Skid Row History Museum & Archive
Open: Thur, Fri, Sat, 2-5pm
and by appointment [email protected]

Enough is (never) Enough: Hard Truths and the People Who Live Them
September 16 – extended through December 17, 2023

* October 14: 3pm, Photo Talk (Featuring the photographers in the exhibition)
* November 17: 7pm, Screening Enough is (never) EnoughQ&A with David Blumenkrantz

FREE Movie
Night, each 1st & 3rd Friday of the month, 7PM

Creative Writing Workshop with Ivy Pochoda
Each 3rd Tuesday of the month from 10:30am till noon.

Sock Puppet making Workshop with Marilyn Irizarry
Each last Friday of the month from 3 till 5pm

Open Mic with Lorinda
Each last Friday of the month from 5 till 7:30pm

The Skid Row History Museum & Archive has an extensive archive of Skid Row History – including planning documents, articles, videos, oral histories, audios, interview transcripts + more – available for casual and scholarly research.  The archive documents the culture that developed on Skid Row—an activist culture, artistic culture and recovery culture— that offers a useful model for other communities navigating gentrification pressures.

Over 35 years of performances, projects, exhibitions, and history collecting by the Los Angeles Poverty Department are available for scholarly and causal research in the archive on the mezzanine level of the Skid Row History Museum.

LAPD’s projects focus on a constellation of inter-related issues of continuing importance to Skid Row including: gentrification and community displacement, drug recovery, the war on drugs and drug policy reform, the status of women and children in Skid Row, mass incarceration and the criminalization of poverty. Materials from each project of the past 35 years include: research, rehearsal notes and videos, and scripts and videos of and performances. Thematic panel discussions for many projects and subsequent responses from the press– provide not only a comprehensive history of the first arts organization in Skid Row, but also a glimpse into the parallel history of the changing dynamics of Skid Row across time.

Events at the Skid Row History Museum & Archive

The Museum and digital Archive opened on April 11, 2015. LAPD animates the space with public conversations, movie screenings, revolving exhibitions, performative events and more, all addressing issues surrounding gentrification and displacement — locally, nationally and globally.


Exhibitions at the Skid Row History Museum & Archive focus on grassroots strategies that have preserved the neighborhood from successive threats of gentrification and displacement, to be studied for current adaptation and use.

Community Conversations

The Skid Row History Museum & Archive is activated by performances and community meetings and serves as a literal and artistic ground, a welcoming space for angelenos to meet and mingle and explore civic issues together.

Movie Nights at the Museum

Free movie screenings, free pop corn, free coffee & free conversations, every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month at the #skidrowmuseum. We screen movies about issues that are important to our Skid Row and downtown community such as gentrification, income inequality and racism.

Ron Allen Fried Poetry Prize

The Ron Allen Fried Poetry Prize is given in honor of the humanity and creativity of Ron Allen, an inspired be-bop surrealist poet, musical and theatrical force. The Ron Allen Fried Poetry Prize is produced by LAPD and Drama Stage Qumran.

Rent Parties

In keeping with the intellectual tradition and the cultural history of rent parties of the Harlem Renaissance, LAPD’s rent parties take the form of salons featuring local scholars and also feature food, drink and live jazz.

Events 2015

Friday, April 17, 6:30-8:00 pm: ‘If the SHU Fits(Voices from Solitary Confinement)
Compiled by Melvin Ishmael Johnson and Andy Griggs
READING by members from LAPD and Dramastage-Qumran

Ron Allen FRIED POETRY prize
Tuesday, April 21, 3-5 pm: poetry workshop by Melvin Johnson
Tuesday, April 28, 3-5 pm: poetry workshop by Carmen Vega
Friday, May 8, 6:30-8 pm: poetry readings
Friday, May 15, 6:30-8 pm: poetry readings
Friday, May 22, 6:30-8 pm: poetry readings + PRIZE + party

Saturday, May 2: 1st RENT PARTY will feature Skid Row’s own Alex Rodriguez Quartet and Prof. Kenneth Marcus from the University of La Verne will touch on the history of Rent Parties, which developed during the Harlem Renaissance, and discuss the music scene on L.A.’s Central Ave. during that time.

Monday, May 4, 6:30 PM  Skid Row activist General Jeff and cultural and political theorist Fred Dewey, who was involved in the beginning of the neighborhood councils movement, talk about the formation of the Skid Row Neighborhood Council.

Thursday, May 14, 7:00 pm  ‘Global Gentrification? Hipster Los Angeles in Johannesburg’
A presentation by Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in the International Institute at UCLA.

Saturday, May 23, 7 pm  TALK
Rob Ochshorn talks
about interacting with digital archives in the physical world and his process designing the Blue Book / Silver Book exhibition.

Friday, June 5, 7:00 pm  MOVIE NIGHT
Two films on the Native American experience in Los Angeles. First, a rare opportunity to see Kent Mackenzie’s THE EXILES (72mins), a 1961 film about young Native Americans living in L.A.’s Bunker Hill district. This will be followed by a short film by Pamela J. Peters, LEGACY OF EXILED NDNZ (11mins), which documents the lives of young Native Americans currently living in Los Angeles. 
Post-screening, Ms. Peters and Skid Row advocate Kevin Michael Key will engage the audience in conversation on issues such as possible similarities between the Bureau of Indian Affairs controversial Urban Relocation Program and current gentrification efforts in Skid Row.

Saturday, June 6, 7:00 pm  RENT PARTY
with Dr. Michael Alexander and Guitarist Jason Golday. Intellectual stimulation: The Dao in Downtown, an evening with Dr. Michael Alexander, UC-Riverside Religious Studies professor and author of Jazz Age Jews. Alexander will present, “The Great Thoroughfare: A Spiritual Adventure from the Time of Genghis Khan” from his work in progress, Paths of Joy: Adventures in Spirit and Therapy.
* Aural sensation:
Guitarist Jason Golday will perform in conjunction with Alexander’s talk. Golday received his MFA in Jazz Guitar Performance from California Institute of the Arts. He has toured nationally, recorded and performed with members of the Black Keys and frequently performs locally at The Echo, Satellite, The Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hammer Museum, and other venues.
* Gastronomical titillation, gratification and satiation:
Cooked up by rent party cult chef Arthur Africano and his band of assistants. Admission is by donation ($15 suggested), with all proceeds directly supporting the museum.

Monday June 15, 6:30 pm  ‘BLUE BOOK / SILVER BOOK … THE NEXT BOOK’
A presentation of “Our Skid Row”, a community plan for neighborhood improvement, followed by a conversation about housing and community development with Tom Grode, Skid Row Advocate, Steve Diaz, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Theresa Hwang, Skid Row Housing Trust, and Sara Hernandez, Council District 14.

Friday, June 19, 7:00 pm  ‘WE GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE’
Screening of an excerpt from this documentary in progress by Jen Araki and Brook Whitmore and a conversation with three young adults who are followed in the movie while navigating their way out of the foster care system in Los Angeles.

Saturday, July 11: 7:00 pm  RENT PARTY
* L.A. Rebellion filmmaker and arts educator Ben Caldwell will discuss his 30 years operating the legendary KAOS Network in Leimert Park and it’s renowned weekly open-mic Project Blowed, which helped launch rappers such as Aceyalone, Medusa and Jurassic Five.
* The Burt/Williams Project will perform in conjunction with Caldwell’s talk. Fronted by Hylen Burt, guitarist and vocalist, and Bobbie Williams, alto and tenor saxophonist, the quartet has performed at VA Hospitals for various functions, and in a number of clubs in the Los Angeles area and around the state.

Tuesday, July 14: 2;30 pm
Etgar 36: 50 students + teachers visit the museum to learn about LAPD’s work.

Friday, July 17: 7:00 pm: MY HARLEM – Screening followed by a conversation.
Since record-high prices in the New York City borough have forced many residents out of the neighborhood, the documentary “My Brooklyn” is an open invitation to discuss the extremely contemporary topic of gentrification.

August 5–31: EXHIBIT – LA History Keepers: storied objects from collections across the region @ Pio Pico House, El Pueblo, Los Angeles.
On display are: a Fact Sheet and a Flier for Tent City Homeless Protest at LA City Hall, Homeless Organizing Team, December 1984.

August 8, 7pm: RENT PARTY
Poet and National Book Award finalist Fred Moten and the The Tommy Newman Jazz Trio.

September 8-November 21: EXHIBIT – Inside/Outside: Prison Narratives
LAPD’s 3-hour film of 184 Californians reading the entire 184 page decision of 9th. Circuit Court of Appeals, which we created during our project State Of Incarceration, is part of this exhibition at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey College, 5885 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737.

A report from the July convening at the ARMORY and a continuation of the discussion, facilitated by Jeff Cain. It’s a public meeting and everyone is invited to attend.

September 21, 6:30pm: COOKING DEMO by food justice non-profit Community Services Unlimited (CSU). CSU will bring fresh produce from their network of South LA urban farms and share simple recipes for delicious, healthy meals. Learn more about their work combating food deserts and the cultural significance of their particular crops.

September 19, 7pm: RENT PARTY
Robby Herbst, founder of the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest and organizer of the Llano del Rio artist collective and the Jason Golday Trio.

October 10, 7pm: RENT PARTY
UC-I professor, artist and curator Yong Soon Min speaks about Asian American artists in LA art history and Alex Rodriguez Jazz Quartet.

November 7, 7pm: RENT PARTY
Acclaimed John Fante biographer Stephen Cooper will lead a discussion on Fante’s Bunker Hill days as well as one of the author’s short works. With the New Men Jazz Trio.

November 30, 7pm: A Skid Row community discussion facilitated by Charles Porter – 16 year Skid Row worker (UCEPP)/African American indigenous issues and Tom Grode – Skid Row resident/honorary member of San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians, Native name Woorypot Moompet.

About the Skid Row History Museum and Archive

The Skid Row History Museum and Archive is a exhibition /performing arts space curated by LAPD. It foregrounds the distinctive artistic and historical consciousness of Skid Row and functions as a means for exploring the mechanics of displacement in an age of immense income inequality, by mining a neighborhood’s activist history and amplifying effective community strategies. The space operates as an archive, exhibition, performance and meeting space. Exhibitions focus on grassroots strategies that have preserved the neighborhood from successive threats of gentrification and displacement, to be studied for current adaptation and use.

The space is activated by performances, community meetings and films addressing gentrification and displacement locally, nationally and globally. The culture that developed here on Skid Row—an activist culture, artistic culture and recovery culture—offers a useful model for other communities navigating gentrification pressures. The museum space also serves as a literal and artistic common ground, a welcoming space for Angelenos to meet and mingle and explore civic issues together.

The museum’s mezzanine has an extensive archive of Skid Row History, including the Walk The Talk archive, designed by Rob Oschorn (planning documents, articles, videos, audios, interview transcripts etc.), available for casual and scholarly research. Visitors will be able to access this archive, comment upon it and use it to further explore the show’s themes.


LAPD’s Skid Row History Museum and Archive programming, including the exhibitions, is made possible with the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.