Green Art People: Bringing Community Closer Through Creativity and Camaraderie

GAPInsight01Music, paint, food, laughter, and dancing feet are some characteristics of the living, breathing event in Ventura called Green Art People. Every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m at 140 N. Ventura Ave., all sorts of people come together to enjoy the same night.

When you arrive at Green Art People, you walk past the Art Gallery Car Wash and down “Boho Ally.” At the entrance of the small warehouse where the festivities take place, there is an outside garden area where open mics and acoustic jam sessions break out. A huge mural of dragons and a one-eyed moon stand tall next to a hang out area where different activities occasionally take place. As soon as you walk in, smiling faces and generous greetings are lavished upon you.

GAPInsight03People are dancing to the live band featured that week to bring the vibrant sound. Everywhere you turn there is unique art to ponder about. Two murals host different themes each week from “Under The Sea Winnie The Pooh” to “Rain Dance” for people to paint their interpretations. Comfy couches and chairs are provided to relax and enjoy the vibe. Maya Perez from Harmonious Massage, a licensed masseuse and graduate of the Kali Institute for Massage and Somatic Therapies, sets up her table and offers her services free throughout the night.

On the side of the warehouse is a walkway to the back where UpCycle Art Supply Store is, which contains various recycled materials donated by businesses and individuals to supply people with tools to allow creativity to expand. It is a family-friendly event and alcohol is prohibited.

This intimate and creative wonderland was founded by Lisbet Frey and Tim Beyer and opened up in 2009. Both having a background in event management and a love for art and music, they combined their ideas to create a place for community, music, and art to thrive. In 2011 they had to shut down the event to make the building ADA compliant. “We were growing so fast, we needed to update the building and even have the codes changed so we could stay there,” says Lisbet. After 14 months they finally reopened.

GAPInsight06Green Art People is partners with AWAKE community (Artists Working for Awareness, Knowledge, and Education) and frequently collaborates with events and organizations like Eco Fest, Blues On The Beach, Bell Arts Factory, The Wav, Art Barn, and tons more. They have worked with Lucidity and are providing the late night stage in Lucid City this year.

“It will be Turkish Tea Tent”, Frey says. “We are booking, building, and providing artists hospitality and stage management. The funding we receive will go toward our programs.”

GAP has many programs: Green Action Group, which facilitates and connects like minded individuals; Growing Art People which is their children’s art, music, theater, and conversation program; LAMP (Local Archiving Music Project) where they have recorded more than 200 bands, releasing three CDs and will be releasing six more in the next six months; UpCycle Art Supply Store, and Thursday Night Hart and Soul Series, which includes comedy, storytelling, films, and theater at low or no cost.

“My daughter and I have a ritual of every Wednesday night to gather at Green Art People, paint, dance,” explains Donata Lieberson, a Green Art People frequent goer. “The children re-connect with each other and in doing so, make new friends and grow. It’s a beautiful experience for childhood memories and reconnecting with who we really are and the unlimited possibilities.”

Ashley Holman is another regularly attendee of the gatherings. “It came into my life at a time I really needed it,” she says.

As Green Art People grows, it continues to be a place for people to connect and let loose, building community through creativity and camaraderie.