Artist Wendy Maruyama made hundreds of tags and hung them from ceilings to tell the story of Japanese Americans during World War II, her own family members among them. The show first went up last February at San Diego State University’s downtown gallery. Then, when The Old Globe mounted “Allegiance,” its production tied to the internment, the theater re-mounted Maruyama’s show for theatergoers to experience.

Maruyama, who teaches furniture art and design at SDSU, told us last year she encountered a lack of awareness about internment among some friends and students:

Some had ‘heard’ about it but did not realize the sheer numbers of Japanese Americans who were actually taken away — others thought the Japanese Americans were ‘paid to go away’ and still others did not even know about it at all. (My husband’s 65-year-old coworker from the Midwest had never heard about it, which was really shocking to me.) And it made me realize how important it was for me to do this project.

Now even more people will see it. The tag exhibition, which also includes some other sculptures and artifacts, will tour other cities across the country over the next two years, the U-T reports.

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

On the Map

• A piñata shaped like a video camera adorns the winning poster for the upcoming Latino Film Festival, designed by Juan Luis Garcia.

• We’re not sure how it took them so long, but the L.A. Times stumbled across North Park’s restaurants, coffee and the Ray at Night art walk and put together a guide for Angelenos to the uptown neighborhood.

• The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has free admission every third Thursday evening of the month, the San Diego Free Press reminded us in this week’s “San Diego for Free” feature.

If you take advantage of the free entry this Thursday, you can catch one of the last few days for local artist Margaret Noble’s multimedia exhibition, “44th and Landis.” Drew Snyder reflected on the melancholy of the exhibition this week for Art Ltd. Magazine.

• The La Jolla Playhouse’s upcoming series of works outside traditional theater venues will feature puppets on the beach and plays that unfold in cars, among other unusual spaces. A German company will “cast 100 local residents in a manner designed to create a demographically accurate representation of San Diego’s population,” San Diego Story reports. And no tickets will cost more than $25, the U-T reports.

• And the Playhouse is kicking off six weeks of workshops and development for new plays and musicals, which the theater’s leaders talked about on KPBS yesterday.

• An archaeologist at SDSU found his own rabbit hole to peer down — the search for a lost Alice in Wonderland-inspired mural on campus. Now he’s found it in a stairwell and is raising money to conserve and move it. (KPBS)

• Sculptor David Adey tells the Urbanist guide what keeps him in San Diego:

“There is a sense of community and support that I don’t think you find everywhere,” Adey says.

• A family of artists — mom, dad and daughter — is collaborating on a public art piece for La Mesa’s 100th birthday. (U-T)

• It might hurt if you collapse onto artist Erin Dace Behling’s couches. That’s because they’re molded from concrete. (CityBeat)

Coming to Terms

• The city agreed to lease the Civic Theatre for 50 more years to the organization that’s run it since 2003. The nonprofit organization, San Diego Theatres Inc., plans to spend at least $30 million to renovate the theater, which hosts touring Broadway shows, San Diego Opera productions and other concerts and events. (City News Service)

• Watch a video of opera singers in jeans and running shoes figure out how to sing together in the first rehearsal for “Daughter of the Regiment,” San Diego Opera’s upcoming production.

• The phrases your friends post on Facebook are really memorable, according to a new UC San Diego study. (KPBS)

• Architects and artists like Hector Perez, professor at the nearby Woodbury School of Architecture, envision a new era for their adopted neighborhood, Barrio Logan. (Riviera)

• Downtown lost two live music venues recently — Anthology and 4th and B. “San Diego’s always been a rough place for the live-music business,” writes San Diego CityBeat’s Peter Holslin, who surveyed local concert promoters this week on the closures’ impact.

• The new director of the Oceanside Museum of Art, Daniel Foster, wants to make his museum a place to learn about the history of San Diego art. And, perhaps conveniently, he believes that Oceanside “is the next arts and culture destination.” (U-T)

Art and Homelessness

• Inocente, a teenager who grew up homeless in San Diego, found a different life after discovering art through ARTS: A Reason to Survive, a local nonprofit organization. Now her life’s even more different: A documentary that featured her story was nominated for an Academy Award last week. (U-T)

• The director of Father Joe’s villages, Patricia Cruise, called for more funding for homeless services, similar to the stream the arts and culture community has secured.

“Funding the arts to bolster tourism is important, but more critical are the immediate necessities of our neighbors in need,” she wrote in a commentary in the U-T. “Cannot a similar funding mechanism be directed to homeless services? A metropolitan destination rich in arts and culture is only appealing, after all, if it is also clean and safe.”

• My “Quest” series on homelessness is continuing. You can read more here.

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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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