FUTURE IS COLOR®
Creative Placemaking: Building Community Through Space & Music
San Diego is often seen as a one-note beach town, but that description hardly captures the complex character of the city just above the U.S.- Mexico border. One of the neighborhoods that more accurately represents the depth and beauty of San Diego culture is Barrio Logan, a vibrant arts community and a cultural hub of the city.
During the pandemic this neighborhood was hit hard and a lot of the small businesses on the north end of the main street, Logan Ave, lost their foot traffic. While the South end if the block has started to rebuild the energy during the week thanks to restaurants, art galleries, and bars the north end of the block went dark.
This neighborhood also happens to be home to our Future Is Color Studio & Store.
Future Is Color Studio & Store which is located on the north end of Logan Ave, started as a fulfillment center for the brand in 2020 and organically became a safe gathering space for community members who connected with the statements on the shirts. Over the years the space has taken many forms but at the core it was always a space to gather and have honest conversation about community, legacy, and liberation. At the start of 2023 Erwin decided to remodel the studio and build out programming based on the natural communal energy the space was already inviting. “The goal was to create a space that felt like you could stay for a while and a place that feels like home.”
On top of our daily programming of the space which includes retail, coffee, library, and community talks, we recognized there was still a big hole in the evenings on the north end of Logan Ave. It essentially went pitch black at sundown and foot traffic to the local business would stop. Then, when we zoom out and look at San Diego at large a lot of the places open after hrs are not accessible to all, in that you need to pay or buy something in order to participate. As we looked at this and audited other cities one of the things we wanted to bring was a music experience that would happen every week, be free, and would be wholly centered on the enjoyment of the art. So in Feb of 2023 we introduced STUDIO SESSIONS.
STUDIO SESSIONS is a weekly live music experience that creates opportunity for community members to engage in deeper dialogue with one another and their communities. Music has the power to gather us, heal us, and connect us. Historically Sonic gathering spaces have been at the heart of revolutionary movements. They were spaces where individuals, particularly from marginalized communities could fully express, be seen, and where the artificial barriers between people could be broken down by a unifying rhythm.
COLLISION OF COMMUNITY
San Diego is home to many diverse communities but there are not many spaces for those disprate communities to come together in ways that encourage conversation & connection.
ACCESS TO ART & CULTURE
Empirical evidence supports these claims: Among adults, arts participation is related to behaviors that contribute to the health of civil society, such as increased civic engagement, greater social tolerance, and reductions in other-regarding behavior
PLATFORM FOR YOUNG TALENT
San Diego has a wealth of talented creatives but in speaking with them there are a lot that don't feel supported by the institutions and the city at large. With STUDIO SESSIONS we idenity young talent and work with them through an apprentiship and collaboration model to help them build their personal brands.
Since starting STUDIO SESSIONS we now have an average attendance of 200+ people every week. Since the capacity of our Studio & Store is only 80 people which is reduced even more because we put 20 chairs out the rest of the traffic flows outside and into our neighboors stores.
Music has the power to gather us, heal us, and connect us. Historically Sonic gathering spaces have been at the heart of revolutionary movements. They were spaces where individuals, particularly from marginalized communities could fully express, be seen, and where the artificial barriers between people could be broken down by a unifying rhythm. Studio Sessions is a project that we launched Feb of 2023 that utilizes Music and space to engage community members in deeper dialogue with one another and their communities. We seek to provide accessible space for arts and culture within San Diego, bring more traffic to small businesses in Barrio Logan, and build a platform to express the rich culture of our local community globally.