If you challenged any San Diegan to name a few things locals love, it’s pretty safe to say sunshine, hanging out with their dog, drinking beer, food trucks and just straight chillin’ are in the top 10.

We are a people of simple tastes and there’s a new spot for it all at Quartyard.

The first project of RAD LAB, a design and development company, Quartyard is an urban park at 1102 Market St. in the East Village. It was created with the San Diegan in mind, boasting a coffee shop, dog park, food trucks, free wifi, open spaces and a beer garden available from 11 a.m. onward every day. This past weekend marked the grand opening of the space, which CEO Philip Auchettl says went phenomenally and gave folks a glimpse into the role Quartyard will play in residents’ day-to-day lives.

The ethos behind Quartyard is to activate a vacant space, bringing it life and making it something beneficial to the community. For Auchettl and the rest of the RAD LAB team, that meant building an urban park that has regular tenants and the amenities San Diegans love. Maybe that’s why the project had so much luck during its Kickstarter campaign.

“It’s a pretty awesome space to hang out,”Auchettl said. “By activating spaces and providing a safe environment, you give the city something to be proud of.”

Just days after the opening party, Quartyard seems to be turning into a haven for East Villagers.

“The community has already taken an active interest in the project,”Auchettl said. “There’s people here right now in the sunshine, working on laptops, sitting at the bar and eating from the food trucks.”

Auchettl plans to bring more live music to Quartyard on weekends and hold special events. Most importantly, he wants to continue to give people a space that feels welcoming and exciting.

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

Open Studios, El Anatsui and More Visual Art Gems

UC San Diego’s Open Studios series offers a cool preview of which artists will be making their way onto the local art scene. CityBeat checked out the most recent Open Studios event and found some folks to keep tabs on.

In last week’s Culture Report, we told you about how the winners of the Creative Catalyst Fund were chosen. Each of the 10 winners received $20,000 and were paired with a local nonprofit to work on a project. CityBeat plans to follow each visual artist selected for the award as they work on their original project in an ongoing series. First up is Roberto Salas.

Are you so pumped for the El Anatsui exhibition at MCASD? If you’re not, you should be. KPBS tells us why.

Audio at the Opera, Summer Pops and More Music and Performance Stuff

The visually impaired can still take in the excitement of the San Diego Opera thanks to the organization’s audio description services. KPBS talks to the people who make this possible, which I find amazing because the best thing I could come up with for describing opera is “OK, now the guy with the beard is singing” and I’m a writer. That’s embarrassing and these people are awesome.

The San Diego Symphony Summer Pops season has been announced, and new CEO Martha Glimer is looking forward to shaking things up. Think Esperanza Spalding, Ben Folds and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Oh man, is swing coming back again? (U-T)

How to stay busy when you’re a world-class violinist: The Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Story. (U-T)

Latino Film Fest, Ye Olde North Park Post Office and More Culture Bits

The San Diego Latino Film Festival is under way now through March 22. CityBeat picks out a few faves from the fest.

The old North Park Post Office has been converted into one of the newest, most impressive pieces of rental spaces in the area. CityBeat catches up with the design team behind the project and talks about their ethos for creating an active and interactive livable space.

And the winners of the San Diego Film Awards are … being announced Saturday. (KPBS)

The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership announced it will donate $1 million in annual Balboa Park Explorer Passes to local families, giving more people access to the awesome art and cultural attractions the park has to offer. (U-T)

We’ve all heard the saying “Behind every great man is a great woman.” I’d like you to ask Hillary Clinton or Beyoncé what they think of that. A local author didn’t talk to Hil or Queen Bey about it, but she did delve into the women history might have forgotten because their male partners outshined them for her new book.

In beer news (because, of course), PG Alehouse’s former brewer heads to La Jolla and Ensenada. (Reader)

Ready to catch some rad shows in SD and TJ? Let the Reader’s guide to live music in 2015 give you some pointers on bands to watch, local music festivals, TJ’s live music nightlife and more.

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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