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Balboa Park Beat

Scorpions that glow! Millipedes that secrete cyanide from their skin! Bugs that disappear into their surroundings, right before your eyes!

The newest exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum is an "ewww"-inducing spectacle under colorful circus flags. Opening on Friday, February 22, the traveling circus sideshow, “Dr. Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders,” has theatrical bug displays alongside cases of live bugs like hissing cockroaches, scorpions, and giant mealworms. An adjacent exhibit created in-house by staff of theNAT’s Department of Entomology features unusual butterflies, spiders, and other specimens from the San Diego region. 

While parents may find the upstairs exhibitions on chocolate and nature photography a little more palatable, “Dr. Entomo’s” is geared to little ones; several of the cases are kid’s-eye level and designed to spark curiosity about the most bizarre insects among us.

From March 10 to June 2, theNAT will host “Six-Legged Sundays” with meet-and-greets with museum entomologists, screenings of films like “A Bug’s Life” and other family activities.

Dr. Entomos

Welcome to Dr. Entomo's

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Today, February 15, the San Diego Air & Space Museum celebrates its 50th anniversary of opening to the public. SDASM released its guidebook, Celebrating: a History of the Museum and its Collections.

SDASM first opened on February 15, 1963 in Balboa Park’s Food and Beverage Building. SDASM then moved into the nearby Electric Building in 1965, where it remained until 1978, when a fire destroyed the museum and its contents. The board, staff, and members, with strong support from the community, immediately began to rebuild and moved SDASM into the historic Ford Building in 1980, where it resides today.

Historic Photos of SDASM & the Ford Building

SDASM history

Ford Building under construction

SDASM history

Pre-Air & Space Museum exhibit in the Ford Building

SDASM history

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On Friday, The San Diego Museum of Art’s Executive Director Roxana Velasquez wielded giant scissors to cut the ceremonial ribbon to the new permanent gallery “Art of East Asia.” The Museum has been aquiring pieces for this collection for almost 90 years and it is now open to the public. The gallery contains more than 280 works of Chinese, Japanese and Korean art, making up nearly half the total number of pieces in the Museum.

Not only are the unique items exquisite, but the design of the showroom by Staples & Charles also proved to be a true work of art. I could see and feel the amount of passion that was put into this project as Velasquez, the institution’s former Curator of Asian Art Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, and designers Robert Staples and Barbara Fahs Charles led us through the gallery.

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El Cid Pear TreesIn Balboa Park, job openings are popping up as quickly as the flowers on our ornamental pear trees. If your dream is to work within walking distance of the Lily Pond and the Organ Pavilion, check out the following job postings from the San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Natural History Museum, and other park organizations.

Good luck!


Group Sales Associate at the San Diego Museum of Man

Graphic Designer/Production Assistant at the San Diego Museum of Man

Museum Security Officer at the San Diego Museum of Man

Artists (two openings) at The San Diego Museum of Art

Curator of East Asian Art at The San Diego Museum of Art

Visitor Services Associate Lead at the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT)

Visitor Services Associate at theNAT

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Peter ComiskeyThe Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (BPCP) has hired a new director, Peter Comiskey, to lead collaborative activities for 27 art, science, and cultural institutions in Balboa Park.

The Australia-born Comiskey has more than a decade of experience leading collaborative cultural projects in the U.S., mostly in Southern California. He has led the Downtown Anaheim Association; the operations for Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana; and the MUZEO Foundation in Anaheim. He holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California-Los Angeles.

Comiskey started in his role on Monday, February 4. He succeeds Paige Simpson, BPCP’s interim director who announced last year that she was going to move to the East Coast with her family.

His arrival comes at a landmark moment in Balboa Park’s history, with planning for the year-long EDGE2015 celebration underway.

For the next few months, Comiskey will commute from Orange County as his wife and four-year-old daughter prepare to move to San Diego. Amid a packed schedule of meetings, receptions, and house hunting, he took a few minutes to discuss his initial ideas and priorities for the Park.

There are lot of organizations, people, and priorities in Balboa Park. What has prepared...Read The Rest

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