Venice, CA

Community Spotlight: Venice | Elizabeth Benson Forer, Chief Executive Officer, Venice Family Clinic & Robert Schwan, Artist, Founding Partner of Gjelina

Founded on July 4,1905 by industrialist Abbot Kinney, the iconic community of Venice was designed as a seaside resort to resemble Venice, Italy. Many of Abbot Kinney’s first employees, those that built Venice, were African – American, largely residing in the Oakwood neighborhood. Over time, in the 1950s and 1960s, the Beat Generation came to Venice and brought with it their art and poetry. Later, musicians such as Jim Morrison and artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat lived and worked in the area.

With the arrival of Whole Foods, in 2008, and multiple tech companies such as Snapchat and Google moving into the area, giving it the moniker of “Silicon Beach,” Abbott Kinney Boulevard was called “the coolest block in America.” Join CivitasLA in conversation with two longtime and leading Venice community stakeholders, Robert Schwan, Founding Partner of Gjelina and Elizabeth Benson Forer, Chief Executive Officer of the Venice Family Clinic, to share their perspectives on this unique community. To learn more, please visit:

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