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Thought Provokers: Downtown & Little Italy

San Diego has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists and creative professionals from in and around Downtown & Little Italy that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Samantha Baker

I was accepted into film school, and from then on, I was non stop working on productions. It’s crazy to look back over the years to see how far I’ve gotten with my craft, and all the wonderful artists I’ve had the privilege to work with. Life is a roller coaster, and you never know where it’ll take you. Read more>>

Umna Khan Hamed

With all this extra time to reflect on what I was going to do, I picked up my high school art supplies and started drawing again. My drawings became shirts and the shirts started selling to support orphan girls’ higher education costs in Pakistan. Umna Khan ChariTees came to life after a moment which felt like my life was over. I knew that there was still more for me out there and the only person standing in the way was me. Read more>>

Top Shelf Shake

Being a musician is a really cool way to give one’s essence to the world. It allows us to travel and have fun, but it also allows us to be true artists. Like most bands, we enjoy a good simple tune that gets people jumping and doesn’t require a whole lot of analysis. In addition to those songs though, we always relish the opportunity to write a song with a bit more depth. Read more>>

Elena Buenrostro

After I became a Certified Drone pilot and began to seek others who shared the same interest, I soon realized there was a major gender gap in the drone industry. That’s when I decided to create Women Who Drone, an online community that inspires, educates, and empowers women and girls with drone technology. Read more>>

Jenny Desrosier

My weapon of choice at the moment is my Nikon D610 but I also shoot with 35mm film, and I’ve been playing around with disposables a lot lately as well. While my passion is music photography, I love shooting portraits, behind the scenes, and I hope to get into more editorial work in the future. Read more>>

Ray Flores

I love being able to express myself creatively whenever possible; the camera has been a preferred tool of mine for years. Growing up, I was surrounded by the rich culture of the neighborhood. I love the culture I was surrounded with, the colors, sounds, the food, and the community. I want people to see the beauty and diversity I was exposed to growing up.Read more>>

Unice Fernández

I’m a portrait photographer based out of San Diego. I was born and raised in Washington State, and as a child, I remember always embracing my creativity. I loved sewing, hair, makeup, pottery, painting and event designing. I found a love for photography when my aunt and uncle purchased a point and shoot camera. Read more>>

Alexis Cicala

It has always been a dream of mine to start my own coordinating business, and the doors started to open when we moved to San Diego. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of so many vendors in Southern California. Read more>>

Lavada England

My hope is that people will see that we have so many more commonalities than what we often see and through transparency and open-mindedness the relatability is stronger. Educate, Encourage, Empower, the 3e’s of life and the opportunity that is often missed to share with another that could be another tool in some else’s tool belt. Read more>>

Katherine Bibilouri

My first real contact with the arts was when I was twelve years old and began commuting to New York City to train in Russian Classical Ballet. By the time I was 13, a lot of my friends were starting to invest more time in training for careers as professional dancers; some even began homeschooling. Read more>>

Drew Curry

Now I’m 26, making clothing and art in Los Angeles, all stemming from my inspiration by my time spent in Kolkata, India. My mission, which I’m adamant about sharing, is “To promote humanity through art, objects, and contemporary fashion.” And my goal is to use my art to make a real difference in kids lives in Kolkata. Read more>>

Shani B.

I began to take my craft more seriously and released my freshman project “Mixed Signals.” After a few years of performing and collaborating around Boston, I was ready to go big or go home. And for me, that meant making the decision to move to Los Angeles to further pursue music. Read more>>

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