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. Complete details at http://www.lapovertydept.org or Facebook
John Malpede, directs, performs and engineers multi-event arts projects that have theatrical, installation, public art and education components. In 1985 Malpede founded and continues to direct the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), the first performance group in the nation comprised primarily of homeless and formerly homeless people. LAPD creates performances that connect lived experience to the social forces that shape the lives and communities of people living in poverty. Malpede has produced projects working with communities throughout the US and in the UK, France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Bolivia.
Do You Want the Cosmetic Version or the Real Deal?: Los Angeles Poverty Department 1986 – 2013
The work of LAPD will be the subject of a large retrospective gallery show in the renovated and expanded Queens Museum between Jan-March, 2014. The Queens Museum in Flushing Meadow, Queens, New York has gained a reputation for curating exhibitions that directly relate to contemporary urban life. The exhibition will include documentation of five works from 1987 to 1998, live performances of two major recent works, a Skid Row Oral History section, and a six-week residency commencing in January 2014. During their residency, LAPD will engage Drogadictos Anonimos, a Corona, Queens-based recovery group, in a unique partnership to create the North American premiere of Agentes y Activos.