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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:

Walk the Talk

May 26, 27, 28, 2012 --- >>> 36 Skid Row visionaries celebrated with 3 DAYS of PARADES and PERFORMANCES and BRASS BAND traveling 3 routes through the Skid Row neighborhood.

WALK THE TALK a project that combines performance, visual art and community conversations about some of the extraordinary people and groups that have made community on Skid Row by Los Angeles Poverty Department.

Download the WALK THE TALK newsletter pdf with parade routes and performance stops here!


Image Walk the Talk is no ordinary walk. It’s a parade! A brass band, Paradigm Brass, (plus pick up musicians), lead the way. It’s a performance! LA Poverty Department brings the neighborhood to life with performances along the parade route that pay tribute to neighborhood initiatives and 36 men and women whose contributions to the community call for a big, blaring celebration. It’s visual art dancing down the street! That’s right, we’re holding high 36 unbelievable gorgeous portraits of these hardworking people, that have been created by bighearted, big brained street artist Mr. Brainwash. It's an epic history of Skid Row! This peripatetic performance brings the history of the community to life and the 36 portraits are destined for a permanent outdoor site in the community that will keep this history alive.

WALK THE TALK 2014 | Print |

This is the 2nd WALK THE TALK,a peripatetic performance that brings the history of the Skid Row community to life. > download the newsletter here: 2014 Walk the Talk


May 29 – June 16, 2014 : WALK THE TALK ~ LAPD’s SKID ROW HISTORY EXHIBITION ~ FREE and open to the public inside the MIKE KELLEY Mobile Homestead in front of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA at 152 N. Central Avenue in Little Tokyo.

Image Image Inside, the Mobile Homestead featured an installation of Skid Row history curated by LAPD from LAPD’s Skid Row history timeline: portraits of 36 previous Walk the Talk honorees and other historical materials, which were installed at New York’s Queens Museum retrospective exhibition on the work of Los Angeles Poverty Department, "Do You Want the Cosmetic Version or the Real Deal?: Los Angeles Poverty Department 1985 – 2014"



Saturday, May 24: 11am - 3 pm: WALK THE TALK parade/performance ~ starts at Gladys Park.

 Image Along the route, we’ll make 7 stops to tell the stories of those we’re honoring. The parade starts at 11 AM at Gladys Park, 6th St. and Gladys Avenue, where we’ll hear the story of community activist General Jeff and how he jumpstarted the regeneration of the park. Then the band will blow, and we’ll head up the other end of the block where Zelenne Cardenas, Charles Porter and UCEPP, United Coalition East Prevention Project have employed community building techniques to shut down liquor stores, open up dialog and understanding and dislodge drug dealers from the corner. Next stop: The Midnight Mission, 6th and San Pedro St., to celebrate Clancy Imislund and his 55 years of sobriety, in this the 100th anniversary year of the Midnight Mission. From there, we’ll zag over to 7th St. and San Julian St. to the home of Skid Row’s own Fire Station LAFD #9, to celebrate the men and women who are out and about the community saving people every day. Heading north on San Julian St. we’ll visit the Simone Hotel, former home of Michael Blaze, who started the Skid Row Photography Club and Unified Fathers for Life. From there its over to 231 Winston St. and the St. Vincent de Paul Cardinal Manning Center, to hear of the exceptional listening prowess of its long time director, Joan Sotiros. Then, last stop, up to 5th St. and Main St., to celebrate poet about downtown, Dr. Mongo.

Wednesday, May 14: 6:30-8:30pm : WALK THE TALK Come Together, a conversation event at the LA Mission (303 E. 5th Street, Los Angeles, California 90013)

Image Presenters include a downtown business owner, a pastor/community activist, a visual artist, and staffers and former staffers from some of Skid Row’s innovative social service programs chosen by former clients for their wisdom and compassion. Dora Valenciano worked with homeless parolees from the late ‘80’s until her retirement from the Weingart Center in 2013. Sarah Espinosa of the Downtown Women Center works on job readiness and education, and collaborates with internal and external partners to connect women to further learning and advancement opportunities. In 1998, Rory White designed, founded and ran (until 2008), the Lamp Art Project for Lamp Community, with the idea that the culture of the people of Skid Row was radically spiritual, intelligent, brave and exquisite. Stephen “Cue” Jn-Marie is the Pastor of The Row LA, aka The Church Without Walls, in L.A.’s Skid Row. A former Virgin Records recording artist, he is also a community activist addressing homelessness and a member of the Black and Brown Clergy Coalition. Denise Cornelius is Program Manager for the Women’s Renaissances Program at the Weingart Center Association. Fernando Fernando opened F. Square Printing on Spring and 5th. F. Square Printing operated under a combined business/community space model, years before these hybrids were popularized. In addition to its printing and copying business, F. Square functioned as an internet café serving up karaoke, performance and visual art as well as meeting site for community political groups. Recently, his rent was doubled, forcing him to close his doors. At the Weingart Center, Fred Walker is Senior Director of Re-Entry Services, which serves recent parolees, The Veteran Housing Program, Veterans Family Reunification/Rapid Family Re-housing/Veterans Prevention of Homelessness Projects. Fred's vision is for Skid Row residents to acquire the means to successfully experience the full quality of life.

WALK THE TALK talks | Print |

Image WALK THE TALK talks - a series of conversations by and about people who have done incredible things for Skid Row.


February 20 @ UCEPP - Jeff Dietrich from the LA Catholic Worker Reads from his Book “BROKEN AND SHARED”. Celebrate the publication of Jeff’s book about his 40–plus years of service and activism in Skid Row.


Image March 19 @ Central City Church of the Nazarene.

Faith on Skid Row / Faith in Skid Row - Pastor Scott Chamberlain and Pastor William Campbell talk of their pioneering efforts in creating community institutions on Skid Row.

In 1988 Pastor Scott Chamberlain founded the Central City Church of the Nazarene, not a rescue mission, but a community church for the permanent residents of downtown. At the same time, Pastor William Campbell initiated Project Open Door, a drop-in center at 5th and Town that took shape by giving institutional backing to the needs and aspirations of Skid Row residents. Campbell and Chamberlain talk about listening to the community as the touchstone of their work.

Project Open Door was a project of the Los Angeles Second Baptist Church. William Monroe Campbell is currently pastor of Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church. Scott Chamberlain is the Executive Director of the San Gabriel Valley Housing and Homeless Coordinating Council. Tony and Lucy Stallworth who started the Karaoke Coffee Club at the Central City Community Church and Scott Chamberlain and William Monroe Campbell are all commemorated because of their contributions to knitting the social fabric of Skid Row.

Image Los Angeles Poverty Department started the evening with a 20-minute preview performance of WALK THE TALK. The event is produced by LAPD and the Central City Community Church of the Nazarene and hosted by the church’s current Pastor Tony and his wife Lucy Stallworth.


Image April 18 @ James Wood Community Center
30 Years Of Organizing On Skid Row - A conversation with Nancy Mintie, Gary Blasi, Pete White and You, the audience, about the ongoing struggle of Skid Row residents for social justice.  A slide presentation documenting historical grassroots actions will punctuate and animate the discussion.

27 years before Occupy, there was Tent City. In 1984, The Homeless Organizing Team put up circus tents and housed 400 people across the street from LA City Hall, while demanding housing and jobs for LA’s homeless population.  The protest brought worldwide attention to the exploding problem of homelessness.  The Homeless Organizing Team was made up of Skid Row residents and staff and volunteers from the Inner City Law Center and the Catholic Worker.

Image In 1980 Nancy Mintie founded the Inner City Law Center and brought the first free legal services to the people of Skid Row. 1980’s Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, staff attorney Gary Blasi, worked with Mintie and a battery of public interest lawyers from throughout Los Angeles to bring huge positive changes to the lives of all homeless people in Los Angeles County. In 1999, Pete White founded the LA Community Action Network. LA CAN has successfully organized neighborhood residents to resist displacement and the Safer Cities Initiative. Blasi, now a professor of law at UCLA, continues to work on Skid Row issues often in collaboration with LA CAN.

Image LAPD started the evening with a 15-minute performance about Harry Rodgers, a community activist who is commemorated in WALK THE TALK. The event is produced by the Los Angeles Poverty Department and the Otis College of Art and Design, Integrated Learning program.

Image May 9 @ Inner City Arts: Creative Community - the ARTS on Skid Row - Artists Lillian Abel Calamari, OG Man, Robert Chambers, SS Jones, Hayk Makhmuryan and Bob Bates show their work and talk about the history of the rich creative community that exists on Skid Row and where we are today. 


Lillian Abel Calamari is a talented painter and a remarkable social worker with SRO Housing Corporation. In 1992 she initiated an art workshop open to all Skid Row residents, initially at the Saint Vincent de Paul shelter and later at SRO’s James Wood Community Center and currently in its own studio provided by SRO at the Rivers Apartments. Manuel Compito (aka OG Man) a L.A. native and artist, has devoted his creative energy to spreading a self-help philosophy. His OG's N Service Association uplifts the men and children of Skid Row with events like Father’s Day in the Park, brings painted trash cans to the neighborhood with the Funky Trash Can campaign and in 2007 he launched the highly successful 3-on-3 Basketball League at Gladys Park. Robert Chambers served for eight years as president of the Homeless Writers Coalition, which was founded in 1988 by Dino Lewis, London Wright, Southern Comfort and others. The Coalition has produced numerous readings, live theater, a CD and a newspaper. S.S. Jones, a professional blues guitarist, S.S. Jones and Bill Edwards organized the Skid Row Musicians Network in 2000. The Network produced monthly free concerts at San Julian Park and the Leonide Hotel, with members performing in exchange for rehearsal space. Hayk Makhmuryan is the coordinator of Lamp Community’s Fine Arts Program. The program has nurtured and exhibited the work of many wonderful visual artists. Bob Bates, currently the Artistic Director, Co-Founded Inner City Arts in 1989, an art space where at-risk children explore their creativity, learn and grow.


Image The event is produced by The Los Angeles Poverty Department and hosted by Inner City Arts. LAPD started the evening with a 15-minute in-progress excerpt from WALK THE TALK. Lillian Calamari, OG Man, SS Jones and Robert Chambers are among those commemorated in the plaques.



Image May 16 @ VOA Rotary House

Conversation & performance: Creating a Recovery Community on Skid Row

A conversation with Darlene Berry, SRO's first female hotel manager, who as the director of SRO's two parks, started Recovery on the Frontline with Mike Dolphin; Redd, drug treatment councilor for Behavioral Health Systems, Orlando Ward, VOA and Midnight Mission executive staff member, about recovery and the creation of the Biggest Recovery Community Anywhere on Skid Row. All three panelists have lived in the Skid Row community.

Image May 23 @ The Last Bookstore

Conversation & performance: Creating Community from the Ground up on Skid Row. Conversation with Mollie Lowery, Mike Neely and General Jeff Page. Performance by Los Angeles Poverty Department. Far from being a societal wasteland, Skid Row, Los Angeles is a long standing endangered low-income residential neighborhood and the only answer in the entire region for problems of homelessness and recovery. Tonight’s panelists have lived and worked in the Skid Row community across three decades and have stood up for the community and launched transformative community building initiatives on Skid Row. They will talk about the vitality of the community and their successes in empowering the community.

Image Mollie Lowery co-founded and for 20 years directed Los Angeles Men’s Place, the first day center for homeless men with mental illness. She expanded LAMP to include housing and employment opportunities for women as well as men. Mollie introduced the "housing first" approach of helping the homeless mentally ill in Los Angeles and she continues this work today. In 2007 Lowery started to serve the mentally ill homeless outside of Skid Row. Mike Neely is the founder and past director of the Homeless Outreach Program/Integrated Care System. The Homeless Outreach Program was founded in 1988 as a pilot program that hired formerly homeless people to connect homeless people with services that they wanted and needed.  HOP grew into a multi-million dollar project with more than sixty employees. Neely is currently a commissioner of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, LAHSA. He served on the State Commission on Homeless Veterans, the State Commission on African American Males and Substance Abuse. General Jeff Page is a new generation of Skid Row leaders. In 2007 he founded Issues and Solutions, to directly address a variety of quality of life and community planning issues. General Jeff brings s to the attention of local government issues that require their attention and he initiates direct solutions to community problems. With Manuel "O.G. Man" Compito, General Jeff created "Operation Facelift/ Skid Row", a "grass roots" community effort that focuses on cleaning up the trash and debris in Skid Row and replacing it with murals. General Jeff is a member of the Downtown Neighborhood Council.


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