Sigh. Just as we were starting to feel good again with the Ken Cinema and San Diego Opera safe and sound, we learned the Che Café, UC San Diego’s iconic, all-ages, (mostly) hardcore/punk venue will be closing in September.
NBC 7 reported the school’s student-run University Centers Advisory Board decided to cut the Che’s maintenance costs from the 2014-2015 budget in a 9-4 vote Friday. Seeing how that’s where the small organization got a huge chunk of its funding, its future isn’t looking so bright.
The tattooed, vegan misfits who called The Ché Café home are heartbroken and angry. For 34 years, it hosted live music, art exhibitions, dance concerts and a large collection of Chicano murals. I spent many youthful nights eating lentils and moshing at the Ché, and once participated in a group art show there. It’s definitely a bummer.
The Ché’s history and leftist politics are part of what makes it so special. But San Diego might score a hat trick by saving a third cultural institution. A Change.org petition is circulating, a Save the Ché Facebook page has launched and the Ché’s Twitter page features countless posts of the collective’s plans to keep fighting for survival. Viva la revolución!
Downsizing, Ansel Adams and More Visual Art
• The hits to San Diego’s art and culture scene keep coming. Gallerist and art dealer Alexander Salazar is downsizing. (CityBeat)
• Grammer Nazis! No, not you, grammar Nazis. I mean Instagrammers. La Bodega Gallery is hosting “Life2: An Instagram Art Show” Friday to showcase photos taken using the photo-sharing app beloved by sandwich eaters and sunset swooners alike.
• More grant news for the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative: MCASD received $275,000, which will go toward a collaboration with Mexico City’s Museo Rufino Tamayo and the Museo de Arte de Lima. They’ll examine the responses of conceptual and performance artists to the unraveling of the “modernization” project in Latin America. Well-known and emerging Latin American artists will be highlighted with paintings, sculptures, videos and a number of site-specific works never before seen in California.
• The Museum of Photographic Arts has an exhibition pairing gorgeous Ansel Adams pieces alongside photographs by artists inspired by the legendary landscape photographer. Give “After Ansel Adams” a visit and then find out how it all came together at a discussion with curators happening on Thursday. (Snorkl)
• Lux Art Institute’s artist-in-residence Beverly Penn displays delicate bronze sculptures that strike a balance between nature and the manufactured environment.
Fringe Festival, Theater Reviews and More Music and Performance Nuggets
• The San Diego International Fringe Festival is seeking donors to help bring the performing arts fest back. (Indiegogo)
• Composer Blair Robert Nelson wails on some sound art Wednesday at Space 4 Art during “#hackingIMPROV: A Generative Song Cycle.”
• UC San Diego’s ArtPower released this year’s lineup of events, which includes a reading by beloved squeaky-voiced author David Sedaris, jazz by Julian Lage and music from the Dover Quarter. The U-T talked to ArtPower’s Kathryn Martin, Molly Clark and Rebecca Webb about the organization’s mission to bring diversity to the stage.
• And now for your theater review round-up: “Annie Get Your Gun” is still smokin’ (CityBeat); “Chasing the Song” celebrates change in many ways (KPBS); “No Place” tackles homelessness in an upbeat way; “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” turns Anton Chekhov classics into something hilarious for non-theater dweebs; and “The Mother%^&*$ with the Hat” makes it look good (U-T).
Opera Update, Summer Guides and More Culture Cookies
• The research team at White Labs got some love in the New York Times for its work with a Belgian genetics laboratory to sequence the DNA of some 240 brewing yeast strains around the world. Neva Parker, head of laboratory operations at White Labs, is a VOSD event showstopper – check her out at our beer panel last June and our most recent Meeting of the Minds in March.
• The San Diego Opera may be saved, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any draaaamaaaa to report. In case you missed it, the organization is now under investigation by the California attorney general. (KPBS)
• And as it turns out, former opera head Ian Campbell was not going to receive a few extra thousand sheckles in his bank account if the institution had folded. (KPBS)
• CityBeat put together its annual summer guide, themed around fun, camp-style activities. Find out where to cannonball into waterholes, get some tasty summertime grub and trek the cool canyons this summer.
• On Wednesday, there will be a 20th anniversary celebration for the Tijuana Estuary, the largest coastal wetland in SoCal, which also boasts a visitor center designed by Central Library architect Rob Quigley. Enjoy refreshments, a mural by Robin Brailsford, paintings by Wick Alexander and wander the grounds.
• The 16th Annual FilmOut Film Festival rounds up LGBT-centric films over the course of three days. (KPBS)
• Raise your hand if you’re super excited to catch “Book of Mormon.” Bonus: a chat with the actors after the show Wednesday, and a Broadway insider discussion of the show’s history Friday.