Senator Allen Honors Venice Arts as SD 24 Nonprofit of the Year

SACRAMENTO – Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) today recognized Venice Arts as Nonprofit of the Year for California’s 24th Senate District. The organization provides resources and arts education opportunities to students of all backgrounds, predominantly in support of lower-income students of color.

“I’m honored and pleased to highlight the important work that Venice Arts does in my district and the broader Los Angeles community,” said Senator Allen, who serves as Vice-Chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Arts. “Since my time on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board, expanding access to arts education has been a personal priority. I know what a life-changing impact the arts can have on people, and how frustratingly uneven the opportunities and exposure are for youth in our region. The folks at Venice Arts are doing all they can to bridge that divide.”

According to research by the Brookings Institution, arts education experiences is tangibly shown to have significant benefits across students’ academic, social, and emotional development. Founded in 1993 during calls for social change in Los Angeles and amidst budget cuts to arts education in public schools, Venice Arts opened its doors in an effort to link artists in the community with students living in poverty. Programs offer an array of curriculum, college assistance, and career development opportunities that otherwise may not be available to the hundreds of young people they serve each year.

“Being named a California Nonprofit of the Year is an affirmation of the 30 years that Venice Arts has been providing low-income young people with truly transformative media arts education, college support, and creative career pathways programs,” said Lynn Warshafsky, founder and executive director of Venice Arts. “I am especially proud to have been recognized by Senator Allen, who has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to expanding equitable access to the arts, and his understanding of the value of arts, culture, and creativity to both individuals and communities.”

Each year, nearly every legislator chooses a nonprofit in their district to honor at a State Capitol event organized by the California Association of Nonprofits. Senator Allen’s previous honorees include Grades of Green, AllTogether LA, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, Project Angel Food, Step Up on Second, Westside Food Bank, and Safe Place for Youth.

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Ben Allen represents the 24th State Senate District, which consists of the Westside, Hollywood, South Bay, and Santa Monica Mountains communities of Los Angeles County.