Preserving, Revealing and Promoting Our Regions History

San Diego History Center is preparing for the next milestone in this 90 year-old institution’s own history. The flagship museum in the heart of Balboa Park is providing a more complete and inclusive view of the region’s history – turning the spotlight on the region’s diverse communities and heritage including the struggles and triumphs of San Diego’s LGBTQ+ community; the history and heritage of San Diego’s Jewish community, our region’s Italian and Portuguese communities that led the world in tuna fishing as well as the first-person accounts of San Diego’s pioneering women. And now the newest exhibit, I’m Not Like You explores and reveals subcultures in the San Diego/Tijuana region from 1960-1990 and showcases skate culture, hip-hop, punk music, street art and more.

At the same time, the prestigious institution – whose mission is to preserve, reveal and promote the region’s history – is creating a new core exhibition that seeks to be a world class experience for everyone who lives in, and visits San Diego.

For this significant undertaking, they are working with planning firm, Gallagher & Associates and gathering feedback from all of us in the community to not only engage, excite and educate but connect the historical past, the dynamic present, and the inclusive future of the San Diego community. The new museum experience will celebrate what makes San Diego unique, and connects our community together.

San Diego’s unique sense of place arises from the dynamic relationship between its natural landscape, location on the border with Mexico and Pacific Rim, intersecting cultures, and its inhabitant’s creative approach to human enterprise. How do these themes intersect to create the region we are today? And how are they shaping our region’s future? What choices are before us that we want to make in the most informed way possible to shape a better future for ourselves, our families, and our neighbors?

Through an extensive community survey process, a significant theme developed surrounding the region’s multiplicity of identities. San Diego has been a place where diverse people and cultures share, mix, and sometimes conflict and examining these intersections helps provide a context and understanding of our “sense of place”.

The San Diego History Center is becoming, as one community member so eloquently put it, “a place where history is not just displayed but a place where history is also made.” The History Center is looking for new ways to engage with our place in history. How do you make history come alive? How do you make history feel more relevant? And how do we as a community come together to celebrate what we love about this place we call home?

Also operated by the San Diego History Center, the Junípero Serra Museum is an iconic regional landmark. Located just above Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, the Serra sits on one of the most significant historical sites on the West Coast; the site of the first permanent European settlement in what is today the State of California. The Serra Museum is currently undergoing a much anticipated renovation and will re-open to the public with a transformed visitor experience on July 16, 2019, the 250th anniversary of the founding of contemporary San Diego.

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