San Diego’s relationship with arts and culture is a bit strained.

We’ve shared the stories of artists like Roberto Salas, who’s had a tough time working with the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and its leader, Dana Springs, on the restoration of his public art installation “Night Visions.” Salas has also struggled with creating public art for the Open Spaces program. This is just one person and one organization, though. Countless other artists have encountered roadblocks throughout their efforts to contribute to the city’s cultural landscape.

This week, CityBeat published the first installment of a two-part series discussing the county’s relationship with cultural organizations seeking support. While some gain the needed funding for their projects, many are often left to cobble it together themselves. Each county supervisor is given $708,000 in Community Enhancement Program funds to award to nonprofits and programs that promote tourism, spur economic development or boost quality of life in neighborhoods. Supervisors have come under fire for misusing these funds or being too exclusive, among other alleged faults.

CityBeat raises some important questions about how San Diego arts get funded, and why there needs to be a change in the relationship between the county and cultural organizations.

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

Disney Drawings, Optimus Volts and More Visual Art News

• A major Disney aficionado is sharing his collection of original drawings, cells and more in an exhibition at the Escondido Center for the Arts Museum. Check it now through Sept. 7. (U-T)

The cut-can sculptures of artist Optimus Volts, on view at Thumbprint Gallery through Sept. 7, are edgy and mesmerizing. (CityBeat)

• And now an art show round-up: Check out detail-oriented art and more multimedia work by 19 artists at TPG2 this Friday; geek-centric works by GMONIK on Saturday and animalistic portraits by David Smith at La Bodega also on Saturday.

SDMA Nominees, Theatrical Returns and More Music and Performance Goods

• Local artists The Burning of Rome, Little Hurricane, ILYA and, of course, Slightly Stoopid all get some love among the San Diego Music Award nominations. (U-T)

• The La Jolla Music Society raised $50 million for its new performing arts center. Good Lord, that’s a lot of money! (U-T)

Director Mark Lamos returns to the Old Globe after a 10-year hiatus to direct the Bard’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” which has a cute dog in it. Cute dogs are the best. (U-T)

• Former Moonlight Amphitheater artistic director, Kathy Brombacher, returns to the theater. But this time, she’s hitting the stage. (U-T)

• The musical “Side Show,” which premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse last year, is heading to the Great White Way. (U-T)

• Do you like theater, alcohol and breaking the fourth wall? Then you should probably buy tickets for “Once,” the eight-time Tony award-winning musical that features a functioning onstage pub for attendees. (U-T)

• AMSD Concerts temporarily reopens in Normal Heights. (CityBeat)

SDSU is now offering a music entrepreneur program for students who want to see their EDM project really blow up. (KPBS)

KSDS was named jazz station of the year for the second time by JazzWeek magazine. (Times of San Diego)

• Experimental music crew Stay Strange is putting together a noise-filled music and art show at Central Library this Saturday. The event has been two years in the making.

Horrifying Camping, New Eats and More Culture Crumbles

• This weekend, San Diego hosts the Great Horror Campout, setting up terrifying obstacle courses and freaky, horror movie-style experiences to make a bunch of adults pee their pants. (U-T)

• The man responsible for the Comic-Con Zombie Walk accident speaks. (Times of San Diego)

Five new restaurants are opening up in town, and I want to go to there and eat all of it at all of them. (U-T)

• Waterfront Park kicks off a free summertime concert series this month. (Times of San Diego)

• Online reservation website OpenTable surveyed users on which eateries have the most scenic view. Eleven local restaurants made the cut, including Cusp Dining & Drinks, Tom Ham’s Lighthouse and Island Prime. (Times of San Diego)

• In the latest installment of my CityBeat column, There She Goz, I talk about signing divorce papers and seeking real love at the Beyonce and Jay-Z concert.

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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