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  • CRA/LA’S commitment to public art began over 40 years ago.
  • Over 200 art projects in 21 redevelopment project areas have been completed to date.
  • California Plaza developers met their art requirement by building a $23 million facility for the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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 \\Commonspot\internet-site\images\bullet1 Art Projects
Los Angeles Poverty Department
Urban Fairy Tale of Skid Row

Project Area: CBD
Project: Urban Fairy Tale of Skid Row (Workshops and Performances)
Project Location: Sixth Street and San Pedro
Project Type: Cultural Trust Fund


Los Angeles Poverty Department presented a 12-week residency at the after-school "Say Yes Program" of St. Vincent's Cardinal Manning Center. Children involved in the program were residing in single-room occupancy hotels (SRO's) in the Skid Row area of Downtown. The workshops taught the children basic theatre and performance techniques and resulted in a production titled, "Urban Fairy Tales." Performances were presented at the Central Community Church at Sixth and San Pedro and at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. The Los Angeles Poverty Department has worked with homeless individuals for over ten years in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles and has worked in other cities in the U.S. and abroad including London and Amsterdam.
Image of Performance
Image of Performance

Artist Profile

Director, actor, activist, and writer John Malpede founded Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) in 1985.  LAPD is the first performance group in the nation comprised primarily of homeless and formerly homeless people.  The group’s mission is to create performance work that connects lived experience to the social forces that shape the lives and communities of people living in poverty.  Widely recognized for its powerful performances, LAPD’s credits include Agents & Assets, a play based on the March 18, 1988 hearing transcript from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence which alleges CIA involvement in crack cocaine trafficking into the Los Angeles area.  LAPD is dedicated to building community on Skid Row of Los Angeles and has partnered with numerous social service and advocacy groups including SRO Housing, Inc.; LA Community Action Network; the Downtown Women’s Action Coalition; St. Vincent DePaul Center; the Salvation Army’s Women’s and Men’s drug recovery programs; and the Inner City Law Center.