We're honored to present the 2016 Spirit of Venice Award to:

  • Alley Bean
  • Orson Bean
  • Los Angeles City Councilmember, District 11 Mike Bonin
  • Rabbi Lori Shapiro
  • LAPD Senior Lead Office Peggy Thusing


About The Spirit of Venice Award

Since 1989, the Abbot Kinney Festival Association has recognized exemplary stakeholders nominated by the community for their contributions to the spirit, creativity and uniqueness of Venice. 

The first Spirit of Venice Award was presented at the 6th Annual Abbot Kinney Festival in 1989 to descendants of Abbot Kinney, the Founder of Venice, California. Also that year, West Washington Boulevard was renamed to Abbot Kinney Boulevard in his honor.

The award was created by John Kertisz, Poet Laureate and a 1989 Festival Board member, to recognize persons who are actively involved in the community and/or serve as inspirational role models.

Many Venetians have been honored with Spirit of Venice Awards including Vera Davis, Joe Gold, Gregory Hines, Emily Winters, Linda Lucks, Jay Griffith, Sgt. Theresa Skinner, Yo Venice, and Jesse Martinez.

In past years we have honored the following people for their contributions:


  • Cecilia Castillo, Former Field Deputy to Councilman Bonin
  • Edizen Stowell, Community Contributor
  • Sue Kaplan, Community Activist
  • Challis MacPherson (Post­humous), Community Activist


  • Ed Moses, Artist
  • Tom Everhart, Artist
  • Laddie John Dill, Artist
  • Mariana Aguilar, Community Activist
  • Eduardo Manilla, Chairman of the Arts Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council
  • Jay Adams (posthumous), Skateboarding pioneer and one of the original members of the legendary Dogtown Z-Boys

Do you know someone who deserves to be acknowledged and honored for their contribution to Venice? Nominations for 2017 Spirit of Venice Awards open in July.