The Festival For All Skid Row Artists is a festival of music, theater, spoken word performances and visual art with plenty of music, showcasing the diverse range of talents among Skid Row residents. Initiated by Los Angeles Poverty Department in 2010, with support from United Coalition East Prevention Network (UCEPP) and Studio 526, the festival has become one of the most anticipated grassroots cultural events in Skid Row where typically over 100 Skid Row Artists perform and display their artwork to enthusiastic audiences. LAPD’s Festival for All Skid Row Artists gives audiences a chance to hear what you usually don’t hear about Skid Row: that it is a community rich with talent!
GET READY FOR THE NEXT FESTIVAL ON OCTOBER 28 & 29, 2023 FROM 12-4PM EACH DAY
If you’d like to perform, exhibit your artwork or do a workshop write us an email at [email protected] or call 213-413.1077.
Los Angeles Poverty Department celebrates and preserves the rich artistic heritage of Skid Row and has generated a registry of Skid Row artists, which now numbers more than 900.
In memoriam Linda Harris, performing her favorite song, “I Hope You’ll Dance”.
- 2019 | Hyperallergic | Matt Stromberg | An Art Program in Los Angeles Proposes Ways to Address Homelessness
- 2018 exhibit: State of the ART: Skid Row
- 2018 | Hyperallergic | Noni Brynjolson | The Hundreds of Artists Living in LA’s Skid Row
- 2016 | Overcome and Amplify | Festival For All Skid Row Artists
- 2015 | VICE | Jemayel Khawaja | The Skid Row Arts Festival Was Full of Beautiful Weirdos with Lots to Say
Making the Case for Skid Row Culture
In 2010, Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts, released “Making a Case for Skid Row Culture: Findings from a Collaborative Inquiry by the Los Angeles Poverty Department and the Urban Institute”. This study by John Malpede (Los Angeles Poverty Department) and Mario Rosario Jackson (Urban Institute) documents the role of arts and culture in Skid Row. This study found that culture comes from the ground up in Skid Row and is often initiated by residents and resident driven initiatives. This festival is undertaken to recognize these people and initiatives and to stimulate a new way of envisioning and talking about this neighborhood.
12th Festival for All Skid Row Artists
October 16, 2021 in Gladys park
We called this year, “the half-way back festival” as it took place live in – as this year’s festival MC Coach Ron would say, “…in world famous, Gladys Park, in world famous Skid Row.” –but on one day rather than the customary two. That meant we packed one performance on top of another. Many artists who have performed at the festival for years were eager to be back. Lee Maupin, a well-known performer in Skid Row who does James Brown dance moves including the splits— graciously gave up his time slot to accommodate newcomers who’d just found out about the Festival days before when a dozen LAPD’ers fanned out through the neighborhood going tent to tent looking for singers, dancers, actors and visual artists. And we found them, the rappers –Young Kilo and Ayoo Duce, Divine Being who read a pretty profound text and Kenneth Ross, who brought his abstract paintings on wood from around the block where he’d had them propped up against a metal fence.
11th Festival for All Skid Row Artists
October 17 – live stream
Due to the pandemic, this year’s festival took a hybrid form:
streaming live on FaceBook and YouTube and in person (limited attendance – masks mandatory) with physically distancing in Gladys park and at Studio 526.
In this extraordinary time, many artists have filmed their acts and works of art to get in the mix of the vibrant Skid Row artistic culture on the live-stream.
* MC Chella Coleman introduced the videos Skid Row artists had submitted and interviewed artists via live video.
* At STUDIO 526 several artists painted a collaborative PAINTING and asked for input during the live stream.
* The entire live-stream was projected on a big screen in Gladys Park where MC Charles Porter gave updates with some live performances.
The 11th Festival for All Skid Row Artists is produced by LA Poverty Department with partners UCEPP, Studio 526 and UVP. With support from the City of LA Department of Cultural Affairs, The Kindle Project and the LA County Department of Arts and Culture.
10th Festival for All Skid Row Artists
October 26 & 27, 2019 in Gladys park
This year, the Goethe-Institut was an additional producing partner. The Goethe-Institut organized the event series “Worlds of Homelessness”, including discussions, music and film screenings, that began Tuesday October 22, at LA Poverty Department’s Skid Row History Museum & Archive (with additional sites at Sci-Arc and Navel). The project brings together local and international artists, architects, scholars and others and culminates with the 2 days of the Festival.
“Worlds of Homelessness” opened with music by the LA Playmakers and they closed out the Festival on Sunday afternoon. The LA Playmakers are a local band founded by Joseph Warren and Stan Watson 5yrs ago. These accomplished professional musicians can play anything, R&B, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Gospel– and they do. All the band members were members of the Praise and Worship Team at Skid Row’s Central City Church of the Nazarene.