But along comes a one-of-a kind arts program, developed at San Diego International Airport, designed to enrich the airline traveler’s experience, while simultaneously cultivating the regional performing arts community.
Currently in its second year of operation, San Diego International Airport’s Performing Arts Residency Program brings residency acts to the airport, which includes dance, music and theater groups, for a 12 month period.
“The phrase that we use a lot around the airport is gateway,” said Christopher Chalupsky, senior manager of arts and community partnerships at San Diego International Airport (SAN). “The airport is a representation of what the region is all about and this program gives people a taste of what San Diego has to offer in terms of performing arts.”
TranscenDANCE Youth Arts Project, an 11 year old organization based in National City that serves young people between the ages of 13 and 23 through holistic dance and performing arts programs, was selected after a public call for applications was put out by the San Diego Airport Authority in the fall of 2016.
“It was an interesting thought to be charged with the idea of doing community building through the arts with a transient community in a place like the airport,” said Cat Corral, co-founder of TranscenDANCE. “What really intrigued me was how our young people would create workshops and performances with the idea of building a temporary community space that both uplifts and inspires staff and travelers for that brief period that they're going to be in the airport.”
The group has already begun performing for travelers around the airport environment in such places as the pedestrian bridge, escalators and baggage claim area. Corral explained how the group had to be site sensitive to the permanent and temporary art installations, physical space, people and energy within the environment.
“We’ve done some work with dancers suddenly coming down the curbside and catching people by surprise as they’re getting picked up or dropped off. It’s a real pleasure to see the delight in people’s eyes as they’re experiencing dance in an unexpected time and place. There’s a feeling of taking the street and bringing the joy, beauty and energy of dance to all of the people along the way,” Corral said.
As part of the SAN’s Public Art Program, which includes public artwork, temporary exhibitions and performing arts, TranscenDANCE will perform monthly at the airport until December.
“The reflection of art and culture from San Diego can really have a positive impact on the traveling experience,” Chalupsky said. “The residency program is a way to offer something even more unique to the airport patrons and also for the arts groups around town.”
More information on the San Diego International Airport’s Art Program can be found at www.art.san.org.
More information on Transcendance can be found at www.tdarts.org or by calling 619-255-3812.