Ithink it is important that all of San Diego, public and press, support the proposed Soviet Arts Festival. It would be good for our city, good for the arts community, and good for international relations. Just from a practical side it would be a boon for our important tourist business, giving people another reason to come here.
Most people I talk to are very much in favor of the festival, and the few criticisms I have heard seem to me to be based on a very provincial viewpoint. Recently you had a column, "Egg Hunts in Oz," wondering whether anyone would come to such an event and implying that San Diego is a backward little city and shouldn't count on the support of strangers.
On the contrary, San Diego is one of the world's great tourist meccas, and its appeal is based not only on climate and coast but also on such things as the Old Globe Theater and the Del Mar races. We constantly depend on the attendance of "strangers," as Mr. Mathews describes them--the city is thronging with them year round. He underestimates San Diego and also the appeal of such a festival. Places much smaller and less accessible have been holding highly successful arts and theater festivals for years. With good planning and promotion, people would come from all over the country.