Beyond Baroque: A Refuge for Free Speech and Poetry | KCET
Beyond Baroque: A Refuge for Free Speech and Poetry
Located in the old Venice City Hall, built in 1906, is Beyond Baroque, L.A.'s preeminent center for literature and arts. Created by George Drury Smith in 1968 as a meeting place and home of a newsprint 'zine that shared its name, the center followed the lineage of the Venice beats and filled an important gap left by the closing of the Gas House venue and the decline of the poetry scene. Humble to its core, Beyond Baroque has become one of the city's only refuges for free speech and poetry. But even as funding dwindles, Fred Dewey, the center's current Executive Director, has continued to push the organization's mission into the 21st century.
The Edge of Society
"Venice is a very non-conformist part of the city and a lot of people have moved here over the years for that reason."
A History of Beyond Baroque
We started as a zine and then people wanted to come together, so we opened a space. We've been here in Venice since 1968. We opened up on what is now Abbot Kinney Boulevard in a store front.
"I think the beats were never really a movement, they were really a group of misfits and people that didn't really fit in, and didn't want to be part of the larger society."
The Beat Players
"It was a struggle to survive in this context and to create. And the words that they came up with are really a testament to that free spirit."
"... the feathers are finally leaving my pillow to rejoin the birds of the air..."
'Green Book' Takes Audiences on a Feel-Good Road Trip at the Winter KCET Cinema Series on November 20
A Q&A will immediately follow with actor Mahershala Ali, director/co-writer Peter Farrelly, and co-writer Nick Vallelonga.
The New Deal and a surge in arts funding led to the creation of public works of art throughout the country. In Southern California, muralist Edward Biberman offered an evocative interpretation of Venice with "Abbot Kinney and the Story of Venice."
The only ghosts in this episode are the dreams of the past — visions of wealth, of new cities, and of new ways of living that failed. One of our stops was at Zzyzx, where we found multiple layers of history baked under the desert sun.
The Woolsey Fire, which erupted Thursday afternoon, has destroyed at least 150 homes and forced the evacuation of 75,000 homes and 200,000 people in both counties as it indiscriminately consumed multi-million dollar mansions and mobile homes. The flames t
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