San Diego is not necessarily known for its art and culture because most of us locals are typically partaking in more outdoorsy activities since the weather is so glorious 300 days of the year. That’s why I give major kudos to the founders and sponsors of the Mission Federal ArtWalk, an annual OUTDOOR event featuring hundreds of artists from California, neighboring states, and Mexico.
Within the seventeen blocks of downtown San Diego and Little Italy that ArtWalk takes over, attendees are able to view over 350 artists and over a dozen musicians and dance troops. Plus, this year, they have added a few new, fun elements:
– Interactive Art: Attendees get to try their hand at print-making under the expert guidance of artist Valentine Viannay in an all-new hands-on printmaking project. Viannay’s fabric and fine artwork has been featured in media outlets such as HGTV.
– Two full days of dance – Renowned choreographer Peter Kalivas will bring in dozens of dance performers from San Diego-based dance companies representing a variety of styles for “Dance on Edge,” the new performance dance element to Mission Federal ArtWalk.
– “ArtBucks” – Corporate sponsor Lincoln will be on site at the original fine art festival to offer attendees $15 in “ArtBucks” to spend on art at the festival and will make a $10 donation to ArtReach for every attendee who takes one of their on-site cars for a test drive. ArtReach inspires children to explore their creative potential though hands-on visual art education workshops provided to classrooms across San Diego County.
Also new this year, over 45 Mission Federal ArtWalk artists will offer a percentage of sales during the festival weekend to support ArtReach. Sweet!
ArtWalk is truly a magical weekend here in San Diego, one that my husband and I have been going to ArtWalk for years, even before we had kids. Now, we love it even more because of the spin-off event, KidsWalk, which takes place on the same weekend, in a park just outside the ArtWalk area.
KidsWalk is a free event that features over a dozen organizations providing hands-on art activities for kids including performing arts, sustainable and reclaimed art projects and musical experiences.
If you have kids and plan on attending one or even both of the events, I suggest treating it like a theme park outing. You’ll have to look for parking (or you could trolley in) and you may have to wait in a few lines, but trust me, it is well worth it. You will get to enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather, while exposing your kids to aspects of art and cultre they might not otherwise be a part of.
One final tip, don’t forget your checkbook because, while there are ATM machines all around Little Italy, some of the artists don’t accept credit card, and you might just find yourself swept up in the moment.
ArtWalk runs Saturday, April 28 through Sunday, April 29th from 11am-6pm each day.