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Tijuana and San Diego are no strangers to murals depicting the life, culture and socio-politics of the Mexican or Mexican-American/Chicano experience. Take a walk around Chicano Park and you’ll see Barrio Logan’s history colorfully told on the pillars of the Coronado Bridge.

While graffiti murals still seem to dominate San Diego’s landscape, Tijuana’s neomuralism movement has taken an approach that’s exciting art lovers on both sides of the border. It’s characterized by bold imagery, a unique technique and the ability to walk the line between traditional art forms and street style in a way that’s beautiful, innovative and provocative.

KCET’s Artbound has a great piece profiling the muralists creating awesome street art in Tijuana and Mexicali, including Alonso “El Norteño” Delgadillo and Gloria “Glow” Muriel. I’ve visited murals by some of the artists Artbound highlighted on my jaunts to Tijuana. They’re breathtaking.

The neomuralism movement seems to signal a change in the border’s cultural landscape and the importance Mexico has placed on making art accessible in cities. Many of these murals are commissioned by local businesses or government organizations, or incorporated into the design of new landmarks or buildings.

But in the true spirit of street art, many can also be found in back alleys or random walls throughout TJ. If you get a chance, take a trip down south to see examples of the border’s best pieces, or check in with Turista Libre to see when they’ll host another street art trek.

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

Grants, Gushing About Balboa Park and More Visual Art News

• The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time project awarded UC San Diego and the San Diego Museum of Art grants of $58,000 and $272,000, respectively, to fund Latin American art shows. (The Art Newspaper)

• Donors saved the day by breaking fundraising records at the MCASD auction. Now if only I could get one of them to pay off my student loan, or buy me a sandwich. (U-T)

• Art critic Edward Goldman has a big ol’ crush on Balboa Park’s museums. (Huffington Post)

• The Balboa Park Collaborative named former Getty administrator Nik Honeysett as its new chief executive officer. Among his tasks: incorporating more technological advances into each park institution’s programs and content. Maybe he can also get those wine hammocks I want. Please? (U-T)

• Some artists trade in their paintbrushes for more secure jobs in corporate America. Jarod Farver went with pickles. (DiscoverSD)

Jazz Night, Summer Concerts and More Music and Performance News

• Here’s something all you hepcats can dig. Friday has been officially declared Jazz Night San Diego. Venues around town will host jazz shows to celebrate, with an extra special kick-off featuring the Charles McPherson Trio at Casa Artelexia. BYO beret.

• A founding member of seminal dad band Bon Jovi composed music for “Chasing the Song,” which will run at the La Jolla Playhouse from May 13 to June 15. Watch behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with composer David Bryan. (KPBS)

• In an effort to raise $1 million to stay alive, board members of the San Diego Opera, along with a group opera mega-fans, rolled out a matching gift challenge and met their goal. (KPBS)

• Lilith Fair powerhouses the Indigo Girls join the San Diego Women’s Chorus for a benefit concert Sunday. Proceeds will go to the chorus and to the Lesbian Health Initiative. (U-T)

• The La Jolla Music Society released its 2014-15 season and it’s a good’un. There’s dance, classical music from the likes of the London Symphony Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, jazz from Herbie Hancock and Buddy Guy and much more. (U-T)

The Patricia Rincon Dance Collective’s Salon Dances return to the Encinitas Library on Sunday.

• One of my favorite things about summer is the free concerts offered at a bunch of the parks around the county. Something about catching a buzz from a flask while watching a Rolling Stones cover band jam out a rendition of “Street Fighting Man” just feels nice. The city of Carlsbad released its lineup for this summer’s TGIF Concerts in the Park. Get in on that sweet action starting June 27.

• The Spreckels Summer International Organ Festival kicks off June 23.

• Dear everyone who tried to learn an instrument as a New Year’s resolution and failed miserably: Jazz 88.3 is holding its annual instrument drive. Drop off that trumpet, guitar, xylophone, etc., at their offices or at a Coles Fine Flooring location. They’ll clean off your tears and donate the instrument to a San Diego school’s music program.

• The Che Café has flirted with closure in the past, but managed to scrape by on sheer will and the support of its ardent fans. Once again, UC San Diego’s iconic lentil-serving punk venue stands to lose its funding and could be closed down for an indefinite amount of time. The University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB) is meeting Tuesday to decide on the fate of the Che. There’s a petition circulating to save the venue. (NBC 7)

• One of the main criticisms facing the San Diego Opera is its status as a stuffy institution made up of old, rich, white folks with little interest in pushing boundaries. Voice of San Diego contributor Randy Dotinga pointed out other opera institutions that have found success by trying new things.

• The Ken Cinema is holding a screening of the Marx brothers’ film “A Night at the Opera” Monday to benefit the San Diego Opera. A collection plate will be passed around. Take a cue from the prince of Zamunda and contribute funds that fold, not jingle. (Reader)

• Probably one of the coolest new things happening around town is La Bodega Studio and Gallery’s Dinner and Bikes night. Munch on great vegan food, ride some bikes and watch some flicks. It’s a total hipster dream, and I love it.

• Many San Diegans still can’t read good and it’s sad. (KPBS)

• Singers dropped their lawsuit against the San Diego Opera. (KPBS)

Ain’t no party like a Sicilian party cuz a Sicilian party is rich with the offerings from a culture steep in history, gastronomy, art and music. That doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily, but it’s accurate.

• San Diego Magazine got googly-eyed over the Central Library’s Library Shop, and I don’t blame them. It’s adorable overload in there.

• Craft beer lovers felt a tingle in their livers upon hearing the owners of Blind Lady Ale House and Tiger! Tiger! will open a new eatery and beer haven in Balboa Park. (U-T)

• Bring a big textbook to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s Love, Lust & Libido: The Chemistry of Sex event Thursday. You’re going to need it after checking out exhibits exploring the science of sex. Boi-oi-oing!

• Sometimes you hit a funk, and not in a cool George Clinton way. On the bright side, funks can be conquered, preferably with butt-shaking. In my latest column, There She Goz, I talk about getting my groove back at a soul dance contest. (CityBeat)

• Oh, and because I’m a self-promoting monster, I’ll be leading a workshop on freelance journalism for Skill School. Allow me to show you how to incorporate many a penis joke into hard-hitting journalism.

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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