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San Diego Culturecast by Voice of San Diego

The San Diego Culturecast is a produced podcast about arts and culture in San Diego. In the first season, Kinsee Morlan will take listeners through the changes occurring in Barrio Logan, one of San Diego's longest-standing and resilient neighborhoods.
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San Diego Culturecast by Voice of San Diego
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Jun 7, 2017

Host Kinsee Morlan explains the silence, plays a trailer for Voice of San Diego's new "I Made it in San Diego" podcast and runs an episode from the Keep the Channel Open podcast in which she's interviewed by San Diego writer and photographer Mike Sakasegawa.

Mar 7, 2017

On a recent Friday night, a few dozen people gathered at Marston Point, a parking lot and lookout perched at the southwestern end of Balboa Park.

It was a particularly cold night, so some folks huddled around a portable fire pit gripping hot cider, others jumped in and out of about 15 parked cars spread across the lot. Inside each car, audio stories played on repeat. Each was a memory of Balboa Park's gay cruising culture.

Things have calmed down considerably in recent years, but Marston Point and the road leading to it were once an epicenter of gay culture in San Diego. Especially in the '50s and '60s, gay people pushed underground by the reigning mores of the time used the secluded area as a meeting place. Some folks, gay men mostly, used the dark pocket of the park to meet for anonymous sex. A few still do.

The area eventually earned itself a nickname: The Fruit Loop. And especially after the sun went down, the illicit activity cranked up. Things got so wild, city officials permanently closed the nearby public bathroom, and the two-way street leading to the Marston Point parking lot was made one-way to cut down on opportunities for drive-by eye contact.

The stories playing in the cars that cold Friday night were collected by artist Kate Clark and Lambda Archives, a nonprofit that collects and preserves the history of the local LGBT community. The event was part of the offbeat programming Clark produces through her public art series called Parkeology.

Clark embeds in urban parks and unearths long-buried stories, forgotten sites and other stuff kept out of public view. For the last two years, she’s been entrenched in Balboa Park.

In this episode of Culturecast, Voice of San Diego's podcast covering local arts and culture, I crawl in and out of the cars parked at Marston Point and take listeners along for a ride through the diverse stories Clark collected about The Fruit Loop and the gay culture that flourished in Balboa Park.

"You could think of that era of cruising as a negative but the fact of the matter is, people were coming here because it was a time when being gay was illegal," Clark said. "I think this history is actually really important because it speaks a lot about an era and the way people socialized and connected."

Feb 2, 2017

In this episode of Culturecast, Voice of San Diego's podcast covering arts and culture in the region, I talk to buskers who think city policies need to change so San Diego's street culture can thrive.

Jan 26, 2017

A special Culturecast episode focused on the recent Women's March in San Diego.

Jan 12, 2017

Chelsea Allen, the manager of community engagement at the San Diego Symphony, said she thinks San Diego's art and culture crowd is ready for new, exciting things.

"It seems from what we're learning that it's very brave," she said. "And it's willing to accept some new sounds or looks, so we're happy to be doing that here."

The symphony is shaking things up with its new Our American Music festival, a month-long concert series that includes shows by hip-hop legend Talib Kweli and folk singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash alongside chamber and classical music performances.

The festival also includes temporary public art installations – sound booths and a community quilt – that invite audiences to interact and create some art and music of their own.

For the first episode of Season 2 of Culturecast, Voice of San Diego's podcast covering arts and culture in region, I stepped inside a sound booth and talk to Allen and Brandon Steppe, the founder and director of the David’s Harp Foundation, a nonprofit that works with at-risk and homeless youth by providing free music education. The kids in Steppe's program collaborated with the symphony and helped produce the music for the booths.

All of the music and sounds you hear in this episode, by the way, are by David’s Harp students. The track I let play for a few seconds at the very end is called "Parade of History" by Nathaniel Randle.

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