Celebrating the Creative Community of Venice.

Venice Beach Poets Monument benefit event was a blast.

     On May 31st, the Venice Arts Council presented music, art and poetry at BOARDRIDERS, benefiting the restoration of the Venice Beach Poet's Monument.  We extend our heartfelt thanks to the extended community of artists and interested persons who made this possible.  Exene Cervenka of the L.A. punk rock band X, Michelle Shocked, Peter Case, Linda Albertano, Wanda Coleman, Ellyn Maybe Band, Philomene Long’s poetry read by Pegarty Long, Francisco Letelier, Mike Bonin, Sherman Pearl, Rick Noguchi and Bob Flanagan’s poetry read by Gloria Vando.
     Venice's poet/performance artist Linda Albertano kicked off the show with her poetry and then picked up the kora backed by African drummers to get things rolling. Ellyn Maybe rocked the house with her poetry backed by Robbie Fitzsimmons, David Ralicke, Tommy C. Jordan, Harlan Steinberger, Jon Ossman, and Danny Moynahan. Wanda Coleman's powerful poetry pierced right through your bones. Muralist and poet Francisco Letelier provided the beautiful stage back drop and an outstanding performance backed by members of The Ellyn Maybe Band, and horn section played from the audience. Exene had the audience in stitches with her political commentary and ended her set with a favorite "This Land is Your Land". Michelle Shocked performed a New Orleans tune joined by The Ellyn Maybe Band's horn section while members of the audience got out of their seats to dance.

     Venice Neighborhood Council President, Linda Lucks assisted Councilman Bill Rosendahl in presenting certificates to all the performers, BOARDRIDERS store manager Johnny Nelson and event producer, emcee, Co-Founder of the Venice Arts Council and Chair of the Endangered Art Fund Suzanne Thompson,who read greeting from poetry wall curator and former Beyond Baroque Director, Fred Dewey. The publisher of The Argonant David Comden hung around to enjoy the entire evening of music and poetry. The "Meet the Artists" reception included Quiksilver Marketing Director Stephanie Krogius, Whole Foods Venice Marketing Manager Kelly Layne, UCLA professor and muralist Judy Baca and crew from SPARC, USC professor Jud Fine and his wife Barbara McCarren who's creative energies first brought the idea of a poetry wall to Ocean Front Walk Restoration Project in the late 90's. Mike Bonin, Rosendahl's Chief of Staff, who initially lead the project through the City while on staff with then Councilmember Ruth Galanter. Keiko Napier, President of TRU Protection, Inc., provided a limited edition of iPhone covers featuring the photo of the poetry monument by Carisa Kaplan with poetry by Philomene Long. Massage therapist Paula McGinness made folks feel good at $1 a minute going to the restoration project. Venice Arts Council webmaster Eric Ahlberg created a 10 minute visual presentation showing the current condition of the Venice Beach Poet's Monument which was viewed on BOARDRIDERS big screen throughout the night. Members of the Venice Arts Council: muralist and co-founder, Emily Winters oversaw the bidding on the silent auction tables with help from Kay Brown, and Gloria Vando while Regina Barton and Don Geagon staffed the Venice Arts Council table and greeted people at the door with help from Ramona Davis of the Venice Family Clinic and Ellyn Maybe's mother. Glass blower John Mooney provided much needed man power and vehicle to transport food, tables and chairs.  Beyond Baroque's sound engineer Jim Fleck, assisted by Brady Walker provided excellent sound for the show. A special shout out to the staff at BOARDRIDERS, to Chaya Silberstein for her cheerful presence and help setting and cleaning up, to Carisa Kaplan for her great eye and production assistance, and to Steve Tartalia of Indochef for the delicious appetizers backstage.
 Event Co- sponsors included: Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, Quiksilver, Altered Space Gallery, Shout!Factory, Venice Boardwalk Association, Voice of the Canals, Venice Beach Suites & Hotel, General Real Estate Management, Hotel Erwin, Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris Hoffman & Harrison LLP, Venice Community Housing Corporation, Venice Cucina, Amoeba Music, James Beach, Canal Club, Danny’s, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, and Whole Foods Market Venice. Media Sponsors included: Venice Paparazzi, 90.7FM KPFK, The Argonaut,  and the LA WEEKLY. The event included a Silent Auction with items or services from: James Beach, Canal Club, Danny’s, Piccolo, Linus Bike, Amoeba Music, Erwin Hotel, Altered Space Gallery, Quiksilver brands, Shout!Factory, “The Doors” script autographed by Oliver Stone, Whole Foods Market, TRU Protection, Skyn Couture, artists and poets. BOARDRIDERS donated 30% of proceeds on merchandise purchased the night of the event.
The event raised over $6,500. VAC has now raised over $19,000 towards their $40,000 goal.
Thank you to all for supporting the the restoration and preservation of the Venice Beach Poet's Monument.
 FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Venice-Arts-Council/133175910036400

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