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Divas of Venice Open at SPARC: Venice at 100

The Venice People’s Centennial Celebration continues at SPARC with “Divas of Venice,” a month long art installation augmented by a series of concerts, film, poetry, politics, readings and presentations.

Highlights will include the “Venus of Venice” awards, a pink slip progressive wear fashion show, and performance piece, reflecting the diversity and uniqueness of extraordinary Venice women.

The opening reception on Friday, August 5, at 7 p.m., will honor two of the founding members of SPARC “Que Viva Diva” Judith Baca and filmmaker/director “Diva” Donna Deitch. In addition, “Venus of Venice” awards will be made to the “Divas of Venice.”

“Poetry Diva” Linda Albertano will perform the following evening, Saturday, August 6, at 7 p.m. at Beyond Baroque, with original members of Nearly Fatal Women — poets Laurel Ann Bogen and Suzanne Lummis.

“Mama Africa Diva” Bridget Graham and Adaawe will perform an international kaleidoscope of African drumming and lyrics on stage in the SPARC parking lot on Saturday, August 13, at 7 p.m., in celebration of diverse women through art, music and song.

“Deviant Divas” writer, artist, photographer Maureen Cotter and one of the first collective members of The Free Venice Beachhead, journalist Carol Fondiller, will read original works at Beyond Baroque on Saturday, August 20, at 7 p.m..

“Diva Deluxe” Suzy Williams accompanied by pianist Brad Kay will perform on stage in the SPARC parking lot works of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and others on Friday, August 26, at 7 p.m.

The Divas of Venice series will close Saturday, August 27, at 7 p.m. with one of the founding members of CodePink, “Political Diva” Jodie Evans, along with special guests, appearing in pink slips at the progressive wear fashion show directed by Dana Balicki, as well as a performance piece “How to Maintain our Democracy’s Optimal Health” presented by the “Election Hygienists” of CodePink, written by Sherry Healy, and directed by LA CodePink founder Susan Rath.

The art installation will run through August 30th. It includes works by Judith Baca, Dana Balicki, Mimi Bogale, Maureen Cotter, Cyndi Kahn, Amy Kaps, Deborah Krall, Laura Silagi and Emily Winters.

“Divas of Venice,” produced by Suzanne Thompson, and presented by the Venice Arts Council and SPARC, is the second of a three-month series of events celebrating the 100th birthday of Venice.

Featured in September will be “The Poster of Peace Press,” political posters created and printed by Venice activists and artists from 1967-1987, produced by the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Peace Press alumni, and Eric Ahlberg.

The Venice People’s Centennial was created by the Venice Arts Council and friends to encourage the many talented artists who live in Venice to contribute more personal statements in celebration of Venice.

“Divas of Venice” is sponsored in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Liberty Hill Foundation/Robert & Heidi Greenwald Fund, Susan Adelman and Claudio Llanos, Edward Ferrer, Don Geagan, Linda Lucks, Michael McGuffin, and Linda Shusett.All events are free and open to the public. SPARC is located at 685 North Venice Boulevard in Venice. Beyond Baroque is located at 681 North Venice Boulevard. For more information, call SPARC at (310) 822-9560 x 10 or visit these websites: www.VeniceArtsCouncil.org and www.SPARCmurals.org.

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