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Arts & Culture

San Diego weekend arts events: Kids Free San Diego, 'The Mineola Twins,' Aaron Siskind, City Ballet and ArtWalk

Aaron Siskind's "Chicago 56 (1960)"
Courtesy of the Aaron Siskind Foundation and the Museum of Photographic Arts
Aaron Siskind's "Chicago 56 (1960)" is part of "Aaron Siskind: Mid-Century Modern," on view at MOPA Oct. 2, 2021 - Feb. 13, 2022.

This weekend in the arts: cool art to show the kids with Kids Free month, Moxie's "The Mineola Twins," classical ballet and more.

Kids Free San Diego

Visual Art, Museums, Family

October is the San Diego Museum Council's annual family promotion intended to encourage families with children 12 and under to get out and participate in the arts. If kids weren't free already, many of the participating SDMC institutions (I counted 29) offer a free child admission with the purchase of an adult membership throughout the month — advance registration is usually needed. Some museums have special offerings or activities, and I've combed the list to highlight a few.


The Nat: "Living Lab" is a new exhibition of live critters from the museum's collection (note how I didn't write "permanent"). Plus, I was recently introduced to "Unshelved," which is a special exhibition that provides a way for the public to check out their exhibitions library, including some behind-the-scenes details. Plus, right now, Mexican artist Gabriel Rico's special partnership with ICA San Diego is installed in "Unshelved" — neon sculptures and inflatable beach balls arranged among taxidermy and antlers.

California Center for the Arts Escondido: The work of influential Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada — known for his calaveras skeleton illustrations — is currently on view, plus there's always a youth exhibition, their Student Gallery.

José Guadalupe Posada's satirical skeletons from the "Legendary Printmaker of Mexico" exhibition at CCAE
Courtesy of CCAE
"José Guadalupe Posada: Legendary Printmaker of Mexico" is on view through Nov. 21, 2021 at California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

New Children's Museum: During the pandemic, NCM welcomed a handful of new art installations. First, Wes Bruce's "The Wonder Sound" now has an outdoor garden component. Regan Russell's "Energized" vivid window mural is lovely from the sidewalk but it's even better from inside, standing in its colorful shadows. Katie Ruiz's mural, "Brian and the Bugs" is based on her children's book, "Brian the Wildflower," and greets you with bright colors and sweet creatures right as you enter the museum. Panca's new "El Más Allá" is interactive and absolutely charming, with murals, climb-in characters, massive building blocks and a 40 ft. slide. And Risa Puno's "In The Balance" was just unveiled this month, temporarily installed at the Museum Park across the street.

Visions Art Museum: Any kid who visits this Liberty Station fiber arts museum gets a free mini loom kit to make their own custom weavings.


Birch Aquarium: Check out the "Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collection," which is inspired by comic books and ocean creatures' super powers (scientists supposedly call those "adaptations"). Note that reservations are required, even if using the Kids Free San Diego code, and most days sell out.

San Diego Botanic Garden: You may even get the most art-resistant kid interested in a contemporary art exhibition with "Seeing the Invisible," a collection of 13 augmented reality works you can make appear out of thin air as you walk around the gardens — it almost feels like a sci-fi movie.

RELATED: 5 Works Of Art To See In San Diego In September

California Surf Museum: Did you know we have a surf museum in Oceanside? Right now it is home to an exhibition about the history of the boogie board.

You can find more details about Kids Free San Diego here , and sign up for each individual museum’s offer here, on the San Diego Tourism Authority website.

Details: Oct. 1-31, 2021. Multiple locations.

City Ballet's Classics in Concert
Courtesy of City Ballet of San Diego
City Ballet's "Classics in Concert" performances take place Oct. 1-3, 2021.

City Ballet: 'Classics In Concert'


City Ballet kicks off their season with a weekend of classics and tutus, including three works by Elizabeth Wistrich — her popular take on Marius Petipa's "Paquita," original choreography set to the music of composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and "Elegies," inspired by a Francis Poulenc organ concerto.

Details: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Joan B. Kroc Theatre, 6611 University Ave., City Heights. $27-99.

Emily Jerez and Samantha Ginn are pictured in Moxie Theatre's production of "The Mineola Twins," which opens Sept. 26, 2021.
Moxie Theatre
Emily Jerez and Samantha Ginn are pictured in Moxie Theatre's production of "The Mineola Twins," which runs through Oct. 24, 2021.

'The Mineola Twins'


Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel's late-'90s work, "The Mineola Twins" is a great showcase for a gifted comedic actress, and local Samantha Ginn is up for the challenge. In this Moxie Theatre production, Ginn plays both Myrna and Myra, "almost identical" twins as they navigate entirely different outlooks during multiple decades of the women's movement in America. Directed by Moxie cofounder Jennifer Eve Thorn, the cast is rounded out by three more actors who also portray multiple characters (Emily Jerez, Phillip Magin and Desireé Clarke). Proof of vaccination or proof of negative PCR test within 72 hours. Guests under 12 not allowed. Masks required in the theater.

Details: Performances Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Sept. 26 through Oct. 24. Moxie Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd., City Heights/College Area. $22-44.

More theater: San Diego Musical Theatre's pre-professional program brings top-notch talent from their teen and young adult academy, and their first show back is "Rent," directed by Courtney Corey, which opens Friday Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 14. It'll be set up in their new black box theater space in an immersive style. Masks and proof of vaccination (or negative PCR test within 72 hours) required.

Aaron Siskind: 'Midcentury Modern'


The Museum of Photographic Arts' new exhibition of the late American photographer Aaron Siskind's work focuses on the period in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Siskind's photography is abstract and softly obscured, and this particular period marks when he turned to paintings for inspiration — and painters as contemporaries. While in some ways it marked a rift in his relationship with the photography scene, this shift (and Siskind's work and success) helped elevate the photograph's place in the larger visual art world.

Details: On view Saturday, Oct 2, 2021 through Feb 13, 2022. Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. MOPA, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park. Pay what you wish.

Little Italy Mission Fed Art Walk

Visual Art, Music

ArtWalk will take over Little Italy this weekend, with a massive slate of local musicians set to perform, a special "KidsWalk," an interactive, participatory art installation with Cheryl Sorg — whose brightly colored rainbow cut-out works are mesmerizing — and the work of 350 individual artists. And of course, street food. The event takes over several blocks in Little Italy, but a great place to start is the Piazza Della Famiglia.

Don't miss performances by Julia Sage (Saturday at 2:05 p.m. at Beech and India), Jeff Berkley (Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Piazza Basilone), Gaby Aparicio (Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Date St. Piazza) and Israel Maldonado (Sunday at 5 p.m. at Date St.).

RELATED: 5 Songs To Discover In San Diego In October

Details: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2-3, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Piazza della Famiglia, 523 W. Date St., Little Italy. Free.

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