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There’s a movement known as “creative placemaking” that has grown exponentially in San Diego in the last decade, though it feels like we see the fruits of this practice lately more than ever. It involves using the power of arts, culture and creativity to create a space or event that serves individuals and communities in a way that drives positive change, civic pride and cultural growth. It’s not unlike another concept called “tactical urbanism,” which Andrew Keatts has written about – both are about activating spaces in unique ways, and in doing so activating the people who congregate there. This is how parklets became a thing.
Balboa Park is already a space dedicated to arts and culture, and as the park celebrates its big 100-year anniversary of 1915 Panama-California Exposition, we are hearing about interesting ways to interact with the space. Enter Make Music Day San Diego.
The musical congregation, which began in France in 1982, happens in 700 cities around the world. This is the first year San Diego is among them. On June 21, 20 spaces throughout Balboa Park will host upwards of 40 free, interactive, participatory musical performances and workshops (full schedule can be found here).
Organizer Andy Horwitz said the event is a chance to bring more culture-enhancing programming to the city at no cost to residents or lucky tourists who happen to be wandering the park that day. For Make Music Day, anyone can bring an instrument to the park and take part in an open guitar jam session, a fiddle workshop from one of the world’s leading fiddlers, Mari Black, hit up the instrument petting zoo or experience a “bluegrass slow jam.”
“This is about giving people a chance to meet each other and to also to demonstrate in microcosm the enormous cultural richness of the city,” said Horwitz. “San Diego should be just as good for residents as it is for tourism. In fact, if it’s good for residents it’s good for tourists.”
Make Music Day in Balboa Park happens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad is also hosting a Make Music Day event, in case any of you North County folks would like to participate closer to home.
You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.
A Frightening Portrait Subject and More Visual Arts News
• Local artist takes her body-painting skills to the game-show circuit. No whammies. (CityBeat)
• Peter Halasz paints for your dark, emo heart and it’s pretty rad. (CityBeat)
• DeviantArt pulls out of Comic-Con’s Artist Alley. (Bleeding Cool)
• A local artist has painted a portrait of Denver theater shooter James Holmes. A case of too soon, never OK, shock value or an artist exercising her freedom to create whatever she wants? (Fox5)
Binational Fringe, Ladies Get More Love at ArtPower and More Music and Performance Bits
• The Carlsbad Music Festival Village Walk will be kicking out some must-see jams. (San Diego Story)
• San Diego’s classical music scene has seen some big hires, including a new associate artistic director at SACRA/PROFANA. (San Diego Story)
• The San Diego Fringe Festival is going binational.
• ArtPower’s new director is bringing it back to the ladies by creating a female-centric Global Music Series. (Union-Tribune)
• La Jolla Playhouse keeps us WoW’d. (Union-Tribune)
Hope for Ken Video, Preserving Lost Artifacts and More Culture Bites
• South Park’s upcoming vegan eatery, KINDRED, just named its head chef and the vegans are stoked about it. (Eater)
• The San Diego County Fair is getting into the spirit of booziness. (Eater)
• Right-to-die activists in San Diego are working to allow people to die whenever they damn well please. (CityBeat)
• A UC San Diego archeology student is working to preserve artifacts destroyed in Islamic terrorist attacks on museums in Mosul, Iraq. (KPBS)
• Kensington Video fans still mourning the loss of the video store, there is hope again. (KPBS)
• The ancient Maya head to San Diego Natural History Museum not via time machine. But whoa, imagine? (KPBS)
• The U.S.’s new poet laureate has San Diego roots. (Union-Tribune)