—Monday, December 16, 2013

Written by Claire Trageser

The R&B band Mint Condition will perform at a Jacobs Center concert series meant to stimulate the local economy around Market Creek Plaza.

A new concert series has been created for the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in southeastern San Diego. Musicians representing the area’s diversity will perform this January through next summer.

In addition to bringing music to nearby residents, the “Jacobs Presents” concert series is designed to attract more people — and their dollars — to the economically struggling area, said Jacobs Center CEO and President Reginald Jones.

Jones said while people are in the neighborhood for the concerts, they hopefully will also support local businesses, especially restaurants in the adjacent Market Creek Plaza.

“Southeast San Diego has what you might want to call an economic gridlock,” he said. “Beyond the dollars that are spent here by local residents, there is not significant other dollars coming in to this community that can help build an economic base.”

Bringing more arts and culture to the area could also create jobs for local residents, he said.

“The arts are an important economic engine,” Jones said. “Arts and culture are cited as a $597 million industry in San Diego. It supports numerous full time jobs and generates money for local and state government. We want to make the same effort in southeastern San Diego, bringing high quality arts and culture to the community here, and using the arts as a tool for economic development.”

The area around Market Creek Plaza is very diverse, and Jacobs Presents wants to show that off, Jones said. The series includes:

“What we’re doing here is bringing in high quality entertainment that too represents the rich diversity of southeastern San Diego,” Jones said.

City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole, who represents the area, said in a statement that the series “has potential to ignite the local economy by bringing ticket buying concert-goers from around San Diego to our community.”

The concerts will be held in the Jacobs Center’s 760-seat auditorium called Celebration Hall. Tickets will cost between $45 and $100.

The Jacobs Family Foundation will contribute $100,000, and other business sponsors are also expected to help fund the events.