1. Inspiration for the inspired
On Friday, Aug. 8, a multimedia party promises to get its most creative guests into a no-holds-barred poetry contest. Stepping into a room decorated by street artist Eyegato, attendees will submerge into a provocative visual world set to the DJ-stylings of Gill Sotu.
The event is the next installment of the San Diego Art Institute's Poetry & Art Series. "The theme is, 'We live in a vibrant arts community,'" said Michael Klam, the event organizer. "We're getting great artists in and giving the community a chance to get up to the microphone and show what they can do."
As the wine flows, erotica writer Shawna Kenney will charge up the scene with excerpts from her anthology Book Lovers: Sexy Stories from Under the Covers. Then Idyllwild-based artist Brenda York will offer visual projections of her color-soaked abstract paintings while reading from her book Big Little Paintings, Short Little Stories.
"It's a party, but you get a breadth of work, poetry to prose," Klam said. "People go through a whole range of emotions throughout the show, from thought-provoking work to pure entertainment."
Once the audience is properly soaked with inspiration, drinks and edibles from Evolution Fast Food, a "People's Choice Poem Performance" contest will commence. Citizen poets get three minutes to perform their best work, using all manner of song, dance and props. The audience is encouraged to get vocal before casting their secret ballots for the winners, who'll receive cash prizes.
"The first part of the show is inspiration for the folks in the audience," Klam said. "The second part is a little bit like a poetry slam. We build in a lot of mingle time so we get everyone lubed up. Then we encourage the audience to be raucous and interact with the show so poets and artists feed off that."
The event goes down from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Museum of the Living Artist (1439 El Prado) in Balboa Park. Admission is $5 for nonmembers, and those who bring wine to share get in free. sandiego-art.org.
2. Love and music
Once is one of those rare indie films that ended up making it big. Part of the attraction is the love story that unfolds on the screen between Glen Hansard (known only as "Guy") and Marketa Irglova ("Girl"), who also fell for each other in real life. The duo's inexperience in acting, but talent as musicians, paid off, making the music-filled movie feel more authentic. The soundtrack is charming—if you're into the slow-crescendo-love-song thing—and its sweet narrative tunes made it prime fodder for adaptation into a musical. With eight Tony Awards since hitting the stage in 2011, Once the musical is heading to San Diego. It plays at the Civic Theatre (1100 Third Ave., Downtown) from Tuesday, Aug. 12, through Sunday, Aug. 17. $48 and up. broadwaysd.com
3. Civics orgy
Right on the heels of the ultimate pop-culture nerd-a-palooza comes Politifest, San Diego's burgeoning politics-and-civic-affairs nerd-a-ganza. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, the news website Voice of San Diego will hold its annual free event in the central promenade of Point Loma's Liberty Station. It kicks off with a conversation with Neel Kashkari, the doomed Republican candidate for governor, followed by one with state Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. There'll also be a session on jobs, schools and housing; the annual Idea Tournament; a live Voice of San Diego podcast; a beer garden; and dozens of community-organization booths to visit throughout the day. Voice CEO Scott Lewis tells us the kids area is bigger this year, and the beer garden's in the shade. Hallelujah! voiceofsandiego.org/politifest
Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email Kinsee Morlan.