Take a walk through history at the Heritage Museum of Venice — The

Nestled in western Los Angeles County is one of the most famous and notorious beach towns in the world. Venice, California is well known for its eclectic boardwalk, unique shops, and community of artists and musicians. With around five kilometers of sandy beaches, Venice is a getaway like no other for those looking to relax and feel free. Although there is a fascination and idolatry for Venice, few people know the history of this city of more than 100 years.

In 2018, the Venice Heritage Foundation (VHF), an organization launched its plan to create a new museum dedicated to the culture and history of Venice, California. Since their announcement, VHF has spent the past few years raising funds through events, exhibitions and performances to open Venice’s first-ever Heritage Museum (VHM). This volunteer-led staff hopes to establish and open VHM within the next two to three years. The museum will have monthly subscriptions and will be free to enter, with only a suggested donation for admission, so it is accessible to everyone.

“The Venice Heritage Museum is meant to blend the really important cultural and subcultural phenomena that have come out of Venice, from art to design to music,” said Kristina Hoffman, Chair of VHF’s Board of Trustees. .

With community support and charitable donations, VHM plans to restore the 1905 Pacific Electric Red Carriage Cart as an official museum space. By the early 1900s, the streetcar served the Los Angeles community as public transportation throughout the region. The Short Line operated for over five decades until the county decommissioned the railcar network in the 1950s. This carriage will house different works of art which will be a mix of shadow boxes, displays digital and literary archives. Additionally, the museum will partner with the community to collect more photographs and memorabilia for the exhibit. With Venice of American Centennial Park, at 501 S. Venice Blvd in Venice, California, as the home for the carriage and museum space, the park will be a hub for the community with a garden, sculptures, stage corner and an information kiosk.

“Venice could use more of the positive because we know the negative all too well,” Hoffman said. Crime and homelessness in the city have caused foreigners to associate these negative issues with Venice. Instead, VHM chooses to focus on the different eras of Venice to show how the city developed over time. VHM will guide visitors through the main periods of the city since its founding on July 4, 1905, from the days of developer Abbot Kinney’s amusement park through post-WWII turmoil to the city present day that many call home.

VHM seeks to show all the interesting and inspiring history of the community. “If we don’t know where we came from, we don’t know where we are,” Hoffman said when asked why it’s important to know about Venice’s past. She hopes VHM’s presence will be a refreshing addition to the city. This will give Angelenos, and all visitors, a chance to walk through the history of the famous seaside town.

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