Celebrating the Creative Community of Venice.
Beyond The Box: A Utility Box Mural Program
The City of Glendale Arts and Culture Commission has designed a program
to support public art programs and to enhance the community and
neighborhoods through the use of murals. The project, Beyond the Box,
would enhance the aesthetics of the city, promote civic pride, increase
pedestrian traffic and extend public art to new areas and unexpected
places while creating an attractive environment and allowing art to be
introduced to the public in a creative and inventive way. The program
goal is to bring beauty to unexpected places such as public
infrastructure and utility boxes. Glendale Arts and Culture Commission
will partner with volunteers from Great American Cleanup to select
artists to create murals on 26 locations throughout Downtown Glendale.
Artist stipend: $750
Program information and application is attached and can be found here:
Applications are due April 18, 2014.
Annette Vartanian | City of Glendale | Library, Arts & Culture
222 East Harvard Street | Glendale, CA 91205 | T 818.937.7817
Important CSPG Links Below
CSPG has been awarded a grant from the Getty Grant Program to hire two undergraduate students for summer internships. Interns are given a stipend of $4,000 for a full-time ten-week period between June 3, 2014 and August 22, 2014.
Qualification & Eligibility Requirements: Getty internships are intended specifically for outstanding students who are members of groups underrepresented in professions related to museums and the visual arts: individuals of African American, Asian, Latino/a/ Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander descent. Previous experience in the arts is not required. (1) S/he must be a currently enrolled undergraduate and have completed at least one semester of college by June 2014, and those who will complete their degree by September 1, 2014 are also eligible to apply; (2) s/he must be a resident of or attend college in Los Angeles County. Students who have previously served as Getty Multicultural Summer Interns at our organization are not eligible for consideration.
* Working experience with Microsoft Office programs
* Strong visual interpretation and research skills
Familiarity with foreign languages
Experience in digital photography, graphic design, Adobe design programs and Dreamweaver.
The interns will receive training on some or all of the following projects:
1. Catalogue and data entry for political graphics using a museum database program.
2. Process and describe CSPG's collection on a folder level.
3. Research artistic and social justice issues as they relate to works in the collection.
4. Prepare digital images to be linked to database records.
5. Assist the Program Director with tasks related to fundraising and event planning.
6. Work on administrative tasks related to arts management.
To Apply: Send cover letter, resume and references by April 25, 2014. Email preferred. Attn: Mary Sutton, Program Director, firstname.lastname@example.org CSPG, 3916 Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 103, Culver City, CA 90230 Phone: 310.397.3100 Fax: 310.397.9305 www.politicalgraphics.org2014 GETTY UNDERGRADUATE MULTICULTURAL SUMMER INTERNSHIPS AT CSPG
Prison Nation: Posters on the Prison Industrial Complex will be on display at San Bernardino Valley College Student Center Bldg. CC142; April 14-24, 2014
Students, faculty and members of All of Us or None are sponsoring a day of inspirational activities in conjunction with the exhibition.
Join us for a dynamic exhibition tour, educational programs and poster-making workshop!
ART & Protest: Resisting the Prison Industrial Complex
April 15, 2014
10 am - 6 pm
10 am: Exhibition Tour
11 am: CURB presentation by Diana Zuniga
11: 30 am: Joseph Farias
12:30-2:15 pm Panel Discussion (partial list)
Diana Zuniga (CURB)
Geri Silva (FACTS)
Tanisha Denard (YJC)
Ernest Shepard (Fair Chance Project)
Daletha Hayden (California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement)
Kaelyn Doyle (All of Us or None SBVC)
2:30 to 6pm Poster Making Workshop
San Bernardino Valley College
Business Conference Center B-100
701 S. Mt. Vernon Ave
San Bernardino, CA 92410
Panelists will include representatives from: All of Us or None, California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement, Critical Resistance, CURB, the Fair Chance Project, and the Youth Justice Coalition.
For more information: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) created this traveling poster exhibition highlighting more than twenty boycotts from the 1950s to the present. Boycott! The Art of Economic Activism.
April 21 - 25, 2014
5800 W Friendly Ave
Greensboro, North Carolina 27410
May 8 - June 8, 2014
Mercado La Paloma
3655 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Education Program Friday, May 30
Poster Making Workshop, Saturday, May 31
More details to come.
May 1 - 28, 2014
St. Philip's Episcopal Church
403 E. Main Street
Durham NC 27701
April 10‒July 7, 2014
Plaza de Cultura y Artes
501 North Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
CSPG's posters are featured in the first exhibition to examine the pivotal role Dolores Huerta played in the fight for the rights of farm workers; and in the founding, with César Chávez, of the United Farm Workers (UFW). The exhibition includes approximately 120 serigraphs, posters, drawings, and documentary photographs that chronicle Huerta's life and this important struggle, as well as her ongoing work as an influential labor and human rights activist.
Huerta views art as an important catalyst in movements for change. She has been the subject and source of inspiration for works by many artists. The early involvement of Teatro Campesino in the fields and posters by artists supporting the organizing efforts of the UFW are on view, as well as contemporary pieces that address issues Huerta continues to work to impact: violence against women, human and civil rights, LGBTQ rights, labor rights, and immigration.
January 19- April 20, 2014
Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA)
490 East Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91101
Serigrafía surveys the powerful tradition of information design in California's Latino community, featuring thirty influential silkscreens from the 1970s to the present. Created at and distributed by artist-led collectives, or centros, the works in the exhibition explore subjects such as the Viet Nam war, United Farm Workers grape boycott, U.S. intervention in Central America and the Caribbean, and the Iraq War. Recent work includes marriage equality and the Occupy Wall Street Movement. All were conceived to provoke, protest, and praise. Occupying the formal ground somewhere between mass media and art object, they have often been relegated to the margins of display and critical reception more due to their political content, than for their aesthetics.
"Print Magazine" just published an interview with Carol A. Wells, CSPG's founder and Executive Director, about the Serigrafía
See Link in column on the left.
Serigrafía was organized by Exhibition Envoy from collections throughout California, including the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. It is funded by the James Irvine Foundation.
January 1, 2013 - November 30, 2014
La Plaza de Cultura y Artes
501 North Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
September 28, 2013 - April 25, 2014
David J. Sencer
Centers for Disease Control Museum
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
This exhibition examines some historic challenges of the past 120 years in achieving health equity for all in the U.S. We know that "race and place" are as important as personal choices in achieving our full potential
CSPG is recruiting volunteers to assist in a variety of tasks related to the archive and administration.
We are looking for people with skills in data entry, web design, Photoshop, research and more.
Please contact Mary Sutton at 310.397.3100 or email@example.com
April 7, 2014
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
There’s a moment from last year I keep thinking about. It was during the city council meeting at ArtsDay—the City Council Chamber was filled with arts advocates, some of them wearing their red ArtsDay t-shirt, some holding them up over the heads, others still wearing the special ArtsDay stickers we’d made up for the event.
I was standing at the podium addressing City Council on behalf of this group, inviting them to cheer or raise their hands when what I said applied to them. I asked how many volunteer in their communities, how many read for leisure, how many exercise regularly. There were great cheers on each question. But then I asked, “How many of you vote on a regular basis?” And the crowd went wild.
This is the moment I’ve carried with me from ArtsDay 2013. It wasn’t just the strength of the crowd’s passion for voting that stirred me—it was their shared commitment that did. Those voices, blending together—that’s what ArtsDay is for me. A chance for us to gather together and celebrate our shared commitment to Los Angeles and to arts and culture. To be one voice.
And it’s not just an arts and culture voice—it’s a Los Angeles voice. Arts, culture, and creativity are at the heart of what makes Los Angeles the city it is, the city we live in, the city we love.
184 organizations signed on this year to be Friends of ArtsDay 2014, helping us demonstrate the depth, breadth, and diversity of organizations who support arts and culture in LA. That's a huge testament to our sector's value, not only to artists and audiences, but to scientists, entrepreneurs, higher education—you name it.
If you live or work in Los Angeles, I hope you can be there with us this year on Friday the 11th to participate in that moment. You’ll hear Mayor Garcetti speak about his vision for our city’s future through creativity and find out how arts, culture, and creativity inform work happening in medicine, housing, philanthropy, and more. Even if you can't be there in person, read on to learn how you can still be part of all the great things happening on April 11.
Arts and culture brings us together—in theaters, in galleries and museums, in cafes, in vacant lots and parking lots, on the streets of our city.
Arts and culture is a destination, yes. But it is also the vehicle taking us there. Thank you for all you do to carry us all there.
Join the conversation
IN THIS ISSUE
TAKE ACTION FOR ARTSDAY 2014: April 11
Updates: Key Issues
Features: Exclusive Content for Rel@y subscribers
Top Tweets from @Arts4LA
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TAKE ACTION FOR ARTSDAY 2014: April 11
ArtsDay 2014 is just over a week away! We are so excited to welcome everyone back to City Hall for our annual celebration of arts and culture in Los Angeles.
We’ll start off the day with a light breakfast reception in the City Hall Rotunda and then ask you to join us for a brief presentation at the morning’s City Council meeting. The reception starts at 8:30 a.m.; the City Council Meeting will begin at 10 a.m.
The first 250 guests to arrive are guaranteed this year’s gorgeous ArtsDay t-shirt with artwork by Angeleno Stephen Walker (see article below).
Help us get a quick headcount for the morning by RSVPing as soon as you can! This will ensure we have enough food and volunteers on hand to make the event enjoyable for everyone: http://advocate.artsforla.org/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=70398
Already signed up? Visit the ArtsDay 2014 page to get our Advocate Guide to help you plan your visit to City Hall. Download cool ArtsDayLA graphics to share too!
Congratulations to Stephen Walker, who sent us this year’s winning #ArtsDayLA t-shirt design!
Stephen is an art director, designer, and photographer living in Council District 4. His design captures the vibrant spirit of Los Angeles’s creative communities by adding art implements to the icons of our city’s skyline.
We asked what he found so inspiring about life in Los Angeles. "In 1990 I moved to Los Angeles from Louisiana hoping to find more creative opportunities in graphic design and, like many of us transplants, for the ocean proximity and of course, the weather!" Stephen told us. "I immediately found great people who inspired me and hired me as a graphic artist at the iconic Capitol Records building. I feel truly blessed to have been adopted into this city where diversity is celebrated."
Now that I have 2 children, they are enjoying the creative opportunities Los Angeles has to offer. My 11 year old son is an aspiring drummer and my 13 year old daughter was a runner up in the LA Arts Day design competition last year!
"Los Angeles represents a mosaic of music, art, architecture, and culture like no other city in the world," Stephen said. "Now that I have 2 children, they are enjoying the creative opportunities Los Angeles has to offer. My 11 year old son is an aspiring drummer and my 13 year old daughter was a runner up in the LA Arts Day design competition last year! I encourage everyone to get out and find their inspiration in this vibrant city of ours."
Help us demonstrate the groundswell of support for LA’s arts and culture by:
Let everyone know why Los Angeles is “the city where creativity thrives”!
You can join the conversation about ArtsDayLA any time!
Check out the "Downloads" sidebar on the ArtsDay webpage to download these materials for use before, during, and after ArtsDay.
Arts for LA is grateful for the support of Mayor Garcetti, Controller Galperin, and all 15 City Council offices for ArtsDay 2014. But more than that, our elected officials—through their participation in ArtsDay and beyond—have a great commitment to arts and culture we want to celebrate.
Help us thank them for the good work they do all year long to keep Los Angeles the "city where creativity thrives"! Send a quick letter when you click through to our ArtsDay Action Page.
Customize your letter to tell your Councilmember about what YOU value of the arts and culture in your neighborhood, your district, or in Los Angeles.
Though this city is large, we are united under the banner of arts, culture, and creativity. Click here to send your letter now. It takes less than two minutes.
Consider a donation to fuel ArtsDay! A gift of $50 or more guarantees you an ArtsDay t-shirt. If you can't make it to the event, we'll send the shirt to your home or office.
As of today, we've raised $2,625 toward our goal of $5,000 (53%) to fuel ArtsDay!
Your tax-deductible contribution will fuel ArtsDay, which is free and open to the public. Donations will provide the necessary resources to produce the event, which is expected to draw 700 to 800 people. This year, attendees can also participate in free art-making activities after the City Council presentation. Every gift makes a difference.
Many thanks to our ArtsDay donors: Virginia "Ginny" Ball, M. Christina Benson, Susan Burns, Shelley Cranley, Theresa Doran, Carol Eliel, Laurel Felt, Kathrynn Girard, Noreen Green, John Jackson, Marla Koosed, Martha Koplin, Julie McDonald, Terry Morello, Diane Morinigo, Ed Novy, Helen Papadopoulos, Matt Plotkin (11:11 A Creative Collective), Ann Rowland, Jeanne Sakamoto, Jo Schillinger, Liz Schindler-Johnson, Bob Smiland, Judith Teitelman, Theatre of Hearts/Youth First, Aviva Weiner, and Aida Yohannes.
ArtsDay 2014 has been a collaborative planning effort between Arts for LA and Los Angeles’s elected officials. We thank Mayor Eric Garcetti, Controller Ron Galperin, and all 15 City Council offices for pledging their support of ArtsDay this year!
We also thank our sponsoring & supporting organizations for their support. ArtsDay 2014 by Ovation (Gold Sponsor) and the David Bohnett Foundation and the Shari and Les Biller Family Foundation (Silver Sponsors). ArtsDay 2014 is supported in part by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. The ArtsDay LA promotion is made possible in part by funding from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional ArtsDay 2014 support is provided by Grand Performances. Arts for LA general support is provided by KUSC and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
And we graciously thank our 165 Member Organizations, whose ongoing support of Arts for LA is essential to making ArtsDay a reality!
UPDATES: KEY ISSUESCulver City: Take Action for Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy!
Culver City is home to a vibrant and diverse arts and culture community dedicated to enriching the lives of all Culver City residents. The City previously supported its arts and culture sector through the work of a dedicated Department of Cultural Affairs. However, this department was dismantled in May 2012 when funding from the Community Redevelopment Agency was lost. Since then, Culver City has no centralized stewardship to support and grow its arts and culture resources.
Arts for LA asks you to contact the Culver City City Council to voice your support for the report's recommendations:
Send your letter to the City Councilmembers now. Support this important work and help Culver City return to its place as a leader of arts, culture, and the creative economy in Los Angeles County!
Photo Credit: Culver City's Rainbow by Daniel Pouliot, on Flickr
Californians will once again have the opportunity to support the California Arts Council and its arts programs for children through their state individual tax refund. Yesterday, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Senate Bill 571 (Senator Carol Liu, La Canada Flintridge), returning the arts to the voluntary contribution portion of California tax return forms through the new "Keep Arts in Schools Fund."
"This is wonderful news for California's young people," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. "We hope all those who know arts education results in future success for California's children will take advantage of this opportunity to directly contribute to arts education via their tax return."
He continued, "We are grateful to Senator Carol Liu for shepherding the enabling legislation that allows Californians to directly contribute to arts education through voluntary contributions on their tax form."
Individuals may make tax-deductible contributions in amounts of $1 or more. Arts supporters who use accounting services should tell their tax preparers about contributing to the "Keep Arts in Schools Fund," and encourage others to pursue this opportunity to support California arts education. The California Arts Council will provide detailed information and tutorials on how to contribute as tax season approaches via their website www.arts.ca.gov.
Mark your calendars! Arts for LA invites you to attend a special Creativity & Culture Candidate Forum for candidates seeking election to LA County’s Third Supervisorial District. The forum will take place at LACMA’s Bing Theatre at 7 pm on April 30. Tickets will be required, but will be available free of charge.
The forum will be moderated by Dr. Frank Gilliam of UCLA.
LA County’s Third District has been served for twenty years by Zev Yaroslavsky, whose support of arts, culture, and creativity in LA County has been instrumental in helping our creative sector take huge leaps forward. We thank Mr. Yaroslavsky for his service to Los Angeles County.
Arts for LA, in close partnership with Arts for All and the California Alliance for Arts Education, is proud to release a new arts education tool to help school districts throughout Los Angeles County use arts education strategies to address local needs.
As part of the new Local Control Funding Formula process, school districts are required to create a plan outlining how they will achieve goals in 8 state priority areas such as parent engagement, student achievement, and school climate. Because arts education is a powerful tool to achieve a variety of outcomes, Arts for LA and our partners have created a template to help school districts include arts education as a strategy to achieve their unique goals.
The template is free to download and use, so visit http://www.artsforla.org/artseducationLCAP to learn more or to get started on expanding arts education opportunities!
Arts for LA invited candidates in six current elections to complete the Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys. Over the last several weeks, candidates seeking office in Culver City, Lawndale, Long Beach, Long Beach USD, Malibu, and Whittier sent us their thoughts on how arts and culture is a powerful tool to build strong, vibrant communities and schools.
We are grateful to our Regional Partners for supporting these surveys! Thanks to Actors Fund, KCET's Artbound, LA2050, Otis College of Art + Design, and SPARC for helping spread the word, and big thanks to P.S. Arts for supporting the survey effort in Lawndale.
Surveys by Arts for LA have shown 96% of our advocates are registered and engaged voters. You can help keep the arts at the forefront of your city or school district's agenda by voting and staying in touch with your representatives.
To find your polling place or to learn more about measures appearing on your local ballot, visit the Los Angeles County Clerk/Registrar-Recorder's website.
There's great momentum in Sacramento to bolster funding for the California Arts Council. Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates are working with state legislators to move two funding bills through the State Legislature to increase arts and culture resources statewide.
Senate Bill 1432 (Ted Lieu) would allocate $25 million to the California Arts Council, while Assembly Bill 1662 (Ian Calderon) would increase funding to a yet-to-be-determined level.
Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates are also working within the state's budget process to increase resources for the California Arts Council. All arts advocates are invited to visit Sacramento on April 8 to show support at two scheduled hearings.
Arts for LA thanks these seven renewing Member Organization for their continued support of arts advocacy in Los Angeles County:CalArts Community Arts
Follow our Twitter feed to stay updated on the news, events, and people shaping arts, culture, and arts education!
Hey! Are you coming to #ArtsDayLA? Let us know, then let your friends know. :) RSVP for food, t-shirt.
We knew #LA County is the largest in the US, but did you know it's 2x the size of the next largest, Cook County, IL?
"I wanted to revolutionize #photography. Then I got a job with the man who wrote the rule book."
MT @TheCreativeC: @NEAarts Announces New Research on #Arts Employment #creativeeconomy
Why #artists are as important to innovation as #scientists.
#Hollywood filmmakers might love to shoot in #LA...if only it were cheaper than elsewhere.
We love how @LA2050 releases data! Check out their #arts & culture findings from their recent grant process:
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is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts advocacy organization
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By Krista Schwimmer
Across the country, a deadly force is destroying the character of neighborhoods forever. Jeremiah Moss, author of the blog, “Vanishing New York”, calls it “hyper-gentrification.” Grandchild to gentrification, Moss bemoans that this 3rd wave “is bigger, faster and meaner than its parent. It is also sicker, a sociopathic system with no compassion.” Behind this force stand not individuals – but corporations, banks, politicians, and even police. Although Moss is writing to save New York, what he says can be applied to Venice now. Battles have been lost in this quirky, coastal city. The month of March, however, marked decisive victories against hyper-gentrification: the first, an end to dinimimus waivers; the second, a community vote against Jason Teague’s “Nightmare on 1414 Main” development.
On March 18th, the community came out to hear just how the VNC would weigh in on Jason Teague’s oversized, ill-conceived project. The full motion by LUPC to deny was read, as well as the project summary. Jason Teague and Brian Silveira then had fifteen minutes to argue their case. Teague spent most of his time explaining the robotic, underground parking, as well as demonizing the neighborhood, calling it unsafe in the evenings. “We are trying to keep the art and remove the crime,” Teague exclaimed. Ironically, Captain Brian Johnson, Pacific Division, had earlier reported that violent crime was down in Venice this year. Teague showed no serious changes to the project design.
Next, Brian Silveira, planning consultant for the project, purportedly was going to educate the council on one of the most important aspects of the project: the use of SB1818. He began with the Mello Act, a law designed to fight gentrification in the area, saying that larger units must supply a minimum number of affordable units. He then claimed that their project was “valuable” because “in the future the only way to keep affordable units in the Venice coastal zone . . . is to develop projects of 10 units or more in this little tiny piece of undeveloped commercial area that we have.” He conveniently did not speak of the very real, neighboring residential area that would be completely altered by this project or the fact that, if the project was approved, they would be removing affordable units themselves!
Standing up against the project, Irv Katz and Rick Garvey, both longtime residents in the immediate vicinity of the project, gave a thorough, clear, succinct fifteen minute presentation. Katz began, arguing that the increased density brought by the project would increase the strain on resources. Showing photos of the diverse family homes in the area, he stated that “new development of the Venice Coastal Zone shall respect the scale and character of community development.” He ended his part by saying: “The proposal for 1414 Main Street is a whale. The homes that surround are gold fish. Please do not drop this whale in our goldfish bowl.”
Rick Garvey took over, saying that the neighborhood had many areas of concern: size, traffic, parking, excessive use of the alley, as well as the noise and drunken disorderly conduct that restaurants and “the so called performance space” would bring. Garvey spent much time going over just how ridiculous it would be to have the entrance to the parking through the alley. One of the adjacent streets, Horizon Avenue, is one way going west. This in itself would affect the flow of traffic in and out of the project. As to the idea that there will be no cars coming from 1414 down Toledo, Garvey said even the developer, currently staying there, uses it!
According to Jeremiah Moss, one of the strategies of hyper-gentrification is “to foster an environment of fear.” That night, on numerous occasions, supporters of 1414 Main attempted to do just that. One of the most egregious examples was so called urban planner, Brittany Debeikes. She said Venice was “infamous” for its gangs, local crimes, and drug abuse. Teagues’s project would invigorate the area. Towards the end of her presentation, she once more insulted the neighborhood saying, “This section of Main Street . . . can be riddled with crime and vandalism and hooligans loitering in our alleys and sidewalks at times.”
Unbeknownst to Debeikes, however, one of the slides she showed of the “dilapidated” neighborhood, was a photo of a resident’s home, waiting in line to make a public comment. When he reached the podium, Michael Wamback began by saying how he was going to talk about the unwanted precedent the project would set when, much to his surprise, upon seeing a photo of his building, he learned that for the last fifteen years he had been living in a ghetto! After the laughter died down, many more spoke against the project. Kathleen Lawson, another Horizon resident for 26 years, pointed out that since Teague had taken over the property, she and others were constantly picking up bongs, bottles, lighters, and trash all the time. She and another resident expressed concerns about how such a project would affect their children who played in the alley right now.
Throughout the evening, both sides held up bright pink signs with either “Deny 1414” or “Approve 1414”. Some of Teague’s supporters even painted the address on their faces, making it seem like they were attending a football game rather than a very serious community meeting. One such woman was Jules Muck, a local artist allowed to not only stay in Teague’s building right now, but to paint a garish mural over it, featuring a giant, green Chihuahua. Holding a black puppy, she said, “I’ve been in these buildings. They’re coming down whether you approve it or not because they’re falling down.” Just two days later, however, Teague hosted the Venice Art Crawl at this same building.
When the time came for the council to vote, however, the majority of the members saw right through Teague’s tactics. The first to comment was Tommy Walker, an African-American who grew up in Oakwood during its rougher days. After listening closely to both sides, he was terrified by “the usage of the word crime in the community.” He could not understand why an individual would move into a community and “be that afraid of the community that you’re moving into that you feel the need to change the dynamics of it.” He also declared that “this is not a ghetto!” Irv Katz, also unimpressed by Teague’s fear tactics, told him if he was so afraid of Venice, “to build his enclave elsewhere.” He also pointed out that just recently the Abbot Kinney hotel had passed only AFTER they had removed their fourth floor.
Even members who had previously voted for other developments were unimpressed by not only the project design, but by Teague’s inability to connect well with the community. Mark Salzburg summed it up when he said “The neighborhood, to me is a lot more valuable then the parking.” Bud Jacobs went a step further saying “To be honest with you, I found your presentation kinda sophomoric and offensive to the community.”
The VNC passed the LUPC motion to deny 1414 Main Street with a vote of 14-1. Having been soundly defeated now in two critical community meetings, the neighborhood has clearly spoken. The question is: will the City of Los Angeles hear? Earlier that night, Councilman Mike Bonin said that the applicants on 522 Venice Boulevard that the city had denied, were now planning to sue. His response: bring it on. He also expressed his concern that the way SB1818 “is being applied it is resulting in a net decrease in affordable housing.”
For some neighborhoods in Venice, hyper-gentrification has already stuck a decisive, if not fatal, blow. But, for the neighborhoods once part of the original Venice canals, the people, armed with real facts, real concerns, and real determination, have held back its powerful force another day. Yes, Jason Teague, you should be afraid – not of the gangs of Venice, but of the spirit of Venice itself.
Above: March 18 VNC meeting
By Greta Cobar
In a major victory for Venice, the California Coastal Commission passed a motion to stop the city of Los Angeles’s from allowing developments in Venice to be approved under de minimus waivers.
Following the March 12 Coastal Commission meeting, all developments in Venice will have to go through a Coastal Development Plan process to be approved.
Over the last two years the city of L.A. misleadingly approved 82 construction projects in Venice under de minimus waivers. The construction allowed by these types of waivers is supposed to be less than ten percent larger than the original dwellings; it is not supposed to change the character of the neighborhood; and is not supposed to include grading, among other restrictions. None of these restrictions were enforced by the city of L.A., and waivers were rubber-stamped left and right. As a result, big box-like construction that is not in line with the character of the neighborhood went up overnight all over Venice, especially in the Oakwood area.
Subsequent to the California Coastal Commission’s decision to pull the waivers for Venice, Gregg Shoop, who works for the city of L.A. and was in charge of evaluating the waiver requests for Venice, was transferred out of his position and replaced with Alan Bell.
On March 31 Samuel In, a retired building inspector and 37-year city employee was sentenced to two and a half years in prison resulting from a federal probe into bribe-taking at the Department of Building and Safety. Last year he plead guilty to felony bribery, and admitted accepting more than $30,000 in bribes.
Samuel In is one of five former Building and Safety employees who have faced either criminal charges or dismissal as a result of the bribery probe, and all of them are just a minor spotlighted example of the corruption taking place throughout the city of L.A. when it comes to construction.
According to the Venice Specific Plan, construction under de minimus waivers, granted under the Venice Sign-Off (VSO), is so minor that it has no impact on the neighborhood, but that was clearly not the case. In fact, taken cumulatively, the 82 construction projects approved by the city of L.A. within the last two years under such waivers have threatened to change the unique character of the Venice community by replacing turn-of-the-century California bungalows with bigger and taller, cheap, ugly, box-like construction.
Although single-family homes, these new constructions are built to the edge of the property, eliminating the traditional front/back yards, which has a negative impact on the environment and the animals that live in the area. The developers who bought out what many times were pioneer, minority families, used all of their unscrupulous tactics to benefit their deep pockets, such as allowing properties to sit for a year so that the Mello Act, which provides for low-income housing, would no longer apply.
The California Coastal Commission’s decision to cease giving the city of L.A. the power to pass de minimus waivers for Venice was a result of grass-roots community activism spear-headed by the Venice Coalition to Preserve Unique Community Character. On March 12 a group of Venice activists traveled to the Long Beach Coastal Commission meeting with documents incriminating the city of L.A.’s practice of handing out de minimus waivers.
Peggy Lee Kennedy prepared a document exposing illegal construction at 803-805 Marco Place and 2431 Wilson Ave. At Marco Place there was no notice of proposed development, and the application for the de minimus waiver (approved by the city) included grading on the property, even though no grading is allowed under such waivers. On the other hand, the developer on Wilson Ave. was scheduled to ask the Coastal Commission’s permission for a demolition that had already taken place.
Laddie Williams also traveled to Long Beach on March 12 with a document concerning the development at 720 Indiana, which is not consistent with the unique community character.
Ivonne Guzman joined Kennedy and Williams and delivered to the Coastal Commission a document concerning 660 Sunset, where a remodeling permit was used to demolish the entire property, leaving only a portion of a wall standing in order for it to pass as a remodel under a de minimus waiver.
The March edition of the Beachhead, which extensively covered proposed over-development in Venice, was handed out to each of the commissioners.
We surely do appreciate when a government entity does its job and protects us not only from greedy developers, but also from the corrupt city of L.A. Many thanks to the dozens of Venice activists who made this happen, and to the Coastal Commission for enforcing the Venice Specific Plan and the California Coastal Act in Venice.
Stay involved by attending the Venice Coalition to Preserve Unique Community Character meeting on April 12, at 4:30, First Baptist Church; and the Land Use and Planning Committee meeting on April 16, at 6:45, Oakwood Rec. Center.
By Anthony Castillo
Here at the Beachhead we devote a lot of space to the proposed mega development projects like 1414 Main Street, the hotel on Abbot Kinney, the Google land grab, and others past and present. And we’ve done so and will continue to do so for good reason. But in just the last year or less I’ve noticed a quieter form of gentrification going on just one block over from me in my neighborhood along the two blocks of Brooks from Lincoln west to 6th Ave. It’s what I like to call the “blight of the big box house.” We’ve all seen them, those huge square two or more story homes that take up almost all of the lots they are built on and stick out like sore thumbs amongst the other smaller, older homes they are built between.
But now along this two block stretch of Brooks soon it may be the older, small homes that will stick out like sore thumbs, as more and more big box homes go up in the places where once stood a home that gave this street the character it once had. Those homes are rapidly (at times it seems almost over night) being replaced by this hideous new breed of box. What the heck the designers of these things have against a pitched roof I will never understand. Just pitching the roofs would help them blend in just a little bit better with the existing surroundings, but still not make these huge multi story squares any less of a blight, which is what they are. They only serve to strip away the family character of this working class neighborhood and drive more of the long time residents out of Venice.
I’m all for home improvement, and I understand that due to termites, bad plumbing or out-dated electrical wiring, some older Venice homes may be in need of some serious renovation, or worst case scenario, torn down. But is the big box house the only alternative to what stood before? How about building a new Craftsman style home or a Spanish Mediterranean looking one that doesn’t take up every square inch of the property. Many home owners have been building larger dwellings in their back yards while still keeping the front house in tact. That’s fine with me, because unless you go down an alley or look really hard you may not even notice them, and the view from the street is still one of a quaint old Venice neighborhood.
As property values continue to rise with the likes of Google moving in and Joel Silver setting up shop in what should still be the Venice Post Office, it seems that many Venice residents are selling their properties and taking the money someone is offering them to leave Venice. But what has happened on Brooks is something akin to a cancer cluster near a toxic dump sight. The concentration of this mass exodus is truly stark, over a dozen and counting. Hopefully with the moratorium placed on de minimis building wavers the march of the big box home will be stopped. Let’s work to keep this from spreading to other streets in the Oakwood area of Venice. And if you are going to sell your property, don’t sell it to someone who is planning to level your home and put a big box in its place. You may be leaving Venice behind, but the rest of us will still be here and we don’t want to live on streets lined with mini sky scrappers.
Above: New construction that thankfully does not look like a box