Back to Our Space Page


The community garden surrounding Beyond Baroque is the result of several phenomenal organizations devoting time and resources to cultivating the land and beautifying our space. It began in the year 2000 thanks to the initiative, design and fund raising efforts of member Marina Borawick. Prior to this time, there was no landscaping in place beyond two yucca trees and a bird of paradise. Over the next decade, Ms. Borawick added low maintenance trees and plant beds all around the Center, with her most recent addition being the Poetry Garden behind our building.

In 2013, Tom Rau and Steve Williams—both members of the Venice Surfrider Foundation —spearheaded a grant application to establish an “Ocean Friendly Garden” on the plot in front of Beyond Baroque’s bookstore. The Keep Los Angeles Beautiful Foundation awarded them the grant, and within months they’d transformed the space: what was for years a spare, drought-tolerant lawn became a gorgeous and eco-friendly garden. Not long after Rau and Williams were finished, non-profit organization Kiss The Ground offered to expand the project and establish a fully-fledged community garden not just in front of the bookstore, but on all the arable land surrounding Beyond Baroque and SPARC (Social Public Arts Resource Center).

In 2018, Kiss the Ground ceded their administration of the garden to Safe Place for Youth, a local non-profit dedicated to lifting unhoused youths out of destitution, in our case through bringing them into work on the garden as paid interns. Thus began a rich and gainful collaboration between Beyond Baroque and S.P.Y. that has lasted to this day. The garden has ballooned into a vibrant and harmonious blend of fruit trees, raised vegetable beds, and indigenous flora. Each quarter, we host a garden party in collaboration with S.P.Y.: the garden’s seasonal harvest furnishes a community meal while various artists, musicians, and writers perform for the public.

Our community garden is the very definition of a public space, so please visit whenever you like! All the fruit and fare is held in common, so enjoy the mulberries, plums, peaches, figs, and persimmons as they come into season!