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In the Wild West (at least the way I’ve seen it in movies), a new sheriff saunters into town and whips everything into shape with a raised eyebrow and a zero-tolerance-for-crap attitude.

With all the drama surrounding the San Diego Opera, there are hopes its new sheriff – or rather, board president – will pull a John Wayne and get the institution back on track.

Carol Lazier joined the opera’s board last summer. After a reportedly heated board meeting that led 13 members, including then-president Karen Cohn, to resign from the board, Lazier stepped up became acting president. I can see the tumbleweeds and shiny sheriff badge shining in the sun now.

Lazier has been a major figure in the local arts and culture scene, U-T San Diego reports, donating millions to various institutions over the years. After the board initially voted to put the San Diego Opera to bed, Lazier and her husband/fellow board member Jay Merritt immediately regretted the decision. They got to work saving the 49-year-old institution, pledging a cool million just a couple weeks ago. They’ve also flown to cities across the county to meet with organizations that might have a better solution to keep the opera going.

So it seems like they aren’t afraid to kick down the saloon doors. The closure of the opera has been postponed to May 19, unless there is yet another push to the deadline. Here’s hoping Lazier and Merritt get the job done. Miss Kitty would surely appreciate it.

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

A Recalled Car, DreamAbility and More Visual Art Goodness

When life hands you lemons in the form of a recalled car, turn it into lemonade. Or into a mobile gallery, to be more specific. (CityBeat)

• Seven local artists, including Jessica McCambly, Bhavna Mehta and Joshua Eggleton, will exhibit pieces at “Intersecting Lines: The 10th Annual Invitational Drawing Show” at the awesome Central Library art gallery. The exhibit is open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fallbrook artist Igor Koutsenko returns to ArtWalk San Diego. CityBeat has a nice little profile on the man.

• Artists with disabilities get a spotlight at “DreamAbility.” (U-T)

• Planning for the Balboa Park Centennial might still be up in the air, but park artists seem to have their own plans for making the milestone memorable. (U-T)

Steve Martin, Banjos and More Music and Performance Nuggets

A Steve Martin musical? All of the yesses! (U-T)

• This weekend, the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown and the newly renovated North Plaza and One American Plaza just across the street will team up for two days of exhibition tours, art-making, artist workshops and more as part of “Public 2 (Public Squared),” happening Friday and Saturday.

Blythe Barton Dance is seeking a little Kickstarter help from their dance-loving friends. The company is looking to raise money for their upcoming production “BODYlogue: Taking Space.” They already met their goal, but a few extra clams never hurt anyone.

• The San Diego Symphony hops on the big red bus and performs for commuters as part of CityBeat’s ongoing series of concerts, A Trolley Show.

Renowned pianist and UCSD music professor Aleck Karis tickles the ivories in a concert spanning the career of composer Francis Poulenc this Wednesday. Do not yell out “Free Bird.”

Patricia Rincon Dance Collective returns some overdue dance moves to the Encintas Library on Sunday for a performance of Salon Dances. Man, the Encinitas Library is poppin’ this weekend!

• “Deliverance” may have ruined the banjo for many, but it’s still a pretty cool instrument. The Museum of Making Music wants to make sure you know that. (KPBS)

• Adams Avenue Unplugged fulfills all your acoustic dreams this weekend.

Tijuana Love, the Well-Endowed and More Cultural Crannies

• I recently appeared on News Radio 600 KOGO’s Voice of Merrill morning show with Chris Merrill to talk about the loss of cultural institutions in our fair city. If you missed the short guest spot, you can take a listen here. That link is mainly for my mom.

• Downtown Tijuana’s former Mexicoach Station is probably one of the coolest hidden gems in the city. Its ceiling is a kaleidoscope of colorful glass tiles. For years I wandered in there wishing it could be turned into something awesome, and now it will be, with the creation of a crossborder co-working station. (CityBeat)

• More Tijuana love comes courtesy of NPR with a story on Derrik Chinn and his rad Turista Libre tours. Welcome to the party, NPR!

• A few San Diego arts organizations were awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, including the Center for World Music, Artbound (which is based in Los Angeles but covers lots of San Diego and Tijuana art), Cuatro Corridos Chamber Opera and more.

• The Encinitas Library will host the all-day Storytelling Festival this Saturday. More than two dozen storytellers will perform and an open mic segment will allow amateur writers to share their own “Harry Potter” erotic fan fiction. Or, you know, just regular fiction.

• The San Diego Opera recently lost 13 board members. Yikes, am I right? (New York Times)

• Those members of the opera’s board that do choose to stay, however, plan on delivering their two cents on the company’s future. My guess is that the two cents will actually be more like $20. (KPBS)

RIP midnight “Rocky Horror” madness. Never forget. (KPBS)

Alex Zaragoza

Alex Zaragoza is a freelance writer covering arts and culture in San Diego and Tijuana. She also writes the column "There...

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