Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cultural Districts: OMA and Barrio Logan plus Passport to the Silk Road

by Patricia Frischer

The California Arts Council has chosen semi-finalist for the California Cultural Districts pilot program throughout the state. Three areas in SD made it including Oceanside, Barrio Logan and Balboa Park. 

I attended the presentation in Oceanside at the Oceanside Museum of Art and the chair of the commission for art Ann Worth put on a very impressive package showcasing the area's arts. Maria Mingalone spoke elegantly about the communities need for one unified factor that this designation could supply. Oceanside is a diverse city where 14% of the population lives below the poverty level. It has an excellent transportation system, wonderful cultural assets. But most important it offers opportunities for growth because of empty building, under used parking lots and a pier that could be activated for the arts. It is important for the community to stay authentic and real and not a theme park version of culture. The CAC representative asked searching questions to access the local situation and did a tour of the proposed district.  

Maria Mingalone

Ann Worth

CAC accessors
Later that week I did my own little walk about in Barrio Logan with Marla Mossman the photography famous for documenting the Silk Road in her Peace Caravan project.  I was impressed as ever with the wonderful murals and wall art. Hopefully a Cultural District designation will help contain the fear that the area will become gentrified. It would be progress if American Mexicans and Mexican American can live in harmony in Barrio Logan, and this might start if  muralist, taggers, scripters and panel painters can fine some common respect. 

While in Barrio Logan,  I was lucky to be at the first of Ted Washington's new speaker series held at La Bodega. Palabra is every second and fourth Thursday from 7 to 8:30. His first guest was Jim Ruland, designer and author who also has a local shop Godondrina. Jim is one of the writers and nominators for the San Diego Art Prize 2016 and 2017 New ContemporariesHis reading was charming, funny and sexy, just like his shoes!

Marla Mossman's photos were shown Passport to the Silk Road held by the Encinitas Friends of the Arts at the Community Center. This is one of a series put on by the charming and inspirational leader Naimeh Tahna. 
Marla making  a short presentation

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