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Culture Report: A Podcast With a Purpose

Folks can weigh in on new public artwork for Mission Trails, the leading ladies of craft beer talk brewing and sexism, and more in our weekly digest of the region’s arts and culture news.

Reid Moriarty

Reid Moriarty interviews Union-Tribune theater critic James Hebert. / Photo by Andrea Moriarty

Reid Moriarty is a musician and host of his own podcast, “Talk Time With Reid Moriarty,” a show featuring seven-minute interviews with interesting people like San Diego restaurateur Ralph Rubio, Union-Tribune theater critic James Hebert and Joey Mazzarino, a writer and puppeteer on “Sesame Street.”

Moriarty is also on the autism spectrum.

The interviews the 23-year-old records are delightful. He dutifully prepares for each podcast and asks questions listeners might expect, but he also throws his guests some surprises.

In his interview with Michael Antonorsi, the founder of San Diego-based Chuao Chocolatier, for example, Moriarty asks the chef about the company’s motto, how much chocolate he tastes in a day and how he comes up with some of the chocolate line’s more exotic flavors. But he also asks Antonorsi to weigh in on one of his personal obsessions.

“I’ve watched ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ about 10,000 times, chef Michael,” Moriarty says in the podcast. “What’s your favorite scene from it?”

Moriarty lives with his parents in Solana Beach. His mom Andrea Moriarty is the author of “One-Track Mind: 15 Ways to Amplify Your Child’s Special Interest,” which offers advice on helping kids with special needs find their passions. It was her and her husband’s idea to help their son start a podcast.

“My husband said you know … we’ll just do this ourselves. Throw him up on SoundCloud and see,” Andrea said. “Who’s going to say no to a kid with autism?”

Indeed, most people they’ve approached to appear on the podcast have said yes, including some big names like Temple Grandin, a prominent author and speaker on autism and animal behavior. 

“But not Eddie Murphy, because he’s unavailable,” said Moriarty of their recent attempt to get the actor on the show (come on, Murph!).

The podcast is one way Andrea Moriarty is hoping to help her son transition into adulthood and be more independent. She’s actively looking for sponsors and trying to find a way to monetize the podcast. She’s also helping her son manage his music career. Moriarty currently sings and plays keyboards for the band Jungle Poppins. The band plays on Nov. 11 and Nov. 13 at performances before “Falling,” a play showing at Diversionary Black Box Theatre by Deanna Jent that takes an intimate look at autism.

Andrea Moriarty said she hopes her son’s music and podcast will help show other parents of children on the autism spectrum that finding a career path is possible.

“That’s sort of my mission in life is to give hope to other parents,” Andrea said. “Not to say that every kid will have a podcast, but there is a way for every kid to engage in community.”

Hebert previews InnerMission’s staging of “Falling,” in his latest entry in his series on how theater is exploring autism. Hebert has a son on the spectrum.

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

Opera on the Road, Public Art for Mission Trails and More Arts and Culture News

• Meet me and other Voice of San Diego reporters at the Museum of Man Thursday. I’ll be at a table and looking to talk to folks about arts and culture in San Diego. Bring story ideas, thoughts, criticisms or just come to chat.

• In the latest episode of “I Made it in San Diego,” Voice of San Diego’s podcast about the region’s businesses and the people who made them what they are, Scott Lewis talks to Diana Ocampo about the mixed-martial arts fighting business she built and then lost after she got cancer. Ocampo went on to build another successful business in Barrio Logan.

As One opera

Baritone Kelly Markgraf and mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert star in “As One.” / Photo by Matthew Staver

• San Diego Opera’s season continues Friday with a performance of “As One” at the Joan B. Kroc Theatre in Rolando. The show is part of the opera’s dētour Series that takes lesser-known works to venues outside of the San Diego Civic Theatre.

• Artist Roman de Salvo  has been commissioned by San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture to create a permanent public artwork for the new Mission Trails Field Station that’s being built at Mission Trails Regional Park. De Salvo spent months learning about the park and has developed a proposed design for his artwork, an idea you can submit feedback on here.

• The Union-Tribune has details on the improvised mural focused on migration and the border going up at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park.

• The Chicano Park Museum doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar home yet, but this week it’s launching the first publication of its new series of historical writings.

• As part of the “unDocumenta” border-themed exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art, Tijuana artist Marcos Ramírez Erre will be installing his version of a border wall on the museum’s facade beginning Tuesday. (Ampersand)

• Look at this floating concrete house. (Union-Tribune)

• In other border art news: A UC San Diego grad student made a film spoofing the construction of a new border wall. (CityBeat)

According to a few grassroots arts groups, here’s the behind-the-scenes communication that went down when Border X Brewing in Barrio Logan pulled the plug on an event that included a drag queen show.

• See art by more than 100 active duty armed forces members who have been taking weekly art classes at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego to cope with combat-related stress.

• Two San Diego artists have successfully raised enough money to bring their sci-fi-noir comedy web series to life. CityBeat wrote about the project last summer.

• A traveling film festival featuring six recently released Mexican movies is making a stop in San Diego.

• A San Diego State journalism teacher who’s also CityBeat’s theater critic has a new book and he’ll be signing it this week.

• Local director and writer Aimee Greenberg’s “American Carnage: A Love Story” play is showing in City Heights this week.

• NPR’s “Hidden Brain” podcast features an interview with a San Diegan who set the record for staying awake the longest (11 days and 25 minutes!).

• ArtWalk Carlsbad is set to make its debut in 2018.

•  Don’t miss this talk by legendary San Diego artist Tom Driscoll.

• Starting this month, the Visual Public Art Project will begin a mural project at several locations along University Avenue between Wilson Avenue and Fairmount Avenue in City Heights. The murals are a collaboration with Visual Art Supply in North Park, the City Heights Business Association and local business owners.

• The city’s Commission for Arts and Culture’s senior public art manager, Christine Jones, has been promoted to chief of civic art strategies.

• The San Diego Asian Film Festival is happening this week, and San Diego Magazine has picked 10 films you should not miss.

• The Storytellers of San Diego are joining a worldwide synchronous celebration of storytelling and hosting an event in Ocean Beach this week.

• Speaking of storytelling, one of San Diego’s newest literary groups is called New Narrative, and it’s exploring the theme of family at an event this week.

• Save Our Heritage Organisation’s released its 2017 “Most Endangered List” of local historic buildings and sites throughout San Diego County most in need of some TLC.

Beer, Booze and Food News

• Some of the craft beer scene’s leading ladies talked to CityBeat about brewing, sexism and more.

• San Diego Beer Week is in full swing, and one of its culminating events is the big Collabapalooza beer fest in North Park.

• The Reader has more intel on Lemon Grove’s first brewery that’s scheduled to open soon.

• Mendocino Farms in La Jolla takes the leftover juice pulp from a nearby juice shop and turns it into a veggie burger. San Diego Magazine says sustainability tastes pretty good.

• Buh-bye Tilted Kilt. (SanDiegoVille)

• Pizza Port is creating a specialty beer using desalinated seawater from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.

Kinsee Morlan is engagement editor at Voice of San Diego. Email her at kinsee@vosd.org with arts and culture news and tips. Want to recommend this culture newsletter to someone? Share this sign-up link.

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