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.”
The other leaders of this project include Open Spaces artist-in-residence Roberto Salas and lead artist for the Greater Logan Heights area, Misael Diaz.
There have been six meetings within the Greater Logan area regarding the Open Spaces project. Many ideas were discussed and the one that stood out amongst all the others was the idea of a community based radio station that would focus on education and the arts.
“There’s this idea of using the [$30,000] budget to really unite the whole area. Not just Barrio Logan. Not just Logan Heights. But we’re also talking about Stockton, Memorial and what they call the greater area of Logan Heights. The better way to unite all of this area is with a radio station,” said Mrs. Esquivias.
She went on to say that Radio Pulso del Barrio is “going to bring unity to the community. It’s going to be able to unite all these different neighborhoods and really show that they have a lot of things in common, from art to culture to oral histories to education. I’m really excited about the education piece. I think that we don’t have enough of that. We don’t have enough support for our local teachers, for our local schools.”
Roberto Salas says that Radio Pulso del Barrio is “going to create a wonderful venue for the rest of the community. I believe we need it. We need something like that that speaks to us. That we could code-switch, that we could actually feel comfortable listening to material that pertains to who we are. I believe it is a strong necessity to have something that belongs to us.”
Radio Pulso del Barrio is in its embryonic stage. The idea has been accepted, the funding is there and a core group of dedicated individuals are starting to make it happen. Though no programming has been created or decided upon yet.
James Brown, the key person behind Bread & Salt, has offered his building for use as a studio and the roof as a place to install the transmitter.
Due to Radio Pulso del Barrio being a micro-station transmitting only a short distance the FCC should not attempt to block them from broadcasting as long as the signal does not bleed into any existing stations. Per the FCC rules stations of this nature are allowed.
Radio Pulso will broadcast in AM somewhere in the 1600 range and have a distance of approximately two miles, just enough to cover the Greater Logan area. There are also plans to broadcast station programming simultaneously on the Internet. If all goes well organizers hope to have the station up and running by Chicano Park Day in April.
Radio Pulso del Barrio is but another example of the revitalization of not only Barrio Logan but also the Greater Logan Heights area. Other examples include the in-the-works Comm22 development on Commercial Ave., the recently opened Mercado del Barrio, the soon-to-be installed Barrio Logan gateway sign, the improvements coming to Chicano Park, the work of the Barrio Logan Association and the flourishing Barrio Logan Arts District. After many years of neglect, things are finally looking up for San Diego’s most historic barrios.
The next Open Spaces/Radio Pulso del Barrio meeting takes place on Sunday, February 23 at 1pm at Bread & Salt in Logan Heights (1955 Julian Ave.). If you are interested in helping create Radio Pulso del Barrio please consider attending. The meeting is open to all who care about the Greater Logan Heights area and San Diego’s historic barrios. For more info call (619) 696-1977 or email.