Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Trustees Connected - Virtual! Balboa Park Cultural Partnership

by Patricia Frischer

Diversity of activities in Balboa Park

On April 21, although we were sorry to miss the usual feast provided to the Trustees and Board members (past and present) of the Balboa Park institutions, we did learn a bit about the current and future plans of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (BPCP).

Todd Gloria gave opening remarks and mentioned many of the new developments within the park. There is lots of construction on the way and when the park is fully opened again, it will be an adventure to discovered new parts of favorite spaces. We were asked to welcome the Women Museum which will now now be hosted by the SD Historical Society and the Lux Institute soon to join the San Diego Art Institute in becoming the newly merged Institute of Contemporary Art.

Mayor Todd Gloria

Felicia Shaw, Women's History Museum of California

Andrew Utt, director Institute of Contemporary Arts


To stabilize this resource the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of San Diego is in dialogue with BPCP and are making a current push to conduct surveys of all sorts of aspects of the this cultural park within a park.  Then they want to create a framework to identify those needed projects, plan time lines and funding. A big aspect of that is mobility, access and parking in the area. All this has to be tied to benchmarking and best practices from other similar parks in the world on governance and funding.  

Original one vision for the California Exposition Experience

Steve Snyder, President & CEO for the Fleet Science Center, introduced a new vision called the One Voice Experience. They want to elevate and add to the visitors time in the park although there were no details developed as of yet. Guidelines for this experience include sustainability, strength of the experience and of course, be coming as inclusive as possible of the diversity of our communities. They are working with the IDEA group which stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility as well as BIPOC = Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We gathered that this means more collaborations between institution and putting the visitors experience first. Perhaps they are starting to think about being a cultural theme park for the city and what that might look like instead of individual institutions just inhabiting the same space.

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