A city government initiative to bring new art, culture, cross-border cooperation and education programs to public spaces is on hold under interim mayor Todd Gloria’s administration. The initiative is run by UC San Diego visual arts professor Teddy Cruz and political science professor Fonna Forman. They were invited by former Mayor Bob Filner to set up a $1 million effort to invoke innovative ideas in city neighborhoods.
In an interview last month, they pledged to hire their team and get a few projects off the ground by the end of 2013. But now that Filner’s out of office, Gloria’s mulling whether to keep Filner’s pet program alive.
You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly roundup of the region’s culture and arts news.
• Our popular “Meeting of the Minds” event is back next week in East Village. Enlighten yourself about the region’s mutant-punk music credentials, its rise to craft brewing dominance and perspectives on San Diego’s cultural identity. I’ll be hosting the night. I can’t wait.
• Writer Amy Granite ate “cronut” knockoffs — the hybrid croissant donuts — around town to rank the best ones for the Eater blog. At one market in Kearny Mesa, 30 “Kronuts” become available at noon, and each waiting customer can buy just two each.
• Downtown’s new Central Library opens with a full day of programs, food and festivities on Sept. 28. (Daily Transcript)
• VOSD’s Andy Keatts reports on a plan to build dedicated bike lanes through Bankers Hill. “The city is on track to boost its bike infrastructure, and plenty of people aren’t happy about it.”
• A free square dancing lesson happens Wednesday in Rancho Penasquitos, put on by the Wranglers Square Dancing Club. (Pomerado News)
• The last 25 spots are proving hard to fill for a play that attempts to flesh out the demographics of San Diego County, per U.S. Census data. Organizers at the La Jolla Playhouse are especially looking for men ages 25-54 who live in North County, and someone from Coronado. (KPBS)
• The sixth annual San Diego Music Thing coming up this weekend includes industry panels and showcases and performances from bands like Ra Ra Riot and The Album Leaf.
• A new circus training school in Miramar “teaches everything from tightrope walking to aerial arts.” (U-T)
• “It’s an exciting time to be an artist in our city,” says one of the cofounders of Space 4 Art in a U-T profile of the artist live-work cooperative in East Village.
• A gallery show of celebrated Latin American artist Luis González Palma opens this weekend in Little Italy.
• Plays at The Old Globe and La Jolla Playhouse made the New York Times’ roundup of notable theater happening this fall.
• Theater maven Seema Sueko is joining the Pasadena Playhouse, moving on from the local company she founded, Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company. She’s been one of “San Diego theater’s most notable (and influential) success stories of the past decade,” writes U-T critic James Hebert. Sueko spoke at our first “Meeting of the Minds,” whirling us through a field guide to San Diego’s theater ecosystem.
• For more than a decade, San Diego native Brian Jeanseau worked for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and lived in a nice house with his wife and three daughters. But the office life got to him, and so the family moved two years ago to Salem, Ore., to open a small art center where they “teach classes, showcase local artwork and devote time to helping kick-start the art scene in Oregon’s capital city.” (Salem Statesman Journal)
• Artist and University of San Diego alum Adam Belt had planned to transport icebergs from Alaska and plunk them on the beach in Coronado, until the Port of San Diego nuked its public art program and canceled Belt’s project. Other work from the artist will open in a gallery show this weekend at Quint Contemporary Art in La Jolla. (U-T San Diego)
• UCSD grad and dancer Kyle Sorenson departs soon for Israel on a Fullbright Fellowship to study folk dance and choreography there. Before he leaves, he’ll have a dance in this year’s Trolley Dances, a festival of local dance that takes place at venues along San Diego’s trolley line. (Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater blog)
• San Diego County vineyards nearly doubled the region’s wine grape harvest last year — about $5.5 million worth of grapes. The San Francisco Chronicle highlights the work of adventurous San Diego winemakers tucked unexpectedly into places like Ramona and the San Pasqual Valley.
• More attention from elsewhere on the county’s beer and wine scene: USA Today profiles some top local breweries along the “San Diego County Beer Trail.”
• A local mystery author wants to find a Van Gogh painting that was looted during World War II. She invented a fictional outcome for the painting in a new book, but hopes her book will bring attention to the cold case. (KPBS)
• Filmmaker (and pal of mine) Destin Daniel Cretton’s new movie “Short Term 12” opens in San Diego on Friday. Over tacos in Point Loma, he filled CityBeat in on some of the ways his time living and working in San Diego shaped his mindset for the film.
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