Arts and Culture in San Diego

SanDiegoSkyline The new year is well under way, and San Diego’s arts and culture scene is hopping! We know that not everyone is able to get the skinny on what’s happening in the arts world, that’s why California Ballet is more than happy to fill all of you in when and where we can.


Thousands of people cross the threshold of the beautiful San Diego Civic Theatre and the historic Balboa Theatre every year, treated to top-rate productions that run the IMG_5070gamut from theatre, to opera, to ballet, and beyond. The productions never fail to dazzle, and San Diego arts goers can always count on these San Diego Theatre venues to be reliable arts and culture destinations. You are all familiar with the shows that fill the stage. You all may know about Broadway San Diego, the San Diego Opera, and California Ballet Company. Do you know, however, the man who makes everything happen and keeps the theatre doors open?

That man’s name is Donald Telford. He’s the C.E.O. of San Diego Theatres, the organization that runs and maintains the San Diego Civic Theatre and the Balboa Theatre. Last Friday, January 14, 2011, was a special evening as friends, colleagues, and industry professionals gathered to pay tribute to Mr. Telford’s thirty-fifth year with San Diego Theatres.

DonTelfordDonald Telford

For thirty-five years Mr. Telford has dedicated himself to the San Diego arts and culture scene, making sure that San Diego residents and visitors have access to top-rate theatre experiences. His tenacity has seen the theatres through economic downturns, while ensuring production quality. His love for theatre and the arts was plainly evident as he was presented with videos of special thanks from individuals like San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, the president of the Nederlander Organization (which produces top-quality Broadway tours), and various individuals in the San Diego government. While these videos were impressive, they weren’t nearly as poignant as the moving speech delivered by his wife, the stirring letter written by his daughter, or the plethora of hugs and smiles from employees and colleagues from whom he has engendered a sense of familiarity and loyalty.


Oh yeah, and the best part? The whole thing was a surprise! Mr. Telford walked onto the Civic Theatre’s mezzanine lobby to be greeted by tables, decorations, a catered spread, and a rousing chorus of For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow sung by the four or five dozen attendees. He was genuinely speechless, and thoroughly moved.

So once again, from California Ballet Company, thank you Don for 35 years of amazing service and dedication!



Tuesday, January 18, 2010, a special Cultural Tourism Summit was held at Hattox Hall, The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. Representatives from San Diego Government and arts and culture organizations from across the county attended to discuss the arts and culture scene for San Diego in 2011.


Hosted by the Old Globe Theatre, and produced by the Commission for Arts and Culture, it was truly amazing to see so many brilliant people who are dedicated not just to the arts and culture, but to the City and County of San Diego! The room was packed to the rafters, and each and every individual present was actively engaged.

The crowd was excited to find out that San Diego will be hosting the 2011 convention for Americans for the Arts. This is a national non profit organization that is dedicated to advancing Convention_2011_logothe arts in America. It is an amazing opportunity for our city to be able to share it’s rich and diverse cultural canvas with the attendees of this convention. Part of the convention will be a special program called Artventures, which will take the convention attendees on special tours to various neighborhoods and arts and culture centers around San Diego, allowing them hands-on exposure to what our city has to offer.

There are hopes that these Artventures will become a permanent part of our city’s arts and culture scene, open and available to the general public.


Those at the summit on Tuesday were also presented with a sneak peak at an upcoming exhibit at San Diego’s Maritime Museum. We aren’t free to discuss it as yet, but rest assured that this exhibit is not something you would expect at a maritime museum. Keep your eye on the Maritime Museum’s website for the official announcement, it should be exciting!

The most spectacular part of the Cultural Tourism Summit were the breakout sessions. Those in attendance broke down into smaller groups to talk, collaborate, and join heads over various ways to stimulate participation in San Diego’s arts and culture scene. The ideas were flying, the organizations were collaborating, and the possibilities seemed endless. Should these ideas come to fruition, 2011 will be an exciting year for arts and culture in San Diego.

It was truly inspiring to see so many organizations and individuals in the San Diego arts and culture community come together and collaborate over and afternoon. The dedication of each an every person present to San Diego’s colorful heritage and arts was astounding, and all of you reading this blog should make a point of getting out and experiencing what this city has to offer.

In the end, the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture’s slogan says it all:


“Vibrant Culture, Vibrant City”


Speaking of arts and culture, coming up in March, California Ballet Company will be presenting A Touch of the Classics at the David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre. Excerpts from Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Les Corsaire will grace the stage, showcasing ballet’s amazing ability to convey story and emotion through movement and music.


 swan lane corps

A Touch of the Classics

David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre

March 26 2:30pm & 8:00pm

March 27 1:00pm


Adults: $35-$60

Children 12 and under: $25

For tickets:

call 858-560-6741 or go online to





We’ll see you at the ballet!


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