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San Diego weekend arts events: Queer Mvmnt Fest, 'New Native Narratives,' a tribute to Thelonious Monk and more

Dancer Bernard Brown is shown in an undated photo. Brown will lead a workshop at the Disco Riot Queer Mvmnt Fest on Saturday, Jun. 25, 2022.
Eric Politzer
Dancer Bernard Brown is shown in an undated photo. Brown will lead a workshop at the Disco Riot Queer Mvmnt Fest on Saturday, Jun. 25, 2022.

Queer Mvmnt Fest

Dance, Film
Local contemporary dance organization Disco Riot will present a packed weekend festival and showcase of works choreographed by, performed by and reflecting the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community.

The festival includes dance film screenings, performances and dance workshops at several locations around town. Some highlights: "Queer partner salsa" dance lessons on Friday at Art Produce; two Saturday performances at the City Heights Annex featuring Xochii De La Noche, Avery Polster, Anna Brown Massey, Victor De La Fuente, Jasmyn Hamblin and Jay Carlon (note: this show involves partial nudity); and special youth and family programming all evening on Monday at the Mingei.

You can find the full schedule and location details here. Each event is free but reservations are encouraged.


Details: 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 24 through Monday, June 27, 2022. Various locations. Free.

'New Native Narratives' and Guillermo Echeveste: 'Past Emerging'

Visual art
Two new exhibitions open at The Front Arte & Cultura gallery in San Ysidro this weekend. Tijuana-based artist Guillermo Echeveste opens a solo exhibition, "Past Emerging." Echeveste often incorporates site-specific elements, language, nostalgia and myth in his works. At The Front, he's using sculpture to explore the way the past is reframed in the present.

Also opening at The Front is the culminating exhibition of their New Native Narratives program, or Neuvas Narrativas Nativas. The apprenticeship project paired 17 youth artists with mentors — including Sara Solaimani, Mely Barragan, Andrea Chung, Carlos Castro Arias and Francisco Eme. The tiny glimpses I've seen of works in this show are powerful, and I can't wait to see the rest.

To launch both exhibitions on Saturday, The Front will host a joint reception with a DJ set from Lucy Liebre, drinks from Mujeres Brew House and tacos.

Details: Opens with a reception from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, June 25. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. On view through Aug. 27, 2022. The Front Arte & Cultura, 147 W. San Ysidro Blvd., San Ysidro. Free.

two artists hold remote-controlled ducks
Julia Dixon Evans
Artists Ryan Bulis (left) and Brian Black (right) demonstrate the remote-controlled duck and ducklings they've built to launch on Chollas Lake in a Jun. 25 activation, shown in a May 17, 2022 photo. Remote-controlled objects are normally not allowed at the park, but the rangers will allow this exception for the Park Social project.

Brian and Ryan: 'Remote-Controlled Flotsam'

Visual art, Performance art, Outdoors
The artist duo Brian and Ryan are set to launch their remote-controlled sculptures onto Chollas Lake this weekend, part of their ongoing residency-style artistic activation of the park. Among them will be a hyper-realistic duck they've modeled after an actual duck in the park, trailed by an unnatural number of ducklings.

Remote-controlled objects are not generally allowed at the park, but rangers have made an exception for this single Park Social event. Brian and Ryan said that the aim is to disrupt the natural order of things at a lake with plenty of history — and add something new to be passed down.

"There's some convergence of the way people will tell their own story, tell stories of things they've seen here, and we want to participate in some of that production of lore," said Ryan Bullis, who along with Brian Black makes up the artist duo.

Brian and Ryan have also been busy carving eucalyptus tree stumps and adding "property of Chollas Lake" labels to sticks throughout the park (again, both are ranger-sanctioned), so be on the hunt for those.

Details: 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, 2022. Chollas Lake, 6350 College Grove Dr., Oak Park/City Heights. Free.

'Tribute to Paleteros' by Roberto Salas

Visual art, Drive-thru art
Longtime regional public art icon Roberto Salas launches his Park Social project this weekend, a site-specific homage to the popsicle vendors of the border region. Salas is installing multiple giant paletas or popsicles in two parks in University City — a bit of an arts desert. Salas doesn't shy away from realms not particularly expectant for art, also demonstrated in his many road signs and highway projects. When I first heard that he designed his "Tribute to Paleteros" to be illuminated by car headlights driving by, I thought of "Night Vision," his late 1980s road signs project that still can be seen along Park Blvd., decades after their anticipated removal date.

Details: On view 24 hours a day, June 24 through Nov. 20, 2022. Standley Park (3585 Governor Dr.) and University Gardens Park (6431 Gullstrand St.), University City. Free.

Straight, No Chaser: The Music of Thelonious Monk

Music, Jazz
Maybe you have no plans on going out on Sunday evening, but if this blurb gets you listening to Thelonious Monk's catalogue then I'll chalk that up as a success, too. But if you're up for a lovely summer evening outdoors, local jazz stars Gilbert Castellanos (trumpet) and Charles McPherson (alto sax) plus an incredibly talented group of musicians (Russel Malone, Rodney Whitaker, Gerald Clayton and Lewis Nash) will perform a tribute of Monk's music at The Shell.

Gilbert Castellanos is shown in an undated photo.
Michele Zousmer / courtesy of the San Diego Symphony
Gilbert Castellanos is shown in an undated photo.

Thelonious Monk was a prolific, boundary-pushing composer and performer, and his impact on jazz is profound — in fact, he was awarded a posthumous, special Pulitzer Prize for his mark on the genre.

For a bonus treat, arrive early for a set from the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory — the youth jazz program founded by Castellanos.

Details: Pre-show set: 6:15 p.m., Concert: 7:30 p.m., Sunday, June 26, 2022. The Shell, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. $20-$75.

'Freestyle Love Supreme'

Theater, Music, Dance
Lin-Manuel Miranda's 2004 collaboration with Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale first took the form of a improv comedy and musical performance group, and eventually found its way to Broadway in 2019 (and a Grammy nomination). In the spirit of improv, audience members provide suggestions throughout the show, and performers incorporate them into the show, driving a unique progression of pieces each night for an otherwise narrative-free script. No two shows will be the same.

Members of the cast of The Old Globe's "Freestyle Love Supreme," shown in an undated photo.
Joan Marcus
Members of the cast of The Old Globe's "Freestyle Love Supreme," shown in an undated photo.

The Old Globe will also host a special "Freestyle Love Supreme Academy" improv and hip-hop freestyle workshop on Monday evening in their outdoor festival stage (note: the regular performances will be indoors). At $25 a ticket, it's a half-price way to immerse yourself in the show's magic.

Details: On stage through July 10, 2022. This weekend's performances are 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The workshop is Monday, June 27 at 5:30 p.m. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. $52-$112.

'Expressions of Pride: On the Steps at SDMA'

Visual art, Dance, Music, Literature, Theater, Poetry, Opera
The San Diego Museum of Art will kick off their extended Summer Friday hours this weekend with a special set of performances honoring Pride. The cross-disciplinary event is dedicated to the late Larry Baza, a tireless champion of the arts and LGBTQ+ communities in the region. Catch opera, Shakespeare, jazz, dance, spoken word, artmaking and mural painting and more. And if they weren't already busy enough this weekend (see above), dance company Disco Riot and trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos are part of the line-up.

Museum admission will be free between 5-8 p.m. Performances run from 4-6 pm., and the artmaking activities are from 4-7 p.m., all happening on the museum steps.

Details: 4-7 p.m., Friday, June 24, 2022. San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. Free.

For more arts events, to submit your own, or to sign up for my weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter, visit the KPBS/Arts Calendar here.