An old saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.”

After four and a half years, I turned over the leadership of the Venice Chamber of Commerce to our new president, Robert Feist, owner of RavensWork, a video post-production studio located in Venice.

He was sworn in with the other board members Wednesday, July 27th, by Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

I have truly enjoyed being the president of the Venice Chamber and appreciate all of the support that we have received from our members, elected officials, and our community.

In last week’s Argonaut, some of the new enhancements to benefit our chamber members were detailed.

One that was not mentioned is our ability to act as the fiscal agent for local organizations that have not received their nonprofit status nor have completed the incorporation of their group.

The Venice Chamber has taken on this role for the Los Angeles City Fire Department Adopt-A-Fire Station Program and Carnevale-Venice Beach.

At this time, the Venice Chamber is working closely with the Venice Community Trust, an organization that has been formed to create an ongoing permanent Venice art collection in the Venice community.

The Venice Collection will be assembled by donation of art, whenever possible, and installed in public areas in Venice or given to appropriate area institutions.

To support local Venice arts institutions and create an archive of all disciplines — including a recorded history of the arts and artists working in Venice — the Venice Community Trust intends to make funding available to help local organizations participate in the making of educational DVDs.

These DVDs will be distributed throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District, documenting Venice’s role as a community arts model.

Another activity of the Venice Community Trust will be the establishment of the “Venice Annual,” a festival celebrating art in all media, to run through multiple locations throughout Venice.

The Venice Community Trust will also sponsor “The Abbot Awards.”

The Other Venice Film Festival, in cooperation with the Venice Centennial, will award Abbot Awards to four distinguished Venice residents for major contributions to the arts in Venice and the world.

This year’s awardees are Orson Bean for theater, the late Gregory Hines for dance, Ed Ruscha for visual arts, and Carol Tantau for community service.

In order to raise initial funding for all of the Venice Community Trust activities, a raffle was launched Thursday, June 30th.

The raffle will award a grand prize of $10,000 and every donor will receive a signed copy of the Stephen Douglas Centennial poster.

No more than 1,000 tickets will be sold, at $100 each, plus shipping and handling charges for the poster.

More than $50,000 in prizes from more than 70 artists have been received, which will be awarded in random order.

All of the funds raised above the $10,000 prize will benefit the Venice Community Trust, with all work being completed by volunteers.

If you would like to participate, contact Aldis Browne, (310) 301-6976.

BRIDGE PROGRAM — The Bridge Program: Community Humanities Education of Antioch University is offering a free college-level humanities program for low-income adults.

This year, students who complete the course will receive a certificate of accomplishment and may apply for up to nine units of college credit from Antioch University Los Angeles, an increase from six credits offered last year.

Participants must be older than 18, be able to read a newspaper in English, and belong to a low-income household.

No high school diploma is required.

Participants must also be willing to participate fully and responsibly in an active learning community, be prepared to do a significant amount of homework each week, and have a strong interest in studying the humanities.

The program is taught by five university-level professors who provide in-depth instruction in writing, literature, art history, history of democracy, and philosophy.

The program will begin Tuesday, September 27th, and end June 24th.

Classes will meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. at New Roads School, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica.

Tuition, books, course materials, transportation, dinner, and on-site childcare will be provided at no cost to the students.

Registration by fax at (310) 317-9639 will be accepted through Saturday, September 10th, with interviews scheduled Thursday, September 15th.

Information, (310) 463-2789, or e-mail info@thebridgepro, or visit the Web site at

PLAYA VISTA CONCERT — Once again, Playa Vista has hosted a very happening event at Concert Park when Mark Wood and the Parrot Head Band played Sunday, July 31st, to a crowd of 1,100 people.

They took us on a trip to Margaritaville by capturing the spirit of Jimmy Buffet’s music and the essence of his melodic stories.

Everyone was dancing and singing and enjoying the ambiance with their friends and family under the warm California sun.

A final Playa Vista concert for this year is planned from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday, August 28th.

The Answer, the official house band of Arrow 93 FM, will be playing the music of Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones, The Guess and Who.

I hope that you will all join us to say goodbye to the fun of summer at Concert Park. Bring your own picnic and dance the evening away.

Information, (310) 822-0074 or

Mary Richert can be reached at