Beyond Baroque to host virtual gala on May 6, including Amanda Gorman

By Haley Beyer

Amanda Gorman is among the artists and performers participating in Beyond Baroque’s “Beyond This Moment” gala on May 6. Courtesy of Sun Literary Arts

After being closed to the public for more than a year, Beyond Baroque is looking forward to celebrating its reopening later this year and supporting the arts, poetry and literature.

On May 6, the Venice-based literary arts center will host “Beyond This Moment”, a virtual gala that will include artists and performers showcasing their passion and talent. The event will take place at 7 p.m. on LiveStream via Crowdcast.

“I’m most excited to see everyone’s unique perspective in the world of art,” said Quentin Ring, executive director of Beyond Baroque. “It is moving to have such influential individuals who bring diversity in their talents.”

Founded in 1968 as an experimental literary magazine, Beyond Baroque is one of the leading independent literary arts centers and public spaces in the United States that is dedicated to expanding the public’s knowledge of poetry, literature and art though cultural events and community interaction.
Among this year’s featured guests and performers is Amanda Gorman, the country’s youngest inaugural poet, who is returning in support of Beyond Baroque in the space where she took her first poetry workshop.

Other guests will include Pulitzer Prize-winner Tyehimba Jess; Los Lobos founding member Louie Pérez; as well as present and past poet laureates such as Lynne Thompson, Luis J. Rodriguez, Jaki Shelton Green, and Carolyn Foronda.

MC5 guitar legend Wayne Kramer (and co-founder of Jail Guitar Doors) will also be in attendance, in addition to poet/activist (and former MC5 manager) John Sinclair. “West Wing” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” actor Bradley Whitford will read favorite poems with his wife, actress Amy Landecker.
A founder of the seminal proto-hip hop group the Last Poets, Abiodun Oyewole will be joined by poets E. Ethelbert Miller, Ryka Aoki, Amy Gerstler and Peter J. Harris (with his poem “Song Again” from For the Love of LA series at the Music Center).

Punk-power pop group The Linda Lindas (currently in Amy Poehler’s Netflix film “Moxie,” will perform songs by The Muffs. Renowned British actor, author and director Simon Callow will also make a special appearance on behalf of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation.

Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite. There are different tiers of tickets depending on the package. Tickets start at $25 for general admission and go up to $100. The Venice Beach Ticket costs $50 and includes a special gift box. For $75, guests can purchase a Poet Ticket, which includes a custom wood-engraved Beyond Baroque notebook. The Beat Goes On Ticket, which costs $100, includes 50% off any single-day Beyond Baroque intensive workshop in 2021.
Proceeds from the tickets go directly to Beyond Baroque’s programs, but there will also be a separate place for donations and sponsorships that will go towards repairing renovations the 115-year-old building. Beyond Baroque wants to update the theater, exterior facade and common areas, with a goal of $20,000 to help them get on their way.

The building, which is the location of the Old Venice City Hall, was built in 1906. It includes a bookstore with the largest collection of new poetry books for sale and an archive that houses more than 40,000 books chronicling the history of poetry movements in LA and beyond.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming back our community,” Ring said.

To purchase tickets, visit beyondbaroque.org

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