Downtown Briefs Jan. 2016

Posted: January 1st, 2016 | Downtown Briefs, News, Opinion & News | 1 Comment

Snoopy plate campaign reaches its goal

Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins’ AB 482, also know as the “Snoopy plate bill,” was established in 2013 with the support of Jean Schultz, the widow of Charles Schultz, and the California Association of Museums.

snoopy-platesThe commemorative plates with an image of Snoopy’s “happy dance” will raise money for the California Cultural and Historical Endowment and help fund the state’s 1,400 museums.

After being signed into law later that year, backers of the plate have been seeking a minimum pre-order of 7,500 plates before the first printing could begin. Speaker Atkins recently announced a new incentive — called “Beagle Backers” which offered a free year of access to over 85 California museums — to garner more advance Snoopy plate orders.

On Dec. 16, it was announced that the goal had been reached, which clears the way for the Department of Motor Vehicles to begin production. Plates are $50 each, personalized plates are $89, and annual renewal costs are $78. To order the plate, visit


Screen-Shot-2015-09-04-at-12.57.54-PMFather Joe’s Villages, located in the East Village neighborhood of Downtown San Diego, fed more than 2,200 homeless veterans, families and children on Christmas Eve.

Nearly 75 volunteers served a public lunch at 11 a.m. to 1,500 homeless individuals. This was followed by a special Christmas Eve meal served by 90 volunteers at 5 p.m. to approximately 700 residents of Father Joe’s Villages.

Both meals were served at the Joan Kroc Center, located at 1501 Imperial Ave. at the corner of 15th Street.

The Joan Kroc Center is one of several facilities owned and operated by Father Joe’s Villages, San Diego’s largest homeless services provider, under the auspices of CEO Deacon Jim Vargas. They provide shelter, food, clothing, healthcare, child development, job training and education through staff, volunteers and public and private donors. For more information visit


Though Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company started out 2015 in a strong place, the organization has notified the community that they have “suffered some serious financial setbacks.” Financial troubles have caused Mo’olelo — which stands for “stories” in Hawaiian — to cancel the rest of their current season and they will officially cease operations for six months as of Jan. 1.

Lydia-Fort-199x300Located at 930 10th Ave., Downtown, the socially conscious arts company was a resident of the Tenth Avenue Arts Center and known for producing “original and lesser-known plays” and educating youth in both technical theater and design.

“Our first production of the season, ‘CELL,’ produced a financial loss and that we also lost a significant grant that we have relied on in years past,” stated President Alison Whitelaw in a released statement. “Mo’olelo has never incurred debt and remains committed to continuing that record, but because our resources are reduced we understand that our current operational model may be untenable.”

The San Diego Union Tribune reported in October that new artistic director Lydia Fort had left the company “suddenly,” after moving to San Diego from New York to take the position and directing “Cell.” Fort went on to direct Diversionary Theatre’s “Bright Half Life” in November.

Whitelaw also stated that while her tenure as president would also end in January, she planned to remain on the board, and announced that new president Jerry Buckley — a board member for five years — would take over.

During the next six months, Mo’olelo’s board members plan on reviewing various options; performing outreach to their community of artists, patrons and donors; and redevelop a new operational model.

“At this juncture, I ask for your continuing support of our mission to present San Diego audiences with relevant, socially conscious, and community focused ‘Stories,’” she stated.

For more information or to offer the company assistance, visit

One Comments

  1. […] Downtown Briefs Jan. 2016 Financial troubles have caused Mo'olelo — which stands for “stories” in Hawaiian — to cancel the rest of their current season and they will officially cease operations for six months as of Jan. 1. Located at 930 10th Ave., Downtown, the socially … Read more on San Diego Downtown News […]

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