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SD Summer Art

Museums and music are on the cheap this summer


Photo by Stacy Keck

With the 2015 Exposition Centennial celebration and other birthdays—the Timken turning 50, the Spreckels Organ turning 100—many local arts institutions are in the spirit of giving. Here’s what to see and hear at minimal to zero cost this summer.

The always-free Timken Museum has recently brought in Johannes Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, on loan from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and part of The Private World of Vermeer exhibit, which runs through mid-September. Free guest lectures, family story hours, and gallery talks start May 27.

While the Timken still enjoys the distinction of being the only free art museum in Balboa Park, the Museum of Photographic Arts has jumped on board with a “Pay What You Wish” program on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, thanks to a grant from The Parker Foundation. Until August 28, bypass the general admission fee (or make a contribution!) to see 7 Billion Others (through September 13). The video installation, landing in the U.S. for the first time, connects guests with other people across the planet through video interviews.        

Spend a Monday evening listening to America’s largest outdoor pipe organ at the Centennial International Summer Organ Festival. World-class organists star in this series of 11 free concerts, June 22 through August 31.

MCASD La Jolla’s Shore Thing, Thursday evenings through August 27, includes museum tours, DJ music, a cash bar, and mingling in the sculpture garden. And the San Diego Symphony will offer a free concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion on July 19. Conductor Matthew Garbutt will lead a 75-minute show to commemorate the Centennial. The program includes Star Trek Through the Years, John Williams: Highlights from Jurassic Park, Richard Rodgers: The Sound of Music, and John Philip Sousa: Stars and Stripes Forever. Entertaining and free? That’s music to our ears.

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