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Cultural Fun At The Annenberg Beach House:

The new Annenberg Community Beach House is not just a great place to go swimming and enjoy outdoor beach activities. Culture is also being offered at the Beach House, with an indoor art gallery, and now with a series of Tuesday cultural events.

The lineup of events began on June 2 with a play reading, WR and Daisy. A preview of a musical currently in production, the play dealt with the relationship of William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies (for whom Hearst built the beach house), and the mystery surrounding the death of director Thomas Ince during a weekend on board Hearst’s yacht, the Oneida.

 Events through June will include “A Public Place Henceforth,” a lecture about Marion Davies by history professor Janet Fireman (June 9);  a poetry and music event with poets Laurel Ann Bogen,  Jericho Brown, Ben Doller, and music by the What’s Next Ensemble (June 16);  author James Harris reading from his new book Santa Monica Pier: A Century on the Last Great Pleasure Pier (June 23); and  filmmaker Elaina Archer lecturing on “Marion Davies and the Women of Silent Films” (June 30). More Tuesday events through September will be announced soon.

Jessica Cusick, Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Manager, says that this summer will be the “pilot season” for culture at Annenberg. “After that, we’re going to assess what’s worked, what hasn’t worked. We’re also planning to issue a call for ideas from some organizations that might like to do some programming out there.”

Cusick says that Cultural Affairs is testing the types of events as well as the scheduled time, to see what works best for visitors. The events have been chosen because in one way or another, they relate to either the theme of the beach, or to the specific history of the Annenberg Beach House.

The Janet Fireman lecture, for example, will tell the story of the original Marion Davies beach house and how the property was acquired for its present use.

The poetry readings scheduled for this summer are in collaboration with Red Hen Press,  “a well-know independent publisher of poetry,” says Cusick. She foresees that every month there will be a poetry reading, a lecture, and some type of concert featuring chamber music, classical, and possibly other types of music.

All events will be free, but reservations are recommended, as space is a consideration.

The Annenberg Community Beach House is located at 415 Pacific Coast Highway. For more information about the Beach House, visit the website at http://beachhouse.smgov.net, email staff at beachhouse@smgov.net or call 310.458.4904.

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