Category Archives: Venice Beach Events

These posts are about what’s happening in Venice Beach California!

Venice Chamber of Commerce Business Expo


Wednesday, 27th May, business leaders from the Venice community will join together to showcase their products  and services at the Venice Chamber of Commerce’s fourth annual Business Expo “An Evening with the Merchants of Venice”.

The expo will be held at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice at 2232 Lincoln Blvd, Venice from 6:00pm – 9:00pm and is open to the public.

The networking event provides an opportunity for residents to meet local shop owners and service providers in the neighborhood.

Over 50 exhibitors will showcase their businesses, there will be food and drink samples from local restaurants such as Wurstkuche and the Venice Whaler.

“The Venice Chamber is all about providing opportunities for businesses to promote themselves among the community and encouraging our members to do business together,” says Chamber President Catherine Chevalier “That’s why we are so delighted to present this exciting event”.

Admission is $5 and valet parking will be available.

Opening Today – ‘New Codex: Oaxaca – Immigration and Cultural Memory’

Saturday 23rd May, 2015 11:44am

SPARC’s latest exhibition ‘New Codex: Oaxaca – Immigration and Cultural Memory’ begins today.

A special opening reception will run from 4:00pm-8:00pm  in SPARC’s Durón Gallery located in the Old Venice Police Station at 685 Venice Blvd., Venice.

The exhibit curated by Marietta Bernstorff, illuminates the contemporary visual discourse of Oaxaca and explores the impact of immigration to the United States.

With over one million Oaxacans having immigrated to the United States, the exhibit looks at the impact on those left behind who are often unable to see loved ones, husbands, and children for many years.

For many of the artists the exhibit has not only been an opportunity to explore otherwise suppressed emotions around loss of family and the hardships faced in their small town of San Francisco Tanivet,  but it has also been an opportunity to be granted a visa to visit the United States. For some this meant being able to reunite with loved ones they had not seen in as many as 10 years.

“This exhibition is totally in line with the 40 year mission of SPARC. Which is to be a voice for the voiceless” says Debra J.T. Padilla Executive Director at SPARC

Food for the evening will be provided by Oaxacan Restaurant La Guelaguetza and beer and wine is by donation. All proceeds go towards SPARC’s Mural Program.

Z-Flex Skateboards Jay Boy Classic Tomorrow at the Skate Park

Friday 22nd May, 2015 9:39am

Top amateur skateboarders from across the country will be at the Venice Beach Skatepark tomorrow for the Z-Flex Skateboards second annual Jay Boy Classic. 10Eric_Tuma_Britton

This year the event will honor the life of skateboarding legend Jay Adams. Adams was a Venice local from the 1970’s who not only had an unprecedented influence on today’s skateboarding culture but also on youth culture as a whole.

“Z-Flex is stoked to hold an event to celebrate his life.” said an event organizer.

From 10am there will be a grass roots bowl jam for up to 40 un-sponsored local skateboarders to compete for over $3000 in product prizes followed by a Master Bowl Jam that allows Adams peers to participate in the day.  The Invitational Cash Grab is scheduled to kick of approximately at 3:30pm.

For a look at last year’s event click here.

4th Annual Garifuna Film Festival Begins Today At Electric Lodge

There’s something about Venice’s critically acclaimed Garifuna Film Festival that’s capturing attention from filmmakers, musicians, and artists from all over the world.

The 4th Annual Garifuna Film Festival, which returns today, May 22, through Monday, May 25, at Electric Lodge, is considered an international tower of strength and a major galvanizing force for unity amongst nations.

The festival’s focus has always been to give a message of hope and solidarity with conflicting countries and cultures proving they could work together both productively and creatively.

The goal is to heal the divide between nations thereby transcending petty politics and borders.

freda sideroff President & Founder of GIFFFestival founder/director Freda Sideroff (right) is well known for cracking the pavement, making new ground for her Garifuna International Film Festival.

Realizing what it means to be stripped of her native culture, heritage, and language – because of the colonialist’s need to assimilate native Indigenous cultures and deny them their priceless facets of heritage – she forged the Garifuna Foundation to help children   academically as research shows that those who are immersed in their cultures perform better, have higher self-esteem, and lead more productive and happy lives.

Can you share how the festival came about?

Freda Sideroff: I was guided by the ancestors to create the Film Festival to help make people aware of my culture and the importance of its preservation. After we began, I realized it was important to me to support the awareness and the preservation of all indigenous cultures.

Can you talk about how it has evolved?

This year we are celebrating a five-day event May 22 through May 26. May 26 has been proclaimed Garifuna Film Day since 2012 by the city of Los Angeles and the state of California. It started out as a one-day event that presented every element that continues to hold importance and urgency. It expanded to all indigenous cultures because we live in a culturally diverse community and we have much to learn from each other.

Why is it important for the community to get involved?

It is everyone’s responsibility to know about and to help preserve our ancient cultures. There is much that we can learn from people and communities that have learned to live in peace with each other and with the earth. It is also important for our communities to bring their own unique cultural knowledge and experience – in the form of dance, art, music, lectures and workshops that are part of the festival – to share with others, and to learn from.

What will people learn, take away from the experience?

The reality of being more alike than different in many aspects as well as becoming enriched with new cultural experiences as will be presented through films, documentaries, art, and music from around the world. They will also be exposed to very powerful speakers and leaders.

What is the format for the festival?

The Garifuna Festival takes place over five days. There is a schedule of each day that can be 
accessed through our website During the day and into the evening we will be presenting amazing documentaries from around the world. There will also be morning workshops that focus on the process of filmmaking and will be great for students of film.
Each evening there will be special events that include keynote speakers, including Marianne Williamson, and Chief Joseph Paulino, and spectacular cultural music presentations. Cultural art will also be displayed throughout the event.

Recognition will be given to members of our community creating ambassadors supporting the preservation of indigenous cultures.

Has this festival always been in Venice?

The festival began in Marina Del Rey the first two years, and then was housed in Beyond Baroque in Venice. This is our second year at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue, 90291; which is a great venue.

Who have you had as keynote speakers in previous years?

A couple of years ago we were honored with the keynote speech by Roy Cayatano coming all the way from Belize. Dr. Cayatano is the President of the National Garifuna Council and was instrumental in 2001 by helping to persuade the United Nations to proclaim the Garifuna language, music and dance as Oral an Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

We also had Lina Martinez from Honduras, author Piper Dellums, and writer/producer Victoria Mudd who is an Academy Award winner for her documentary “A Broken Rainbow.”

This year we are honored with Marianne Williamson, who is an American spiritual teacher, author, and lecturer. She has published 10 books, including four New York Times number one bestsellers. She is the founder of Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area, and the co-founder of The Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Results organization, which works to end poverty in the United States and around the world.

Electric Lodge Theater is located at 1416 Electric Ave., Venice.
For tickets or more information, visit

Venice High Sex Scandal – No Charges Filed

Wednesday 20th May, 2015

Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to file charges against more than a dozen Venice High School students who were suspected of being members of a ring that allegedly sexually assaulted a pair of girls both on and off campus.

Greg Risling of the District Attorney’s Office said there was
“insufficient evidence” to pursue the case.

A total of 15 students were implicated in the alleged sex ring. Most
were arrested over the course of several days in mid-March. The suspects ranged in age from 14 to 17. The ages of the victims were not released, but police said they were in their mid-teens.

An LAUSD source said a group of male students allegedly conspired to pressure girls into having sex, threatening to ruin their reputations. The investigation began when police received information from school administrators about “a possible victim of a possible sexual assault,” according to Los Angeles Police Department Cmdr. Andy Smith said.

Prosecutors initially declined to file charges against one of the
students, then opted May 8 against filing cases against the other 14 teens, Risling said.

The status of the students with the Los Angeles Unified School District was unclear. The district issued a statement saying its review of the case was confidential and officials cannot comment on its outcome.

“As soon as the Los Angeles Unified School District learned of the
alleged incidents, we informed the proper authorities as required by law,” according to the district. “The district completed its required administrative review and evaluation of school safety and campus climate and facilitated the required education code due process of involved students.

“Since the review is confidential, we can’t comment on specific
actions. This process is unaffected by the district attorney’s decision not to press charges.”

Read earlier stories on the incident here.