Walk the Talk

The next Walk The Talk parade will take place on Memorial Day weekend: May 23, 2020

Download the tabloid newspapers:
April 21, 2018
May 28th, 2016  
May 24th, 2014
May 26th, 27th, 28th, 2012

Walk the Talk is no ordinary walk. It’s a biannual parade! LA Poverty Department brings Skid Row to life with performances along the parade route that pay tribute to neighborhood initiatives and the men and women whose contributions to the community call for a big, blaring celebration!

Project History

WALK THE TALK is the continuation of a 10 year process of community engagement including performances, exhibitions, public conversations, interviews, drawing, writing, singing and improvising. The conception of this project is to honor people who live and work on Skid Row and who have made it one of the most significant areas for solving the problems that other people have given up on. One of the original goals of Los Angeles Poverty Department is to create community on Skid Row and to employ the voices of the people who live on Skid Row to communicate the experience of living there to the larger community of Los Angeles and to the nation. This project started in 2002 with the LAPD installation / performance series Is there History on Skid Row? and continued with 2006 to 2011 activities: UTOPIA / dystopia where, in preparation for the performance, LAPD created events that engaged community brainpower to identify initiatives and people who had made positive contributions to the neighborhood. We invited some of the most widely recognized social visionaries from the neighborhood, and they were asked to speak about other people and initiatives that they valued. The input led to the installation, Skid Row History Museum, at The Box Gallery, which included more performance and public conversation events, to solicit further community input.


May 23, 2020 – Eight more Skid Row visionaries will be honored with a parade & performance:
This years honorees are Coach Ron Crockett, Leslie Croom, Angelia Harper aka Big Mama, Danny Park and Andrew Kang, Stephanie Arnold Williams, Leeav Sofer and Gary Blasi.  The PARADE will be headed by Street Symphony’s brass marching ensemble, PERFORMANCES by LA Poverty Department with Urban Voices Project choir and ARTWORKS ‘instruments of accountability’ by Elana Mann and PORTRAITS made by ….

THE PARADE will start at 11am at the corner of 6th & Stanford Ave. Stops along the way: Gladys park, former Drop in Center, San Julian park, Skid Row People’s Market on the corner of 5th & San Pedro street, The White House on the other corner of  5th and San Pedro street, Wesley Health Center across the street on the S/E corner of 5th & San Pedro street and the last stop will be at the DPSS office on 4th Place.

Los Angeles Poverty Department’s biennial Walk the Talk Performance Parade chronicles the ongoing history of Skid Row and celebrates the accomplishments of the Skid Row community, by honoring some of the individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the community of Skid Row, making a difference in people’s lives every day. The 7 scenes of this year’s Walk the Talk will be performed by the Skid Row performers of the Los Angeles Poverty Department theater group.  Each scene honors a person who lives and / or works in Skid Row.  Honorees are selected through a community nominating process, for their positive, transformative work.  Scenes are performed on locations where Honorees do their work.  A New Orleans style brass band from collaborating partner organization Street Symphony will guide the audience from one location to the next.  Street Symphony composers and the Urban Voices Project’s Skid Row singers, will participate in the performances and also develop music for visual artist Elana Mann’s anthropomorphic sculptural instruments.  Visual Artist, Man One will create portraits of all nominees that will be utilized in the performance.


April 21, 2018 – Eight Skid Row visionaries were honored with a parade & performance:
Steve Diaz, Bobby Buck, Eddie H., Pastor Cue, Vijay Gupta, Demetra Wilson-Washington, Andy Bales and Tiffany Rose.  The PARADE was headed by Street Symphony’s brass marching ensemble, PERFORMANCES by LA Poverty Department and PORTRAITS made by CruShow Herring.


May 28, 2016, Eight more Skid Row visionaries joined the Walk the Talk hall of fame:
General Dogon, Becky Dennison, AJ Martin, Carol Sobel, Hayk Makhmuryan, Christopher Mack, Katherine McNenny and KevinMichael Key. We will celebrate them with a PARADE headed by PARADIGM brass band, PERFORMANCES by LAPD and PORTRAITS made by Pairoj Pichetmetakul.


May 24, 2014 – Eight additional Skid Row visionaries celebrated in a PARADE with PERFORMANCES and a mobile EXHIBIT about Skid Row’s history inside the MIKE KELLEY Mobile Homestead, stationed at MOCA from May 29 – June 16. Portraits of the honorees created by Brian Dick.


May 26, 27, 28, 2012 – 36 Skid Row visionaries were celebrated with 3 DAYS of PARADES and PERFORMANCES with PARADIGM BRASS band, traveling 3 routes through the Skid Row neighborhood with portraits of honorees created by Mr. Brainwash.