reality is it is my story, and I lived through it, and it colored me, and it was meaningful.”

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

Marathons and Neon

• If Carol Williams lasts until 8 p.m., she’ll break a world record for playing an outdoor pipe organ. Williams is the city’s organist, and she plans to start playing the Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, and keep playing for at least 12 hours. (North County Times)

I spent a fun day with Williams for a profile last summer.

• Couldn’t join us for our rooftop event at Horton Plaza earlier this month? You can still be in the loop on the fascinating topics our speakers presented. The videos from our “Meeting of the Minds” event earlier this month continue to pop up, thanks to the Media Arts Center San Diego.

Anna Daniels tells about how concerts open her mind at the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus. Jory Herman describes what it’s like to learn to play the bass and what the Community Opus Project is doing to teach kids strings in Chula Vista. Marty Poirier worked with artist Robert Irwin on the Getty Center gardens and now they’re working on designs for the new federal courthouse downtown.

• Artists created glowing structures and interactive experiences for visitors to Escondido’s Grape Day Park a couple of weekends ago for an event called “Glow-in-the-Park.” Blogging for the U-T San Diego, Susan Myrland shared snapshots and an assessment of the event’s power.

The event “transformed a space that can be a little dicey, especially at night, into a rollicking party of kids, music and luminous art,” she wrote. It’s modeled after a similar event in Santa Monica.

• The campus of new county government buildings in Kearny Mesa features a slew of new artwork. Patricia Frischer from the Visual Arts Network posted photographs of the collection on her blog.

• George Takei’s running an unusual fundraising campaign for his upcoming musical, “Allegiance.” The musical’s about the Japanese American internment during World War II and opens soon at The Old Globe. For $1.50 you can download a ringtone of the TV and film star Takei saying his signature “Oh myyyy…” (Fishbowl LA)

• During the Depression, the federal government’s Works Progress Administration commissioned artists to paint murals all over the country. Many paintings of San Diego landscapes like Mt. Cuyamaca, Mission Hills and Point Loma were hidden for decades in storage at the San Diego Unified School District. Now they’re coming out of their crates and for an upcoming exhibit at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. (Mission Times Courier)

Art and Tension

• The drama continues in El Cajon over the city’s mothballed performing arts center. A group of arts-lovers wants the theater to reopen, but the city was planning to let a developer raze it and build a hotel there instead. The city’s stalling making any decision until November, but that didn’t stop some of the center’s advocates from holding a public forum last night. Among the ideas floating around to facilitate its revival: Cup-holders in the seats and a new dance pit, according to the U-T.

But there’s some division in the ranks of the people who want to save the center. One El Cajon resident, Mary Wells, told the U-T after last night’s meeting that activist Ray Lutz is putting the cart before the horse:

“Her frustration and exasperation was evident after Monday’s workshop,” reporter Karen Pearlman wrote. “Wells said that until the city agrees to get on board, most of the points Lutz makes are moot.”

• An artist and UC San Diego professor, Ricardo Dominguez, thought the San Diego Museum of Art shouldn’t have distanced itself so quickly from a hoax inspired by activists the museum brought to San Diego. (CityBeat)

“The [museum] should be commended for seeking to present the art of the now with the art of the past — that is the only way the art of the future can be created,” Dominguez wrote CityBeat in an email. “Art is always dangerous to somebody somewhere.”

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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 is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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