San Diego’s arts and culture landscape has been a major topic of conversation the last few months, with the drama at the San Diego Opera, the close call with the Ken Cinema and a larger collective of voices piping up about why institutions like these matter.

A few weeks ago I was invited to go on KOGO’s “The Voice of Merrill” show to talk about the state of San Diego’s cultural institutions. Host Chris Merrill asked me if it made me angry that the city seems more interested in funding our perpetually losing sports teams because, as his father told him, the arts don’t put food on the table. It’s not a new criticism. My theater degree is the butt of many a joke, which often include mention of my bank account.

However, KPBS shared a recent report released by the city that showed nonprofit arts and cultural organizations actually had a very positive impact on our local economy in 2013. Man, I feel like a dude on “Maury” who just found out he’s not the father of 9-month-old Aiden. Excuse me while I pop-and-lock in all the haters’ faces.

KPBS detailed the findings of that report and welcomed Alan Ziter of the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition and Dana Springs from the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture to chat on Midday Edition. How they managed not to bust out the worm on the stage is beyond me.

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

Art in Prisons, Space 4 Art’s New Home and More Visual Art News

• CityBeat published a great piece on Arts-in-Correction, an arts advocacy group working to get art programs in California prisons. Shortly after the story ran, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Arts Council announced the program will return to prisons statewide. How rad is that?

• A few months ago CityBeat reported on Space 4 Art’s struggle to secure a permanent home for their gallery shows and resident artists. More great news: The beloved art and event space found a new home, purchasing their very own piece of property in Sherman Heights.

Noel Baza Fine Art is closing up shop in Little Italy. Kettner Nights is gone too, but replaced with a new night of arts and culture in the neighborhood.  (CityBeat)

CityBeat gave us an update on the public art pieces that sneaked in to the new Waterfront Park. I bet they’d dominate a game of Don’t Wake Daddy.

• Amazingly talented wire sculptor artist Spenser Little managed to creep out a giggly local TV news reporter. Good job, Spenser. (Fox 5)

100 Hours of Theater, Spontaneous Dance and More Music and Performance Bites

• Lamb’s Players Theatre will attempt to set a world record with their “100 Hours of Stories” marathon performance. They suggest you wear jammies. Probably a good idea. (U-T)

• La Jolla Playhouse named experimental theater company Circle Circle dot dot as this season’s resident theater company, giving it a venue to workshop and showcase their works.

• CNN named the Balboa Theatre one of the 15 “most spectacular” in the world. Duh.

• Yee-haw! It’s theater review roundup time! “Passion” is “Fatal Attraction”-level freaky; Thrill Me is a creepily awesome psychological sex thriller;

Spontaneous dance breaks out at UC San Diego Saturday and Sunday for “If.” I’ll be holding another performance of “If,” which will just be a wine-fueled attempt at doing the choreography from Janet Jackson’s “If” video in my living room. It will be terrible.

City Ballet performs the second act of “Swan Lake” and Mozart’s “Requiem” with a live orchestra and chorus at Spreckels Theatre.

• Choreographer Donald McKayle’s work will be performed by students of the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. (U-T)

• I mentioned this before but I’m going to say it again: I cannot freakin’ wait for the Steve Martin/Edie Brickell musical “Bright Star” to come to the Old Globe. But the entire upcoming season looks pretty great. (KPBS)

San Diego is well-represented at the Tonys. Can I get some jazz hands up in here? (KPBS)

An Operatic Voice, Short Stories and More Culture Crannies

• CityBeat introduced us to one powerful voice in the battle to save the San Diego Opera.

• Local author Bonnie ZoBell talks about her latest short story collection. (U-T)

• Hey, “Prairie Home Companion” groupies! Garrison Keillor is coming to USD in June. There’s groupies for that, right? (U-T)

• Ruh roh. The city cut funds to the San Diego Opera. (KPBS)

• Yeah, I have to say I am very much pro-elephant in this situation. Sorry, musicians. (KPBS)

• The local gay surfing community gets a spotlight in the documentary “Out in the Line Up.” (Pacific)

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

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