When people talk about San Diego’s arts landscape as “emerging” or “becoming a contender” to cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, local arts advocates can’t help but roll their eyes.

San Diego might not be Paris or New York. But we’re by no means a desolate land with nothing more than a large ball of yarn to offer as arts and culture. And yet, many are surprised by what‘s going on in our city’s pockets.

To highlight the most engaging and creative neighborhoods kept in those pockets, the San Diego Tourism Authority and the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture set out on an ongoing video marketing effort.

They selected a neighborhood in each City Council district: Mission Valley, La Jolla, Point Loma, North and South Park, Barrio Logan, the area around Encanto and Chollas View, the area around San Pasqual and Rancho Bernardo and a Miramar-Clairemont mash-up. In each four or five-minute video, viewers are introduced to what makes these ‘hoods arts and cultural destinations in San Diego.

“With this partnership, we’re able to focus in on promoting parts of San Diego that sometimes get overlooked, or aren’t as well known to tourists, like City Heights and Barrio Logan,” says Candice Eley, PR and promotions manager for the tourism authority. She spearheaded and serves as video host for the project. “The culture and the art that is being made in these neighborhoods is part of what makes San Diego such a great place to visit and live in, so I’m really proud that we’re able to shine a spotlight on these places.”

Keep an eye out for all nine videos on SanDiego.org, City TV and on San Diego Magazine’s website.

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

Unique Commissions, Public Art and More Visual Art News

• The La Jolla Historical Society put together an amazing project featuring artists, architects and writers. Each of them were asked to create a piece inspired by a structure that had been torn down. Keep an eye out for the project in February. (U-T)

• While some of us only excel at turning food into gas, others turn it into rad art. Case in point: Alex White and John Mohr. (CityBeat)

• If CityBeat’s feature on artist Diana Duval taught me anything, is that you can’t bring a tough, hardworking, talented woman down. Read her inspiring story.

• Celebrated artist Roy McMakin’s work finds a comfy home in La Jolla. (U-T)

• The Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum won a grant to build a facility that would push blacksmithing education. What year is it again? (U-T)

• Former MCASD senior curator Elizabeth Armstrong heads to Palm Springs Art Museum as its new director. (L.A. Times)

New Hires, New Shows and More Music and Performance Goodies

• Lamb’s Players Theatre and Intrepid Shakespeare Company are rolling out new shows in 2015.: solo show “C.S. Lewis on Stage” and “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Lamb’s, and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Intrepid.  (U-T)

• The diary of a chorus member performing in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” doesn’t have a lot of juicy details about cute boys or boring homeroom teachers, but it does have interesting insight into the backstage world of La Jolla Playhouse. (U-T)

• The San Diego Symphony hired some folks to fill out the orchestra and they totally blow. (U-T)

Makeover for the Spreckels Organ, Beer Stuff and More Culture Bits

• The Spreckels Organ got a bit of a facelift and it’s sounding better than ever. (U-T)

• Breaking news: San Diego craft brewers and home brewers want to promote great beer. (KPBS)

• San Diego Red wonders if Tijauna is becoming an extension of SoCal. Discuss.

• Rosarito Beach has a rich and colorful history that includes more than foam parties and body shots. Go figure! (San Diego Red)

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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