Category Archives: Venice Beach Organizations

Get Down in the Venice Dirt for a Great Cause


The Community Healing Gardens are calling out to volunteers, young and old, to help with their Coffee and Dirt Planting Party this Saturday, April 30 in Venice from 9:00am – 1:00pm.

Community Healing Gardens Planting Party
Join the Planting Party fun

The party will meet at 805 Brooks Ave. Volunteers will  clean and plant new vegetables in the Community Healing Garden boxes on 4th and 5th Streets in Venice.

Bring your sneakers, hat, sunscreen, and a water bottle. Coffee, water, and snacks will be provided.

Community Healing Gardens is a non-profit organization that launched in Venice, CA on June 13, 2015.  The group creates urban gardens to provide sustainable, nutritious food to diverse and underserved communities.

Community Healing Gardens Planting Party Photo Laura Doss
The Venice community getting behind a great cause Photo by: Laura Doss

The organization says they,  “believe every corner with a patch of soil or some empty space has the potential to feed communities with nutrition, connection, and love.

Food grown in the gardens is be shared amongst the neighborhood and provided to feed children and others in need.

Venice Beach Grunion Run

By Melanie Camp

Tim Rudnick is the director of the Venice Oceanarium and he is gearing up for the organization’s biggest event of the year. Starting at 10:30pm, on Saturday April 23rd, is the annual Grunion Run Party and everyone is invited.

Tim Rudnick Venice Oceanarium
Tim Rudnick Director of Venice Oceanarium Courtesy: John Decindis

“Last year 1,000 people showed up to watch the spectacle. It’s nature in its most dramatic form,” said Rudnick, explaining the excitement of waiting in the dark by the Venice Breakwater in complete calm, before thousands of grunion storm the beach to lay their eggs. “The seashore is covered by hundreds of sex-crazed fish,” Rudnick said.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said that most people can’t believe their eyes when they witness their first Grunion Run.

Rudnick describes it as “a big orgy for the fish,” well of course something like that is best watched in Venice!

A local “museum without walls,” Venice Oceanarium presents and array of events on Venice Beach. This year is the 20th anniversary of the Grunion Run Party.

“We can accurately predict this event by observing the high tides during the spring. We have seen grunion almost every time we do this event. We’ve only missed it twice in 20 years,” Rudnick explained.

Grunion Run Courtesy Venice Oceanarium
Grunion on Venice Beach Courtesy: Venice Oceanarium

Grunions exist only around Southern California, between Santa Barbara and northern Baja. They spawn for four consecutive nights following the full and new moons, and while the season runs from March through August, and occasionally February and September, April and May are the peak months. Rudnick exaplained that there is a “misconception that they run only once, April is a good month because it’s the middle of their season.”

The mating ritual is unique, a female fish will surf a wave into the shoreline and dig a nest in the wet sand with her tail, twisting her body until she is half buried with her head sticking up. She then deposits her eggs in the nest.

“They are followed by hundreds of lusty male fish intent on fertilizing these eggs. The male fish will squiggle up in the wet sand and about two or three will dance around her and fertilize the eggs she lays,” Rudnick said. Spawning only takes 30 seconds but some fish remain stranded on the beach for several minutes as they await a ride out on the next wave.

Every year the Oceanarium collects some of the fertilized eggs to hatch as part of their research. They later release the baby fish into the bay.

“Witnessing this event is life-changing. You’ll never feel the same about L.A. and you will never forget it. These memories are especially vivid for kids,” said Rudnick. Despite all the fish you may see on April 23rd, the Grunion population is not abundant. “They act as an indicator species for the health of the bay,” he added.

During peak months, Grunion fishing season is closed and you will be ticketed if you take any Grunion in April or May. When the season is open, to fish Grunion you need a license and must be older than 16- years old to apply for one. Grunion taste similar to sardines and by law you can only fish them using your hands. You cannot dig holes or use buckets and you are limited to taking only what you need.

This year’s Grunion Run Party starts at 10:30pm on Saturday night April 23 at the Venice Beach breakwater, on the beach just down from Windward Avenue.

Grunion Flyer Yo! Venice Ad

VIRAL: 25 Years from Rodney King Exhibit Opens Tonight


On March 3, 1991, motorist Rodney King’s savage beating by the Los Angeles Police Department  was captured by resident George Holliday.  The public release of the footage and its international reach could arguably make the 11-minute clip the world’s first viral video.

SPARC VIRAL - Overstreet_Ducasse-2
Featuring Works by Overstreet Ducasse

The acquittal of all four officers the following spring was the match that ignited the Los Angeles uprisings of April, 1992.  “These seminal moments in L.A. history are a necessary reference point for today’s reinvigorated civil rights movement against racially motivated violence in law enforcement,” say organizers of the next exhibit at SPARC in Venice.

Tonight, the opening reception for VIRAL: 25 Years from Rodney King will be held in SPARC’s Durón Gallery at 685 Venice Blvd., in the Old Venice Police Station next to Beyond Baroque. Doors open at 5pm the event runs until 8pm.

SPARC VIRAL - Brett Cook + Aaron Wade
Brett Cook and Aaron Wade’s To Serve and Protect

Artist Daryl Elaine Wells, founder of the Art Responders social media community, has partnered with SPARC to present an interactive, immersive timeline of cases, causes, insights, and developments within the past twenty-five years, since the Rodney King incident.

SPARC VIRAL - Ravi_Zupa_Poster
Ravi Zupa Poster

Venice Basketball Finals Today

Picture credit: @_jerem


It is finals time for the VBL Indoor League. Checkout some of the best local basketball today at Oakwood Recreation Center on Venice Basketball Indoor League 1Oakwood Ave., in Venice.

Tip-off for Game 1 is at noon today. The second game is at 1:30pm and the final starts at 3:00pm.

For full details on the VBL Indoor League click here.

Venice Basketball Indoor League ProgramVenice Basketball Indoor League

Shaping the Future of Venice


By Melanie Camp

Candidate registration is now open for the upcoming Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) elections, opening up opportunities for locals to take part in shaping the future of Venice Beach.

On June 5, 2016, the entire VNC Board is up for election. Altogether there are 21 seats on the Board, including seven named offices, each with a unique set of duties, and 14 Community Officer seats.

Neighborhood Councils act as a way for locals to make a difference in their community on the issues they care about most. Whether it be crime, roads and streets, gangs, or the economy. The VNC consists of local residents, and business and property owners, who are empowered to advocate directly for real change in the community.

VNC Community Officer Melissa Diner
VNC Community Officer Melissa Diner

Venice local Melissa Diner has sat as a Community Officer on the VNC Board for the past two years. She says she enjoys being on the board and that, “having community service and government dialog become a part of your everyday life,” is one of the perks. “I look at it as a free education in the govern- ment process which, whether we like it or not, affects all of our liberties as individuals, business owners, or property owners.”

Diner played an integral part in opening up the conversation regarding topless sunbathing on Venice Beach. On April 21st last year the VNC approved a motion, in a 12-2 vote, saying it “supports women being afforded the same rights as men to sunbathe topless.”

“The VNC is only as powerful as the peo- ple who truly get involved,” Diner said. “Rolling up your sleeves to build positive relationships with all types of community members and government entities, and officials to get things done is the only way to a better future.”

Diner believes something important for the future is a VNC with “more people who have a glass-half-full attitude. The tone is so often filled with anger, aggression, and constant talk of what has been done rather than compromise, acceptance, and discussion of what we can do together.”

Candidate registration began on February 21st. Candidate filing closes on April 6th. The election date is set for Sunday, June 5.

“Showing up and voting in your local Neighborhood elections this year is vital to protect your freedoms and way of life in Venice today,” Diner said, “plus, it’s a hell of a party on Election Day!”