Daily Business Report-Dec. 24, 2014
The California Tower
Balboa Park’s California Tower
To Open to the Public on New Year’s Day
The California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man in Balboa Park will open to the public on New Year’s Day 2015. It will be the first time the public will have had access since 1935.
Ticket sales for California Tower tours will go live in the next 24 hours at http://CaliforniaTower.org.
A ribbon-cutting will be held at noon in front of the Museum of Man, with Congressman Scott Peters, City Councilman Todd Gloria and Museum of Man CEO Micah Parzen.
The California Building, home to the San Diego Museum of Man, was constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. It was designed by noted architect Bertram Goodhue as a design hybrid, blending Plateresque, Baroque, Churrigueresque, and Rococo details to present a unique Spanish-Colonial façade. Its design hints of Gothic influence with inspiration from Spanish churches in Mexico.
A symbol of San Diego, the California Building served as a magnificent entry to the 1915 Exposition. It was complemented by a Mission-style building constructed directly across the promenade from the California Building and attached to it with two arcaded passageways. Massive arched gateways enclosed the structures to form the Plaza de California. The south side of the plaza included the beautiful St. Francis Chapel (used for weddings today) and its impressive Spanish-style altar.
Perched atop tiers of stone ornamentation on the California Building’s façade are sculpted historical figures and busts. These were created by the Piccirilli Brothers, who were skilled marble carvers in Italy before immigrating to the United States in 1888. Facing the building, visitors can see the façade’s sculpted figures and busts, molded from modeling clay and plaster. They include Junipero Serra, father of the California missions; Charles V of Spain; Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo; Gaspar de Portola, the first Spanish governor of Southern California, among others.
Council on Literacy Unveils
Literacy 20/20 Campaign
The San Diego Council on Literacy unveiled plans for Literacy 20/20, a new and broad-based five-year campaign to combat low literacy, at its 22nd annual Chairman’s Circle event Dec. 10 at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club.
Drew Schlosberg received the Council’s Literacy Luminary Award, presented by community leader and philanthropist William D. Lynch. For 20 years, Schlosberg has been a resourceful and inspirational friend to the San Diego Council on Literacy. He’s served on the Council’s board of directors and was central to the U-T Race for Literacy, of which the San Diego Council on Literacy was the beneficiary.
Guest speakers, Phil Blair, President and CEO of Manpower San Diego, and Cindy Marten, superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, talked about the need for Literacy 20/20’s new effort to improve literacy in San Diego and realize the civic and economic benefits of a literate society.
San Diegan Heads Design-Build
Organization’s Western Pacific Region
David Umstot, co-founder and president of Umstot Project and Facilities Solutions LLC, has assumed the leadership of the Design-Build Institute of America’s Western Pacific Region in 2015. The DBIA is responsible for educating, advocating and fostering innovative use of design-build. Membership totals nearly 1,000 individuals and firms in California, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada.
Umstot will be working with each of the chapters to help focus energy and efforts to improve productivity, add value, shorten schedules and reduce costs.
Design-Build is a method of project delivery in which one entity — the design-build team — works under a single contract with the project owner to provide design and construction services.
Umstot has been a member of the board since 2011 and has been recognized for his innovative practices in design-build project delivery by the DBIA with a national leadership award in 2012. He has been involved with design-build delivery of projects for more than 15 years.
Iconic Athlete and Author Kathrine Switzer
To Speak at Girls on the Run Summit
Iconic athlete, sports and social advocate, author, and Emmy award-winning television commentator Kathrine Switzer will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 Girls on the Run Summit Jan. 18-21 — an annual gathering of directors and board members from among the 225 councils of the nonprofit organization. Switzer will
speak on the last day of the event at the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter Hotel sharing her story of determination and courage that helped advance the status of women in sports.
Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. During the marathon — which had always been a men’s-only event — the race director attacked Switzer mid-stride and tried to physically remove her from the race. The photo of this incident created a world-wide uproar.
Radicalized by the incident, Switzer has spent her life campaigning for sports equality for women. In addition to running 39 marathons and winning the New York City Marathon in 1974, she created the Avon International Running Circuit of women’s-only races in 27 countries and played a role in convincing the IOC to include a women’s marathon in the Olympic Games.
Nonprofit Announces Plans to Create
Documentary on U.S. Foster Care System
Voiceless, a new nonprofit organization based in San Diego, is setting out to create a documentary exposing the U.S. foster care system. The organization was founded by Richard Montaño, owner and operator of Montaño Companies and Mindy Tucker Fletcher, foster care advocate and wife of former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher.
The founders said the documentary will expose both the accomplishments and failures of the foster care system with the purpose of driving awareness to the facts and the solutions readily available to drive change. The crew is already in place and filming and production will begin in April, 2015.
If objectives for the Voiceless film are met, the $1.6 million film will yield a savings of $16 billion to taxpayers, the founders said.
The film’s director and producer, Johnson McKelvy, has been the recipient of eight Emmy Awards for his documentary work over the past 20 years. Samson Chan will serve as director of photography. An award-winning photographer, he captures athletes, Hollywood heavyweights and real-life heroes for documentary and commercial projects.
Aaron R. Cohen is a writer and television producer with 18 Emmys and a Peabody Award for documentary writing experience. Jeff Reilly, the film’s editor, has cut high-profile projects for HBO, ESPN, NBC, CBS, Sony Pictures, Nike, Dick Clark Productions and more.
La Jolla Playhouse Fills Leadership
Post With Rising Latino Director
A new appointment promises to bring more fresh, diverse voices to the stages of the La Jolla Playhouse.
Texas native Jaime Castañeda is the new associate artistic director at the playhouse. The position has been vacant for years.
Castañeda, 33, has an impressive resume. He spent five years as an artistic associate at New York’s Atlantic Theater Co., the off-Broadway group founded by playwright David Mamet and actor William H. Macy. He ran the theater’s new-play program.
Castañeda is known for shepherding young, emerging talent to the stage, especially the work of Latino artists. That will continue in his new role. “Part of the rolodex of folks that I roll with, that I’m excited about, are Latino artists,” Castañeda said. “So I’ll be continuing to move that needle forward in terms of looking at Latino writers and actors, designers, and directors.”
Castañeda will help produce and direct at the playhouse. Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley said they were looking for someone who brings “experience in both the worlds of directing and administrative leadership while sharing in the playhouse’s deep commitment to new work.”
“He brings a tremendous passion, strong artist relationships and a youthful energy to the institution, and it gives me great joy to welcome him to the Playhouse family,” Ashley said in a statement.
‘The Interview’ Will Play at San Diego’s
Digital Gym Theater on Christmas Day
San Diego’s Digital Gym theater announced Tuesday that it plans to show the comedy “The Interview” on Christmas Day. The film will show at noon, 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., according to the theater. Tickets for the screening were sold out as of Wednesday morning. Tickets are still available for the Friday through Sunday showtimes.
“Although this film may not be typical of the films we generally screen, we made a decision to do so from a philosophical standpoint — that of artistic freedom, creative license and defense against censorship,” said Ethan van Thillo, the theater’s executive director, in a statement.
Sony Pictures had pulled the film because of online threats, but reversed that decision Tuesday. The move brings back into the theaters the comedy that prompted an international incident with North Korea and outrage over its canceled release.
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said that Seth Rogen’s North Korea farce “will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day.” He said Sony also is continuing its efforts to release the film on more platforms and in more theaters.