Category Archives: Kids Events

The Venice Dance School Making Moves in the Community


Friday afternoons in Venice is not just for hipsters and happy hours. There is also a happening for the tiny set,  just behind Abbot Kinney. Beginning at 3pm on Fridays inside the dance studio at Electric Lodge you’ll hear Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, old school Jackson Five, and see a sea of pink as JillyJazz Kids swings into action.

Neighborhood children arrive by strollers, scooters, bikes, and by foot to dance with professional dancers, Marina Munoz and Jill Strauss. Jill has been teaching adults and teens at Electric Lodge for 20 years. JillyJazz Kids is in it’s fourth year and is the creation of Strauss and Kendell Shaffer, a local Venice mom and dancer, who dreamed of a community minded dance program for Venice.

Strauss and Shaffer are both former students of dance master Luigi in New York City. The Friday classes are full of spinning and leaping little ones, ages 3-12, who are often spotted at Abbot’s Pizza or N’ice Cream following their classes. It’s a great way for the kids to spend a jazzy Friday afternoon in Venice.

Two years ago, JillyJazz Kids took on it’s first scholarship student, a nine year-old from the Neighborhood Youth Association for at-risk kids in Venice. She has been on full scholarship at JJK for two years and Jill recently extended her scholarship to include a 5-week intensive workshop at Crossroads School, where her training now includes ballet, tap and musical theater, all taught by professional dancers and teachers.

JillyJazz Kids Elva Kubiak Taylor Mah Ema Luna Pacheco
Scholarship Recipients: Elva Kubiak, Tema Luna Pacheco, and Taylor Mah

Strauss say that, “JillyJazz Kids feel that all students, no
 matter what their income, should have
 the opportunity to dance,” and beginning in
 2016, JJK will increase
 it’s scholarship program on Friday awarding three 9-12 year old
 students, who have been with JJK since
 the beginning and who show a passion
 to learn, a partial scholarship.

These three students will become JJK Ambassadors and will help in assisting the teacher in class and have responsibilities outside of class. For example, organizing the Lost and Found, sweeping the studio and welcoming new students.

JillyJazz Kids Scholarship Participants
Kubiak, Pacheco, and Mah, with their teacher Marina Munoz, and Meredith Gruszka from Pardee Properties.

This year Pardee Properties is partnering up to fund the First Annual Ambassador Scholarship, awarding scholarships to Taylor Mah, Tema Luna Pacheco, Elva Kubiak. All 5th grade students at Westminster Elementary, and all born and raised in Venice. These three girls have been with JillyJazz Kids since it’s inception and have not missed a class since.

JJK hopes to build it’s scholarship program with other neighborhood sponsors to open up more scholarships to new students in the future.

Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade Tonight


Known as America’s favorite TV mom on The Brady Bunch, Actress Florence Henderson will play Grand Marshal at this year’s Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade.

Each year  boats decorated in lights and banners wow onlookers. Boat Parade 2014 4
The theme this year is Adventures on the Sea.

The fun begins this afternoon at Burton Chase Park where there is currently a winter wonderland with real snow, and food trucks. Fireworks at 5:55pm will mark to beginning of the parade which will run from 6:00pm – 8:00pm in the Marina.Boat Parade 2014 5

The will be a DJ and a complimentary desert station at the official after-parade party at Whiskey Red’s, 13813 Fiji Way, Marina Del Rey.

Super Cute Holiday Posters


Congratulations to the winning artists from Venice Art Crawl inaugural “My Venice Holiday” poster contest. All winners received a $100 gift card from 1st Citizen’s Bank.

Winners were judged on adhering to the theme, originality, and for showing the spirit of Venice.

Jasmine Chairez Monteil Broadway Elementary School
Jasmine Chairez Monteil, 5th Grade, Broadway Elementary School








Dayanara Martinez Westside Global Awareness Magnet School
Dayanara Martinez, 4th Grade, Westside Global Awareness Magnet School






Sarit Avedon Coeur D'Alene Elementary School
Sarit Avedon, 3rd Grade, Coeur D’Alene Elementary School
Savannah Tahmasabie Coeur D'Alene Elementary School
Savannah Tahmasabie, 2nd Grade, Coeur D’Alene Elementary School
Jacob Masi,1st Grade, Coeur D'Alene Elementary School
Jacob Masi,1st Grade, Coeur D’Alene Elementary School


Lucy Lucas, Kindergarten, Walgrove Elementary Elementary School
Lucy Lucas, Kindergarten, Walgrove Elementary Elementary School




Venice Toy Drive


The Venice Neighborhood Council and the Vera Davis McClendon Youth and Family Center are collecting new, unwrapped, non-violent toys at various locations in Venice from now through December 17 as part of the Great Venice Toy Drive & Holiday Festival

Toys can be dropped off through December 17, 2015 at any of the 7 locations in Venice:

(1) Abbot’s Habit, 1401 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

(2) HUZZAH!, 2010 Lincoln Blvd.

(3) Le Cellier Wine Bar & Restaurant, 417 Washington Blvd.

(4) Oscar’s Cerveteca, 523 Rose Ave.

(5) Superba Food & Bread, 1900 Lincoln Blvd.

(6) TheVNC booth at the Venice Farmers’ Market (Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.), intersection of Venice Blvd. and Venice Way

(7) The VNC’s Board meetings on November 17 and December 15, 2015, Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.  (Make sure to look for the bin with the reindeer riding the bicycle!)

The toy drive culminates in a free holiday festival to be held at Oakwood Recreation Center on December 19, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m.  At the festival, children up to sixteen years of age present with a parent or guardian will be able to select a toy.

The toy giveaway will be first come, first served. Santa will be available for photos.  Kids will be able to engage in arts and crafts or play on a moon bounce or in the snow.  There will be facepainting as well as a caricature artist and deejay. Food will also be provided.

Mariana Aguilar, one of the toy drive’s team members, says, “Last year, The Great Venice Toy Drive ensured that over 500 Venice kids not only had a toy for the holiday season, but also had a great day at Oakwood park with their families and community.  With the help of our Venice neighbors, we hope to make this year’s event the best one yet.”

This is the fifth year that the VNC has sponsored The Great Venice Toy Drive.  The VNC created the event in response to community concerns about the lack of a toy giveaway in the Venice area.

The Great Venice Toy Drive is still looking for volunteers.  Please contact if you are interested in helping.

Pancakes with LAPD Pacific Today


LAPD Pacific host an open house today at Pacific Station, 12312 Culver Boulevard, Los Angeles from 9:00am until 1:00pm this afternoon.

They will serve a pancake breakfast for only $5 per person with proceeds benefiting Pacific Area Boosters, a non-profit that LAPD Pacific Open Housesupports Pacific Area Youth Programs. The breakfast will run until 12 noon.

There will be a bounce house for the kids and station tours. Admission is free. So get to Pacific Station today and meet the men and women of your local LAPD Pacific Division.