Golden Hill nonprofit aims to preserve and build local arts scene
By Monica Garske | SDUN Reporter
Being an up-and-coming artist or musician can be daunting. Sezio, a nonprofit in Golden Hill, recognizes this and founders have chosen to dedicate the organization to providing unparalleled support to local emerging artists.
The Sezio headquarters are located at The Habitat House art and music space, on 21st Street. There, Sezio co-founder Zack Nielsen and a group of devoted individuals work to drum up resources, exposure and community support for creative, independent artists.
“Our 100 percent focus is on showcasing emerging visual artists and musicians. Our goal is to be an entity that voices support for the art they are making, so we can continue building the creative community in San Diego,” Nielsen said.
The grassroots group began in 2006 when Nielsen started producing small art and music events to showcase his creative friends, he said. A few years later, Sezio grew into a non-profit organization with a mission to foster the local arts scene and expose San Diegans to original talent.
Additionally, the group helped the Golden Hill Community Development Corporation organize the return of the Golden Hill Street Fair, held July 22, overseeing the art and music portion of the event.
Nielsen said the heart of Sezio is the organization’s website – sezio.org – which he says serves as a “nonprofit news source” and platform to promote cool artists and events.
There, the Sezio team posts multi-media content about upcoming local art shows and live music events, as well as articles, photos and videos featuring rising artists and musicians.
“We carefully select everything that goes on the website ourselves. We choose to highlight artists who are working hard, doing cool stuff and deserve to be supported,” Nielsen said. “We think supporting emerging artists is a worthy cause. Working artists are the lifeblood of our city.”
The majority of the artists Sezio works with hail from Uptown communities known for their creative arts scenes, such as Golden Hill, South Park and North Park, Neilsen said. “There is constant creativity happening in Uptown. This is where all of the artists live and work. We want to keep fostering this healthy arts scene in San Diego.”
He also said the support from Sezio means a lot to up-and-coming independent artists. For those trying to break into the scene, a little publicity goes a long way.
“We give support even at the smallest levels, like featuring an interview with a new band on our website. We take professional photos of the band for that interview and give the band copies of the photos so they can now shop themselves around to more venues using nice, high-quality pictures,” Nielsen said. “We help however we can.”
On a larger scale, Nielsen said the organization produces live shows featuring emerging talent at popular venues such as The House of Blues, The Casbah and the Soda Bar.
Contributing to Sezio’s cause is easy. In addition to visiting the website, the best way to support the nonprofit, Nielsen said, is by attending their art and music shows, and consuming the unique, original art created by local talent.
Calling this support support cyclical, Nielsen said he believes it builds value for the San Diego arts scene and inspires artists to continue creating.
In the coming weeks, Nielsen said Sezio is particularly excited to showcase the following rising acts: The Tree Ring (with The Shivers) at the Birch North Park Theater on Oct. 27, Lord Huron (with Pacific Air) at The Casbah on Nov. 1, and Dark Dark Dark (with Emily Wells) at the Luce Loft on Nov. 6
“It’s simple,” he said. “Go to the website, go to the events, bring your friends, support others and appreciate the work artists are putting out there.”