First published in the June 30 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Pasadena Art Alliance presented its 7th annual Impact Award of $25,000 to Venice Arts, whose mission is to ignite, expand and transform the lives of Los Angeles’ low-income youth through photography and film education.
Venice Arts uses its participatory storytelling practices to amplify the voices of under-represented communities around the world.
For nearly three decades, Venice Arts has provided underserved youth (ages 10-24) with access to rigorous, high-quality arts education. Its core program is the Art Mentoring and Education Program, which serves 300 youth per year.
Its program puts creativity, art making and art learning at the center of youth
development, and consists of free, sequential (beginning to advanced) workshops in photography, filmmaking and comics, offered to youth aged 10-18.
Each workshop has a “specific and realistic syllabus” that aligns with county and state guidelines, and emphasizes the “whole child,” encouraging youth to find their personal aesthetic and discover creative ways to make art from concept through completion, including in exhibits or screenings.
Importantly, Venice Arts serves youth throughout Los Angeles, many of whom take the bus to Venice for classes and workshops. The organization makes a deep impact on the students it serves and is training future “world class” artists with each program, with more than 220 awards having been won by its students. Each of its programs works systematically, culminating in college counseling.
The mission of Venice Arts aligns beautifully with that of the Pasadena Art Alliance and its Impact Award, which is to “showcase excellence” with an award to a nonprofit organization that impacts youth through contemporary visual art. In sum, Venice Arts personifies the “excellence” in the Impact Award’s mission statement, and the PAA is proud to sponsor this award.
Established in 1955, Pasadena Art Alliance fosters the appreciation for contemporary visual arts in Southern California by supporting artists, exhibitions, educational programs and art-oriented, nonprofit institutions.
Funds raised through an annual benefit and other events provide funding for the annual grants and awards presented to deserving nonprofit art institutions. For more information, visit pasadenaartalliance.org.