Category: Arts & Events

Photographic Tales

New Santa Monica experience offers intimate look at Princess Diana By Bridgette M. Redman Few people had more ongoing and personal access to Princess Diana than Anwar Hussein, the royal photographer who took thousands of pictures of the people’s princess. “Princess Diana: Accredited Access” opened at Santa Monica Place, where the immersive experience will run through March. Featuring 150 photographs taken by Hussein and his two sons, Zak and Samir, the exhibit features an audio tour narrated by the two sons sharing new stories about Princess Diana and her family. It is what Cliff Skelliter, the planner behind the exhibition, calls a walk-thru documentary. “Originally it didn’t start out that way,” Skelliter said. “But with art and storytelling, you think you are going in one direction and then as you listen and read between the lines, you start to move in the direction that the story brings you in.” “Princess Diana Exhibition: Accredited Access” was created by Fever, an entertainment discovery platform that puts together experiences across the country such as the Los Angeles-based “Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience.” This exhibition designers and planners met with Hussein, who is the longest-running royal photographer. Hussein was born in Tanzania and began his career as a photojournalist. Hired by the United Nations, he took pictures of refugees from the Belgian Congo civil uprising. He moved to England, where he photographed everyone...

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Venice Stories

Artist Jason Hill celebrates new anthology with book release and signing party By Kamala Kirk A special book release and signing party was held on Nov. 13 at Hinano Cafe in Venice for local illustrator and graphic designer Jason Hill to celebrate the recent release of “Venice Stories Volume 3.” “Venice Stories” is Hill’s popular photo comics that are based on Venice Beach history and feature interviews with local personalities. The comics are published every month in The Argonaut. Volumes 1, 2 and 3 of “Venice Stories” are available for $20 each on The event also featured live music by the Venice Street Legends and special guests. A limited number of signed book copies were available for sale. “What a fun night!” Hill said. “I was truly humbled by the overwhelming support from all corners of the community. Lots of cool artists and musicians showed up, and also business owners, realtors, entrepreneurs – people of all stripes came through. It’s proof that compassionate storytellers can unite communities and bring people together.” Venice Stories...

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Loaded Boards

Two local businesses collaborate to bring surfing to the streets By Sara Edwards An innovative longboard company in Culver City, Loaded Boards, collaborated with Carver skateboards to launch its new Bolsa surfskate deck that brings a surf-inspired experience to the pavement. Don Tashman is president and CEO of Loaded Boards and met the founders of Carver, Greg Falk and Neil Carver, through surfing. Over the pandemic, Carver approached Tashman and proposed a collaboration collection. “We went for something that had a surfy vibe,” Tashman said. “​​I’ve always liked his stuff and we are voted for a high performance-composite skateboard. So I was trying to kind of create innovative and performance driven products and also very much focused on building community and worldwide.” The Loaded Carver Bolsa board combines Loaded Board’s surfskate experience with Carver’s unique truck design, or the plate underneath the board connecting it to the wheels. The board itself has a “rocker” profile with flared wheel wells and a deck to create more leverage while turning on the board. “I think all three of us have a very eclectic vibe in terms of how we approach things,” Tashman said. “We designed the board around their trucks while using our wheels.” Tashman grew up in Los Angeles, where his mother, who had been skateboarding since she was four, always had a skateboard somewhere around the house. Tashman said...

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Preserving an Almost-Lost Narrative

Robin Center for Russian-Speaking Jewry will preserve history of Soviet Jewish experience By Bridgette M. Redman Museums help to protect history from being lost. In Culver City, the Wende Museum is opening the Robin Center for Russian-Speaking Jewry in an effort to preserve the history of the Soviet Jewish experience, particularly those who applied for exit visas and subsequently faced discrimination or were disciplined when their visas were refused. They became known as “Refuseniks” and they founded a movement of protest and culture that lasted from the 1970s to the early 1990s. Underwritten by Edward and Peggy Robin, two Wende Museum Board and Committee members, the Robin Center was started pre-pandemic and has been in the works since then. In addition to being a home for archival materials, the Center will offer ongoing programming to interact with the material. The first exhibition related to the Center will be “Soviet Jewish Life: Bill Aron and Yevgeniy Fiks.” It will be on display from Nov. 14 through March 20. The Wende Museum focuses on collecting, preserving and providing access to a wide range of media having to do with socialism during the Cold War era (1945-1991). Also opening at the same time is an exhibition called “Questionable History.” “I was involved in the Soviet Jewry, which was a major international, human rights movement,” said Edward Robin. “A photographer friend of mine,...

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50th Anniversary Celebration

War performs in Venice Beach By Kamala Kirk In celebration of their 50th anniversary, legendary Los Angeles band War partnered with the City of LA Parks and Venice Beach to introduce a new initiative to re-establish Venice Beach as a safe and family-friendly recreation area. The community event was held at Windward Plaza, presented by Rhino Entertainment and produced locally by Munson Industries. War performed at the event, which included a low rider car show featuring the ENVYUZ Minis and Dogtown Devils car clubs. A special War-inspired mural by the STP crew was also completed live. Local vendors were showcased including food by The Waterfront and The Erwin Hotel’s Venice Way Pizza. The celebration was open to the public and 20 percent of the day’s sales benefitted Venice Family Clinic, which provides comprehensive, high-quality health care to people in...

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