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For all the neat cultural endeavors going on around San Diego, it can be a little hard to discover everything we have to offer.

That’s part of the reason why Kelly Bennett, former Voice of San Diego reporter and all-around mover-and-shaker, decided to start Meeting of the Minds. Now on its seventh iteration, the event serves as a showcase for folks in town to get up in front of a crowd and share what they’ve been working on.

And it’s not just about arts. The event on Wednesday features a luthier (there’s your Word of the Day), a plastic surgeon who’s come up with a contraption for kiddos post-brain surgery and a rep for the company that’s given us groundbreaking photos of Mars.

Bennett stopped by VOSD Radio’s studio to tell us who else is on the docket, and what she digs most about San Diego’s teeming creativity.

Check out the full podcast below, or subscribe for free on iTunes. While you’re there, help us out with a review of the show.

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Here are some of the takeaways from Bennett’s appearance.

Cross-pollination is at the root of the meeting’s origins.

“I invited six people from lots of different neighborhoods and niches as an experiment to see if this could work, to cross-pollinate some of these parts that end up feeling really isolated, I think — theater and food and music and jazz and classical music. Like it all feels like these little worlds that people travel in but they don’t ever get to know each other, much less if you’re outside of that entirely. It can feel really intimidating to learn ‘how do I figure out what to do here.’”

Stop — collaborate and listen to one another.

“One of the things that’s so exciting to me is when people come away and email me and they’re like, ‘I met this person at that event and now we’re doing this series together,’ or, ‘I found out about this art collective and so now my museum is going to feature them over the next few months.’ It’s even connecting people who have additional platforms than beyond what we have to offer as Voice. I think it gives it some legs for this community to kind of keep growing and getting stronger together.”

Inspiration materializes in any number of ways.

“It doesn’t just have to mean, ‘I’m inspired to be creative so I’m gonna go home and paint a painting.’ It’s, ‘I’m inspired to do something creative and what do I have right in front of me that could be streamlined and made more efficient, made more beautiful, made more elegant?’”

Catherine Green

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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