Prisoners are often forgotten, mistreated members of society. But there are some advocates in the business of preserving a few human dignities for inmates, including access to the arts.

A couple weeks ago I shared a CityBeat story on the reintroduction of the Arts-in-Corrections program in California prisons, which happened shortly after a cover story on the program was published in the weekly. As CityBeat highlighted, this programming leads to reduced disciplinary actions, increased self-esteem and self-respect, improved emotional control and a significantly reduced rate of recidivism. So it was seen as a huge win when arts programs were brought back.

KPBS’ Midday Edition welcomed three guests to the show to discuss the reintroduction of creative instruction provided by seven arts groups in California prisons. Laura Pecenco of Project PAINT, David Beck Brown, former arts facilitator at Donovan Correctional Facility and Donovan’s community resources manager Robert Brown stopped in to talk about these programs and benefits for prisoners both behind bars and after release. Some great, insightful points are made in the interview. Plus, cold hard facts. Can’t argue with those.

You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.

Hubbell’s Home, TJINCHINA and More Visual Art News

• Iconic local artist James Hubbell’s home is wonderfully whimsical and open to exploration. (CityBeat)

• Distinction Gallery celebrates 10 years of bringing rad art to Escondido with an exhibition featuring 25 influential artists from its past, present and future.


We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

• Get to know a bit about the connection between Tijuana and China at the TJINCHINA Project Space. (San Diego Magazine)

Artist Nick McPherson is as big in Taiwan as Jesse and the Rippers were in Japan. Check out his art, currently on view at Visual. (CityBeat)

•  A new exhibit at the La Jolla Historical Society highlights the mid-century modern gems that can be found in the area.  Neato! (La Jolla Light)

• Read about the long-time efforts to preserve Chicano Park’s murals.

• Renowned artists Jamex and Einar De la Torre bring their large-scale lenticular works to San Ysidro this Thursday. (San Diego Free Press)

• Video artist Cy Kuckenbaker created a cool, kind of weird timelapse video of surfers riding the 50-year storm.

All My Friends, Sledgehammer and More Music and Performance Stuff

• The All My Friends Music Festival is back this weekend, taking the rager from TJ to Rosarito Beach. Whether it will evolve into a Papas and Beer-style foam party is yet to be seen. Bands playing include Bleached, Gonjasufi, Illuminauts and a band named after my worst nightmare, Ghost Magnet Roach Hotel.

Conductor? We don’t need no stinkin’ conductor. (U-T)

• Anyone who caught one of the two sold-out Rodriguez concerts at the newly re-opened North Park Theatre got a real treat. I was lucky enough to be among the Topsider-sporting dads in the audience as the subject of the Oscar-winning doc “Searching for Sugarman” performed. The 71-year-old folk singer’s voice was buttery and powerful, even as he jokingly answered every shout of “I love you” with “I love you too, even though I know it’s the beer talking.” Adorable. The U-T breaks down the rest of the show.

Sledgehammer Theatre is back in action with a wacky take on Samuel Beckett’s “Happy Days.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t include a scene where the Fonz rips up a killer Russian dance at Arthur’s. Ah, well.

World Cup 2014, Extra Shows at the Opera and More Culture Bits

• The World Cup kicks off  Thursday. Whether you’re a mega-soccer/fútbol fan with your bets already placed, or just enjoy ogling the babeliness that is the Spanish national team, you can visit wcno2014.com to see which North Park businesses will be screening matches. I’ll be rooting and ogling, because I’m a multi-tasker.

• The San Diego Opera announced three additional shows coming in the 2014-2015 season. (KPBS)

• IDW Publishing, one of the country’s leading comic book publishing companies, celebrates its quinceañera. (KPBS)

• KPBS reports on those fighting to keep the Kumeyaay language from going the way of Ebonics (extinction).

• Get your Beatles nostalgia, fried food and horrible indigestion at the San Diego County Fair! (U-T)

• Designer/restaurateur Diane Powers’ home with fiancé Brent Gilman is a Navajo print explosion and I kind of dig it. (San Diego Magazine)

Riviera magazine has your guide to local book shops.

• Goats are the new chickens, apparently. (San Diego Free Press)

• Artists performing at the San Diego Fringe Festival need a place to crash. (San Diego Free Press)

• West Coaster has an interesting profile on restaurateur Arsalun Tafazoli and his “recipe for success.” Recipe for success. I get it.

    This article relates to: Arts Entertainment, Arts/Culture, Culture Report, News

    Written by Alex Zaragoza

    Alex Zaragoza is a freelance writer covering arts and culture in San Diego and Tijuana. She also writes the column "There She Goz" for San Diego CityBeat, which has led her to skydive, pose nude and contact her spirit guides in the great beyond. Not at the same time, of course. You can read her random inane thoughts on Twitter by following @there_she_goz or contact her directly at alejzaragoza@gmail.com.

    1 comments
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    -P subscriber

    If the arts programs in the prisons do significantly recidivism, it sounds like a very smart idea that would ultimately save a lot of tax dollars.