Category Archives: Venice Beach Organizations

Venice Chamber of Commerce Business Expo


Tonight, 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.

Support Venice Arts and Meet Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett

Lady Gaga’s charity theCheek to Cheek Lady Gaga Tony Bennett Born This Way Foundation and Exploring the Arts will feature Venice Arts at an upcoming stop of      Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s Cheek to
Cheek tour in Los Angeles on Sunday,May 31, 2015.

Additionally, Venice Arts will receive the proceeds from a pair of tickets to the show and a meet and greet with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga that will be auctioned off by CharityBuzz at:

The initiative is part of a partnership between Born This Way Foundation and Exploring the Arts to highlight exceptional nonprofit organizations at Cheek to Cheek stops across the country. Organizations are chosen based on their demonstrated excellence in empowering young people to become compassionate, creative, and brave.

Venice Arts will be featured prominently at the show and staff and  volunteers of the local Venice charity will have the opportunity to interact with the thousands of fans who will be at the concert, increasing awareness of the services and programs the organization offers.

“We are honored to have our transformative work with low-income youth in Los Angeles recognized by the Born This Way Foundation and Exploring the Arts, who share our commitment to empowering youth to discover and develop their own creative voices.” said Lynn Warshafsky, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Venice Arts.

Venice Arts’ mission is to ignite youths’ imagination, mentor their creativity, and expand their sense of possibility through high quality, accessible media-based arts education programs. For the past 22 years, Venice Arts’ program of free media arts instruction, mentoring, and internship opportunities has opened windows of Venice Artspossibility for thousands of poor and low-income children. Since the start of 2014, students have received nearly 40 prestigious national, state, and local awards, including: Presidential Scholar in the Arts; National YoungArts Awards; California Scholastic Arts Awards; and the Music Center’s Spotlight Award. Graduating seniors this past spring went off to colleges including Boston University and NYU, some on full scholarships.

Rickie Bautista has been a student at Venice Arts for the past four years. He is currently enrolled in an advanced photography class while working as a paid intern at the Lincoln Blvd. creative space. Photo by Melanie Camp
Rickie Bautista has been a student at Venice Arts for the past four
years. He is currently enrolled in an advanced photography class
while working as a paid intern at the Lincoln Blvd. creative space. Photo by Melanie Camp

“Born This Way Foundation is thrilled to partner with Exploring the Arts to shine a light on the work these exceptional local organizations do for the young people they support. We share a mission to inspire and empower today’s youth and the resources and services these groups are providing in their communities are critical to that goal,” said Cynthia Germanotta, Co-Founder and President of Born This Way Foundation.

“Exploring the Arts and Born This Way Foundation were founded with the goal of touching the lives of young people and inspiring the next generation of artists and leaders. The local organizations we’re featuring share this commitment, working hard every day to uplift young people in their areas,” said Susan Benedetto, Co-Founder of Exploring the Arts.

This initiative reflects Born This Way Foundation’s commitment to working with local and national allies – from GLSEN and YMCA to Youth Service America – to reach hundreds of thousands of young people directly. These relationships have enabled the organization to connect youth around the country with services and programing in their communities. Similarly, the partnership reflects Exploring the Arts’ deep history of engaging local organizations to improve arts education in public high schools throughout New York City and Los Angeles.

Read the Yo! Venice feature on Venice Arts here. 

Venice Art Crawl May Mixer this Thursday

Monday 18th May, 2015 10:12am

Join the Venice Art Crawl for a monthly mixer this Thursday from  7:00pm at the MyTable Lake House in Venice.

The event is an opportunity for artists to meet and source potential venues and for venues to find artists to create events for the next Art Crawl.

The deadline for submitting an event for the next Venice Art Crawl is June 1. Events can be submitted by visiting In addition, the organization is continually in search of community members who are passionate about art and encourage those interested in volunteering for the next crawl to attend the mixer.

“This is a great opportunity to make connections within the art community that will foster partnerships for the next Venice Art Crawl on Thursday, June 18.” says Lauren Harrison, one of the event organizers.

The Venice Art Crawl (VAC) is a celebration of art and community that encourages the preservation of the artistic character that has made Venice such a vibrant and dynamic neighborhood. Currently celebrating its fifth year, the VAC is an organization by and for the people of Venice and greater Los Angeles.

As part of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, the VAC fosters collaboration among local artists, businesses, galleries and community members through a series of hosted mixers and art events. The Venice Art Crawl occurs in the evening four times a year on the third Thursday of the quarter months. The upcoming 2015 VAC dates are June 18, September 17 and December 17.

When: Thursday May 21, 2015, 7PM
Where: My Table Lake House, 1200 Lake Street Venice, CA 90291

Admission is $10.00. Food and drinks will be provided. All attendees will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes.

RSVP essential. 


Local Charity Fundraising for Glenn’s Funeral

Saturday 16th May, 2015 10:20am

Today Brendon Glenn’s Sister will graduate from school as a licensed Social Worker, heartbroken, knowing the skills she has acquired while studying just might have played a part in saving her brother’s life.

Brendon Glenn, affectionately known amongst his peers as Dizzle, had only been in Venice 2 months when at around 11:30pm on Tuesday 5th, May police respond to a 911 call regarding a man disturbing the peace. A scuffle broke out between Glenn and the police outside Townhouse on Windward Ave., resulting in one officer firing two shots at Glenn.  Glenn later died in hospital.

In an open letter to Yo!Venice Lauri Burns, founder of The Teen Project – a charity that has successfully helped thousands of LA’s homeless off the streets, writes of the suffering Glenn’s family now faces.

The Teen Project is currently seeking donations to help Glenn’s family bring him home to New York for a funeral and also to help support the son he leaves behind.

Brendon 1

“I am writing to encourage those who were impacted by the shooting of Brendon Glenn to become part of the group of angels that are making a difference for this young man’s family (his mom, sister, grandma and beautiful three year old son) at this very difficult time by helping to cushion this tragedy with support, positive light and love on the heels of extreme heartbreak.

I am the Founder of The Teen Project.  I was also a homeless youth and someone gave me a chance.  Free shelter and grant for technical school.  I became a Director of Information Technology at Northrop Grumman for 15 years, I have 32 foster kids now and started the charity eight years ago.  We give them what I was given, safe shelter and an education. The Teen Project has moved 126 kids off the streets of Venice in just 3 years.   Of the 126 kids we served, 5 were from California.

Many of our kids (like our biological kids) have their breakdowns.  Brendon was working with our drop in center manager, Timothy Pardue and had been at our Purpose Driven group prior to the shooting.   He was ready to return home to his mom.  I have a post of the vigil on ABC7 News that took place with the homeless kids two nights after the shooting below.

As parents, I plead with you to help pay this forward in the hopes that we never have to go through this ourselves.  My son was killed last year as well, so unfortunately I know how hard the road ahead will be for this family.

It is without doubt that Brendon had his flaws (as many of us do) but without further doubt, I can assure you he was a remarkably loving father and son.  He spoke with his mom every day on the phone (most days several times) and Skyped with his three year old son every Sunday.  Brendon had phoned his mom moments prior to the shooting.   I cannot tell you how absolutely devastated the family is.

His sister will graduate from school as a licensed Social Worker today.   Her words, “I don’t know how I will do this without him.   Brendon has always been at all of my graduations.”  Brendon’s mom and grandma were planning on coming to Venice with his son to surprise him and bringing him home for this.  She is committed to walking with her class… the only thought keeping her going — that he is watching her from above, all the while knowing she may be crying as she walks.

Brendon is an upstate New York native.  Brendon’s family wishes to transport his body home to rest in their family plot, next to his grandmother.  They need our help to do it.  I am not a rich woman, but I donated $1,000 of my personal salary.   I am not asking that you match me… just donate anything to join our angels.  Tami Pardee donated the cost of housing for 13 kids to move off the street this week and helped with food for the vigil.  Mark Sokol, owner of Erwin Hotel and Larry’s supports us to move kids of the street every month.  Brad Neal paid for food at the vigil with Paige Gesualdo.   Tommy Lasorta, donated 300 pairs of shoes and Bank of Venice provided all of the beverages, tea and coffee. The vigil is here – following the balloons are pictures of Brendon that will be shown at his memorial

Let’s get Brendon home and lay him to rest where he will be able to be joined one day by the loving family he was taken from too soon.

You can donate on the GO FUND ME site directly here

For TAX WRITE-OFF, donate here and choose toward the bottom, I want to send a one-time donation – write Brendon Glenn in the memo and the entire amount will go to the family with a card in your name.

We have raised $5,381 of $25,000 desired to send his body home and prepare for a traditional burial and support the family through a two week period.

Thank you all for you generosity and kindness.”

Lauri Burns, Founder, The Teen Project, Inc.

70 Windward Avenue, Venice, CA  92691

The Venice PAD (Protection & Direction) Drop in Center