VISTA — Arts and music are just two passions Marty Martinez is smashing together in the alleys of his hometown.
For the past 14 months, the 28-year-old has led The Paintbooth 760 nonprofit as a way to combine arts and music to provide a constructive and creative outlet for people of all ages.
The rebel-esque group holds concerts with artists displaying their work in the alley behind Martinez’s body shop, El Mago Auto Body, on Redlands Street between Connecticut Avenue and Orange Street.
“Basically, we exist to preserve the integrity of the music and art community in North County,” Martinez said. “Our emphasis is to throw music events that have art with it. We focus on all ages because that’s our demographic. They love that it’s in the alley and love that it’s between the skate parks.”
Nicole Vega, 29, joined Martinez’s efforts last year and has seen how the organization has grown as they promote music and arts, drawing more than 200 people for various shows.
The duo, who met in middle school, recruit Southern California bands and are also attempting to bridge the gap in the underground music scene in San Diego County. Martinez, who plays in the band Vietnam Hardcore, said there is a gulf between north and south counties.
More importantly, the shows are another outlet for young people to engage in a positive event. Martinez and Vega said their neighborhood has been neglected, and gangs and drugs are threats to teenagers, which is another reason The Paintbooth 760 exists.
“When you’re here, nobody cares about where you’re from,” Vega said.
Another goal is to create an event to tie-in to the two skate parks, which are on either end of the alley behind Martinez’s uncle’s shop. It would be a way to push out the negative, such as drugs, alcohol and fights, and give anyone from any background the opportunity to be expressive and find their voice.
The shows, meanwhile, range from punk to hip-hop, while art vendors set up their work and interact with the crowd. Some shows have as many as 200 people attend.
Also, the nonprofit will host a bigger show on May 18 at Aztec Brewery featuring 30 to 40 artists with 15 to 20 local bands.
The success, meanwhile, has also led The Paintbooth 760 to support touring bands from as far away as Europe, Chicago, Sacramento and Tijuana. To offer some financial support, the nonprofit relies on donations to be able to pay the bands, but is working on ways to find more financial support.
“In November, we could’ve been booked through April, that’s how in demand we are,” Martinez said. “It’s all organic.”
The nonprofit, though, is in transition as it will actually have a new home just up the street from its alley roots. However, the space is being renovated, which gives Martinez and Vega some time to reassess their business structure and show schedule.
To support The Paintbooth 760, visit thepaintbooth760.weebly.com or paypal.me/thepaintbooth760
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.