Los Angeles Poverty Department, founded in 1985, is made up of people who make art and live and work on Skid Row. LAPD tells the rest of the story, what you don’t hear elsewhere. We create change by telling the story of the community in a way that supports the initiatives of community residents. We want the narrative of the neighborhood to be in the hands of neighborhood people. We work to generate this narrative and to supplant narratives that perpetuate stereotypes used to keep the neighborhood people down or to justify displacing the community. We want to create recognition of the community and it’s values.
Over the past two years Los Angeles Poverty Department created events that engaged community brain-power to identify initiatives and people who had made positive contributions to Skid Row. We invited some of the most widely recognized social visionaries from the neighborhood, and they were asked to speak about other people and initiatives that they valued. The input led to the installation, Skid Row History Museum, at The Box Gallery, which included more performance and public conversation events, to solicit further community input.
Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) creates performances and multidisciplinary artworks that connect the experience of people living in poverty to the social forces that shape their lives and communities. LAPD’s works express the realities, hopes, dreams and rights of people who live and work in L.A.'s Skid Row.