Music

Thumbnail image for New Chicano Park Muralists Are Honored to Paint in the Park

New Chicano Park Muralists Are Honored to Paint in the Park

by Brent E. Beltrán 04.16.2014 Arts

44th annual Chicano Park Day Celebration this Saturday

By Brent E. Beltrán

The Chicano Park Steering Committee and thousands of their friends will be celebrating the 44th anniversary of the takeover of Chicano Park this Saturday in San Diego’s Barrio Logan. The theme of the celebration is “La Tierra Es De Quien La Trabaja: The Land Belongs To Those Who Work It.” 

Last year I wrote:

“On April 22, 1970 a rag tag group of artists, activists, and community members joined forces and took over the land underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in Barrio Logan. At the time, construction was about to begin on the building of a California Highway Patrol substation. For many years, residents of Barrio Logan had been promised a park. Seeing the pending creation of a CHP substation was the straw that broke this barrio’s back.”

Every year the community of Barrio Logan, as well as Chicanas and Chicanos from all over, and our friends and allies, all come together to celebrate the takeover of the area underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Logan: Arts and Culture

Barrio Logan: Arts and Culture

by Brent E. Beltrán 04.13.2014 Arts

Film by Media Arts Center’s Teen Producers Project
Intro by Brent E. Beltrán

With the ballot battle looming over the future of Barrio Logan, due to Maritime Industry’s refusal to accept the Barrio Logan Community Plan update, I feel it is necessary to give voters of the city of San Diego a little history of Barrio Logan and highlight the issues residents face. In June, eligible San Diego voters will go to the polls to vote on whether to approve the community plan or reject it.

Over the next few weeks I will post a video on Sundays that highlights the community of Barrio Logan and the beauty within San Diego’s most historic barrio.

This week’s video, Barrio Logan: Arts and Culture, is about how arts and culture are an integral part of Barrio Logan’s identity.

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Thumbnail image for Bob Filner’s New Book and Other Tales of Alternate Reality

Bob Filner’s New Book and Other Tales of Alternate Reality

by Doug Porter 04.09.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

So the word on the street, courtesy of columnist Logan Jenkins, is that former mayor Bob Filner is writing a book and looking for an editor. The UT-San Diego columnist has offered to “anonymously ghostwrite. Gratis.”    

I’m sure there any number of San Diego journos who’d love the opportunity. I remember reading lots of self-righteous tweets and barely concealed contempt in coverage by too many of this town’s “reporters.” After all, writing anything else might have excluded them from the crafty beer klatches and opportunities to genuflect before local luminaries so necessary to generate “coverage.”

I can only hope Filner’s period of confinement and reflection has re-enforced the (obvious) notion that “none-of-the-above” would be the only right choice to make when it comes to local scribes.

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Thumbnail image for At the Behest of the Dirty Food Lobby, Congressman Peters Joins GOP in 55th Attempt to Sink Obamacare

At the Behest of the Dirty Food Lobby, Congressman Peters Joins GOP in 55th Attempt to Sink Obamacare

by Doug Porter 04.07.2014 Books & Poetry

By Doug Porter

Congressman Scott Peters and seventeen other Democrats responded to the clarion call of the dirty food lobby last week by joining with House Republicans in their 55th attempt to to scale back or repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Following intensive lobbying and publicity events by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (hotels won’t be able to provide 24 hour service any more) and the National Restaurant Association (we’ll simply cut employee hours) the House of Representatives voted last week 248 to 179 to change the law’s definition of full-time work from 30 hours a week to 40 hours.

A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says about one million people would lose employer-backed coverage and the number of uninsured would climb by nearly 500,000 if the law’s work definitions were changed.

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Thumbnail image for Balboa Park Celebration Leadership Snubs City Council Hearing

Balboa Park Celebration Leadership Snubs City Council Hearing

by Doug Porter 03.26.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

The outrageous conduct by the leadership for the Balboa Park Celebration, Inc. continues.

After blowing through nearly $3 million during the past three years with nothing to show for it, BPCI co-chair Nikki Clay and transition director Gerry Braun have told the City Council’s Environment Committee that they’ll be unavailable for a hearing today.

Committee chair David Alvarez is looking for answers, requesting a report be provided regarding the soon-to-be-defunct group’s activities and along with an explanation for the $13,000-a-month salary being paid to Braun while he winds things down.

UPDATE: Braun did appear, after all. According to one observer:

He was grilled by Marti Emerald for a delightfully painful 20-25 minutes. He stayed on message and script as best he could, but he had no answers to the good questions. 

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Thumbnail image for Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Juried Art Exhibition to Open

Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Juried Art Exhibition to Open

by Source 03.04.2014 Arts

An all woman’s art exhibition, a film screening and a very womanly celebration

By Leticia Gomez Franco 

Casa Familiar’s THE FRONT will once again present their annual ode to women, this year called Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Art Exhibition. The group art exhibition features the work of 48 female artists from both sides of the border and will be on view from March 7  to April 24.

With over 50 art pieces on view, the exhibition is a wonderful collection of work, inspired by this years theme: Sanctuary. Artists were invited to explore the idea of sanctuary in its many manifestations as it relates to them as women and builders and creators of their own spaces. With this theme the exhibition curator honors the mission of Día de la Mujer. The art exhibition allows women artists to create real representations of themselves, to counter the powerful stream of visual stimulation spat out by the media, oversaturating our world, with foreign, unrealistic versions of women. Día de la Mujer fosters a safe space for women to be real women and to celebrate that realness, in all of its diverse beauty.

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Thumbnail image for With Our Words We Celebrate the Voz Alta Project Gallery

With Our Words We Celebrate the Voz Alta Project Gallery

by Brent E. Beltrán 03.02.2014 Arts

Art space that helped start the Barrio Logan Arts District closes

By Brent E. Beltrán

This past Thursday night the Voz Alta Project Gallery in Barrio Logan closed its doors as a physical space. Though curator Carlos Beltrán (no relation to the author) will keep Voz Alta going through collaborations with other spaces the physical space that was Voz Alta is no more.

Due to a variety of reasons Carlos chose to close the space that helped start the revitalization of the arts in Barrio Logan. If Chicano Park is the grandfather of Chicano art and culture in San Diego then Voz Alta is the child that became the big daddy to most of the recent spaces that have opened up over the last four years. Places like The Roots Factory, The Spot, Stronghold, Chicano Art Gallery, La Bodega and The Nest all owe their existence to Voz Alta and those that made Voz Alta possible.

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Thumbnail image for Community Radio Coming Soon to the Greater Logan Heights Area

Community Radio Coming Soon to the Greater Logan Heights Area

by Brent E. Beltrán 02.09.2014 Arts

Radio Pulso del Barrio will focus on arts and education

By Brent E. Beltrán

For the past few months there have been meetings at various locations throughout the Greater Logan Heights area to implement a public art project called Open Spaces. Open Spaces is a two-year public art initiative that is funded by the James Irvine Foundation through the San Diego Museum of Art to create a community based art project.

This is the second Open Spaces project in San Diego. The first is ongoing in Lincoln Park.

“Open Spaces goes out into communities and allows community members and residents to be the decision makers on what public art should look like in their area. And that would be content, medium and location,” says project coordinator Irma Patricia Aguayo Esquivias.  “Coming into these communities we never know what it is going to be. We have no idea until we are actually participating in the community meetings then people start to voice what they’d like to see.”

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Thumbnail image for Concert and CD Review: The North at Dizzy’s

Concert and CD Review: The North at Dizzy’s

by John Lawrence 02.03.2014 Culture

By John Lawrence

On Saturday, February 1, a trio group called “The North” played San Diego’s premiere jazz club, Dizzy’s, just off the I-5 in Pacific Beach. It was a pre-release party for their album, “Slow Down (This Isn’t the Mainland)” which is officially due out April 15 although albums were available at the club. The group consists of Romain Collin, piano, Shawn Conley, bass, and Abe Lagrimas Jr, drums.

Recorded in Hawaii, and dedicated to Oahu’s north shore (hence the name), they mainly created a mellow, laid back sound. No hard-edged New York City vibe here. As such the music should be very accessible for the average listener but not so much for the die hard jazz fan. One person’s “laid back” is another person’s “nuthin much happenin.”

The group performed the tunes they had recorded on the album, naturally.  The most successful tune even more so in concert than on the album was Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” The group’s exquisite rendering was almost prayerful and churchlike. They tried quite successfully to incorporate folk music in their ouvre.

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Thumbnail image for Pete Seeger: A Man Who Surrounded Hate with Love

Pete Seeger: A Man Who Surrounded Hate with Love

by Ernie McCray 01.30.2014 Activism

By Ernie McCray

With Pete Seeger having passed away I can’t pass up an opportunity to share my sentiments about him.
I once sang on stage with this incredible loving human being and other master musicians and singers. Peggy Watson with her crisp and pretty voice. Sam Hinton. Folklorist, artist and founder of the San Diego Folk Song Society. Joe Glazer, “Labor’s Troubadour.” It was a sing-along (if you’re wondering how I belonged). We were there to honor John Handcox, a friend of mine who just happened to have written major labor anthems like “Mean Things Happening in this Land” and “Roll the Union On.”

Pete had been singing John’s songs for years. He had no idea that he was alive. But when he found out that he was, indeed, still on earth, in an inner-city San Diego community, he reached out to him and took him on a few tours so that audiences could see and hear the man whose words had rallied them for so long in various labor movements – a man who had been a sharecropper in Arkansas where he made up songs as a way of organizing the Southern Tenant Farmers Union, a man run out of the state by the Klan.

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Thumbnail image for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis Becomes Focal Point for Campaign Contribution Scandal

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis Becomes Focal Point for Campaign Contribution Scandal

by Doug Porter 01.28.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

San Diego County’s District Attorney is getting a lot of heat as reporters continue to unearth new details about a campaign finance scandal spanning the last couple of years.

Prosecutors have determined that more than $200,000 was illegally funneled into independent campaign committees in support of her failed mayoral candidacy in 2012.  UT-San Diego ran a front page story claiming candidate committees directly under Dumanis’ control received $13,250 connected to three persons connected with the ongoing investigation.

Calls for an additional investigation are mounting.  The District Attorney has returned $1,400 in contributions to her current re-election campaign since the scandal unfolded and is refusing to re-open earlier campaign committees to give back monies from earlier contests.

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Thumbnail image for Conservative Darling Dinesh D’Souza Indicted for Illegal Contributions in Senate Race

Conservative Darling Dinesh D’Souza Indicted for Illegal Contributions in Senate Race

by Doug Porter 01.24.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Just two years ago San Diego resident Dinesh D’Souza was sitting at the top of the conservative heap. He was a best selling author, president of Kings College, fledgling documentarian and sought after debater. Now he stands accused by federal prosecutors of making $20,000 in straw contributions in a 2012 Senate race.

According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D’Souza around reimbursed people (believed to be his ex-wife and mistress) who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to a senate campaign, believed to be that of Wendy Long, a Republican attorney who lost to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in 2012. The indictment said the campaign was unaware of D’Souza’s activities, which apparently weren’t very helpful, as Long garnered just 28% of the vote..

D’Souza rose from Reaganite beginnings to become a fixture on the ‘90s speaking circuit, and became a personal favorite of UT-San Diego publisher Doug Manchester. The Daily Fishwrap ran scores of full-color ads promoting his shoddily-made documentary entitled 2016: Obama’s America.  

“Papa” Doug even helped finance the film, which set out to lead its audiences to the conclusion that the President of the United States hates this country, wants to destroy it and create a socialist state where everybody is taxed at 100%; one world under Allah.

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Thumbnail image for A Panty Bribe? Really?  City Attorney Blames Sexual Assault Victim in Civil Action

A Panty Bribe? Really? City Attorney Blames Sexual Assault Victim in Civil Action

by Doug Porter 01.15.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s office has, once again, taken actions guaranteed to make San Diego a national embarrassment.  A sexual assault victim suing the city because her assailant was a police officer is now being portrayed in court documents as having committed a criminal act.

According to an article in today’s UT-San Diego, our city’s chief legal advocate has chosen to adopt a strategy of blaming the victim as a defense in a civil suit filed in the wake of the 2011 conviction of former SDPD officer Anthony Arevalos on charges of sexual battery, bribery and related charges.

Our tax dollars paid for a legal document filed by Goldsmith’s office alleging that “Jane Doe” offered her underwear as a bribe to escape arrest on a drunk-driving charge on March 8, 2011.

UPDATE, 5PM WEDS: The City Attorney’s office has now decided this accusation wasn’t such a good idea, after all.

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Thumbnail image for King of the Outcast Teens: Kurt Cobain and the Politics of Nirvana

King of the Outcast Teens: Kurt Cobain and the Politics of Nirvana

by Source 01.10.2014 Culture

By Dawson Barrett / Portside

In recognition of the anniversary of the death of Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain, a host of retrospectives will recognize both the raw potency of Cobain’s songwriting and the tragedy of his heroin use and suicide. They will hide that Nirvana was a band of rebels.

This April marks twenty years since the death of Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain, one of the most iconic cultural figures of the late 20th century. In recognition of that anniversary, a host of retrospectives will recognize both the raw potency of Cobain’s songwriting and the tragedy of his heroin use and suicide. Echoing the tired, sexist tropes of “John and Yoko” and “Sid and Nancy,” many will also associate Cobain’s downfall with his wife, Courtney Love. These tabloid narratives will overshadow Nirvana’s political and cultural significance. They will hide that Nirvana was a band of rebels.

A year before his death in 1994, Kurt Cobain expressed hope that his generation could reject the “Reaganite bullshit” that was forced upon them during their childhoods. Indeed, from the growing popularity of countercultural music (both “alternative” rock and hip-hop) to the rise of the global justice movement, the 1990s seemed to offer a youth-led counterbalance to the racism, sexism, and homophobia that swept Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush into office a decade earlier. Twenty years later, however, America’s culture wars remain very much alive, and boastful opposition to so-called “political correctness” is used to justify intolerance and oppression in many forms.

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Thumbnail image for Rep. Issa’s Loose Lips Looking to Sink Security for Obamacare Web Site

Rep. Issa’s Loose Lips Looking to Sink Security for Obamacare Web Site

by Doug Porter 12.13.2013 Business

By Doug Porter

Congressman Darrell Issa’s investigation into HealthCare.gov’s dismal performance during its first two months online has turned into a full-blown executive-congressional confrontation over concerns raised about the security of documents under subpoena.

On Wednesday acting in his role as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Issa accused Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of criminal obstruction.  The administration has let the Republican Congressman know they won’t turn over documents related to the security of the Healthcare.gov website because they can’t trust him to keep secret information.

Congressman Darrell Issa’s game plan ought to be obvious by now. He announces a major investigation into an executive branch agency, holds a press conference or three implying this will be the scandal bringing down the Obama administration, leaks a bunch of partially redacted documents, holds hearings and… nothing ever happens because there is no scandal.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Logan Group Faces an Uphill Battle Trying to Stop Shipbuilder Scam

Barrio Logan Group Faces an Uphill Battle Trying to Stop Shipbuilder Scam

by Doug Porter 11.22.2013 Battle for Barrio Logan

By Doug Porter

Superior Court Jeffrey Barton will hear from the Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) seeking a temporary restraining order aimed at stopping a referendum overturning the Barrio Logan Community Plan.  EHC and community supporters are saying signatures were fraudulently gathered on petitions submitted by the Protect Our Jobs Committee, a group created by shipyard repair companies.

The coalition has submitted affidavits from witnesses claiming petition gatherers were not truthful about the community plan’s details.  News media accounts and videos caught paid signature gatherers claiming the US Navy would leave San Diego should the community plan be implemented.

Posted around shopping centers in areas of the city where residents were likely to be unaware of the past history of callous disregard of health hazards by funders of the Protect Our Jobs group, voters were also told that 46,000 jobs were at stake and that the purpose of the plan was to allow developers to build condominiums in the area.

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Thumbnail image for Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon

Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon

by Ernie McCray 11.17.2013 Columns

By Ernie McCray

A little while ago while kicking back in a park with a few members of my family tree, I found myself humming the Rascal’s catchy tune, “Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon,” because that’s what we were doing. Grooving. Cruising. Schmoozing. Amusing. Aka enjoying ourselves.

On a Sunday afternoon.

As we laughed and talked about what’s going on now with us and what went on in our past, individual thoughts about each precious one of them would rise in my mind.

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Thumbnail image for Commemorate Día de los Muertos throughout San Diego – Long Live the Dead!

Commemorate Día de los Muertos throughout San Diego – Long Live the Dead!

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.24.2013 Arts

Día de los Muertos Commemorated for Thousands of Years in the Americas

By Brent E. Beltrán

Los días de los muertos have been commemorated for thousands of years in the Americas. It started in what is now México and has spread throughout the United States and the world. Today these days are celebrated by people of many different colors and cultures.

November 1 is Día de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) when deceased children are honored and November 2 is known as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where we pay tribute to adults who have passed away. These dates correspond with the Christian holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Soul’s Day.

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Thumbnail image for Reflecting Upon the First Year of Desde la Logan

Reflecting Upon the First Year of Desde la Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.12.2013 Activism

By Brent E. Beltrán

One year ago today, October 12, 2012, my first Desde la Logan column was published here at San Diego Free Press. To date I’ve written forty-nine pieces: forty-four Desde la Logan columns and five articles on Comic-Con. If I had more time I probably could’ve written fifty more.

Like all SDFP writers I do not get paid to write. I write because the stories that I want to share rarely, if ever, get covered by the mainstream press. And the community I live in and write about doesn’t get much positive media attention.

I’ve taken it upon myself to cover the stories and issues that don’t get covered. To unashamedly champion the places, people, issues and causes that are near and dear to my community and myself.

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Thumbnail image for You Don’t Want to Miss the Golden Hill Street Fair – Sunday, Oct. 13

You Don’t Want to Miss the Golden Hill Street Fair – Sunday, Oct. 13

by Frank Gormlie 10.10.2013 Culture

Its back … the Golden Hill Street Fair.

The 2nd annual Golden Hill Street Fair is happening this Sunday, October 13th from 10:30AM until 8PM, and will be held on 25th Street in Golden Hill.

The event will feature an incredible array of delicious local food, have a shaded beer garden with selection of local craft beer. This event will bring together Southern California musicians to highlight the music scene in our neighborhood with free live music all day.

The musical acts include San Diego Music Awards nominees Tropical Popsicle, Wild Wild Wets, and Ed Ghost Tucker.

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Thumbnail image for Las Monthly Ondas October Edition: The Art and Heart of Lucha Libre

Las Monthly Ondas October Edition: The Art and Heart of Lucha Libre

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.01.2013 Activism

Ruben Torres’ 2nd Annual HeART of LUCHA

By Brent E. Beltrán

Local music and video producer, curator, lucha libre lover and all around cool vato Ruben Torres is organizing his 2nd annual HeART of LUCHA event. It is being billed as the “largest lucha art and culture exhibition in the nation.”

Last year’s inaugural exhibition took place at The Spot Barrio Logan. For the second installment Ruben has taken over the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park where his other art series, HeART of Lotería, took place earlier this year. In addition to these two series he also organizes an annual winter toy and clothing drive for San Diego and Tijuana youth called Love Thy Neighbor (I wrote about it here).

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Thumbnail image for Distilling the Essence of a Tune: Jeff Hamilton Trio Sunday at the Saville Theater

Distilling the Essence of a Tune: Jeff Hamilton Trio Sunday at the Saville Theater

by John Lawrence 09.24.2013 Culture

by John Lawrence

The Jeff Hamilton Trio with Jeff on drums, Tamir Hendelman on piano and Christoph Luty on bass will perform Saturday, September 29, at the Saville Theater on the campus of San Diego City College at 5 PM. If you only go to one jazz event this year, this should be the one.

Jeff Hamilton is a truly amazing drummer, a major star in the jazz firmament. Jeff was voted the Numero Uno jazz drummer in Modern Drummer Magazine’s readers’ poll. Jeff’s prestidigitation on the drum set will have sticks and/or hands flying in a way that hardly seems humanly possible but always with consummate taste and rooted in the jazz tradition.

Jeff’s marriage of power and precision, his dynamic range from whispers to raging torrents, will leave you breathless and definitely wanting more. But most of all he’s known for his melodic solos.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Art Jam and Barrio Film Festival Set to Go Off this Weekend

Barrio Art Jam and Barrio Film Festival Set to Go Off this Weekend

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.19.2013 Arts

Barrio Logan at the Epicenter of Grassroots Arts & Culture Movement

By Brent E. Beltrán

Word is out that Barrio Logan is a thriving, happening community that treasures its art and culture. Not a week goes by without some type of artistic happening taking place within this predominantly Mexican neighborhood.

Places like Chicano Park, Voz Alta, The Roots Factory, Glashaus, Bread & Salt and even the placita at Mercado del Barrio feature a variety of arts and culture events that showcase the desire to create and present. This weekend is no different.

The first annual Barrio Art Jam and the second annual Barrio Film Fest are going down simultaneously. The neighborhood may be relatively small but there is plenty of artistic space for both of these grassroots ventures to thrive.

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Thumbnail image for What’s Cookin’ at San Ysidro’s The Front?

What’s Cookin’ at San Ysidro’s The Front?

by Source 09.13.2013 Arts

… A whole lot of artmaking in a one-of-a-kind visual arts space

By Linda Caballero Sotelo

If you haven’t made it out to the southernmost part of San Diego county, where the San Diego/Tijuana border meet, then you’ve been missing out on one of the most unique spaces and areas in San Diego: San Ysidro’s only space for art, culture, design and urbanism: THE FRONT.

Since its opening, THE FRONT has enabled the production of new social and cultural relations bringing together arts and social programming, affordable housing and urban research at the border, straddling San Diego and Tijuana.

THE FRONT is part of Casa Familiar’s Arts & Culture Division, under the able hands of its gallery Director, Leticia Gomez Franco, this space was conceived as a cultural think tank that would amplify the “neighborhood” of San Ysidro as a site of cultural production, while engaging local residents and claiming the border region as a unique artistic laboratory. The Salon is a second arts space in the area; housed in what was once a church, in fact, San Ysidro’s one hundred year old Catholic church. The structure was acquired by Casa Familiar and has been repurposed as a gallery and meeting space, serving as the second of Casa Familiar’s art galleries, and a part of an ambitious multi use development project entitled ‘Livingrooms at the Border’.

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Thumbnail image for Las Monthly Ondas September Edition: Spend a Weekend with Picasso

Las Monthly Ondas September Edition: Spend a Weekend with Picasso

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.01.2013 Arts

Herbert Siguenza Returns as the Iconic Artist

By Brent E. Beltrán

Some may have thought that Pablo Picasso died at the gravely old age of 91 while entertaining friends at his home in France. That was not the case because the famous artist lives on here in San Diego.

This month you can see him live and in the flesh as Salvadoran actor Herbert Siguenza, of Culture Clash fame, captures the pure essence of the master himself in A Weekend with Picasso. From his mannerisms and speech to painting live Siguenza channels his inner Picasso and transforms into one of the most influential artists in modern history.

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