Abbot Kinney Festival ‘Spirit of Venice’ Awards Announced!


The Abbot Kinney Festival Association (AKFA) has announced the Spirit of Venice and AKFA Grant recipients for 2013! Congratulations to all of the grant recipients, and a big thanks to all of the Spirit of Venice award winners for their community service!

Abbot Kinney Festival

The presentations of the awards will take place during the Abbot Kinney Festival on September 29th from 2-3pm on the Andalusia stage!

Abbot Kinney Festival Spirit of Venice Awards, 2013:

Oscar Duncan – This posthumous tribute will be awarded for musician and youth minister Duncan’s selfless service to the children of Venice at the Boys & Girls Club and to Duncan’s betterment of Venice as a community in general. Oscar, known as “Choir Boy” was shot and killed while walking his girlfriend home on Santa Clara in June of 2012.

Michael “Rocky” Stenger – Stenger is a consumate volunteer, donating his time and resources to many groups in Venice without calling attention to his actions. “Rocky” has been a member of the VNC Neighborhood Committee for years, representing the area East of Lincoln. He also volunteers at both the Mark Twain and Walgrove gardens and elsewhere in Venice.

Carol Tantau – Carol, a Venetian since 1971, opened Abbot Kinney’s Just Tantau in 1982,but her community service goes back for years. Carol has been the head of the West Washington (which she helped get renamed to Abbot Kinney) Merchant’s Association and the President of the Venice Chamber Of Commerce. Tantu has been on the Community Police Advisory Board and also heads the advocacy program at Sojourn Services for Battered Women and their children in Santa Monica. In a perfect world, Just Tantau would be on Abbot Kinney forever.

The Venice Sign Team – This group award will be presented to the organizing team that got the historic Venice sign replaced at Windward and Pacific. The award recognizes the grass roots effort and community cooperation which was vital to re-creating the Venice Sign. When we work together as a community, wonderful things happen!

Abbot Kinney Festival Grant recipients for 2013:
Venice Arts
A Window Between Worlds
ReDiscover Center
Friends of Coeur d’Alene
Community Partners for Safe Place for Youth
LAPD Booster Club
Venice Oceanarium

About the Spirit of Venice Awards:

The first ‘Spirit of Venice’ Award was presented at the 6th Annual Abbot Kinney Festival in 1989 to descendants of the Founder of Venice, Abbot Kinney. Created by John Kertisz, Poet Laureate and a 1989 Festival Board member, this award recognizes people actively involved in the community and/or who serve as inspirational role models. Venetians honored with ‘Spirit of Venice Awards’ include Vera Davis, Joe Gold, Gregory Hines, Emily Winters, Linda Lucks, Jay Griffith, Sgt. Theresa Skinner, Yo! Venice! and Jesse Martinez.

Honorees are artists, poets, and musicians who nurture the creative environment, as well as those contributing to the greater good through nonprofits and community work. AKFA has recognized a wide variety of contributions, but their common bond is initiative, vision and a strong sense of community.



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