The intersection of Euclid and Imperial avenues in southeastern San Diego has long been known as the “Four Corners of Death.” Gang violence, drug activity and shootings have plagued the area, but a new  public-art project could help the neighborhood reclaim and eventually transform the space.

KPBS takes an in-depth look at the community-driven process to install public art at the intersection. The project is spearheaded by the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA), which received a grant from the James Irvine Foundation to put public art in four underserved neighborhoods, including Lincoln Park, Logan Heights, National City and Lemon Grove.

“How many of these neighborhoods have had any attention as an art designation? None,” said Roberto Salas, the artist leading up the effort in Lincoln Park. “And we need that. The majority of these people are equal in paying taxes and they should have the same amenities that every other city has.”

Salas described the artwork the community came up with — a string of white LED lights strung like a halo above the infamous intersection — as simple, effective and out-of-the-box. But Dana Springs, interim executive director of the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, said the process of getting the simplistic piece approved could be somewhat difficult.

You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.

Alt Spaces, Creation Museum Rejection, Math + Art and Film Cut

• San Diego CityBeat takes a look at the vast contributions and the often limited life-cycle of some of the city’s most interesting and experimental alternative art venues.

“All the greatest galleries that I’ve ever loved have lasted less than five years,” said Dan Allen, the new owner of Canvas Gallery, an alternative art space housed in a downtown basement. “I’ve seen so many places come and go in San Diego, and I really didn’t want to lose this place. … There’s a lot of forward-thinking people that can do interesting work if they’re given the space to do it.”

• The San Diego Museum Council voted not to allow The Museum of Creation and Earth membership into its group. The lively comment section is officially 10 times as long as the original story itself. (KPBS)

• The new grant-funded “InforMath Collaborative” project unites university researchers with staff from Balboa Park institutions like the Mingei International Museum and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center to collaboratively design and eventually implement new programs that connect visitors with mathematics, effectively rebranding numbers as something as hip, cool and engaging as art. (press release)

• A new ordinance in Los Angeles waives city fees for filming TV pilots, which, the U-T argues, is yet another big blow to our city’s struggling film industry. The report argues that the demise of the San Diego Film Commission last summer due to a cut in tourism funding was the beginning of the end for San Diego’s chance at getting a piece of the limelight.

Public Market Problems, Food Truck Limbo and Making Old New

• The San Diego Public Market opened a year ago to great fanfare after supporters successfully raised over $145,000 through Kickstarter. The market is now closed save for special events and the U-T  curated the debate that played out in public when a few local foodies heard the news.

• San Diego food trucks remain in limbo as they wait for the city to solidify rules regulating where and when they can operate. (Mission Valley News)

• The old San Diego Police Department is now The Headquarters, a home for several shops and restaurants including Puesto, Pizzeria Mozza and Bruxie, a spot that turns waffles into a more utilitarian meal by using them as the bread in both sweet and savory sandwiches. (

• A self-service craft-beer bar opened in Pacific Beach. (Eater San Diego)

Relics at a Record Store, Food Music and Tijuana Music for Social Change

• Larry Himmel visited Nickelodeon Records on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights, describing the shop as a blast from the past, and not only because of the for-sale vinyls. The walls are filled with classic San Diego photos and the owners are a wealth of local lore. (CBS8 San Diego News)

• The recently released digital download “Listen Local Cooks Vol. 2,” features food-related poems, art, photos and music, all donated by San Diego artists. (SoundDiego)

• Tijuana musicians trying to reclaim their city from drug lords and violent crime are some of the subjects of “Rebel Music,” a new series on MTV’s mtvU. (

Targeting a Younger Market and Leaving Irony Behind

Local theater companies work to reach the always-elusive younger audience. Youthful playgoer Jason Wright tells the U-T that theater companies simply need to put on the right kind of plays and expand awareness and the younger generation will likely respond.

“It’s funny, a lot of people my age, I think once they discover it, (they’re hooked),” he said.

• The Los Angeles Times Culture Monster says La Jolla Playhouse’s “Side Show,” the story of conjoined twins, leaves irony aside and instead honestly examines the phenomena of human longing for connection and acceptance.

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Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. She also managed VOSD’s podcasts and covered...

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