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2014 LAPD Year End Newsletter
About LAPD
Upcoming Projects
Walk the Talk
Festival for All Skid Row Artists
The Real Deal - documentary
Queens Museum - retrospective
A (Micro) History Of World Economics, D
Biggest Recovery Community Anywhere
Agents & Assets
My Eyes are the Cage in my Head
Skid Row History Museum
La Llorona of Echo Park
ROUND TRIP happening
UTOPIA/dystopia - 220glimpses
SleepWalking Democracy
Evacuation Plan for Charlotte
Fried Poetry
La Llorona of Skid Row
Is there History on Skid Row?

RFK in EKY, The Robert F. Kennedy Performance Project , is a series of public conversations and activities centered around the real-time, site-specific intermedia performance that recreated, on September 9th and 10th 2004, Robert Kennedy’s two-day, 200 mile “poverty tour” of southeastern Kentucky in 1968.
An Appalshop project directed by John Malpede.

Recreating Imbalance
A short description by John Malpede that describes the conceptual links between Agents & Assets and RFKinEKY.

'Findings from a Collaborative Inquiry by the Los Angeles Poverty Department and the Urban Institute': MAKING THE CASE FOR SKID ROW CULTURE

LAPD Funding provided by

LAPD Funding provided by:

LAPD History | Print |

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.
LAPD Mission | Print |

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. 

'Findings from a Collaborative Inquiry by the Los Angeles Poverty Department and the Urban Institute'         
Image Image Image 
Contact us: Los Angeles Poverty Department
                  PO Box 26190
                  Los Angeles, CA 90026
                  Tel.: 213-413 1077
                  Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it -
John Malpede, Founding Artistic Director, LAPD | Print |

Image 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.

Malpede has taught at UCLA, NYU's Tisch School Of The Arts, and The Amsterdam School for Advanced Research in Theater and Dance. He is a 2013 recipient of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Fellowship. Currently, he is curating the Skid Row History Museum and Archive, an exhibition / performance space exploring gentrification issues, opening April 2015. In 2014, earlier iterations of the Museum were installed as part of the Queens Museum’s retrospective on LAPD and at the Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

In 2004 Malpede’s project RFK in EKY , was produced by Appalshop, and developed with a host of community partners. This monumental, real-time documentary-style performance by a large community cast, sought to put an historical mirror up to present moment life in eastern Kentucky.  RFK in EKY recreated Kennedy’s original “war on poverty” tour in the course of a four-day, 200 mile series of events that included, performance, installations, and in-depth discussion of historic and current events and social policy.  He involved a number of his closest artist / collaborators in elements of this project including, Henriëtte Brouwers, David Michalek, Harrell Fletcher and Sjoerd Wagenaar.
Malpede was fellow at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies during the early months of the economic crisis where, at MIT’s business school, he found divergent points of view on causes, extent and remedies for the economic crisis.  Malpede’s Bright Futures was extrapolated from these contradictory responses that included a business school pep-talk for anxious future quants (financial engineers) and MIT economist Simon Johnson’s condemnation of the financial “oligarchy”. Bright Futures was realized as a performance, but also as a video installation on the MIT campus. The performance was shown at MIT, in NYC’s Performa 2009 Festvial and in 2010 at Ohio University.
Malpede has received New York’s Dance Theater Workshop Bessie Creation Award, San Francisco Art Institute's Adeline Kent Award, Durfee Sabbatical Grant, LA Theater Alliance Ovation Award, Individual artist fellowships  from New York State Council on the Arts, NEA, California Arts Council, City of Los Angeles' COLA fellowship, California Community Foundation's Visual Artist Fellowship and numerous project grants.
Also visit:

Company Members | Print |

Image Henriëtte Brouwers, associate director and producer. Henriëtte Brouwers is a performer, director and teacher. She has been the Associate Director of the Los Angeles Poverty Department since 2000. Born in the Netherlands, Brouwers has a degree from the Academie voor Expressie door Woord en Gebaar. She studied corporeal mime with Etiènne Décroux and was a member of Augusto Boal's ‘Theatre of the Oppressed‘ group in Paris (1979-82). Brouwers was invited to present her work in the US by the Theatre Project in Baltimore in 1993 and has since performed and taught at Towson University and the Baltimore High School for the Arts, UT of Knoxville, Touchstone Theatre in Bethlehem and 7Stages in Atlanta.

LAPD Press Coverage | Print |

Notable recent reviews:

* press about Agents & Assets - 2001/2010:

  1. Los Angeles Downtown News 2001- LAPD Deploys Its "Agents & Assets'
  2. New Times Los Angeles 2001- Community Theater
  3. Los Angeles Weekly 2001 - Intinerary: The War on Drugs
  4. Panorama 2002 - They're the LAPD, but their justice is done on the stage
  5. Michigan Chronicle 2002 - L.A. group presents crack epidemic drama
  6. Michigan Citizen 2002 - Drug war theme of new play
  7. Plain Dealer 2004 - An in-depth look at U.S. drug war
  8. Angle 2004 by Linda Eisenstein
  9. KCRW 2005 - Agents & Assets: page 4+5
  10. Los Angeles Times 2005 - For this LAPD, the weapons are words
  11. Philadelphia Daily News 2006 - Troupe from the 'Hood
  12. New York Daily News 2008 - Local ex-addicts key assets in play about war on drugs
  13. Los Tiempos 2009 - Bolivia y EEUU juntos en 'Agentes y Activos'
  14. Los Tiempos 2009 - Grupo teatral de EEUU critica política antidroga de su país.
  15. Los Tiempos 2009 - Estrenan “Agentes y Activos” sobre la política de EEUU
  16. La Patria, Oruro 2009 - Obra teatral 'Agentes Y Activos' se estrena hoy en Oruro
  17. La Opinion 2009 - Función de teatro hoy en la Plaza Principal
  18. Z Magazine 2009 - Fearful Symmetry in Bolivia
  19. American Theatre 2010 - Counting the Cost

* Los Angeles Times - 2003 - His spotlight illuminates lives of the homeless / la Llorona, article by Sasha Anawalt

* The NC Charlotte Observer - 2006 - Homeless Tell Katrina's Stories by Julie York Coppens

* Belgium Press about LEGAL*ILLEGAL - March 2007:

* UTOPIA/dystopia / Skid Row History Museum - Dec. 2007/June 2008:

* French Press about RED BEARD / RED BEARD - April 2008:

* Associated Press - 2008 - Troupe blends advocacy for homeless with art by Christina Hoag, AP-SF Chronicle Dec.'08

* History of Incarceration 2010/2011

LAPD Performance History | Print |
January 15 @ McClintock Theater, USC, Los Angeles.
January 23 and 24 @ Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica.
March 29 @  Agape International Spiritual Center, Culver City.

January 9, 10, 11: HOSPITAL @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

January 17 & 18: HOSPITAL @ HOP, Dartmouth, New Hampshire.

Co-production Los Angeles Poverty Department and Wunderbaum. 

January – May 11: Do You Want the Cosmetic Version or the Real Deal?: Los Angeles Poverty Department 1985 – 2014 a large retrospective gallery show @ The Queens Museum of Arts, Queens, New York.
January 31 and February 1 & 2: State of Incarceration @ The Queens Museum of Arts, Queens, New York.
February 28: Agentes y Activos @ the Queens Museum, Queens, NY.
March 1: Agentes y Activos @ Langston Hughes Library, Queens, NY.
March 2: Agentes y Activos @ Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, Flamboyán Theater, NY. - During a month long residency, LAPD engages Drogadictos Anonimos, a Corona, Queens-based recovery group, in a unique partnership creating the North American, Spanish spoken premiere of Agentes y Activos (Agents & Assets) with English Supratitles.

April 4, 5 and 6: SETTLEMENT @ the BOX gallery. Directed by Hans van den Broek.

Co-production SOIT and Los Angeles Poverty Department.


May 14: WALK THE TALK Come Together @ LA Mission.

May 24: WALK THE TALK parade / performance on Skid Row.

May 29 – June 16: WALK THE TALK ~ LAPD’s SKID ROW HISTORY EXHIBITION inside the MIKE KELLEY Mobile Homestead in front of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA at 152 N. Central Avenue in Little Tokyo.

October 18 and 19: 5th annual Festival For All Skid Row Artists @ Gladys Park, Skid Row.
January 26: Biggest Recovery Community Anywhere - Happy Birthday Recovery @ the Cecil Hotel, downtown LA.
Collaboration between Los Angeles Poverty Department and OTIS Public Practice students.
May 3, 4, 5: Biggest Recovery Community Anywhere and the REEL Recovery Film Festival ~ the Skid Row Edition @ Inner City Arts, Skid Row.
June 15: Biggest Recovery Community Anywhere @ MicroFest, Honolulu, Hawaii.
September 24 - 29: HOSPITAL @ RADAR.LA in The Tower Theater.
co-production Los Angeles Poverty Department and Wunderbaum.
October 12 & 13: 4th annual Festival For All Skid Row Artists @ Gladys Park, Skid Row.
October 26 & 27: A (Micro) History Of World Economics, Danced, 4 performances @ Pershing Square. Written and directed by Pascal Rambert.
Co-production Los Angeles Poverty Department and Theatre de Gennevilliers.

November 16 & 17: HOSPITAL @ De Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Co-production Los Angeles Poverty Department and Wunderbaum.
January 27 & 28: LAPD produced the ‘Festival for All Skid Row Artists’ in Gladys Park.
February 24: COLD WAR work in progress performance @ Wende Museum in Culver City.
co-production LAPD & PeerGrouP
February 20 @ UCEPP: Jeff Dietrich reads from his Book “BROKEN AND SHARED”
March 19 @ Central City Church of the Nazarene: Faith on Skid Row / Faith in Skid Row
April 18 @ James Wood Community Center: 30 Years Of Organizing On Skid Row
May 9 @ Inner City Arts: Creative Community - the ARTS on Skid Row 
May 16 @ VOA Rotary House: Creating a Recovery Community on Skid Row
May 23 @ The Last Bookstore: Creating Community from the Ground up on Skid Row
MAY 26 , 27 , 28: WALK THE TALK parade / performance on Skid Row
36 Skid Row visionaries celebrated with 3 days of parades, 36 performances and a brass band, traveling 3 routes through the Skid Row neighborhood.
August 20 - 25: COLD WAR - BRAIN FREEZE co-production LAPD & PeerGrouP
@ Noorderzon Festival, Groningen, the Netherlands
October 20 & 21: Festival for All Skid Row Artists in Gladys park
October - November: Biggest Recovery Community Anywhere film screenings and discussions on Skid Row.
November 2012 - February 2013: Biggest Recovery Community Anywhere - Launch of the Indie Shelves initiative, LAPD curated a bookshelf with Skid Row based writers about recovery @ The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles.
November 11: Conversation with Mike Dolphin @ The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles.
STATE OF INCARCERATION, directed by John Malpede and Henriëtte Brouwers
Jan. 28-29 & Feb. 4-5 @ Highways Perfromance Space, Santa Monica.
June 15-18 @ RADAR LA, Los Angeles
Feb. 13- May 29: Police and Thieves, exhibition, curated by Karla Diaz and Mario Ybarra
@ Gallery 4 at the Hyde Park ArtCenter in Chicago, IL.
July 5-31: 'PORTRAITS IN DRAMATIC TIME' by David Michalek, Commissioned by Lincoln Center Festival 2011. Los Angeles Poverty Department is featured in a large scale public art installation of slow motion video performance-portraits @ Avery Fisher Hall, New York.
Jan. 25: Making the Case for Skid Row Culture - Findings from a Collaborative Inquiry by the Los Angeles Poverty Department and the Urban Institute - published on the Animating Democracy Initiative web page of Americans for the Arts. Presentation of the paper @ the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center for the Skid Row Community.

May 20: Parole Reform Shakeout: Who Wins and Who Loses?

PANEL & DISCUSSION about the Effects of California's Parole Reform on Parolees, People Getting Out and Transitional Programs Downtown.
@ the Central City Community Church in Skid Row.
STATE OF INCARCERATION, directed by John Malpede and Henriëtte Brouwers
June 9 @ Central City Community Church on Skid Row.
June 10 @ LA Community Action Network on Skid Row.
July 22: REWEAVING THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF SKID ROW A conversation about LAPD’s ‘Walk the Talk’ a theater project that chronicles the emergence of a permanent community and culture in Skid Row @ the ALOUD series of the LA Public library.
Panelists: Pete White (LA Community Action Network), OG man (Skid Row 3 on 3 basketball), Clyde Casey (Another Planet), Jeff Dietrich (LA Catholic Worker) and John Malpede (LA Poverty Department), moderator: Maria Rosario Jackson (Urban Institute).

STATE OF INCARCERATION, directed by John Malpede and Henriëtte Brouwers

Aug. 12 @ Behavioral Systems SW Inc, van Nuys

Aug. 14 @ Jonahproject, Skid Row

Aug. 21 @ AMITY Foundation Re-entry Program, LA
Nov. 6 - Nov. 20: Installation and Performances @ BOX Gallery, Chinatown, LA
Dec. 17 Chuco's Justice High School, Inglewood
Dec. 4: LAPD produced the ‘Festival for All Skid Row Artists’ in Gladys Park. 
MAY 1 and 2: CPR: a Public Training in Life Saving Skills, directed by Henriëtte Brouwers and John Malpede. With a combined cast of OPCC and LAPD - celebrating the 20 year anniversary of Highways Performance Space and 18th Street Arts Center.
@ Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica.
MAY 5:  EMPLOYING HIS TELEPATHIC POWERS, MR. SMALLMAN FIGHTS FOR JUSTICE IN THE INJUSTICE SYSTEM, presentation of a year-long workshop, directed by Henriëtte Brouwers and John Malpede with LAMP residents and LAPDers.
@ the LAMP Village, Skid Row.
May 17: Los Angeles Poverty Department receives the Otto Award for Political Theatre produced by the Castillo Theatre in New York.
Aug. 2 - 24: AGENTES y ACTIVOS, directed by John Malpede.
Bolivian tour of the AGENTS & ASSETS performance in Spanish.
Performed in Cochabamba, Oruro, La Paz, El Alto, Sucre, Plan 3000 and Santa Cruz.
Jan.: AGENTS & ASSETS in New York, directed by John Malpede.
@ Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, Manhattan, St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Harlem and at Housing Works in the East Brooklyn.
Feb. - April: RED BEARD/RED BEARD, directed by John Malpede. 
Co-production of LAPD and Theatre2Gennevilliers.
@ Theatre2Gennevilliers, Gennevilliers, Paris.
May 19: ROUND TRIP, LAPD recreates an Allan Kaprow "Happening" on Skid Row.
In collaboration with The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA: Allen Kaprow- Art as Life.
June 13: John Malpede performs "Cruel, Unusual Outrages Upon Personal Dignity, Punishment And Humiliating Degrading Treatment" as part of the City of Los Angeles Literary and Performing Fellows Grand Performances @ Cal Plaza. 
June 21 and 22: La Llorona: Weeping Women of Echo Park, directed by Henriëtte Brouwers.
@ Echo Park United Methodist Church, Los Angeles.
June 28 - Aug. 2: Skid Row History Museum
@ The BOX Gallery in Chinatown, Los Angeles.
@ The Box Gallery: Jeff Dietrich and Catherine Morris of the Catholic Worker and the Hippie Kitchen remember remarkable people and initiatives. Music from SS Jones and Oscar Harvey. Performances by Ibrahim Saba and Kevin Michael Key.
JULY 18 @ Lamp Community Art Project Gallery: Public discussion with Pete White and Becky Dennison of LA Community Action Network (LACAN). Music from Weba Garretson and Ralph Gorodetsky. Performance by Michelle Autry and Sunshine Mills. 
@ The Box Gallery: Public discussion with Mollie Lowery, founder and first executive director of Lamp Community. Music from Code Zero. Performance by Tony Parker and Charles Porter.
@ The Box Gallery: Public discussion with Ted Hayes, founder of Dome Village. Music from Church of the Nazarene Gospel Choir and Lucky Dragon. Performance by Riccarlo Porter. 
October 11 2008 - January 4 2009:  Espèces d’espace, curated by Yves Aupetitallotarchives.
@ MAGASIN - Centre National d'Art Contemporain de Grenoble (France).
The exhibition dedicates a room to the Los Angeles Poverty Department with elements (audio /video, pictures, notes, performance texts, etc.)  of LAPD's archive from 1985 to 1990.
December 20, 27, 28: My Eyes are the Cage in my Head written and directed by Ron Allen.
@ The Box Gallery in Chinatown, the Church of the Nazarene in Skid Row and the Industry Cafe & Jazz in Culver City.
Jan. / Feb. / March: LEGAL*ILLEGAL,
directed by John Malpede.
Co-production of Nieuwpoort theater and Unie de Zorgelozen, Belgium and LAPD. Performed in former Tax-building 'de Poel' in Gent, Belgium.

April - December: UTOPIA/dystopia,
Los Angeles.
April 19: Is it a crime to be poor? screening of The REAL DEAL, Tom Jones’ film on LAPD at the ALOUD series at the Central Library. 
June- Nov.: Glimpses of Utopia 1 -37: Five evenings of performances and presentations by people who are making "utopian" contributions to life in downtown Los Angeles.
Nov. 16: 220 Glimpses of Utopia an Outdoor-Utopian-Movement-Chain from Skid Row to City Hall, directed by Henriette Brouwers.
Dec. 6 - 8: UTOPIA/dystopia performances directed by John Malpede.
@ REDCAT theater, Los Angeles.

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