Know someone who’d enjoy learning more about different sides of San Diego’s culture? The countdown is at two days until our next “Meeting of the Minds” at the Bread and Salt arts hub-to-be in Logan Heights. CityBeat put the event in its Red List roundup yesterday along with other great events this week.

I’m really excited to hear our six speakers share their perspectives on coffee roasting, international migration through photos, costume design and more. You can RSVP here.

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

Art and Buildings

• KPBS dives into the fate of the dilapidated California Theatre downtown, which has sat empty for more than 20 years. The owners have it listed for $10 million, but a local historic building architect estimates fixing up the theater would cost between $30 and $40 million, even more than the nearby Balboa Theatre’s $26 million rehab a few years ago. That theater has been operating at a loss.

“Probably the real value of the theater is only the dirt,” real estate consultant Gary London told KPBS. What do you think? There’s an interesting discussion about the building in the comments under the post.

• A sculptor based in Minneapolis has a contract to make temporary artwork for the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue and National City Marine Terminals. The San Diego Reader shows an example of the sculptor’s work in Atlanta.

• KCET’s Artbound has a guide to downtown Tijuana’s contemporary art galleries and the role they’re playing in the neighborhood’s transformation.

• NBC’s television show about musical theater, “Smash,” inspired a contest for local high schools to appeal for votes to win financial support for their theater programs. Escondido High School is in the running.

Local Roots

• Does San Diego have more trees than any other American city? My colleague Lisa Halverstadt fact checks the claim.

• The University of San Diego’s School for Educational Leadership is launching a master’s degree program specializing in integrating arts with science, math, engineering and technology in education — a concept known as “STEAM.” (Huffington Post)

• A sound artist in town this week, Carl Stone, has been experimenting with sampled music since the 1960s and 1970s. He sees the art in a long line of musical borrowing. “Bach was a sampler,” Stone told the U-T. “He took ‘found music,’ he appropriated the music of his time, folk music and so on, and he recontextualized it.” Stone plays in the Fresh Sound series on Thursday in East Village.

• CityBeat profiles local songwriter Dustin Illingworth, the creative force behind popular local bands Gray Ghosts and Kite Flying Society, and unravels a tragic story about Illingworth’s girlfriend’s death that has inspired some new songs.

• Two brothers share the remarkable story of growing up on Chicago’s South Side and landing in the top echelon of classical musicians nationwide. An “NBC Nightly News” story features Demarre McGill, who was until last year San Diego Symphony’s principal flutist, and his brother Anthony McGill, a clarinetist with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra in New York City.

• Arts professionals can take part in a national survey on what arts programs exist to serve military members and what can be done to strengthen them.

• After 40 years with the baton, La Jolla Symphony’s choral director, David Chase, says being in a choir is a community-building effort. “It’s like a church, but without the dogma,” he says. (U-T)

• A UC San Diego grad student composer, Yiheng Yvonne Wu, will have her work performed this weekend at the La Jolla Symphony. She told the U-T she doesn’t know what her career will hold, but she finds creating music fulfilling.

“To engage in work that I could finish every day might be frightening,” she said. “But to engage in work that’s never done is actually comforting. Because there’s always more to do. There’s always more to get better at. And there’s always more to discover, about yourself and the thing you are working at.”

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

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

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