Our Mission Statement
The WorldBeat Center is a nonprofit multi-cultural arts organization that is dedicated to promoting, preserving, and celebrating the African Diaspora & Indigenous cultures of the world. Through consciousness raising, we strive to promote peace within our San Diego community by providing ongoing programs and services that nurture the spirit of children, the elderly, and everything in between.
About the WorldBeat cultural Center
Creating Unity Through Diversity
Since our founding nearly thirty years ago, our doors have been open every day to all people as a place to celebrate all cultures, art, music, dance, and people – regardless of color or creed.
Through our doors, you’ll find murals by local artists brightly commemorating important leaders and historical cultures, multiple galleries and small shops serving healthy local foods, locally sourced goods, and a gallery of art and artifacts. Flags of all nations fly from the ceiling, while the stage and dance floor have hosted hundreds of famous and upcoming acts, artists, and events over the years.
Our Upcoming Events
Aug15Children’s Performing Arts and Science Summer Camp – Session 4WorldBeat Center9:00 amSep23John and Alice Coltrane DayWorldBeat Center8:00 pmOct15Fela Kuti Day feat Taste of African CuisineWorldBeat Center
Our Healing Peace Garden
Programming supported by
What is the Healing Peace Garden?
WorldBeat Center’s Healing Peace Garden is an urban oasis featuring countless rare edible and medicinal plants that hold cultural significance. The garden was designed as a special place to help teach our community about the healing role of plants in society.
Today, the garden acts as an Outdoor Classroom and offers a wide variety of programs at the Garden, including citizen science through Celebrate Urban Birds, school tours, Summer Camp programs, internship programs, workshops, events and STEM research projects. As the first sustainable, edible garden in Balboa Park, this unique spot is also a Certified Monarch Waystation and a Certified Wildlife Habitat.
Why was the Healing Peace Garden created?
Designed to educate families about healthy foods and provide access to green spaces, the garden acts as a welcoming quiet sanctuary for all of our visitors. In addition, thanks to the Noise Project an NSF grant research project (No. #DRL-1811234) we have identified the Garden as a “healing garden” or “noise refuge” that serves as a buffer zone and sanctuary against the surrounding urban noise pollution and a place to destress and relax.
Currently, we are working towards developing an extension to the garden dedicated to children, the “Enchanted Children’s Sound Garden”. Reach out if you would like to support.
How can I visit Healing Peace Garden?
The Garden welcomes K-12 schools, college groups as well as homeschool families for planned workshops and tours. We also welcome bookings through the Healing Gardens website and private tours can also be arranged. The garden is also open for special collaborative events and workshops throughout the year.
About Our Founder
The WorldBeat Cultural Center was founded by Makeda Cheatom in 1993. It’s first location was an annex in Old Town and San Diego and in 1995 WorldBeat Center was granted entry to its current location in Balboa Park.
Her dream began with the complete transformation and revitalization of a then-abandoned water tower on the edge of Balboa Park in the heart of downtown. Complete with colorful murals, art galleries, and peaceful gardens, the Center has since become one of the most important multicultural art and event centers in San Diego.
Since the Center’s founding, Makeda has produced hundreds of programs and presented artists from wide cultural genres represented within the cultural center. Makeda has received numerous awards for her service to the community, and in 2012, she was inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame.
"Music, Art and Dance will unite and heal the world."- MAKEDA CHEATOM