The Beyond Gala

The Beyond Gala 2023

Thank you again to all who joined us on Saturday, October 21, for The Beyond Gala. It was a landmark event celebrating Beyond Baroque's 55th anniversary!

Video Recap

The Beyond Gala

More than 250 people packed Playa Studios in Culver City to join the community in celebration at The Beyond Gala. Guests entered through the pop-up bookstore, struck a pose at our first-ever step-and-repeat, and answered a poetry prompt about Beyond Baroque. Listening to jazz by the Theo Saunders Trio, the crowd perused our silent auction, featuring exceptional literary and entertainment experiences and items, as well as works from more than 40 significant artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Beatriz Cortez, Alex Donis, Salomón Huerta, and Alison Saar, and sipped on cocktails from NEFT Vodka and wines by POC-owned labels from NOIRE Wine Lounge.

Awards Program

The gala’s talented Emcee and Beyond Baroque alumna Vanessa Estelle Williams started off the awards program with a powerful poem, while guests enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Chef Marcel Cocet. City Council representative Traci Park presented Beyond Baroque and Executive Director Quentin Ring with a certificate in honor of our 55th anniversary and impact on the City of Los Angeles, especially Venice, signed by all City Councilmembers and Mayor Karen Bass. We then honored Jim Krusoe, Bob Branaman, Hiram Sims, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Amy Gerstler, and Lynne Thompson with their 2023 Beyond Baroque Awards. Ed Ruscha accepted by video and 2022 Amanda Gorman Future Voice Poetry Prize winner Simone Wesley read an original poem and accepted Amanda Gorman’s Special Recognition Award from Beyond Baroque on behalf of Gorman. Poet bridgette bianca performed a moving, collaborative collage poem that she created on the spot. Her poem commemorated Beyond Baroque’s 55th anniversary and The Beyond Gala, incorporating prompt responses gathered earlier from gala guests. Before the final awards, singers-songwriters Tom Freund + Victoria Williams performed a headline set.

Photo Galleries

Arrivals | Gala

Thank You to Our Gala Sponsors

Special thanks to our gala sponsors, Alegría Publishing, BookSwell, Digimentors, Gagosian, California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick, Susan Hayden + Steve Hochman, Dana Johnson, Joyce Green Family Foundation, Library Girl, Los Angeles Times, NEFT Vodka, NOIRE Wine Lounge, Pitzer College, Poetry Foundation, Poetry.LA, The Rauch Family Foundation, The Robert Lemelson Foundation, George Drury Smith, SPY Projects, Bianca Ryan-Lopez, Rolland Vasin, Antonieta Villamil, and Jim & Helen Zukin.

Support Beyond Baroque

We raised a historic amount—more than $80,000—at The Beyond Gala but there’s still time to make a contribution in support of our goal of raising a landmark $155,000 for our 55th anniversary. We'd be profoundly grateful if you could donate to Beyond Baroque. All funds go toward our project of nurturing new poetry, writing, and art through workshops, readings, performances, and exhibitions.

One easy way to help us reach our goal:

Donate: You can donate $50, $100, $250, or a custom amount here.

Thank you all for your care for poetry, literature, and art, and for being a part of our community. We look forward to continuing to thrive with your vital support!