Media Contact: Liz Faris, Communications Manager, (619) 527-6161 ext. 376, lfaris@jacobscenter.org

March 17, 2015 – SAN DIEGO – As part of its continuing effort to support the arts in southeastern San Diego, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation announces multidisciplinary artist Gill Sotu as its artist-in-residence.

Mr. Sotu is a prolific poet, musician, DJ, host and writer. He uniquely weaves all elements of his artistry into impactful performances that inspire, provoke thought, and evoke soul and laughter. Originally from Oxnard, CA, Mr. Sotu moved to San Diego in 2007. He has since opened for Grammy-nominated artist Sheila E, performed with the San Diego Symphony and conducted workshops at local high-schools and the San Diego County Juvenile Detention Center.

His rousing performances immediately impressed Reginald Jones, president and CEO of the Jacobs Center.

“Soon after I saw Gill perform for the first time, I was inspired by his words, presence and innate ability to connect with an audience. He exemplifies everything that the Jacobs Center stands for community, character, change and inspiration. We are so excited to have Gill join our organization and continue to inspire the people of the Diamond Neighborhoods,” says Mr. Jones.

For his two-year residency, Mr. Sotu will engage the community through projects like a partnership with Writerz Blok, the Jacobs Center’s urban art program. He plans to develop a curriculum and teach youth in southeastern San Diego poetry, spoken word and playwriting.

“I am very excited about my opportunity here. Getting the chance to work with an organization on such a big vision is like finding a unicorn for an artist. I knew from a young age, my job on earth was to bring people together to give insight on our shared experiences and celebrate our diversity. Poetry, theater, music and live performance connect communities in a very tangible yet visceral way. How blessed am I that the Jacobs Center has allowed me to be part of moving such important issues forward,” says Mr. Sotu.

Mr. Sotu’s first residency performance was at the Jacobs Center’s Town Hall Series Launch on Feb. 26. He performed an inspiring original spoken word piece that called on residents to be part of the positive change happening in their community.

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The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI) is partnering with resident teams in southeastern San Diego to transform nearly sixty acres into The Village at Market Creek, a LEED-certified neighborhood and vibrant cultural destination. Through a network of nonprofit and for-profit partners, locally-owned businesses and national tenants, a community and conference center, and a portfolio of social enterprise projects, JCNI is creating assets that will become economic engines for the community when the foundation sunsets in 2030. Under the banner of “Resident Ownership of Neighborhood Change,” the people who live and work in the community create the vision, lead the implementation, and own the change in their community. Learn more at www.jacobscenter.org.