• Cassie Kaawaloa

Meet Manuel Aguilar - District 3

In his five years at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park, Manny Aguilar has had the pleasure to learn about the history of his local community. As the Museum Store Manager at the History Center and a born-and-raised native San Diegan, Manny has adopted a sense of responsibility to share not only the story of San Diego but also some of the important arts and cultural events that are taking place within his neighborhood and the surrounding communities.

Beyond his work at the History Center, Manny is the current president of San Diego Emerging Museum Professionals and a trustee of the sales committee for the Spreckels Organ Society. He is also a member of the Balboa Park Green Team and volunteers for the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and other cultural institutions during special events in Balboa Park.

An advocate at heart, Manny enjoys his ability to promote creative communities within San Diego by establishing the right connections between artists and the people who can promote their work. Finding support for artists and their communities allows him to see the creative process from a different perspective than most people get a chance to experience, including getting to see how many people are really involved in the journey of an artist, and their work from conceptualization to realization. It takes a community to support artists through the struggles of getting their work noticed, and Manny appreciates any opportunity to support an artist on their journey.

District 3 is home to an eclectic arts and culture scene that showcases nearly every type of artist. There are a variety of theatre productions, art galleries, music venues, dining establishments and gift shops that foster creative individuals who not only want to make a creative impact on their community, but an economic one as well. The region is full of neighborhoods that are distinct at their core while at the same time blending into the fabric of each other’s boundaries.

Raised in District 3, Manny likes to think his parents saw how the neighborhood would eventually become an epicenter for arts and culture and therefore impact his life. Today he continues to call District 3 home and appreciates his neighborhood’s flourishing creative community.

Manny is particularly excited about the pattern of collaboration among the arts and culture ecosystem in San Diego, the partnership between organizations like San Diego Emerging Museum Professionals and Rising Arts Leaders being just one of many examples. He sees the communities in San Diego working together as one huge collaboration between artists, families, business owners, and civic leaders as the perfect opportunity for powerful dialogues between these groups about how important arts and culture already is to San Diego, and how important it can be in making San Diego a world class city.

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