Ileana Ovalle, Trustee of the Museum of Us


With thanks to Laura Zablit from the Old Globe, and Ileana Ovalle, Trustee of the Museum of Us, guests participated in a form of collaborative storytelling that the Old Globe uses as an arts engagement program, now adapted online for community participation. The end result of this “mad-libs-type” magnificent collaboration?


As defined by this constellation of people in time, in this zoom room right now.


Since Ileana Ovalle, Paul Meyer, Tyler Hewes, Lori Walton and their colleagues first rode the merry-go round and climbed the Moreton Bay fig tree years ago, they have been an integral part of the special, diverse, beautiful, inspiring, green, magic, essential sprawl of land known as Balboa Park. From that first day they defined and shaped the Park, simply with who they are, being present in a shared space of San Diegans.


Since those early days of Shakespeare at Old Globe, taking their first child to the park, and Girl Scout camp, they’ve taken a more organized role to invest in Balboa Park. They’ve made it possible to connect organizations, connect San Diegans, investing in the cultural heritage of our city. And the practice of meaningful work grows, even in a pandemic; they have hosted virtual events, supported Black Lives Matter, not overcommitted, taken time and space for themselves, been able to say no, and focused on family.


It is for these reasons that the group’s official definition is as follows:


BALBOA PARK CULTURAL PARTNERSHIP - A group of zoomified, tired, relieved, positive, happy, enthused, intrigued, smashing Balboa Park-loving people who are committed to resilience, compassion, and tolerance, so that many more San Diegans will have the opportunity to play in the fountain in front of the Fleet Science Center, get hot chocolate at December Nights, and watch the performers stop when planes fly overhead.