Another round of our popular pecha kucha-style series – we call it Meeting of the Minds – is coming to The Front in San Ysidro on Wednesday, Oct. 22. We’ll be talking about the arts and culture of Tijuana, introducing attendees to the awesome alternative art spaces, culinary boom, performing arts, local cultural revival and the current state of the border wait en route to our sister to the south.

Through this iteration — did I mention I’ll be your host? — we’re shooting to give insight into the real TJ that’s only just now finding the appreciation it deserves, and how the city’s happening affect the arts and culture of San Diego. Our experts are dialed in to the stimulating stuff that’s making Tijuana a cultural destination. It might be time to renew your passport (though to be clear, you won’t need one for this event).

Over the next few Culture Reports, I’ll be introducing you to the fascinating people who will be presenting at Meeting of the Minds. First up is Mónica Arreola, shedding light on the alternative art spaces of Tijuana. An accomplished and celebrated artist in her own right with a master’s degree in modern and contemporary art from the prestigious Casa Lamm Centro de Cultura in Mexico City, Arreola is the co-director of 206 Arte Contemporáneo, a gallery located in downtown Tijuana’s Pasaje Revolución.

There she highlights the work of Baja California’s emerging artists, many of whom she’ll introduce us to during her talk. She’ll share information on Tijuana’s bubbling pasajes, the amazing visual arts they offer regularly and her part in turning TJ into a world arts capital. RSVP for Meeting of the Minds here.

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

Las Mona, a New Arts App and More Visual Art Goodies

• University of San Diego just appointed Erin Sullivan Maybes curator of the school’s Hoehn Galleries. Her main mission: enriching the gallery’s print collection. (U-T)

• Joseph Bellows Gallery gives “fashionable” photographer Thomas Barrow his due, showcasing the shutterbug’s beautiful images through Nov. 1. (U-T)

• A new arts app sets out to pick up where Art Pulse’s Snorkl left off. (CityBeat)

• Have you met Tijuana’s “La Mona” (or “The Doll” to you gringos)? Next year, the public sculpture turns 25. (San Diego Magazine)

• While you’re down there, check out Tijuana’s fourth annual Photo Walk in Playas de Tijuana. But first, read all about it in San Diego Red.

Free Musical Lessons, Symphony Stuff and More Music and Performance Bites

• Villa Musica is a nonprofit that gives music lessons to anyone who wants them, free of cost. Looks like my one-woman feminist emo band, Dashbroad Confessional, might come to fruition. (U-T)

• The San Diego Symphony’s new CEO is looking to take classical music to the local masses. Not a bad idea at all, especially the part about being able to wear whatever you want. Stretch pants and Beethoven it is! (U-T)

• Taking a break to raise three children didn’t make local piano virtuoso Cho Hyun Park’s fingers get rusty. In fact, she won a major international award. (U-T)

• The San Diego Early Music Society is celebrating 33 years of classical concerts with a long lineup of musical events. (U-T)

Parklets, Drag Shows and More Culture Crumbles

• Parklets are beginning to transform the way San Diegans interact with their city. CityBeat breaks down the parklets popping up and all the work that goes into making them happen.

• In the latest installment of my column There She Goz, I hang out at a drag show with my mom and the new man in her life, a gay Santeria man named Richi. (CityBeat)

• East County-based filmmaker and proud ripper-offer of Shakespeare Jesse Keller has his eyes set on Sundance. (KPBS)

• San Diego has some beautiful architectural gems, many of which were awarded “orchids” this year by the San Diego Architectural Foundation. Others aren’t so great and received “onions.” (CityBeat)

• Oh, now that we’re on the topic of architecture, the Leichtag Foundation challenged designers to create interesting new versions of an ancient Egyptian structure. The winning designs can be seen in Encinitas near 441 Saxony Road. (CityBeat)

• Well, since we’re here … Tijuana also went and got Baja California’s very first architecture-only school, and believe it or not, it’s free to attend. Wait. What?! (San Diego Magazine)

• According to a recent audit, the Balboa Park Centennial Committee didn’t misuse funds, but it didn’t get the job done either. VOSD’s Andrew Keatts laid out the findings.

• San Diego pretty much dominates when it comes to creating innovative beers, but we also have some great tech startups changing the gadget game. (Pacific)

• And coffee is giving beer a run for its money. San Diego Magazine tells us about the coffee roasters revamping your favorite source of caffeine.

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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