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State of the Arts: New Venues and Public Troupes in San Diego

New Space

Two years after it opened and operated out of University of San Diego and Helmuth Projects, nonprofit Best Practice has a gallery of its own in Barrio Logan to play host to experimental visual artists from around the world—like J Noland, September 7–October 5 (2284 Kearney Avenue, Barrio Logan).

The Studio Door also found new digs in Hillcrest earlier this year to nearly double its old North Park space. Swing by for San Diego Original Printmaking Showcase, October 5–26 (3867 Fourth Avenue, Hillcrest).

Meanwhile up the 5, La Jolla Music Society got the keys to its brand-new home this spring for a pretty price tag of $82 million and two years of construction: The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center boasts a 513-seat concert hall able to accommodate everything from massive ensembles to solo performers, like Farruquito, November 8 (7600 Fay Avenue, La Jolla).

No Space

Started by renowned choreographer Jean Isaacs 20 years ago, Trolley Dances is a series of performances along San Diego’s trolley lines. All aboard for the 2.5-hour guided tours, September 28–29 and October 5–6!

Also next month, La Jolla Playhouse’s biennial Without Walls Festival (WoW) is a mashup of performances, live music, and discussions in unexpected outdoor locations, this year at Arts District Liberty Station, October 17–20.

On a more frequent note, the San Diego Opera performs for free on the steps of the Civic Theatre during downtown’s outdoor food court days. The Opera on the Concourse series returns in October with Aida. Hey, any area is good for an aria!

… and a Needy Space

Once Balboa Park’s most beloved outdoor theater, the Starlight Bowl has fallen to shambles since it closed in 2012. Thankfully, there’s one nonprofit bent on reviving it. If fundraising permits, Save Starlight’s goal is to give local arts organizations access to the 84-year-old venue at no cost, collecting only a portion of ticket sales for operations.

On the Horizon

MCASD La Jolla is under construction to double in size (fans of contemporary art can still see exhibitions at the downtown space) and San Diego Symphony just signed a 50-year lease with the Port of San Diego so they can finally build Bayside Performance Park.

Also awaiting a home is the 30-year-old Teatro Máscara Mágica, which hopes to produce its first show on its new San Ysidro stage this spring.

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