Justin Navalle & Niko Podimatis

Quartyard | San Diego Event Space

Justin Navalle (Managing Partner) &
Niko Podimatis (Venue Manager) at Quartyard

Meet the team who run an urban park and event venue constructed from repurposed shipping containers in the East Village Neighborhood of Downtown San Diego.

Quartyard | Justin Navalle & Niko Podimatis


What’s your message to your community?

JUSTIN: Inspiration favors motion… We have to keep showing up, we have to keep trying to connect, we have to contribute, we have to check in, we have to exhibit patience, we have to lift each other up.

NIKO: Please be respectful to others and the guidelines in place; some may be more concerned about COVID than you are.


How can the community best support you?

JUSTIN: Show up, be patient, vote, do your part to help keep themselves and those around them safe (wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, all that good stuff.), and educate yourself beyond news headlines.

NIKO: We have started a fundraiser to support the art program we have been building at Quartyard for the past 3 years. The Art Program is typically funded by events that we put on for the community but since that has been halted for the foreseeable future we have turned to the strength of the community as a whole to have the program continue. The money will go directly to funding paid projects to creatives in the community. Any donation of $20 or greater & we will send out a Quartyard mask to the supporter. Click here to support.


What has been your creative escape during COVID?

JUSTIN: Curating playlists, DJing, Playing my guitar, coloring, writing, reading, and playing w/ my GoPro8.

NIKO: I have been focused on my personal development during this time. Reading books from a variety of genres, improving my public speaking & speech writing, to taking online courses in art history to expand my understanding of artistic practices across a variety of disciplines.


What has COVID taught you about connection?

JUSTIN: That we are social creatures and we can not thrive alone. I have realized that my inspiration feeds off of observing humans. Solitude (w/o your phone) is also healthy. Balance is key.

NIKO: On a social level, some people really need connection. There is a lot of power in a facetime call or a socially distanced meeting to keep those connections continued. On an economic level, with the stopping of events we at Quartyard got to see really how interconnected the event production group in San Diego is; it is a shame that we do not get to create with a wonderful group of musicians, artists, A/V teams, and event production companies for the enjoyment of SD residents.


What place in your neighborhood are you excited to get back to? Why?

JUSTIN: Anywhere with live music and/or art. Live music has always been my home away from home.

NIKO: The museums at Balboa Park. I feel it is important to view and discuss art on a regular basis & while we don’t have the caliber of institutions found in LA or NY, Balboa Park is a fantastic cultural hub to spark discussion and appreciation for the arts.


If you were to write a book about 2020 so far, what would the title be?

JUSTIN: For Reals.

NIKO: PIVOT: Suggestions for taking back the year you thought was lost


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