Save the date…Saturday, November 3, 2012, from 5–8pm, Venice Arts will celebrate its 19th Anniversary with a festive Gala fundraiser at its beautiful, newly renovated gallery and workshop space at 1702 Lincoln Blvd. The event supports Venice Arts’ free art mentoring program for low-income youth and honors long-time friends Karen & Dann Florek and Leigh Johnson & Tom Wright.

LA Art Party is a proud sponsor and will be giving away two tickets to the Gala ($350.00 value) See our FB Page for all the details (this is where you can find all the info about our contests….so be sure to LIKE LA Art Party).

11.3 VeniceArts Tom-WrightActor Tom Wright, and his wife Leigh Johnson have been involved with Venice Arts throughout its 19-year history, and their two children were participants in Venice Arts’ program in its early days. Wright has appeared in numerous television series including “Crash,” as well as the films co-starred in the feature films Barbershop and Barbershop 2: Back in Business, as well as John Sayles’ film “Sunshine State.” 

In 2001, Wright and Johnson’s son Eamon was among a group that traveled with Venice Arts’ mentors to Durban, South Africa to attend the United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism, Xenophobia, & Related Intolerance as official delegates of the City of Los Angeles, under the auspices of the Human Relations’ Commission. Speaking of his perspective on the impact of this and other Venice Arts’ programs on both his own children and the youth he observed through his many years of involvement, Wright says that “I think that Venice Arts does a really good job of fostering an individual child’s point of view and getting them to understand that they have value, and that their words and photographs have value and have impact.”

11.3 VeniceArts DannFlorekFellow Actor Dann Florek, best known for his role as Captain Donald Cragen on Law & Order: SVU, and his wife, Photographer Karen Florek, are also longtime Venice Arts supporters. The Floreks have attended Venice Arts’ events and purchased student work, and Karen served as a mentor to Venice Arts’ classes, teaching students alternative photographic techniques. On the impact of Venice Arts on the community, Dann Florek says that “It’s a great thing to be able to have a learning center where you can be there at little or no cost….Creativity doesn’t belong to any class level specifically. I think one of the most important things is to give people the chance and an opportunity—everybody should have an equal shot at having a chance to express themselves, to see how far they can go, to see what they can do, to discover what they love, and how far they can take it.”

CODE PHRASE:   19 years of Venice Arts. 

Tribute videos made by Venice Arts’ advanced film students focused on the honorees will be screened at the Gala, and student docents will be available to give tours of the silent auction exhibition, which will feature over 70 photographs by world-renowned photographers and Venice Arts’ students.

A live auction will include such enticing items as exclusive wines from Slusser Ranch Vineyards and Deloach Vineyards. The winning ticket of Venice Arts’ raffle will be drawn, and the lucky winners will receive an iPod Touch, an Apple gift card, a luxurious cashmere scarf from Kate Kanyon Cashmere, gift certificates to Abbot Kinney restaurants, and more.

Se11.3 VeniceArts KateSquires Bubbles copye image, right – Kate Squires, age 13, Bubbles, Mentoring & Education Program

The Gala also includes a wide selection of hors d’oeuvres and refreshments from local Venice restaurants and businesses; an entertaining program, music Latin jazz singer Birdie Mendoza, and their ever-popular student-run photobooth; student-led docent tours of the Gala exhibition; and the opportunity to support Venice Arts by acquiring a photograph by one of our talented students and world-renowned professional photographers who have generously donated their work to support the organization. For more information, please or 310.392.0846.

Event tickets may be purchased for $175 and raffle tickets for $10 each at  

Renowned Photography Auction will include work by Kwaku Alston, Christine Caldwell, Jo Ann Callis, Julia Dean, Karen Florek, Gil Garcetti, Barry Holmes, Jim Hubbard, Scott Jo,  Amanda Konya Keller, Shay McAtee, Wynn Miller, Ann Mitchell, Michael Miner, Genaro Molina, Leonard Nimoy, Thomas Petillo, Marissa Roth, David Zentz and many more.

Se11.3 VeniceArts JeanetteVasquezCachuma 1 copye image right, Jeanette Vasquez, age 17, Untitled, Mentoring & Education Program

In case you don’t know about Venice Arts. Ir runs education and mentoring programs in documentary photography, filmmaking, and multimedia primarily targeting Los Angeles area low-income youth. Venice Arts also implements regional, statewide, and international projects with both adults and children; runs the Institute for Photographic Empowerment, a collaboration with the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; presents exhibitions, public programs, and workshops for adults centered around documentary photography and film at the Venice Arts Gallery; and consults on media arts, visual storytelling, and arts education with organizations and groups locally and internationally. To find out more about Venice Arts, visit

What: Venice Arts Celebrates 19th Anniversary Gala,

Where: Venice Arts Gallery, 1702 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA, 90291

When: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Phone: 310-392-0846