Encinitas ‘Passport to the Arts’ Festival offers various events


The fourth annual Encinitas “Passport to the Arts” Festival is scheduled for Sunday, March 29, from noon to 4 p.m. The day will be a celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts.

The event, organized by a partnership between the City of Encinitas Arts Division and the San Dieguito Academy (SDA) Foundation, will take place at the San Dieguito Academy (SDA) Performing Arts Center and everyone is welcome to attend this family-friendly free event.

“Many people are not aware of this wonderful facility,” said Jim Gilliam, arts administrator, City Manager’s Office, about the $10 million arts center. “We are utilizing it to the fullest as a chance for the public to see our local talent.”

The arts festival is the largest annual arts event that the city’s arts division organizes. It has a focus on arts education and showcases outstanding student talent alongside professional artists, Gilliam explained.

On the event line-up is a 600-piece art exhibition — art provided by students from eight local schools — with awards given to notable works.

SDA’s culinary program will also be a big feature.

“Students will create vegan and vegetarian dishes and desserts, with the rest of the food provided by gourmet food trucks,” Gilliam explained.

The Coastal Communities Concert Band — first time performers at the festival — along with SDA’s own 90-piece concert band will perform on the Band Room Stage.

In the Liggett Theater, the Dragon Knights Stilt Theatre group will headline the live-theater entertainment.

North County School of the Arts — the largest children’s theater program in Encinitas — will showcase an abridged version of “Bye Bye Birdie” and the Encinitas Ballet will stage a 30-minute performance of excerpts from “Sleeping Beauty.”

“We encouraged these groups — rather than doing a show and tell — to give us something more substantial, a smaller version of what they would put on the big stage,” explained Gilliam.

In addition to providing high-quality entertainment, the festival illustrates to students the transition that they can make from their education years into performing professionally as an adult, said Gilliam.

“The festival makes these valuable kind of connections possible,” he said.

There will be art-making workshops for both children and adults, hosted by Encinitas County Day School, the Art Miles Mural Project, Encinitas Parks and Recreation, and SDA students. There will be chalk walk art, campus art tours, professional fine art booths and artists’ demonstrations and more.

The festival is funded in part by the City of Encinitas and the Mizel Family Foundation Community Grant Program.

Partners in making the festival possible include the Commission for the Arts, Encinitas Alliance for Arts Education, Encinitas Theatre Consortium, Encinitas Union School District, San Dieguito Union High School District, Cardiff School District, Mira Costa College District, Encinitas Country Day School, Encinitas artists and arts organizations.

Special thanks are extended to Cheryl Ehlers, Sheila Durkin, Dody Crawford, Jeremy Wuertz, Collette Stefanko, Jon and Judy Montague and SDA students.

SDA is located at 800 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024. Guests are encouraged to bring picnic blankets or low back chairs.

For the complete schedule and more information, visit