About Ann Berchtold, Director of Marketing and Communications at MIG, Inc. and David Malmuth, Partner at I.D.E.A. Partners, LLC

Ann Berchtold is the Director of Marketing and Communications at MIG, Inc. MIG plans, designs and sustains environments and organizations that support human development. Ann has also served as an independent curator and arts program advisor. Her most notable achievement was launching San Diego’s first contemporary art fair in 2009 – Art San Diego, and the Open Walls Project, public exhibitions that transform commercial spaces. Ann is well known for her advocacy on promoting the arts and art education in San Diego. Her efforts have included the co-creation of the San Diego Art Prize, overseeing the direction and exhibitions at the L Street Fine Art Gallery, and working with Downtown San Diego Partnership to increase placemaking opportunities and art programming downtown.

David Malmuth has led a 35-year career in real estate, including senior roles with The Walt Disney Company, TrizecHahn Development, and most recently his own firm, entailing the completion of over $1 billion in high-profile projects, David has demonstrated the ability to conceptualize and implement unique solutions for each site he has encountered. No two projects are the same. Each place, whether the New Amsterdam Theater, Plaza Pasadena, Hollywood and Highland, or IDEA1, draws its inspiration from the site’s specific context and history, and is therefore fully integrated into its surroundings.

Planning for Arts and Culture in San Diego

The role of government, and the planning community, is perhaps to facilitate these kinds of partnerships and make it easier for serendipity to occur. While many cities mandate a portion of the development budget toward art, this will not necessarily result in an ongoing benefit to the arts community as in most cases the budget is used for public art projects versus creating opportunities for cultural programming.  

Rather than relying solely on this mandate, planners might want to consider educating developers with examples and case studies about the myriad ways that artists can participate in the development process. Likewise, outreach and education for the arts community about what role they can play in projects may stimulate a dialogue that can yield great results. In this sense, the planning community can be an invaluable translator in helping all parties to discover a richer, more inspiring, common language.