The group that turned an East Village warehouse into artist studios, apartments and a gallery a few years ago got a boost last week: formal nonprofit status from the IRS. In 2008 we noticed fliers around town and talked with a few people trying to make the collective, Space 4 Art, happen. One of the founders, sculptor and landscape architect Cheryl Nickel, said she’d lost too many friends from San Diego who’d moved somewhere where they could live more affordably. (Here’s a video if you’ve not been to a show or tour there.)

Among the things the group wants to do next: find a permanent home (it’s near the end of a five-year lease at the East Village location) and set up sponsorships for artists. (U-T San Diego)

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

Local Ties

• Elena Pacenti, an interior designer from Milan, will be teaching at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design downtown in the fall. She already feels welcome: “The San Diego atmosphere is very close to the friendliness and sensibility we have in Italy,” she told DesignWire.

• A gallery show of work from UC San Diego students graduating this spring with their Master of Fine Arts opens this week.

• A local beatmaker wants to keep up a collaborative monthly session where electronic musicians can share their ideas. “Free from the pressures of the audience, they’d get a chance to show off their works-in-progress — unfinished tracks, rough mixes, crazy experiments — and give each other feedback,” writes CityBeat’s Peter Holslin. The beatmaker, Phil Sergi, didn’t meet his Kickstarter goal to establish a permanent home for the meet-ups last week, but told CityBeat that he still wants to put meetings together around town.

Clint Eastwood will direct the film version of “Jersey Boys,” the musical that premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in 2004 and is still playing on Broadway. (U-T)

• San Diego-based alumni of Harvard’s design school will gather this Friday for a forum on using the principles of good design to confront challenges like integrating solar energy and other energy-efficiency quandaries. One of the organizers is Marty Poirier, a prolific landscape architect who spoke at our Horton Plaza “Meeting of the Minds.” It’s open to the public; admission is $30.

• UC San Diego launched a new center to foster imagination, named for Arthur C. Clarke, author of “2001, a Space Odyssey.” (KPBS)

Happening Here

• A proposal to install large, digital signs in a 58-block portion of downtown hit a delay last week when a City Council committee asked the plan’s backers to bring more specific information to another meeting in the future. The Downtown San Diego Partnership is backing the proposal, which estimates a $500,000 budget — $300,000 for arts and entertainment programming in the district, $100,000 for homelessness services and the rest for administration and marketing. (City News Service)

What do you think of the proposal?

• Graffiti in La Jolla? The latest temporary mural to be installed in La Jolla is already jolting the neighbors, the U-T reports. Jim Chute describes Gajin Fujita’s mix of styles, which the artist said he hopes will prompt viewers to “do a double take”:

The vivid colors, the graffiti-like touches, the impeccably rendered Japanese icons, the Old English lettering, the seeming incongruity of the images — “Whip” has all the characteristics that have made Fujita one of Los Angeles’ most respected artists.

• Military service members, reservists and their families can check out a number of San Diego museums for free through Sept. 2. (KPBS)

• This is the last summer in a three-year run for renowned Shakespeare director Adrian Noble, who’s been at the helm of The Old Globe’s outdoor Shakespeare series in Balboa Park. Noble spent 13 years as chief of England’s Royal Shakespeare Company. This summer’s season includes “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Merchant of Venice” and for the festival’s annual non-Shakespeare selection, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” (U-T)

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

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