Oceanside is open to upping its art game, but city officials aren’t ready to throw more money at the effort just yet.

The city is working on a new arts master plan. Once complete, the document will guide the development of city-run arts programs, cultural events, potential funding sources and more.

But the city also recently denied extra funding for the Oceanside Arts Commission, whose members asked to double its annual $25,000 allocation in this year’s budget.

“We’re embarking on this big master plan for the arts,” said Ann Worth, chair of the Oceanside Arts Commission. “We really wanted there to be an immediate implementation on the highest priority items, so that’s really why we were asking for the additional money.”

Photo by Kinsee Morlan
Photo by Kinsee Morlan

Worth and the commission put together a report showing how Oceanside measures up to other cities in the region when it comes to arts funding. It found that Oceanside invests just 14 cents per capita on arts funding. The cities of Carlsbad and San Diego, in comparison, each invest more than $10 per capita.

Worth said while she was disappointed that the commission didn’t get the extra funding this year, she’s hopeful that when the plan is done, the city will see the value in investing more in its arts and culture community. She said the art scene is already flourishing in Oceanside, but it could use a boost.

“I feel like there are many different nonprofit groups operating in Oceanside and we hear from them when we have our meetings,” Worth said. “They tell us about the different efforts that trying to do and the programming that they’re trying to pull off and it’s always on a shoestring budget and they’re often looking to the commission to help support those efforts.”

Worth said it’s frustrating that the commission has no funding to offer those groups, but she said they are doing what they can with limited resources. One big success for the Oceanside Arts Commission came earlier this year when it partnered with the Oceanside public library system, the Oceanside Museum of Art and MainStreet Oceanside and got a portion of the city on the semifinalist list of California Cultural Districts, a new program that offers statewide recognition and support for arts districts.

“It seemed like everyone around us was applying and these other cities have a lot more money and resources, so we were so excited to see Oceanside made that list,” she said.

In last week’s Culture Report, I told you about how Chula Vista, a city that just finished its new arts master plan, was mulling axing its arts funding this year. Dozens of arts supporters flooded the budget meeting last week and the City Council ultimately voted not to cut the arts budget.

You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news. Sign up here to get the weekly report delivered to your inbox. 

Chicano Park Museum Caught in Political Crossfires

A nonprofit is working to open the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center in a vacant, city-owned building that borders Chicano Park, but a battle brewing over this year’s San Diego city budget just put up a big speed bump for the project.

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Photo by Sam Hodgson

The people behind the proposed project say the National Landmark deserves a museum that could better put its history and importance into context for the many tours that cross through the park every year.

The building, though, needs several expensive upgrades before it can open as a museum. A draft of this year’s budget included $100,000 for a preliminary redesign of the building and $413,000 for partial roof repairs.

But last week Mayor Kevin Faulconer used his veto power to ax the $413,000 and made other cuts from the budget after Council members – including David Alvarez, whose district includes Chicano Park – blocked his effort to hold a special election in November.

VOSD’s Andrew Keatts called the mayor’s move “the type of rough-and-tumble – or vindictive – move we rarely see in San Diego politics.”

The loss of funding for a new roof would be a big setback for the Chicano Park Museum. The money could make it back into this year’s budget, however, if City Council members have enough votes to override the mayor’s veto at the City Council meeting Tuesday.

A Big Barrio Logan Show, Nicolas Reveles to Retire and Other Arts and Culture News

• If you’re already subscribed to Voice of San Diego’s Culturecast podcast, you know I dropped a new episode into the feed. The show is more of an update, an explanation for why it’s been quiet and a teaser for VOSD’s new podcast I Made it in San Diego, which is launching soon. I also included a recent interview I did with the Keep the Channel Open podcast.

• The San Diego Museum Council and curator Danielle Deery connected nine San Diego County museums with local artists, and the pairs created mural concepts inspired by each museum’s mission. See those concepts in a new exhibition opening Saturday at La Bodega Gallery in Barrio Logan.

Image courtesy of San Diego Museum Council
Image courtesy of San Diego Museum Council

• Nicolas Reveles, director of education and outreach at San Diego Opera for 19 years, announced his retirement via Facebook last week.

• David Chase, La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’s choral director for 44 years, conducted his last concerts over the weekend and is now officially retired. (Union-Tribune)

• CityBeat profiled photographer and filmmaker Isiah Jones, who has a solo show that opened in Barrio Logan last week.

• Y’all have a chance to get involved with a new piece of public art for the San Diego International Airport.

A new mural in Lemon Grove is one result of a year-long partnership between the city and San Diego State University’s Sage Project, which has students engage with city leaders and work alongside them on real projects

The Art of Élan chamber group is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

• On Wednesday, San Diego artist John Dillemuth is talking about his installations and assemblages on view at the Oceanside Museum of Art.

• Congrats to La Jolla Playhouse for its Tony Awards. (NBC7)

• ArtPower’s new season at UC San Diego was unveiled last week. (Union-Tribune)

• A few months back, I told you a bit about a local campaign to help spread the message that arts education and integration matters. The professor behind the campaign wrote a blog post about her project on the Americans for Arts website.

The Ira Aldridge Repertory Players’ production of “Blacktop” explores themes of poverty and alienation. (Union-Tribune)

• Explore historic and old homes in South Park on Saturday.

• Claude Monet’s iconic “The Water Lily Pond” painting is on its way to San Diego. (Times of San Diego)

It’s finally starting to look and feel like summer. Here are some cool San Diego spots to explore this summer, here’s a guide to summer concerts, (There San Diego), (Union-Tribune) and here’s a roundup of great places to get ice cream.

• Arts District Liberty Station is launching a new outdoor concert series. (SoundDiego)

• The San Diego Symphony’s 2016-17 season set a new sales record. (Union-Tribune)

• Lux Art Institute is capping off its 10th anniversary season with a bang.

• Check out this new exhibition exploring purses. (Union-Tribune)

• The California Surf Museum just opened a new exhibit focused on surfing’s relationship to some Vietnam veterans.

• This Encinitas kid sure can dance (watch a video of his moves here). (The Coast News Group)

Food, Beer and Booze News

Y’all are invited to hang out at this North County farm and check out its pay-what-you-can farm stand.

• Tacos and beer. ‘Nuff said.

• San Diego Magazine’s Troy Johnson says the San Diego restaurant bubble is “big, and dangerously taut.”

• The annual Beer & Sake Festival is happening this week.

• Check out this ongoing food truck fest happening in Emerald Hills. Also, ICYMI, Balboa Park brings in food trucks every Friday night through the summer.

• CityBeat rounded up some of the city’s best chefs and mixologists for a foodie event this week.

The Reader’s Ian Anderson offers a recap of the beer war that local craft brewers have waged on East Village’s new 10 Barrel brewpub.

Kinsee Morlan is engagement editor at Voice of San Diego. Email her at kinsee@vosd.org. Want to recommend this culture newsletter to someone? Share this sign-up link.

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. She also managed VOSD’s podcasts and covered...

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