The arts have powerful weapons to awaken our conscience and through camera lenses they can empower audiences to take a stand for justice. For its sixth annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival, MOPA is showcasing features fitting for the present world’s state. A defiant North Korean artist’s narrative of his defection south opens the fest while an FBI counterterrorism informant invites filmmakers to follow his covert efforts without advising his superiors. 18 animated cows are sought whose apparent milk production on a Palestine farm threaten Israel’s national security; true story. The Diplomat hails U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as told by his son David where peace is key to ending wars. The Black Panthers will also take to the screen and show how radical change came to America. It is reels of real life struggles inside and beyond the U.S. borders and film is making a difference.

January 21st – 24th 

December Nights

A sea of scarfed and sweatered, hot chocolate totting revelers cross the Cabrillo Bridge for the annual December Nights weekend. It is a family and friends’ affair, bringing the cultural arts out into the air as everyone will have the chance to contribute to a giant-sized coloring book throughout Balboa Park. Museums will be free, as will music and entertainment but bring some bucks to buy food and donate some do-re-mi to one of the wonderful organizations helping continue and preserve San Diego’s arts; it’ll make you feel very merry. 

December 4th & 5th


In a barrio not far, far away, Padawan and Jedi artists are converging for an epic exhibition of cosmic proportions. Over 50+ artmakers will awaken the Force, and the Darkside, each with their own distinct use of their weapons and mediums of choice for this Star Wars-driven show. It is a period of emergence in San Diego and those avid collectors will have one battle before them: what work to pick that will bring freedom to their galaxy.

December 12th


Over 60 years of piñatas, poinsettias, carols and candles will illuminate Old Town for its 63rd Las Posadas festivity. The arts and crafts of this centuries-old tradition, going back to Spain via Latin America, will display a theatrical reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s sojourn through Bethlehem. Kids will strike the treat-filled piñatas near dusk but bring a posada song in hand to play along, it’s all part of the holiday merriment. 

December 14th


San Diego’s own jazz trumpeter extraordinaire Gilbert Castellanos and some of his closest friends ignite the last night of 2015 a lo Cubano, chico! The West Coast Mambo All-Stars will fire up the stage for this exclusive, red-carpet engagement bringing the classic sounds of the Caribbean island and past its shores. The festivity is bound to keep everyone dancing past midnight so make sure you have your chachacha dancing shoes laced, strapped, polished for this stellar soiree.

December 31st


Beyond the works of alebrijes and zarapes, from artisans across Mexico, every communities’ corner has splendid works teeming with creativity. Outstanding pieces from nearly 150 locations throughout the Mexican Republic are on display at CECUT running the gamut of styles and techniques, but encompassing key materials from clay to wood, textiles to leather, and others amidst the magical tapestry that is Mexico’s great masters of popular art. The mosaic of the artists’ blends is unique to each one, see yourself in them. 

Now – February 1st, 2016


Movie classics at a classy place just got classier. It is high-tech history in the making for the Balboa Theatre’s recently installed state-of-the-art cinema system to envelop folks in their favorite flicks. December’s chills will add to the thrills escaping into the minds of Henson, Lucas and Bowie for Labyrinth’s dream-like adventure while the Fiddler on the Roof gets shaky with Ukrainian, Jewish tradition. Jimmy Stewart wraps-up the year with It’s a Wonderful Life imaging what his non-existence would be like. There is no bigger screen than the silver one so log off, get out, and gallivant downtown because life beckons.


Maletas Migrantes

Mexico City’s Museum of Memory and Tolerance has crossed into the U.S. with a specially packaged exhibit and it is totting belongings, contradictions, negotiations, dialogues - and contraband of ideas. For the first time in North America, Maletas Migrantes opens up its suitcases displaying 50 contemporary artists and their visual manifestations, drawing viewers’ attention to the subject of crossing of borders and emotions. The showcase needs no passport into your mind; it should be able to cross freely.
Now – Oct. 2nd

Coronado Artwalk

Over the Bridge or through the bay, to the Coronado Art Walk we go! Creativity and appreciation will drift into visitors’ senses for 2015’s wonders of art weekend. The gamut of mediums showcased has been selected for their capacity to relay the ample world of art in the artists’ respective forms. No matter one’s age, art finds a heart as kids can participate in a palette of activities, as much as adults can fall in love with an artwork reflective of themselves. Music and food will keep your soul elated as the talk of the Walk is all about supporting the arts community, best societal investment ever!
September 12th – 13th

Mariachi Vargas

118 years of music-making history spanning five generations of standing ovations from fans across Latin America and the world has made Mariachi Vargas a revered, iconic Mexican ensemble. Their catalogue of songs composed, interpreted, played and sung ignites fervor in every chord struck and sets ablaze the hearts of old and new ears. Whether it is a Revolution-era corrido, a heel-stomping son jarocho or a bolero ranchero to swoon those love-fueled couples, the gentlemen from Tecalitlán are packing it all and descending on Tijuana. The concert has become a yearly tradition, and right around footsteps from the famous El Grito of Mexico’s Independence so get ready for exalting “Vivas!”
September 12th

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