WAV Artists at BBQ waving their hands

The WAV - Working Artists Ventura - is a state-of-the-art community, designed for artists and creative businesses, and is located in the Downtown Cultural District of Ventura, California.

WAV offers affordable living and work space for painters, photographers, sculptors, dancers, musicians, writers, actors, filmmakers, and more.

Our Community Room space comes to life with performances, films, art exhibitions, concerts, workshops and classes.

We offer our venue for public use. Read our venue guidelines and submit a request.

The WAV complex was designed and built to the highest standards of green technology and is LEED™ Certified, which includes recycled building materials, car sharing, water and energy conservation, with renewable solar power.

Our retail spaces are a part of the WAV’s unified complex. Today we are proud to have Jai Rhythm Yoga as a retail tenant offering a unique yoga style to the Ventura community.

Meet the WAV Artists - the first of a vision that we hope will continue for generations to come.


"The WAV concept, and its actual structure, are both culturally and architecturally significant from an historic standpoint. The building design addresses the needs of light and function for artists, and the construction incorporates the most relevant ‘green’ principals that are a priority in our environmentally conscious society. The building represents the cultural and construction mind-set of the 21st century, and will easily qualify as a local landmark in the future."

Cynthia Thompson
Architectural and Cultural Historian

The Beginning of the WAV - Elena Brokaw, City of Ventura


It was in 2003 that the idea for the WAV was born. Not that it was called the WAV back then. We called it the affordable artists’ live/work space project which, while certainly not catchy, really summed up our goals for the project: it had to be affordable, and it had to provide spaces that were designed to be able to provide artists a place to both live and work. And, it had to be designated for artists forever.

In the early 21st Century, the City of Ventura had fully realized the value of making the community an attractive and viable place for artists to call their home. Development was booming and new homes were being built all over the city. In City Hall, the City Council and other leaders understood that it wasn’t only the climate and the ocean that brought people to Ventura. It was also the fact that Ventura was a unique community. There was a here here. It wasn't like everyplace USA. Ventura had its own vibe, its own culture, and our goal was to make sure that in the midst of the burgeoning development, that spirit would not be lost. Read more


WAV Courtyard

WAV Dedication Speech

April 17, 2010

In the days of the sailing vessels, there was a tradition of dedicating a ship before its launch. I hereby dedicate this good ship and true the WAV and all the souls on board.

I dedicate her to the great City of Ventura. To all those who wrought this ship with their hands and their machines and their pens and their unabashed vision.

I dedicate her to those who believed, and to those who did not believe, but changed their minds.

I dedicate her to the Arts, the mystery ship of the soul.

May she be the ship of our collective dreams. May she take us all through uncharted waters to unknown lands.

And to those on board, may they create what they please and be pleased by what they create. May every rat on board have its own cat. May their days be merry, and if not merry, then very merry, and if their days be not very merry, then be they not very many.

Picasso said that every act of creation is an act of destruction. If so, let the creation of the WAV represent the destruction of that which stultifies the imagination, and that which closes the heart. Let the creation of the WAV also represent the destruction of the destruction of the environment.

I hereby dedicate this good ship and true the WAV; already on its voyage to destinations unknown. May she protect us from storms. May she always bring us home.

Chris Velasco

The WAV is owned by PLACE and John Stewart Company.
For more information about PLACE visit welcometoplace.org
For more information about John Stewart Co. visit jsco.net

History of the WAV by WAV Artist Taras Tulek


Back when the WAV was but a gleam in the City of Ventura's eye, even before a seedling's shape was visualized, there were forces that presented and then nurtured into fruition the concept of the WAV, Working Artists Ventura.

In the mid 1980s, Ventura was a sleepy Southern California seacoast town notable for a few exits off the 101 highway between the big city of Los Angeles and the tourist destination of Santa Barbara. At the time, San Buenaventura had a solid reputation as a blue collar domain working the agricultural and oil fields. Life was fully occupied by work, with little time left over for recreation. . Of course, there was the coast, beaches and surfing. There were family outings to the few local restaurants, maybe after church. Weekends were taken up by visiting friends and family, a drive-in movie on Telephone Road, browsing a used book or thrift store downtown or going to a local pub with the rare good musical talent to dance to. There were almost no theaters, no art galleries, no sidewalk cafes, nor any of the grander big city venues. Read more


The Architects

The design of WAV is a collaborative effort led by Adèle Naudé Santos, FAIA, and including Santos Prescott and Associates, Carde · Ten Architects, URS Structural Engineers, Hendrickson Owen Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, RBF Civil Engineers, Jordan, Gilbert and Bain Landscape Architects, Inc. and LEED Consultant Soliterra, LLC.

With numerous community meetings and presentations, the design process was highly interactive. PLACE and the City convened a Conceptual Oversight Group to guide the project development, and the design was reviewed at key stages with the city Design Review Board and with future artist residents.

The design concept grows from the specific needs of artists in live-work units and a strategy to open connections to the wider City of Ventura. The loft units are grouped around courtyards and arcaded walkways so that each has a front door to the city and two orientations for daylight and through ventilation. A large plaza and gallery/performance space provide a venue for exhibits and performances that enhance the cultural life of the project and the City.

For more information visit Santos Prescott and Associates




WAV is LEED Certified

WAV Photograph

LEED™ stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings and has become the green building-industry standard for rating buildings.

The first LEED program was established in 1998 and has since grown into nine separate rating systems for various types of construction.

The Non-smoking policy:
The purpose of the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) points is to promote the well-being of building occupants through a quality environment. All LEED-certified buildings are required to have either a no-smoking policy or have designated indoor smoking areas that are properly sealed off from the main building HVAC and ventilated to the outside.

For more information on Leed Certification visit: http://www.usgbc.org