The Venice Neighborhood Council will contribute a total of $20,000 to 11 community improvement projects under a system that allows groups to apply for council funding.

The neighborhood council approved the funding, which represents over 30 percent of its annual allocation from the City of Los Angeles, at its June 16th meeting. Certified neighborhood councils in the city had previously received $50,000 in annual funding from the city, but the allocation was reduced to $45,000 this year due to the budget crisis.

This marks the second year that the Venice Neighborhood Council has implemented an innovative system of competitive bidding for community improvement project funding. The effort enables community members to fill out applications for funding, which are reviewed by a council committee to select the projects awarded.

“Our Neighborhood Committee’s community improvement project track record last year was amazing — we were able to provide over $39,000 to 19 projects,” council president Mike Newhouse said.

“In this year of shrinking budgets I think it is remarkable that we were able to distribute $20,000, over 30 percent of our total funding, to 11 projects dedicated to improving the quality of life in Venice.”

The applicants, their projects and the amount of funding they will receive are:

Abbot Kinney District Association, Festival Sponsorship, $2,000;

Alex Stowell, Metal at Muscle Beach, $2,000;

France Fagin, Venice Youth Photography Program, $2,000;

Inside Out Arts, Youth and Family Courtyard, $2,000;

Masters in the Chapel, concert series, $2,000;

Oakwood Recreation Center, Halloween event, $2,000;

Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), building beautification, $2,000;

Westminster Elementary School, “Yes We Can” garden benches, $2,000;

Friends of Coeur D’Alene, Hummingbird Hangout Garden, $1,996;

Congregation Mishkon Tephilo, Community Gilbert and Sullivan, $1,599; and

Mother Olivia Faire, tutoring program, $405.

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