By Morgan M. Hurley | Contributing Editor
After moving to Downtown last year, following two decades in La Jolla, the San Diego Festival of the Arts — formerly La Jolla Festival of the Arts — has found its home just steps from San Diego Bay.
Still produced by the Torrey Pines Kiwanis Foundation in conjunction with San Diego Magazine, the 2017 festival will take place June 10–11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.
With nearly 200 established and emerging artists from all over the world scheduled to participate, the festival is expected to bring a diverse offering of art — including photography, painting, sculpture, jewelry, glass, wood, printmaking, fiber and textiles, ceramics and mixed media — to Waterfront Park on Harbor Drive.
Don Ludwig, co-director of the 2017 festival, stated in a press release that after the festival moved to Downtown, the response they received — not only from artists, but also guests and the local community — was “incredible.”
“We are thrilled to have so many wonderful artists committed to this year’s festival, set in such a stunning venue to showcase their work,” Ludwig said.
Organizers point to the allure of the bay and its sweeping views as one thing that sets their festival apart.
Since the festival’s inception in 1987, the nonprofit has used the festival as a fundraising vehicle, distributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to “improve the lives of San Diego children, adults and wounded warriors,” through their grant and scholarship programs.
“The SD Festival of the Arts is a major fundraiser for the San Diego adaptive sports community, raising more than $2 million over the past 30 years for programs and organizations that support individuals with disabilities,” Peter Ballantyne, co-chair of the festival, said in the release.
In 2016, 23 organizations received disbursements from the $90,000 earmarked from the festival’s proceeds, including, Ability First; Adaptive Sports and Recreation Association; ArtsBusXpress; Autism Society San Diego; Aseltine School; Challenged Sailors San Diego; Children’s Holiday Magic Project; Helen Woodward Animal Center; San Diego Brain Injury Foundation; St. Madeline’s Sophie’s Center; and many more.
Sample of events
In addition to artwork, SDAF will also have entertainment, food and beverages.
Three stages will offer a plethora of live music and local favorites, from U.S. Navy Band Southwest ensembles to Dave Scott and Monsoon, Gilbert Castellanos, Island Mist, the Benedettis and the Bayou Brothers.
Food and drink will be plentiful. Hunter Steakhouse, Bottaro, Flavors of East Africa, Tres Tacos, Cousins Maine Lobster, Divine Fresh, Lemon Life and Doggos Gus will be in the offing.
Breweries and wineries will include Ballast Point, Mike Hess, Mission Brewery, Karl Strauss, Rough Draft and Stone Brewing, as well as California Fruit Wine and Falkner Winery.
The giant games section, which was a big hit last year with kids and adults alike, will be near the beer and wine tasting area.
—Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.