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Established 1968


Beyond Baroque is one of the United States' leading independent Literary | Arts Centers and public spaces dedicated to expanding the public's knowledge of poetry, literature and art through cultural events and community interaction. Founded in 1968, Beyond Baroque is based out of the original City Hall building in Venice, California. The Center offers a diverse variety of literary and arts programming including readings, workshops, new music and education. The building also houses a bookstore with the largest collection of new poetry books and CDs for sale and an archive that houses over 40,000 books, including small press and limited-edition publications, chronicling the history of poetry movements in Los Angeles and beyond. Through the years, Beyond Baroque has played muse to the Venice Beats, the burgeoning Punk movement and visiting scholars. Many of the city's leading literary talents, including Dennis Cooper, Wanda Coleman, Tom Waits, Exene Cervenkova and Amy Gerstler, are alumni of the Wednesday night poetry workshop. Many of the worlds most well known independent artists, including Patti Smith, Michael McClure, Dana Gioia, and Viggo Mortensen have performed on its stage.


Beyond Baroque's mission is to advance the public awareness of and involvement in the literary arts; to provide a challenging program of events which promotes new work and diversity; to foster a place in the community for the exchange of challenging ideas and the nurturing of new work; to support writers through readings, workshops, books sales, publication, access to archived material and performance space; to encourage collaboration and cross-fertilization between writers and artists in multiple disciplines with the goal of producing mixed media art; to use the literary arts as a foundation for increasing education and literacy in our community.


Richard Modiano, Director, Beyond Baroque
Programming, Community Relations and Rentals

Quentin Ring, Assistant Director
Memberships Coordinator & Bookkeeping

Emmitt Conklin, Bookstore
Bookstore Management

Mario Medina, Website and Technical Support
Web/Tech Support

BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Laurel Ann Bogen, Liz Camfiord, Jon Hess, Karen Kevorkian, Doug Knott, Diane Luby Lane, Richard Modiano, Bill Mohr, Diana Raab, Andy Schwartz, Diane Silver, Gloria Vando, Rex Weiner, Gail Wronsky, Mariano Zaro, and James Zukin.
NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL: Nancy Agabian, Ammiel Alcalay, Jeremiah Day, Simone Forti, David Matalin, Bill Mohr, Lucas Reiner, Jerome Rothenberg, George Drury Smith, David St. John, Judith Taylor, V. Vale, Paul Vangelisti.
LOS ANGELES ADVISORY COUNCIL: Adam Cornford, Gerry Fialka, Amélie Frank, Michael C Ford, Jen Hofer, Juri Koll, Chris Kraus, Pegarty Long, Linda Lucks, Suzanne Lummis, Jerry Garcia, Harry Northup, Holly Prado, Suzanne Thompson, Rick Tuttle, Roy Ulrich, Emily Winters.
CURATORS COUNCIL: Will Alexander, Bob Branaman, Eve Brandstein, Steve Goldman, S.A. Griffin, Susan Hayden, Eric Vollmer, Jessica Wilson; and Board Liaison, Richard Modiano.
GARDEN CARETAKER: Kiss the Ground.
BB FOUNDER: George Drury Smith.

ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE: Will Alexander, Poet-in-Residence; Robert Branaman, Artist-in-Residence

In addition to regular staff, Beyond Baroque is also depending on the kindness of volunteers and interns in many areas, including the bookstore, archive, publicity, social networking, and outreach. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at info@beyondbaroque.org. Student interns may receive school credit, depending on their curriculum.

Bookstore Volunteers: Shay Golub

IN MEMORIAM: Alfred Benjiman, Mike Cluff, Justin Chin, Wanda Coleman, Nita Donavan, Erica Erdman, R.L. Greenfield, Mike Kelley, Bill Hickok, Philomene Long, Carol Lem, Jack McCarthy, Fred Moramarco, Akilah Oliver, Lee Sloca, Austin Straus, John Thomas, Cynthia Toronto, Scott Wannberg, and Mel Weisburd.