April 14, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Craft Beer Punk Bands Rule 18th Street Fest

By Sam Skopp

 

The Seventh Annual Beer, Art and Music Festival was held at the 18th Street Arts Center on 18th Street in Santa Monica last Saturday. All proceeds raised were used to support the arts center, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The day’s activities included two local punk acts, over 40 craft breweries, and 18 art exhibitions.

“We’ve been here in Santa Monica for almost 30 years, and this is our annual benefit event that we host. It’s an event that we thought the people of Santa Monica and the West Side would enjoy,” said Jan Williamson, who is the Executive Director of the 18th Street Arts Center.

Both bands chosen perform at the event are currently based in Los Angeles, and active in the punk rock scene. First up was Sex Stains, which featured lead vocals by Allison Wolfe, who was the singer of influential 90s riot grrrl band, Bratmobile, and Los Angeles-based choreographer Mecca Vazie Andrews. Headlining was Alice Bag, whose band The Bags performed alongside original L.A. punk acts Black Flag, X, The Germs and others, and whose debut solo album was released this past year.

“18th Street was founded in the 80s. Punk rock, performance art and alternative forms of art are part of our history, and the kinds of artists we’ve been working with since the very beginning. Our history goes back into the 70s, we were founded by the people who launched High Performance magazine. It’s a through-line as part of our ethos and our thinking about art,” said Williamson.

Event-goers were handed a tasting glass upon entry, and given free rein to sample the beers on tap from the craft breweries present. These included well-known names like Lagunitas and Ballast Point, and small L.A.-based breweries, like Van Nuys’ MacLeod Ale, Agoura Hills’ Ladyface Ale, and Santa Monica’s own Santa Monica Brew Works.

“There’s so many amazing craft brewers here in Los Angeles. Actually we were one of the first – definitely the first on the west side – to do a craft beer event. Now there’s many of them. What’s wonderful is that all of the brewers who are here pouring today are donating 100 percent of their products to our event,” said Williamson.

Art was on display throughout, exhibited both outdoors and in a few different galleries. Some of the exhibitions were interactive, like an exhibit by collaborators Lucky Dragons, who are the arts center’s current Artist Lab Resident, which included contributions from gallery visitors, on the subject of modalities of peace through performance.

A number of local food trucks, and a series of educational homebrewing courses rounded out the event.

The 18th Street Arts Center holds free events throughout the year. For more information on these and their current exhibits, visit 18thstreet.org.

 

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