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..."
After the screening, KCET Cinema Series host Pete Hammond conversed with director Fernando Ferreira Meirelles (City of Gold), and writer Anthony McCarten.
All around the United States is a 100-mile border zone where one can be searched and one's things seized. Policies way beyond what the constitution allows is regularly implemented. Artists drew on select sites. Here's what they realized.
Created by policymakers in the 1940s, the border zone extends 100 miles inland from the nation’s land and sea boundaries and houses nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population. It's also where the 4th amendment rights of the people have been subverted.
We have forgotten how to be medicine to the land, and to ourselves. The members of Syuxtun Collective are revisiting lost indigenous wisdom of learning and listening, of harvesting and preparing plant medicine in participation with nature.
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