Walk the Talk 2012

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.

May 26, 27, 28, 2012
Memorial day weekend: 36 Skid Row visionaries celebrated with 3 DAYS of PARADES and PERFORMANCES, VISUAL ART and BRASS BAND traveling 3 routes through the Skid Row neighborhood.


Richard Fulton became clean and sober on Skid Row, before opening “5th Street Dick’s Coffeehouse” in Leimert Park, Catherine Morris & Jeff Dietrich joined the Los Angeles Catholic Worker in 1970, Officer James Rich LA County Police Officer James Rich was a guard at the Department of Public Social Services 4th Place office serving Skid Row, Robert Chambers Co-founded The Homeless Writers Coalition in 1988, Rosa Arzola & Jill Halverson Rosa inspired Jill to establish the Downtown Women’s Center, in 1975, Walter “Redd” Moore was a veteran who lived in Skid Row, including a decade in a cardboard box. Redd spend the last decade of his life a recovery counselor, Mark Holsinger under his direction, the LA Mission opened its 156,000-square-foot facility, at 303 East 5th Street on January 21, 1992.

Pastor William Monroe Campbell
with the Second Baptist Church, started Project Open Door as a drop-in center for area residents at the St. Marks Hotel, Harry Rogers was a Skid Row resident and organizer with the Homeless Organizing Team, Darlene Berry was the first female hotel manager and then the manager of the two SRO parks for Single Room Occupancy Housing Cooperation, Ms. Lee & Mr. Lee opened D+D Deli, a convenience store in Skid Row in 1997. Mr. Lee was a professor in Ethnomusicology, teaching Korean traditional music, Andy Raubeson was the first executive director of the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Corporation in 1984, Orlando Ward, former addict and Stanford basketball player, became the public affairs director for the Midnight Mission, Nancy Mintie founded Inner City Law Center in 1980, Clyde Casey created “Another Planet” an outdoor cultural space for people in the community, twenty-four hours a day on the corner of Wall and Boyd Streets, the site of a former gas station, in 1988.

Adam Bennion
became one of the leaders of Love Camp in 1987, Tanya Tull founded Para los Niños in 1980, she co-founded L.A. Family Housing Corporation (1983) and A Community of Friends and Beyond Shelter (1988), Mike Neely a Vietnam vet, founded the Homeless Outreach Program in 1989, Flo Hawkins a painter and portraitist, worked on the Skid Row mural “What I See Can Be Me” on 5th street, created by SPARC, Social and Public Art Resource Center in 1993, Robert Sundance a Sioux Indian from the Rosebud reservation, sued the city and county, demanding better treatment for intoxicated people & Judge Harry L. Hupp presided over a landmark case, Sundance vs. Municipal Court that changed how those arrested for public drunkenness were treated in Los Angeles in 1975. In his opinion, Hupp ruled that alcoholism is a disease, not a crime, Alice Callaghan an ordained Episcopal priest, started a day center for children of garment center workers, Las Familias del Pueblo. In 1989 Alice founded the non-profit, Skid Row Housing Trust, Manuel Compito (aka OGMan) a L.A. native and artist, founded OG’s N Service Association that is dedicated to uplifting the men and children of Skid Row, and a beautification program that brings painted trash cans to the neighborhood. In 2007 OG Man launched the 3-on-3 Basketball League at Gladys Park, Lillian Abel Calamari a talented painter and remarkable social worker with SRO Housing Corporation, initiated an art workshop open to all Skid Row residents in 1992.

Mollie Lowery
started Lamp Communities as a safe drop-in center on Downtown L.A.’s San Julian Street in 1985, Wendell Blassingame has shown free movies “Movies on the Nickel” at the James Wood Community Center every weekend since 2004, Dr. Dennis Bleakley found a professional home in 2000 at the John Wesley Clinic of The Weingart Center, S.S. Jones a professional blues guitarist, organized the Skid Row Musicians Network in the Leonide Hotel with hotel mamager Bill Edwards in 2000, Pete White co-founded Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN) in 1999, Tony Stallworth & Lucy Stallworth founded the Karaoke Coffee Club in 1997, which opens its doors to more than 300 people weekly, hosted at Central City Community Outreach, Ted Hayes started Justiceville in January 1985, in the playground of the Catholic Worker and opened Dome Village in 1993, Scott Chamberlain in 1987, Scott became the founding pastor of Skid Row’s Central City Church of the Nazarene and Executive Director of Central City Community Outreach where he fostered a sense of community, accountability and leadership among the Skid Row population from 1988-2003.

Building the Project

Reweaving the Social Fabric of Skid Row

July 22, 2010 7:00 PM [ALOUD] at Central Library. Co-presented with Los Angeles Poverty Department.

Walk the Talk Talks

A series of conversations by and about people who have done incredible things for Skid Row.

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The Cast

WTT_2012_IMG_5143PERFORMERS: Anthony Taylor, John Malpede, Austin Hines, Bradley Spann, KevinMichael Key, Ibrahim Saba, Henriëtte Brouwers, Linda Harris, Carmen Vega, Celestine Williams, Jennifer Campbell, Chas Jackson, Walter Fears, Jose VandenBurg and Samyrha Saba.
PARADIGM BRASS: Marc Bolin on sousaphone; Courtney Jones, Jon Bradley and Roy Wiegand, trumpet; Erm Navarro, trombone; Rich Firman, baritone sax; Tim Ganard, bass drum.

Walk The Talk funders

The MAP Fund
National Endowment for the Arts-Theater
LA County Arts Commission