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‘There Goes the Neighborhood’ events start tonight

June 3, 2010 - 10:41 am

Starting at the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) today at 5 p.m., a group of San Diego artists and musicians have put together a series of performances, talks, workshops and even a performance bus (video above) and a New Orleans-style procession that will lead participants from an alley behind the La Boheme condos to an empty parking lot in North Park.

The series, titled “There Goes the Neighborhood” for reasons we’ll get into shortly, will run from this evening through Sunday, June 6. To get a grasp on all that’s going on, it’s best you just take a look at the extended schedule yourself.

Behind the event is a group of collaborators, including David White of Agitprop Art Space, Megan Willis, Stephanie Lee, Jessica Sledge, Joe Yorty, Micki Davis and Liz Chaney.  White explains the series as art interventions in which the group wanted to treat the whole neighborhood as a performance space or giant art museum.

“We were able to frame this thing around the issues going on here in North Park,” White says. “All of the changing dynamics of the neighborhood are interesting…. And we wanted to ask how art can sort of bridge the gap or maybe mitigate what’s going on in North Park or can it? Or does art actually encourage all these other things to move in like condos and nightclubs?”

The question is something the arts community in North Park has been wondering and worrying about for the last few years as North Park has lost art galleries and gained more and more corporate businesses.  Seth Combs, former CityBeat arts and music editor, did a good job of covering the neighborhood’s growing pains in an article he wrote titled, “Adapt or Die.”

In it, the overall sentiment is that the economic development in the North Park neighborhood doesn’t necessarily mean the end for art galleries, but White isn’t yet convinced.

“I think it’s at a tipping point,” says White, “where there are some more people operating at sort of a corporate-minded level, planning or attempting to move in and they don’t really fit the characteristics of the locality.”

Politics aside, though, White says he’s excited about the weekend’s events.

“It’s kind of crazy for San Diego this weekend,” explains White, bringing up the weekend’s opening of Here not There: San Diego Art Now at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego  and SDMA’s “Summer Salon Series,” which tonight’s event is a part of. “It’s a good art weekend for any city, let alone San Diego.”

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