Culture Report: Saving Ducky Waddle's Emporium - Voice of San Diego

Arts/Culture UNVEILING THE UNSEEN

Culture Report: Saving Ducky Waddle's Emporium

A campaign to save the beloved Leucadia bookstore, plus Central Library’s Comic-Con spirit and more in our weekly culture roundup.

Being an independent bookstore isn’t easy, especially when the internet monolith Amazon is crushing even big-box bookstores. While reports have shown that indie bookstores are on the rise again, it doesn’t necessarily mean the coast is clear. What hope does a quirky little bookshop have? In the case of Ducky Waddle’s Emporium, lots.

The strange little shop has been a fixture of fringe Leucadia since 1996. Not the Leucadia that’s all maxi dresses and upscale coffee — the weirdo beach bum Leucadia that made it a hippie destination for decades. Ducky Waddle’s owner Jerry Waddles created the shop in his image, showcasing books, art, events and more that reflect his beliefs, taste and sense of humor. Having survived the dark times known as the economic recession, the shop is now in a tough spot and looking for a little help from its friends to forge on into a new, more sustainable era.

Kyle Koerber, a loyal customer for years, took it upon himself to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help save the store.

“Independent bookstores have always had it rough, but a 20-year-old book/art shop that managed to survive the recession is something to marvel at,” said Koerber. “Part of the reason Ducky’s has managed it is by being a culture hub of a bookstore offering not only weird books, art prints, knick-knacks, vintage items and live music and poetry, but also one of the most novel experiences you will have in North County San Diego. Jerry has managed to make, in my opinion, one of the most weird bookstores you will find in the U.S.”

Koerber believes that losing Ducky Waddle’s would be losing an integral part of Leucadia history and identity. It would be devastating for the dreamers, artists, weirdos and creatives that love discovering the carefully curated rare gems Waddles stocks.

“Jerry has a habit of finding merchandise that would be classified as fringe, exotic and rare. Whether it’s a Thomas Nast original cartoon print, a comic book version of ‘The Jungle’ by Upton Sinclair, a photography book of Harlem in the ‘70s or a book about the history of cannabis, Ducky Waddle’s has this odd knack of showing you items you didn’t knew you needed until that very second.”

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

New Hire at Timken, Feminist Art in North Park and More Visual Art Giblets

The Timken Museum of Art hired a new manager and she knows how to work a purple feather boa. (U-T)

Graffiti art is cool. Garbage is not. Empty spray paint cans are a major problem for some Del Cerro residents. (Reader)

North Park’s Art Produce Gallery has an awesome exhibition by Arzu Ozkalon and Nanette Yannuzzi that challenges the roles society has placed on women. Femininsts, can I get a “thass right”? The exhibit, called “Home Affairs,” is on view now. (CityBeat)

Central Library is set to get into the Comic-Con spirit. (Comics Beat)

Art Ltd. gets deep down into El Anatsui’s exhibition at MCASD Downtown.

San Diego gets some public art love from three Niki de Saint Phalle sculptures. (Times of San Diego)

Homeless artists are becoming fashion designers with the help of a local startup. (NBC7 San Diego).

UC San Diego’s Stuart Collection got hit with a cool $1 million gift from a donor. (Times of San Diego)

Pulitzer-Nominated and More Music and Performance News

 La Jolla Music Society’s Christopher Beach shares the four ingredients for bringing music to the masses as he announces the organization’s new season. (U-T)

A UC San Diego composer is a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for music. (U-T)

Two actors handled 20 puppets for a bonkers and awesome puppetry performance of The Bard’s “King Lear.” (KPBS)

There’s also a new face at the San Diego Symphony. (U-T)

What’s That Lot?, the Possible Return of the SD Film Commission and More Culture Bits

Have you checked out our new series What’s That Lot? Ry Rivard delves into the history and current status of various vacant lots around town. This time around he looked into the California Theatre on C Street between Third and Fourth avenues.

Ooh! Ooh! VOSD has a new freelance cartoonist. A.J. Knox draws what would happen if cultural institutions handled things like the Chargers.

You know that recurring nightmare you have about showing up naked to school? Well, one UC San Diego professor is making that nightmare come true for his students. (10 News)

 The City Council is considering bringing back the San Diego Film Commission, according to a report by San Diego 6. For some backstory, check out our piece from 2013 on the commission’s closing.

A writer at San Diego Free Press thinks we should close down Florida Street by Balboa Park, like, yesterday. As someone who frequently uses that street to get to Trader Joe’s, I say please don’t.

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