Art Gallery Pops Up at Southeastern San Diego’s Market Creek Plaza

Curated by Southeast Art Team, Gallery is Free for Public to Visit; Local Artists Featured

Southeastern San Diego’s art scene is getting some much-needed attention in the community with the Pop-Up Art Gallery at Market Creek Plaza, joining the Southeast Art Team and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in a new partnership.

The art gallery – the first in the area – welcomes community members to make an appointment for free and explore the space – filled with local artists’ paintings, jewelry and other work.

After spending years painting murals and hosting art-themed events in Southeastern San Diego neighborhoods, the Southeast Art Team’s goal of having a dedicated space to showcase local artwork and introduce the community to various art forms has become a reality. The Southeast Art Team is inviting local artists to submit their work by Nov. 30 for the opportunity to be displayed in the gallery.

“So many dreams are coming true through this gallery space – my own and those of the featured artists – many of whose art is being displayed for the first time,” said Southeast Art Team President Kim Phillips-Pea. “Since our soft opening less than a month ago, we have already had 200 visitors come through the gallery by appointment!”

The Southeast Art Team will also be extending opportunities to the surrounding community to learn art skills of their own. For everything they showcase and sell at the gallery, they’ll also provide an opportunity, through a workshop or class, for people to learn how to make it. These classes, hosted virtually for now, will range from jewelry making and beading to t-shirt design and screen printing, and even practical artist skills like framing artwork. Classes cost $10 – $20 for adults, with some free options, and youth classes are free when offered. To sign up for a workshop, visit calendly.com/popupartgallery.

The Pop-Up Art Gallery, which will be open until the end of February, will host a different series of artists every month. There will also be various themed exhibits, such as youth art, antiques, beekeeping and nature, hip hop, tribal masks and more.

November’s featured San Diego artists include Rick Bramhall, Vee Brooks, Anthony Burnette, Cee, Rob Clemons, Isabel Garcia, Araceli Gonzalez, Ashley Hawkins, Ami Judah, Joe Nathan-Segura, Kim Phillips-Pea, Racquel Rhone, Michael Rosenblat, Bryttney “Michelle” Salvant, Rashad Thompson, Shirish Villasenor, Zig Wharton and Ami Young-Hill. Each piece displayed in the gallery, from large pieces to small prints to handmade jewelry, is for sale.

The gallery is located at 342 Euclid Ave, Suite 406, San Diego, CA 92114 in Market Creek Plaza. Due to COVID-19 occupancy guidelines, the gallery must be visited by appointment only Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. As availability permits, appointments can be booked on the spot at calendly.com/popupartgallery. All guests will also be asked to sign a COVID-19 form for everyone’s health and safety.

The gallery’s dedicated Instagram also provides announcements and exhibit previews at @popupgalleryatmarketcreekplaza.


Access Youth Academy “Tops Off” New Squash Athletic & Academic Center in Southeastern SD

The organization had a “topping off ceremony” at the construction site last month. Pictured from left to right: City of San Diego Deputy Chief Operating Officer Erik Caldwell; Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation Community & Economic Development Officer Christie Marcella; Access Youth Academy Executive Director Renato Paiva

As part of the Town Center Master Plan, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is proud to support Access Youth Academy as the organization works to complete its new squash athletic and academic facility in Southeastern San Diego. With the support of a $5.5 million grant from the City of San Diego, Access Youth Academy is constructing a gathering space that can be enjoyed by the entire community. This new facility is scheduled for completion in June 2021.

Founded in 2006, Access Youth Academy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of underserved youth aged 12 and over through a continuous life-skill and real-world preparedness program focused on the sport of squash. The Access Youth Academy offers sports training, academic support and financial guidance to help youth reach their full potential.

The new facility will allow Access Youth to serve first-generation college students, provide services to thousands of at-risk youth, provide multi-use facilities and offer a variety of outdoor activities – all at no cost! Its impact has been phenomenal thus far, resulting in a 100% college acceptance rate for all program participants since the program began. Access Youth students have been accepted to and earned degrees from some of the best schools in the nation, including Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and more.

The beautifully designed two-story structure will include sports, academics and business activities around a glass-walled entry and open reception and lounge area. It will include two wings, with squash courts, locker rooms, showers, classrooms, support rooms and more. Additionally, there will be a spacious courtyard with extra seating and social areas, including a 36-car parking lot. It is located in a vacant lot at 704 Euclid Avenue, which Access Youth Academy purchased from the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.

To learn more about Access Youth Academy or how to get involved, visit: accessyouthacademy.org. Additional information can be found by viewing the organization’s fact sheets: Our Impact and Get to Know Us.


The Hardest Hit: Community Members Share COVID-19 Impacts

We’re sharing a few statistics from The Hardest Hit: Community Members Share COVID-19 Impacts survey we distributed in July, in partnership with The San Diego Association of Governments and the Road to Recovery Coalition.

Here are some of the findings for Southeastern San Diego zip codes:

  • 66% of Southeastern San Diego residents said they need assistance paying their rent and mortgage as a result of the pandemic.
  • Over half of Southeastern San Diego residents said that COVID-19 has affected their access to food and resulted in regularly not knowing if they would have enough food for their family.
  • More than 1 in 3 residents said they’ve experienced a reduction in hours at work due to COVID-19.
  • As a result of the pandemic, 79% of Southeastern San Diego residents said there must be extensive safety measures put in place for their child(ren) to participate on campus.

Thank you the Southeastern San Diego community for participating in the COVID-19 survey. For the latest ways to get help during the pandemic, please visit our resource page.



Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation has partnered with local writer and performing artist Gill Sotu for “Be About It,” a FREE Facebook and Instagram Live concert on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., celebrating community organizations through performances.

Each local entertainer will perform a custom set that pays tribute to the focus of each organization, followed by a short live discussion between entertainer, organization and Sotu about how San Diegans can engage with the nonprofit. In between each performance, children from the Diamond Education Excellence Partnership (DEEP) will share short poems and illustrations about the importance of community. Local artist Hue Love will also do a live painting throughout the concert.

The goal is to entertain and inspire San Diegans to support San Diego nonprofits and artists during the pandemic and beyond.

Performers include Cedrice (Finalist on NBC’s “The Voice”), Lee Coulter (Chart Topping Singer/Songwriter), Rebecca Jade (Multiple SD Music Award Winner), Bridget Gray (5-time Poetry Champion), Kree Rushing (N. County’s Acclaimed Comedian), Gill Sotu (Multiple Performing Artist of the Year Winner) and Maraya Performing Arts (South Bay’s Premiere Performing Arts Center). Recording support provided by local group Warehouse Media.

Featured local organizations include DEEP, Elementary Institute of Science, Fourth District Seniors Resource Center, House of Restoration Community Connection, Inc., Open Heart Leaders, Outdoor Outreach, Muslim Community Services.

This event is funded by the California Arts Council’s Artists in Communities Program grant.

To watch the concert, and for links to each entertainer and organization, please visit bit.ly/BeAboutItEvent. RSVP requested, but not required.


La Jolla Playhouse Announces Five New Digital Without Walls (Wow) Projects

La Jolla Playhouse is pleased to announce five more projects for its Digital Without Walls (WOW) series, including three world-premiere Playhouse commissions by local artists: Towards Belonging, a dance and spoken-word poetry film by Anjanette Maraya-Ramey of Maraya Performing Arts, produced in association with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation’s Arts Park @ Chollas Creek; Light Leaping: Spittin’ Truth to Power for the People, a spoken word piece set to music by poet and Playhouse Leadership Council (PLC) member Alyce Smith-Cooper and musician/DJ Shammy Dee; and Listen With The Lights Off, a collection of haunting radio horror plays, produced by So Say We All (2017 WOW Festival’s Incoming: Sex, Drugs, and Copenhagen).

The Playhouse also announces two acclaimed productions by New York-based companies: A Thousand Ways, by 600 Highwaymen, a three-part piece that brings audiences back together in touching moments of connection over time; and Taxilandia, by Oye Group, that explores the gentrification process of local neighborhoods.

“The appetite for our Digital WOW work keeps growing, and we’re pleased to add five more extraordinary pieces to the roster. This new cohort of productions once again demonstrates how artists are harnessing new platforms while responding to current events with a deep passion, a hunger for connection, and a clarion call for social justice,” noted Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse.

Towards Belonging is a powerful dance film with original spoken-word poetry and music. Choreographer Anjanette Maraya-Ramey and her company Maraya Performing Arts create a deeply moving piece that unapologetically acknowledges systemic racism, with an urgent call to act and create change. Filmed at the Arts Park @ Chollas Creek, home to Writerz Blok, this love letter to Southeastern San Diego shares the joys and challenges of the neighborhood through evocative narrative, graffiti art and movement, while shattering biases and celebrating the deep pride, culture and history of the region.

Light Leaping: Spittin’ Truth to Power for the People is an intergenerational piece using images, music and storytelling styles reminiscent of the griot. Between fire and brimstone preaching, the intimate vulnerability of prayer, and the invitation to fellowship, renowned poet and PLC member Alyce Smith-Cooper and acclaimed DJ and musician Shammy Dee are reaching to penetrate the hearts of the people. This three-part spoken verse will encompass the juxtaposition of past/present, yin/yang, male/female with the dream of transformations hoped for and imagined. It is both a personal moment and a collective piece – a springing forward into a leap of light.

Listen With The Lights Off is a series of frightening, October-appropriate radio plays created in collaboration with San Diego-based literary and performing arts nonprofit organization So Say We All. Intelligent, original and unsettling, this new take on the radio drama features stories from diverse writers who will have listeners on the edge of their seats. Twisted up in paranoia, magical realism, ghosts, monsters, sibling rivalry, and even earth death, Listen With The Lights Off takes patrons to wholly unexpected worlds – sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, but always memorable, and eerily plausible. These fictional short plays, adapted from So Say We All’s literary horror anthologies Black Candies, will be brought to audio reality to make sure Halloween thrives, even during quarantine.

A Thousand Ways is a three-part work of theater from 600 Highwaymen that brings audiences back together in poetic and revelatory ways. In Act I, over a simple phone call, two strangers take an hour-long journey together, where they are transported to a shared fiction they create, guided by a set of automated directives, before returning to their own daily existences. In Act II, taking place several months later, two audience members encounter one another across a table in a socially-distanced format. With just a stack of cards and a few objects, what begins as a simple exercise of working together becomes an experience of profound connection with another person across a small distance. In Act III, when it is deemed safe, all the participants gather for the first time all together in one space for a collective, celebratory, communal event – with the knowledge that someone in that space is the person with whom they shared a very singular phone call and/or connected with across a table. This stirring reintroduction into a world where people bear witness to, and hold space for, one another both accentuates and transcends the collective isolation of our moment and asks how to rebuild our vocabulary for communing with strangers in all their complexity – something that had become endangered well before COVID-19.

Taxilandia, created and written by Oye Group’s Modesto Flako Jimenez, is a site-specific play-within-a-tour of a city. The piece immerses its audience in the flavors, sounds, sights and dynamic history of a neighborhood confronting social stigmas and the realities of gentrification. Weaving a dramatic, performative ‘tapestry’ that interconnects generations, social classes, races and cultures, Taxilandia complicates our notion of what it means to be a native, an immigrant or a resident of a place, challenging us to answer: “What is my personal roadmap of home?” piece Originally developed in Jimenez’s own neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, the piece was inspired and drawn from his nine years driving a taxicab and his documentation of conversations with passengers, residents, natives, and immigrants to the neighborhood. The Oye Group now works with companies all over the country to develop local versions of the piece specific to each city. The piece is devised in three phases, beginning with a series of virtual salons with local artists whose work intersects with gentrification. Phase two involves a creative collaboration with one of the salons, where Jimenez works with the Playhouse and the local artist to identify a tour route, conduct interviews, write a script and photograph portraits of community members. Once public gathering is allowed, phase three will include live presentations and an interactive gallery.

Since its inception in 2011, Without Walls (WOW) has become one of San Diego’s most popular and acclaimed performance programs. This signature Playhouse initiative is designed to break the barriers of traditional theatre, offering immersive, site-inspired and digital works that venture beyond the physical confines of the Playhouse facilities. Over the last decade, the Playhouse has commissioned and presented a series of immersive and site based productions at locations throughout the San Diego community, including Susurrus (2011), The Car Plays: San Diego (2012), Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir (2012), Accomplice: San Diego (2013), El Henry (2014), The Grift at the Lafayette Hotel (2015), The Bitter Game (2016), What Happens Next (2018), and four biennial WOW Festivals in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019.

La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new and next in the American theatre, from Tony Award-winning productions to imaginative programs for young audiences, to interactive experiences outside our theatre walls. Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is currently led by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, and Managing Director Debby Buchholz. The Playhouse is internationally renowned for the development of new plays and musicals, including mounting 105 world premieres, commissioning 52 new works, and sending 33 productions to Broadway – including the hit musical Come From Away – garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.

To learn more about La Jolla Playhouse Digital Without Walls (WOW) Projects and its artists visit: lajollaplayhouse.org


October Diamond Snapshot: Rent & Childcare Assistance, Free Kids Activities and Much More!

Learn more about what’s happening in the Southeastern San Diego community with our monthly e-newsletter. Read October’s Diamond Snapshot to find a variety of FREE resources, including rent assistance, voting information and COVID-19 testing. Subscribe today and stay up to date on events in our community.

>> Click here to read the full e-newsletter & subscribe <<


Middle School Relocated to Southeastern San Diego Provides Free, Comprehensive Distance Learning

A KIPP school leader and teacher virtually check-in with a KIPPster. KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy has prioritized connecting with 100% of its students in meaningful ways during KIPP’s distance learning program. Courtesy KIPP.

KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy, a tuition-free, charter middle school and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation announced today that the school has relocated to Southeastern San Diego, and San Diego families are encouraged to submit an interest form for their fifth through eighth grade students for next school year. KIPP Adelante is opening 2021-2022 enrollment applications on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020.

The neighborhood’s new college preparatory public school completed construction in June 2020. The school was formerly located in downtown San Diego since 2003 and has since moved to its newly constructed campus at 426 Euclid Avenue, adjacent to the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center.

“Our team at KIPP Adelante knows that there’s simply no substitute for in-person learning; however, we’ve embraced the opportunity to face a challenge with creative solutions anchored in our students and families,” said Rachelle Minix, KIPP Adelante school leader. “We’ve created a comprehensive distance learning program so that our team can meet our advocates’ socio-emotional and learning needs, their families’ priorities and pressing needs, and leverage the collective strength of the team to rise to this moment. A central belief in the power of advocacy guides all of our work. We want our students to have the awareness, tools and mindset to create and speak for themselves, even when we’re physically apart, particularly as they come of age in a time that desperately needs the voice and leadership of our young people.”

KIPP Adelante is prioritizing students’ access to technology and virtual communication with teachers. All students have a Google Chromebook and wireless hotspots have been provided to families without internet access. Every day, there is a live schedule for students to connect with their teachers, and physical education activities are offered three times per week.

The award-winning KIPP schools advocate for and empower their students, guiding them toward success with resources like connecting each student with their own high school placement and transition counselor, who provides support through the high school application and matriculation process. KIPP SoCal also offers extensive support to 5,100 alumni to and through college. This is historically significant since KIPP SoCal eighth grade alumni graduate college at a rate three times higher than the national average of students from under-resourced communities.

“We’re pleased to welcome KIPP Adelante to Southeastern San Diego,” said Reginald Jones, president and CEO of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. “KIPP SoCal’s diverse staff and school leaders, 78% of who are people of color, provide an enriching and supportive learning experience for students. The school’s strong curriculum and free tuition offer a great opportunity for our area’s middle schoolers and their families, and we encourage local parents to contact the school to learn more.”

KIPP Adelante is also a San Diego Unified School District meal distribution site, serving free meals to any child under the age of 18, regardless of if they are a student at the school. Meals are distributed at the school Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

KIPP Adelante is part of KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) SoCal Public Schools, a nonprofit organization that operates 20 tuition-free, open-enrollment charter public schools, educating more than 8,800 students across Southern California. For more information about KIPP Adelante or to submit an interest form, visit kippsocal.org/adelante or call 619-233-3242.

Weekday Meal Pickup Site for All Local Kids!
Every weekday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., KIPP Adelante, a San Diego Unified School District meal site, serves curbside grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for ANY child under 18! KIPP is providing healthy meals to everyone, not just to those enrolled at the school. Pick up the meals at KIPP Adelante’s new campus in Southeastern San Diego at 426 Euclid Avenue.

Alumni Spotlight: On The Frontlines of Social Justice
KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy’s new blog highlights the importance of its resources, the impact community leaders have on students and how KIPP is supporting social justice issues. Elizabeth C.C., a proud Indigenous Oaxacan and KIPP alumna shares her roots, shares her educational journey and how she found inspiration in her San Diego community. 

About KIPP SoCal
KIPP SoCal Public Schools educate within the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Compton Unified School District (CUSD). KIPP SoCal’s whole child approach to learning not only focuses on rigorous academics, but also character development, enrichment, social-emotional learning, physical and mental health, sense of identity, and the nurturing of one’s purpose.

KIPP SoCal Public Schools are joyful, academically excellent charter public schools. They’re free and open to all children, grades TK-8. KIPP SoCal has a 16-year track record of success, including three National Blue Ribbon Schools, five California Distinguished Schools and 11 Top LA County Public Schools.

Learn more at www.kippsocal.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
Founded in 1995, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation is focused on building communities and lifting lives. As a creative catalyst and incubator, the Jacobs Center works with the community to revitalize Southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods. This means transforming nearly 60 acres into sustainable developments that provide residents with greater access to resources and amenities that improve their quality of life. Additionally, the Jacobs Center works with community organizations and partners to increase residents’ economic opportunities, leadership skills and educational success.

Learn more at www.jacobscenter.org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.



The Complete Streets Project will upgrade portions of Euclid Avenue, Guymon Street and Market Street in the town center area. We are supporting the City of San Diego to encourage active modes of transportation in the community, such as walking and bicycling, as a way to connect the community to the surrounding neighborhoods. The improvements include new and expanded sidewalks, bicycle lanes, crosswalks, medians, street lights, traffic signal modifications, landscaping, and curb extensions to help with traffic. The project is primarily funded by a $4 million Caltrans Active Transportation Program grant awarded to the City in partnership with the Jacobs Center and Capital Improvement Program funding by the City of San Diego.

The Complete Streets infrastructure project construction has begun and is anticipated to be complete by December 2021.

The City of San Diego’s official letter sent to area residents and businesses in July 2020 can be viewed here. The Construction Start Notice doorhanger distributed in September 2020 can be viewed here. View the presentation shown at the Euclid & Market Complete Streets Infrastructure Project Information Sessions in 2016 here.

For the latest project updates, please contact the City of San Diego Public Works Department at 619-533-4207 or email engineering@sandiego.gov — and please reference the official name: “Market St – 47th to Euclid Complete St and Water & Sewer Replacement Project.”

You can also bookmark this blog post or follow Jacobs Center on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter for major project updates. Please note that contacting the Public Works Department directly will always provide the latest and most accurate information.


September Diamond Snapshot: FREE COVID Testing, Parenting Classes, Outdoor Dining and more!

Read September’s Diamond Snapshot e-newsletter to learn more about what’s happening in Southeastern San Diego. This month, learn more about a variety of FREE resources, including COVID-19 testing, parenting classes and 2020 Census information. Subscribe today and stay up to date on events in our community!

>> Click here to read the full e-newsletter & subscribe <<

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