As neighborhoods like North Park, Barrio Logan and East Village continue to grow and develop, the artists and craftspeople who once inhabited cheap spaces there are being priced out.
But now, a group of artists and designers who lost their studio spaces in Barrio Logan last year is gearing up to open a huge new warehouse for creative folks. They’re turning a 12,000-square-foot warehouse at 2031 Commercial St. in Logan Heights into studios for artists and craftsmen, co-working offices and an event venue.
Sarah Anderson, Kristin Dinnis, Brook Dailey and Brittany Wiczek are the women behind San Diego Made, a coalition of local artists and craftsman who have been staging shopping events at various locations in the region since 2014.
Union Barrio Logan closed in 2017. The building’s leaseholder wanted to pre-empt citations from the city related to illegal construction inside the warehouse. When that happened, the San Diego Made crew, who were all subletting studios inside the warehouse, doubled down on efforts already underway to find a permanent home for their growing coalition.
“When Union closed, we realized the extensive amount of work we were going to have to do to get permits,” said Dinnis, a clothing designer who specializes in ballroom gowns. “The hardest, most stressful, scary, intense part of this whole process was the permitting. … But doing it right was really, really important to us.”
They have cleared most of the permitting hurdles and are planning to start construction on the space in coming months, they said. The hope is to be open by spring of 2019. They’ve secured a loan, but will also soon be launching a crowd-funding campaign to help cover some of the construction costs.
Anderson, a woodworker who builds custom furniture and fixtures, said they also have plans to make the building a resource center. They want to host seminars and workshops that can help people turn their hobbies or passions into sustainable careers. She said just having a place to create, plus talk to other like-minded people, is a valuable resource itself.
- Speaking of new space for artists; Space 4 Art, a nonprofit that lost half its studios and gallery space in East Village last year, is taking over Sparks Gallery downtown for an exhibition and fundraiser for its project that promises to build an affordable, permanent center for arts in Sherman Heights.
Goodbye, Culture Report Readers
Writing the weekly Culture Report is one of the highlights of my gig here at Voice of San Diego.
I love digging up stories about San Diego’s arts and culture scene and pulling together the rest of the week’s cultural news for a loyal and steadily growing list of subscribers who care about keeping creativity alive in our region.
But this will be the last Culture Report I’ll write. Thanks so much for reading my words, folks.
It’s my last week here at VOSD. Next week, I start in my new role as KPBS podcast producer and project coordinator. Those of you who know me well won’t be surprised. Podcasting is my jam. I’ll miss the Voice crew, of course, and I’m grateful for my time here, but the opportunity to follow my podcast passion was just too exciting to pass up.
Don’t be too alarmed, though. The plan is to keep the Culture Report going. It may go on hiatus in coming weeks, but the VOSD team will be working to bring it back.
Examining Arts Funding, Science in City Heights and More News for the Culture Crowd
- The city of San Diego’s arts commissioners are set to scrutinize the way the commission funds local cultural nonprofits in a series of upcoming meetings. I wrote about why they’re talking about potential changes, and also looked at what forms of arts and culture get the most support from the Commission for Arts and Culture. Nonprofit Quarterly has thoughts about how the city should go about this process.
- Fern Street Circus took on the topic of health care in its new show currently touring the city. (KPBS)
- The opening concert of the San Diego Symphony’s new season surpassed expectations, says the Union-Tribune.
- A grand opening for the Living Lab in City Heights was held over the weekend. A joint project of the Ocean Discovery Institute and the San Diego Unified School District, the eye-catching new building tucked inside a canyon in City Heights will be a place for in-school and after-school science classes. (NBC 7)
- The campaign behind SoccerCity, or Measure E on the November ballot, wrote an open letter to local musicians urging them to vote for their proposal, saying “it will create thousands of new performing opportunities and put San Diego on the map as a hotbed of music on the West Coast.”
- Here’s a rundown of the winners and losers of the annual awards program honoring San Diego’s best and worst architecture. (Union-Tribune)
- Maxine Mahon founded the California Ballet Company in 1968 and ran it until earlier this year. The Union-Tribune details the old accident that caused Mahon to turn to ballet, and her many accomplishments since.
- The San Diego International Film Festival this year features 12 local films and more than 100 international entries. It kicks off Tuesday. (Times of San Diego)
- Ryan Griffith’s immersive performance piece and installation sounds like a strange experience you won’t find anywhere else. (CityBeat)
- Local music geeks are all jittery with excitement over this Halloween show. (Reader)
- An effort to open a new art school is underway.
- The San Diego History Center wants your help in creating a new permanent exhibit that “celebrates what makes San Diego unique.”
- The Book Catapult in South Park is celebrating one year of existence.
- A local architecture student has a proposal to spruce up Lemon Grove’s Promenade Park. (Union-Tribune)
- Artists in Little Italy are inviting the community to join them for art workshops that will work to alleviate political frustration. (CityBeat)
- La Jolla Playhouse’s “Hundred Days” is “very much a theatre piece, though it masquerades as a rock concert,” says Talkin Broadway.
- The Latin American Art Fair is happening in Logan Heights this year.
The Kinsee Report: Here’s Where I Want to Be This Week
- It’s that time of year again. Time to take the kids to as many pumpkin patches as I can. This weekend, I’ll be heading to Wynola for the pumpkin patch at the Julian Mining Company and Julian Farm and Orchard.
- For those of you experiencing major FOMO due to skipping this year’s Trolley Dances, fret no more. Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater is performing site-specific dances at Arts District Liberty Station this weekend.
- This lecture about San Diego’s early punk scene looks good.
Food, Cannabis, Beer and Booze News
- Two neighborhood food events are going down this week: the Taste of Coronado and the Taste of North Park.
- A huge new steakhouse is set to open in early November. (Eater)
- Gelato is having a moment in San Diego, says the Union-Tribune.