Creative Pathways

Scholarships, Awards & College Acceptances!

Pictured (left to right): Dani Friend & Susan Zwirn with Scholarship Awardees Julissa, Jaya, Citlalli & Jennifer. Not pictured: Lorraine

Pictured (left to right): Dani Friend & Susan Zwirn with Scholarship Awardees Julissa, Jaya, Citlalli & Jennifer.
Not pictured: Lorraine

Inaugural Year of the Gregg Michael Zwirn Memorial Scholarship Fund

We were so pleased to welcome Susan Zwirn and Dani Friend to our annual Culminating Exhibition & Film Screening on May 18th. Susan and Dani are the mother and sister, respectively, of Gregg Zwirn, who passed away at the too-young age of 36, just as he planned to take his photography business to the next level. They established The Gregg Zwirn Memorial Scholarship Fund as a tribute to Gregg and, this year, gave their first scholarships to five of Venice Arts' college-bound Advanced StudiesPhotography students. His family and friends take comfort in knowing that his memory will always live on in his beautiful photographs and through this contribution to the next generation of photographers supported by Venice Arts.

If you are interested in contributing to our Creative Equity Scholarship Fund, or setting up a Fund in your name, or in honor of someone you love, please contact Kelly here.

Photo by Citlali, Age 18

Photo by Citlali, Age 18

Photo by Silvia, Age 21

Photo by Silvia, Age 21

Awards & Recognitions Just Keep Coming!

We are proud to share that our participants have won over 72 awards, film festival selections, and other recognitions this year, including a whopping 59 Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards (see winning image by Citlali, Age 18, top left), the prestigious Adobe Creativity Scholarship, and the selection of two films in the San Diego Latino Film Festival. Ten students also received full scholarships to the following programs: National Geographic Student Expeditions for 10-days studying street photography in New York City; California State Summer School for the Arts for a full-month’s arts residency; Grand Canyon Youth for a 10-day science rafting trip on the Grand Canyon; Idyllwild Arts for a two-week summer arts residency in the mountains; and a two-week art program through Otis College of Art & Design.     

Off to College!

Congratulations to the graduating seniors in our Advanced Studies’ programs who are going on to college—most with full scholarships—including to Berkeley, CalArts, UCLA, USC, UC Davis, Santa Monica Community College, and Glendale Community College. Onward!

Learn more about Creative Pathways, supporting young people on the road to college and career success, here.

Photo by Jaya, Age 18

Photo by Jaya, Age 18

Artist, Producer, Casting Director, Executive

Venice Arts' annual Creative Careers Day was held in April 2018 and featured a panel of creative professionals, who talked about their personal path to their careers, as well as how Venice Arts' students can prepare themselves for similar jobs. A workshop on résumé development, conducted by Beatriz Garcia, affirmed for our students that their talent and skills—creative, technical, collaborative—as well as their awards, film festival selections, volunteer involvement, and internships all translate into a strong résumé.

Special thanks to Beatriz Garcia and 826LA, photographer Diana Markosian, Casting Director Michael Dolotta, Producer Nan Bernstein, and Berenice Robinson, VP at Disney Animation. Special shout out to the California Film Commission for introducing us to Nan!

PAID summer entertainment industry internships!


Venice Arts is working with the Mayor's Evolve Entertainment Fund to place low-income young people in entertainment industry internships this summer. If you are a Venice Arts' student or alumni, and are you looking for a PAID summer internship in the creative sector, we may be able to help!

Internships range from learning from television and film production and post-production teams, to interning in talent departments, to supporting public relations, human resources, and the business side of entertainment. Companies include some of the top film, television, and animation production studios; PR and talent agencies; music companies; and more.

To qualify, you must be:

  • Low-income
  • Between the ages of 18–24
  • In college (2- or 4-year) or just graduated
  • Living in in Los Angeles

The deadline is tight: We need your résumé by Monday, April 23rd. In your email to us, please let us know if you have a specific interest, or if you are open to any kind of work experience in entertainment. 

Send your résumé and cover letter to Carly at


Thirteen Students Win National Awards from Scholastic Art & Writing

Our students have won three incredible national honors! The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards selected these three projects for National Awards, giving them a Gold Medal (the most outstanding works in the nation) or Silver Medal (works demonstrating high honors on the national level). National Medalists are recognized in part at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Congratulations to Venice Arts' students Daniel Leon (Gold Medal - best in grade for Comics); Samantha Angulo, Calista Arevalo, Caiden Chen, Evon Douthard, Nico Federovitch, Maximiliano Guillen, Adam Iglesias, Lela Jennings, Owen Kirschner, Kayla Maldonado, and Marcel Martinez (Gold Medal - best in grade for Film/Animation); and Indigo Mapa  (Silver - best In grade for photo)!

Venice Arts' Students Win Big at Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

It's awards season in Los Angeles, and not just for the professionals! The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which recognize the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provide opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Venice Arts' students won 30 Scholastic Art Awards, including 7 Gold Awards (the highest honor), 4 Silver Awards, and 19 Honorable Mentions. And two students were finalists for the Photographer's Forum High School and College Contest. 

We could not be more proud of our students! Click here to see the full list of student awards (over 100 in the past three years!) and check out their award-winning work in the gallery above.