But it is literature that unites the local actors, performers, and volunteers behind Write Out Loud. Supported by funds from the City of San Diego, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Dr. Seuss Foundation, ticket sales, and other sources, the organization performs countywide. Upcoming performances are scheduled at North Coast Repertory Theater, Cygnet Theater, the Athenaeum, Scripps Ranch Theater, and Horton Grand. They’re also regulars at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park and Grossmont Community College Literary Arts Festival.
Murphy and Ritter hope their efforts will reacquaint readers with their favorite authors, introduce works to audiences, and encourage listeners to consider literature in a new way.
— Leorah Gavidor
Ray @ Night
2014 marks the 13th anniversary of Ray at Night, San Diego’s longest-running art walk. Located on Ray Street in North Park, Ray at Night offers visitors the chance to view art by local and nationally known artists. Nearby galleries and businesses open their doors for this monthly event. The walk occurs on the second Saturday of the month and includes more than 30 art galleries. It is free to the public and family-oriented. Free parking is available nearby or for $3 at a parking structure within walking distance on 30th Street.
5010 Market Street, Chollas View
Located in Southeast San Diego, Writerz Blok is a graffiti-art lover’s dream. The facilities yard offers over 10,000 square feet of paintable walls. Stop by to try your hand at creating your own murals or stroll the grounds to take in the murals done by locals and pros. Writerz Blok sells paint and other supplies. Admission is free. Writerz Blok began in early 2000 as an outreach program geared toward young artists with the goal of encouraging artistic exploration in a safe, gang-neutral environment. The facility now offers classes in muralism, screen printing, urban art, and disc-jockey training.
2730 Historic Decatur Road, Barracks 16 #202, Liberty Station
DimeStories at the Ink Spot
If you like to write and like to ham it up in front of an audience, DimeStories is your event. DimeStories, is one part awkward and two parts hilarious. On the second Friday of every month, budding writers meet at San Diego Writers Ink in Liberty station to read their own original three-minute prose (not poetry). The three-minute rule is strictly enforced. If the performer goes over the three-minute mark, a recording of crickets is played. DimeStories is everything you’d expect from an open-mic night. There’s oversharing, emotion, and laughter combined with some serious talent and, on occasion, lack thereof. Light refreshments are served. A $5 donation is collected at the door.
3015 Juniper Street, South Park
Rebecca’s Coffee House poetry reading
Poetry readings have the tendency to be unintentionally hilarious. For every great poet there is a handful of train wrecks. Rebecca’s poetry reading, on the third Tuesday of every month, will keep you on the edge of your seat. Set in the heart of South Park, Rebecca’s cozy couches, paired with a cup of coffee and a delicious scone, is the perfect venue for a poetry reading. The event takes place at 7 p.m., sharp. If you’re interested in reading, be there at 6:30 on the dot for sign-ups.
2196 Logan Avenue, Barrio Logan
La Bodega, Barrio Logan’s newest art collective, recently took over a vacant warehouse that, in 1917, was home to the “Bank of Italy.” Inside sit 30 creative studios and 1600 square feet of event and gallery space. La Bodega’s mission is to create a place that will inspire both struggling and established artists, as well as bring the community together through events. This creative hub hosts art shows, special events, and various workshops. Upcoming events to look out for include: “March,” an all-women’s art show; “South of You” surf, skate, life art show; a “VW(Volkswagen) Inspired Art Show,” and “The Perfect 10” group art show.
4610 Park Boulevard, University Heights
(No longer in business.)
Vermin on the Mount hosted by 3rdSpace
Vermin on the Mount is an irreverent reading series based in Southern California. Now in its tenth year, Vermin on the Mount celebrates a mix of fiction, poetry, and true tales that break the mold or are difficult to classify. Novelists and poets take the stage with journalists and bloggers — anyone who can tell their story with wit, humor, and style. Vermin on the Mount is always free. The event is currently hosted by 3rdSpace.
3925 Ohio Street, North Park
Lyrical Exchange at Queen Bee’s
Lyrical Exchange is a weekly chance to embrace your inner artist. Queen Bee’s in North Park hosts this unique open mic geared not only for poets, but also for singers, emcees, musicians, and comedians. Lyrical Exchange offers a fresh take on your run-of-the-mill open-mic night. Instead of sitting through a night of purely prose and poetry, prepare to be entertained by musical acts and stand-up comedians. Early arrival is recommended in order to secure a seat and parking spot. Come to perform or to be a spectator. $5 at the door.
1955 Julian Avenue, Barrio Logan
The Roots Factory
The Roots Factory operates as a multipurpose art space and cultural center in Barrio Logan. They are a grassroots organization without government or corporate affiliation. Their goal is to promote culture, self-empowerment, and awareness through art. They host monthly gatherings, at which the community takes part in events that combine art and music within a peaceful family setting. The space is partly run by community volunteers and interns. The Roots Factory hosts regular screen-printing classes and workshops.
Thanks to Vixen Productions owner Venessa Johnson, San Diego is taking baby steps toward a fashion-forward future. San Diego rarely hosts runway events but Vixen Productions is working to change that. The all-female collective is geared toward fashion, music, and art. They host pop-up boutiques throughout San Diego, bringing retail designs to consumers for purchase. They also host fashion runway shows featuring live music, art, cocktails, and, afterward, an opportunity to shop the looks seen on the catwalk. Be sure to check out their annual “San Diego’s Most Stylish Man” event.
3112 University Avenue, North Park
May Star’s Club Fashion Whore Hosted by U31
May Star’s Club Fashion Whore happens every second Saturday of the month at North Park’s U31. The indie, avant-garde event features runway shows by local, Southern California, and (on occasion) international designers. But, be aware, cocktails and shopping are a recipe for some serious impulse buys. The runway shows begin at 8:30 p.m. and wrap up around 10 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to stay afterward for the dance party hosted by U31. If you would like to avoid the cover charge, RSVP to May Star, for free cover before 9 p.m.: [email protected].