Solana Beach ‘Arts Alive on the Coastal Rail trail’ event back Oct. 2


By Diane Y. Welch


Carnivale is coming to the Coastal Rail Trail in Solana Beach and everyone is invited to be a part of this free celebration of the arts. Arts Alive on the Coastal Rail Trail (CRT) will take place on Sunday, Oct. 2, from noon to 4 p.m. The event embraces all aspects of the arts with a focus on involvement by community.

The winner of “Best Event in San Diego County” for 2010, this year’s event will again feature live music, dancers, stilt theatre walkers, and visual artwork scattered about the CRT. Unlike last year, however, activities will take place along the section of CRT on South Highway 101 that spans from Lomas Santa Fe south to Via de la Valle.

“It will be a fantastic day for art appreciation for the community,” said Carol Beth Rodriguez, a member of the Public Arts Advisory Commission that has overseen and organized the event with the City of Solana Beach. “There will be something for everyone. People will be able to actually experience the arts with their families.”

There will be a mask creation station for children and adults – with all materials provided – headed up by five founding members of the Solana Beach Arts Association. Children age 10 and under should have an adult with them. And there will be plenty of inspiration along the CRT from which to draw, said Rodriguez. Local artists and students have created over 60 hand-crafted masks that will be on exhibit. Some of the masks may be purchased, while most will be part of a silent auction along with the Arts Alive hand-painted banners that were hung throughout the city earlier this year. Monies raised go directly to support the city’s public arts programs.

Canyon Crest Academy Dance Troupes will perform three separate dance pieces directed by CCA instructor and choreographer Rayna Stohl, who will also perform. The dances will take place on the Rosa Street Bridge and will incorporate the mask theme that is central to the event.

Included in the lineup of guest artists is musician Peter Sprague; 2 Guys Will Move You; Patrick Burke; Steam Powered Giraffes; and students from North Coast Repertory Theatre School, each performing live theater; Rodrigo with his recycled artwork; Solana Beach’s Bruun Boys giant sculptures; the Living Statue; Patrick Burke and his steel drums; and back by popular demand, the Dragon Knights Stilt Theatre.

The event takes a lot of manpower to organize and stage with many community volunteers involved. Katherine Schmiedeberg, a former commissioner on PAAC, and a Solana Beach resident, has a passion for the arts and is an active volunteer in aiding city arts events. She said that preparations for the 2011 Arts Alive on the Coastal Rail Trail began in January of this year. But with plenty of lead time and willing volunteers, all aspects of the event have come together smoothly, said Schmiedeberg, who did a lot of the behind-the-scenes work to find those volunteers, to design the advertising, and to organize the auction part of the event. “I like to see all the components come together successfully, which they did,” she said.

Activities will take place close to the Rosa Street bridge, which creates a pedestrian link to South Cedros Avenue, increasing foot traffic there. “So people may walk across the bridge and also enjoy going to the farmers’ market,” said Schmiedeberg.

It is anticipated that the event will be a huge draw for the city and nearby coastal communities. “This is a unique, exciting event,” said Rodriguez. “And wonderful to experience things that you don’t normally see, all at once.”

The Public Arts Advisory Commission (PAAC) invites everyone to stop by Solana Beach City Hall to see the masks created and decorated by artists for the “2011 Arts Alive on the Coastal Rail Trail” event. Donated by the artists, the masks will be sold via silent auction during the event.

Donated by the artists the masks will be sold via silent auction during the Arts Alive Event scheduled for Sunday, October 2, 2011, from noon until 4:00 pm.

For more information on the event and to see the Arts Alive Masks and Arts Alive Banners, visit

then click on Arts Alive and the Coastal Rail Trail.