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Art, Music & Culture

The library is a vital community center where San Diegans gather to enjoy literature, music, art and public discourse—all free of charge. The library is San Diego’s largest provider of free cultural programming with more than 11,000 cultural, educational and literary events each year. Private support helps expand this increasingly important mission.


Musical performances at the Central Library began in the mid-1950s and that tradition carries on throughout the library system (learn more). Also, nearly half of San Diego Public Library branches host musical performances with strong musical schedules at the Point Loma/Hervey, La Jolla/Riford, Mission Valley and Rancho Bernardo Branch Libraries. The new Central Library hosts an active concert series in the fall and spring and will be a vital new center for music with multiple venues for concerts or more intimate performances.


Visual Arts Program

For more than a dozen years, the Library’s Visual Arts Program has brought free museum-quality art exhibitions to San Diego’s libraries. Rotating exhibits are housed at the Mission Valley and Pacific Beach/Taylor Branch Libraries with long-term group exhibitions at the Point Loma/Hervey, College-Rolando and Otay-Mesa/Nestor branches. With the opening of the new Central Library, the Program will have a dramatic new home in the ninth floor Art Gallery and Valeiras Sculpture Garden.

The Central Library also is home to four public art installations by internationally-recognized artists Donald Lipski, Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Roy McMakin and Gary Hill.