Beyond Baroque, the Venice literary arts organization celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, has announced an expansion of its Board of Trustees with eight new members who were sworn in on December 1.
Joining Board president Fred Dewey, Secretary Amelie Frank, and standing Board CFO Richard Modiano are David Matlin, Steven Flusty, Paul Sawyer, Jerry Garcia, Amanda Seward, Grace Godlin, V. Vale, and Elaine Katzenberger.
These new trustees have been chosen from divergent backgrounds and are expected to bring to Beyond Baroque a love of the arts, business, religious, legal expertise, and a commitment to the community. The newly-enlarged group announced a campaign to broaden and deepen the organization’s outreach and resources.
Seward, a local organizer and Venice attorney who secured historic designation for Lincoln Place and fought to preserve its low-income apartments, served on the Mar Vista Community Council Board and currently chairs the Residential Council of LA Conservancy and serves as Board Chair of the Pico Youth and Family Center.
Godlin, a community advocate, local Venice Beat historian, and neighbor for three decades, is a former LAUSD teacher. She is also President of Voice of the Canals, and serves on the board of the Venice Historical Society.
Katzenberger is Executive Director of City Lights Bookstore & Publishers in San Francisco–one of the country’s most legendary and historic bookstores and imprints.
Sawyer, a Unitarian minister from Pasadena, is Chair of Media Democracy Project, and serves on the board of the Jackie Robinson Youth Center. He co-founded the Poets Union in Berkeley.
Garcia is the co-director of Valley Contemporary Poets and runs V.6 Postproduction, Inc., in Burbank.
Flusty has written and edited several books on Los Angeles and other global cities.
V. Vale is founder and editor of RE/Search Publications in San Francisco and has published over 40 books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs, including books on William Burroughs, Bob Flanagan, and others.
David Matlin is a writer and professor from San Diego, and is the author of a recent book on the American prison complex praised by Howard Zinn and Ishmael Reed.
In addition to the new board members, Dewey announced that Beyond Baroque has received a $20,000 donation from, “a major LA artist living in Venice who, though preferring anonymity, began in the underground and is very sympathetic to the institution’s spirit.”
Over the last year, Executive Committee members Dewey, Frank, and Modiano have been working with a team of consultants to negotiate a new, 25-year lease for the organization in its three-decade Venice home at 681 Venice Boulevard.
Finally, this spring Beyond Baroque will begin a series of public gatherings to listen and collect ideas on how the 40-year institution might better serve the LA and national arts and literary communities.