Culver Arts Foundation Hosts Grant Recipients for Holiday Party at the Wende & Gives Spotlight Award to Davidson

What better place to host a gathering of artists and art patrons than the Wende Museum? Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022 saw the Culver Arts Foundation hold their holiday gathering, surrounded by paintings, photographs and sculpture, clear evidence that their mission was one that would be appreciated in years to come. The party was not only to applaud the latest round of grant recipients, and look back at the foundation’s accomplishments, but to present the Spotlight Award to Lynne Davidson for her outstanding support of local arts. 

The evening began with the AVPA Jazz Combo playing holiday music in the garden, while guests arrived. Jim Clarke, the foundation’s chair, began the program by welcoming everyone in and giving the microphone to Poet Laureate Emerita Dr. Janet Cameron Hoult. Hoult shared “A Holiday Poem” she had written for the occasion, and won both laughter and applause from the crowd. 

A dance performance from On The Edge dance company showcased four individual dancers – Finley Beardsley, Sofia Mortera, Maya Chayce Mandel and Sloane Rawls – each doing a short piece that they had choreographed themselves. One of the recipients of a foundation grant, Annie Brown, spoke briefly, thanking the board for the grant and talking about how it had allowed her to do more than survive, but also expand. Her work with These Hands Maker’s Collective was a part of Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent holiday shopping in Los Angeles, and Brown noted that “by getting that money to start expanding, I’ve been able to share my expansion with several other creative businesses that have benefitted as well.” 

David Voncannon made an eloquent plea to support the organization in any and every way; both volunteer board members and financial contributions were vital to future success. 

Applause was also offered to many of the organizations that had been given grants, including the Culver City Historical Society, Jazz Hands for Autism, Monarch Theater Company, the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, the Doctors’ Symphony, and many others. 

When Artist Laureate Alexey Steele presented Lynne Davidson with the Spotlight Award, he offered that this was a limited edition of ten copies, so that the award would be part of a rare set. Davidson accepted graciously, giving her thanks for all the work of the foundation. 

Clarke noted that while the emphasis of the past has been on performing arts, more grant opportunities will be open for literary and visual arts in the future. 

While Alexey Steele has served an extended term (due to the pandemic) the next Laureate will be announced soon, with the collaboration of the city’s Cultural Affairs Department and the Culver Arts Foundation. 

Judith Martin-Straw

Photo Caption; (l to r) Alicia Ide, Jim Clarke, Wirt Morton, Lynne Davidson, Alexey Steele, David Voncannon, Sehnita Joshua Mattison


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