Recent event covered:  Venice Paparazzi rolled out the red carpet for the 05.31.12 Venice Beach Poets Monument Benefit at 585 Boardriders 

Thanks to Venice Arts Council’s Suzanne Thompson for the following event description.

On May 31st, the Venice Arts Council presented  music, art and poetry at BOARDRIDERS, benefiting the restoration of the Venice Beach Poet’s Monument featuring 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. Proceeds benefited the Venice Arts Council’s Endangered Art Fund Venice Beach Poet’s Monument Restoration Project which is located on the LAPD substation and 3 public restroom exterior walls on Venice Beach.

Event highlights:    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 David RalickeTommy C. JordanHarlan SteinbergerJon 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.

Who was there:   Venice Neighborhood Council President, Linda Lucks assisted Councilman Bill Rosendahl in presenting certificates to all the performers and event producer, BOARDRIDERS store manager Johnny Nelson and emcee Suzanne Thompson, Co-Founder of the Venice Arts Council and Chair of the Endangered Art Fund who read greeting from poetry wall curator and former Beyond Baroque Director, Fred Dewey.  The publisher of The Argonant David Comden took off his shirt and got temporary tattoos at the Skyn Couture table and 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 Browne, and Gloria Vando while Regina Barton and Don Geagon staffed the Venice Arts Council table and greeted people at the door and glass blower John Moody 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.


Photo:  585 Boardrider staff

Photo:  Suzanne Thompson – Endangered Art Fund, Chair

Photo:  Welcoming committee Regina and Judy.

Photo:  Silent Auction table

Photo:  585 Boardriders donated 30% of  retail sales to the fund.  Way to go!!!

Photo: Skyn Couture Body Art Collection rocks! They provided complimentary temporary tattoos to guests.  Love it!

Photo:  (center)  Skyn Courture‘s Tami Zold

Photo:  Brady Walker and Venice Paparazzi’s Edizen in the red carpet photo booth!

Photo:  Whole Foods Market’s Kelly Layne with Rick Noguchi

Photo:  Miriam Moore and Daryle Barnett

Photo:  Kathy Leonardo of

PHoto: Jerry Rubin

Photo:  Complimentary massages by Paula all night long!!!

PHOTO:  Council member Bill Rosendahl presented a number of attendees with L.A. Certificates of Recognition.

Photo:  Venice Neighborhoood Council  President Linda Lucks congratulates Venice poet and Councilman Rosendahl’s chief of staff  Mike Bonin on receiving a certificate.

Photo:  The Ellyn Maybe Band


Photo:  Felipe of Social And Public Art Resource Center.  A non-profit arts organization based in Venice, California, with art projects city-wide , committed to socially responsible art making.


Photo:  James Beach, Danny’s Deli and Canal Club.

Photo (center):  Emily Winters- Venice Arts Council, Chair

Information about the monument:  The Venice Beach Poet’s Monument (formerly known as the Venice Beach Poetry Walls) was curated in 2000 when the City of Los Angeles renovated the Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach. The Walls were curated by Fred Dewey, former Executive Director of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center located in Venice, with support from Mike Bonin, current Chief of Staff to LA City Councilman 11th District (Venice), Bill Rosendahl. The words of Jim Morrison of the Doors, Exene Cervenka of the Punk Rock band X, actor Viggo Mortensen, and others are engraved in the concrete walls of the LAPD substation and three public restrooms exterior shower walls.

A list of the poet’s featured on the Venice Beach Poet’s Monument can be found at: The restoration project includes cleaning the walls, re-etching some of the lettering, applying a protective anti-graffiti coating and maintenance program. Photos of the monument which includes the main wall located on Venice Beach’s Recreation and Parks and LAPD substation building and three public restroom exterior shower walls can be found at .

The total cost to restore the main wall and restroom walls is approximately $40,000. We have received $10,000 from Councilman Rosendahl and a grant of $1,500 from the Abbot Kinney Festival Association towards the restoration project. The Social Public Art Resource Center, (SPARC) located in Venice, will begin restoration of the main wall at a cost of approximately $7,000. Therefore, an additional $28,500 needs to be raised for the restoration of three public restroom exterior walls to complete the entire restoration project. Contributions are payable to VCHC/VAC note in memo section: EAF – poetry walls May 31.

All contributions of $5,000 or more will be acknowledged on the monument. For more information visit or call 310-570-5419.    |      Join the Venice Arts Council on facebook!


Click here  to view all 374 photos from this event. Photos by Venice Paparazzi.________________________________

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