WHAT IS THE VENICE CANALS ART GARDEN?

The Venice Canals Art Garden is a privately owned and shared space. It is a community art space and organic garden where neighborhood events and projects are co-created. It is offered to the Venice Canals neighborhood by Deborah Groening and Paul Rother for gatherings that encourage love, art, music, and friendship, which reflect the bohemian roots of the historic Venice Canals.

The Art Garden is a creative space for canal neighbors, who freely share individual talents and offerings of time, kindness, and generosity of spirit. We believe in gift-giving--knowing that the value of a gift is unconditional, and benefits the giver more than the receiver. In order to preserve the spirit of giving, we seek to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial interests. The Art Garden encourages individuals to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources. If something needs doing, we take the initiative and responsibility and do it as a giving gesture. We value creative cooperation and collaboration.

WHERE IS THE ART GARDEN?

The Art Garden is three consecutive lots on Linnie Canal in the heart of the Venice Canals Historic District. The address is 408 Linnie Canal, just east of Dell. For most events, people come in via the rear gate on Court C. There is no parking. The two cottages on the property are original structures and adhere to the 100-year-old vision of Abbot Kinney, the founder of Venice. They are some of the last original structures remaining in the Venice Canals. Each have housed artists, musicians, and master gardeners at one time or another in their long history.

WHAT HOURS ARE THE ART GARDEN OPEN AND IS IT OPEN TO ANYONE?

The Art Garden is not a public space, so it isn't open at regular hours. It's open for regular events such our Saturday work parties, coffee get-togethers, or for special events. The Art Garden is for canal folks and their neighboring friends. There are many ways to get involved. Start by signing up on the mailing list, then come to an event! Volunteer (stop by) for a Saturday work party or adopt a vegetable bed. Generally, people in the Art Garden are friendly and outgoing--but if they are busy or rushed, then please don't be put off!

IS THE ART GARDEN A PARTY HOUSE?

No, it is not. On occasion we do have great parties for the whole community to enjoy. However we do limit these to no more than once a month out of respect for our immediate neighbors. We also never play amplified music after 10pm. We strive to be considerate, and if you see something amiss on that front, please let us know.

HOW DOES THE ART GARDEN WORK?

If you are a canal resident and want to participate... you are welcome. Just come by Saturdays, or email us to offer your time and energy. One of the only "rules" of the garden is that it is strictly non-commercial. No money is exchanged, which mean no dues are ever required and all events are free. Nothing is sold here. A willingness to pitch-in occasionally to keep the Art Garden at its best is all that will ever be asked of you.

CAN I RENT THE ART GARDEN FOR A PARTY?

The Art Garden is a non-commercial space, and that includes rental. So no, you can't rent it. However, if you want to sponsor a party for the whole community, that is possible. Please write us, or stop by to discuss it with us.

I WOULD LIKE TO USE THE SPACE FOR A MOVIE I'M DOING OR FOR A PHOTOSHOOT, WHO DO I TALK TO?

We don't rent the space, nor do we want movies done there, or photoshoots. It's not that kind of place.

IS THE ART GARDEN ANOTHER COMMUNITY GARDEN?

Not exactly. The vegetable garden, with its 8 beds, is privately owned but caretakers are "foster parents" of one of the beds in exchange for sharing in the bounty and fun of being together in nature. You're welcome to join us as an adoptive parent!

HOW CAN I BE PART OF THE VEGGIE GARDEN CREW?

The best way to get involved is to show up on a Saturday morning, and let your intentions be known. You can also write us. Sometimes we are looking for neighbors to adopt a bed, and other times there's a small waiting list. You sign up to co-adopt one of the beds, and take home some of the bounty every week.

I SEE THE PICNIC TABLES, CAN I HAVE A PICNIC THERE FOR FRIENDS?

Again, it's not a public park. But if you want to use the space to have a meal with a few friends or family--let us know and we may be able to accommodate. Keep in mind that we have rules (regarding impact on the immediate neighbors) and thus may say no. We are also a no-plastic zone.

I HEAR THERE ARE EVENTS THAT TAKE PLACE AT THE ART GARDEN. ARE THEY OPEN TO EVERYONE?

The events are open to all Canals residents, although sometimes we need to place a cap on the number of attendees for certain classes or workshops. The best way to learn about these events is by signing up on the mailing list.

WHAT KIND OF EVENTS TAKE PLACE AT THE ART GARDEN?

Glad you asked. We have regular events like the Saturday work party, or outdoor movie night. That may change, but there will always be something going on. The veggie garden has had guest master gardeners speak and teach us about gardening. We have occasional neighborhood parties. We have Canal Conversations, where a resident will share their passion with the community.

DO YOU HAVE A CALENDAR OF EVENTS?

Yes, follow the link.

I'D LIKE TO SPONSOR MY EVENT AT THE ART GARDEN, HOW DO I DO THAT?

If you have an event to share with the whole Venice Canal community, we would love to hear from you. Keep in mind, it's a non-commercial space, so no selling of product, books and the like. You can make a contribution of drinks, food, or more as many have.

I HAVE SOME IDEAS FOR ART CLASSES THAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO AT THE ART GARDEN, WHO CAN I TALK TO?

We love artistic inspiration, enthusiasm and sharings. Also, if you have a skill, a passion, or other endeavor you would like to share, your participation is welcome. Please let us know either by approaching someone in the "core group" or by emailing us. All events have a core group lead, who unlocks the gates, and then is there until the end to secure the place. You will need to get a core group person excited about your idea, who will help you see it through.

I LIKE WHAT THE ART GARDEN IS DOING, CAN I GIVE YOU A DONATION?

Since the Art Garden is a non-commercial space there is no direct financial sponsorship. You can donate by purchasing things for us such as food/cleaning supplies, building materials, things you think we need, and other more expensive items we need at the moment like a wireless microphone, or shade canopies / umbrellas. Ask us in person or via emailwhat we need. Thanks!

I HAVE OUTDOOR FURNITURE I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT WANT, CAN I JUST DROP IT OFF?

The Art Garden furniture has been for the most part contributed by neighbors wanting to clear out a little space, but didn't just want to throw functional tables or chairs out. We used to take about anything, but as our basic needs are mostly fulfilled we are more selective. That being said, if you have handmade or really cool furniture or what-not that needs a home, let us know. Please send us a photo and/or a description.

WHO RUNS THE ART GARDEN?

The Art Garden is run by a group of neighbors who call themselves "The Core Group". It's informal, and if you would like to be part of that, step right up and make yourself known.

We are committed to a participatory ethic. We achieve "being" through "doing". We share in the responsibly of maintenance and the running of the Art Garden and use a form of decision making in which all members have an opportunity to participate. We strive to communicate face to face -- that’s what fosters community. Yes, we do use email and phone calls, but a lot of conversations happen randomly -- meeting on the sidewalks and alleys as well in the Art Garden. We support others in the taking on of new responsibilities. We rotate responsibilities and believe us, there is always room for more to get involved in our "Core Group".

ARE THERE ANY RULES I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WHEN I COME?

In the Art Garden we don't use single-use plastic (plastic water bottles, plastic cups, or utensils) nor paper plates. Many have contributed cutlery and dishes to the Art Garden, so we've been blessed with not needing plasticware. When we eat or drink at the Art Garden, we wash our own dishes. In addition to the two kitchen sinks, we have an outdoor sink that is used for washing dishes. We pick up after ourselves and, whenever possible, leave the Art Garden in a better state than when we found it.

Community members organizing events assume responsibility for public safety and endeavor to communicate community responsibilities to participants. Events are free of any commercial activity. All events are free. In the interest of respect of the immediate neighbors, amplified music or audio is turned off after 10pm.

WHAT ABOUT DOGS AND KIDS?

We love dogs, however there's a time and place for them. For very small events, small dogs are OK. Just know that often the gates are left open, and you must keep a watch and clean up after. It's not a dog park.

And of course we love kids. Most events are kid friendly. We will let you know if not. For parties alcohol may be around, so be sure to keep a watch on them.

IS THERE A BATHROOM?

Yes, there is one bathroom in each of the houses. For big parties we rent a portajohn for the guys (so the inside toilets stay relatively clean).

HOW ABOUT PARKING?

We have three car parking spaces and plenty of bike parking. Since everyone lives in the canals, the car spots are only used as a "drop off" for older folks or whatever. However, there are exceptions, and if you need to use a parking space, please let us know in advance and we will do our best to accommodate.

I DON'T LIVE IN THE CANALS, CAN I COME TO EVENTS?

The Art Garden is for the canal residents and some canal "friends". If you live nearby or are good friends with someone that lives here, you are welcome. Our intent is to foster community of those that live close to each other, but we want to be flexible.

I AM A WRITER AND WOULD LIKE TO DO AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE ART GARDEN, WHO CAN I TALK TO?

We don't encourage press or media attention, as we already have congestion on our canal roads and walkways. We hope you understand and can respect that. All of our outreach is by word of mouth. We are not interested in becoming well known outside the Venice Canals, we're interested in keeping it small enough and under the radar to foster intimate friendships.