Take Back the Alley - Media Arts Center
- Project Address: 2921 El Cajon Blvd
- Project Owner/ Developer: Ethan Van Thillo, Director
- Owner Contact Name/ Email: Ethan Van Thillo
- Project Architect/ Designer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Arts Center San Diego, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization in North Park, recently transformed what was once their empty parking lot into an exciting and usable outdoor community space with a project called "Take Back the Alley". The new space will serve as a safe environment for students of MACSD's youth camps and as a gathering spot for film screenings and community events.
A group of around 30 volunteers from Qualcomm and around the neighborhood came together for 2 days to build a fence, install 40 outdoor cinema chairs repurposed from the Old Globe outdoor theater, plant flower boxes, and paint the walls and asphalt. Local artist and muralist, Isaias Crow, lead volunteers in finishing a large mural that covers the back wall of the center. A new wall garden was installed with the help of Beryl Forman of the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association.
The new space that resulted from "Take Back the Alley" was officially unveiled on June 15th at the first quarterly Boulevard Nights that was hosted by the Media Arts Center and their neighbors, the Coffee & Tea Collective and the Homebrewer in conjunction with the ECBBIA. Since then, the space has been a great addition to the youth camps that are being held at the Center until the end of August.
As 20 campers filed in for the first day of camp, parents and kids alike were impressed by what the parking lot had become. "What a fantastic space!" remarked one parent on the first day of the Youth Media & Tech Camp on June 25. "This place has changed so much over the past month, it looks great."
Along with the renovation of the back parking lot, the Media Arts Center San Diego has some big plans over the next year- including the construction of a 50 seat ‘micro-cinema' that will open in December as well as hosting the 20th year of the San Diego Latino Film Festival next March.