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Dear Friends of LA Poverty Department,

LAPD has a lot going on now — and much planned for 2023. 

We’re in full swing at our space, the Skid Row History Museum & Archive: having exhibitions, restarting Friday movie nights, starting a Friday open mic night, workshopping new performance material, archiving like crazy, and opening our space for other Skid Row community members and groups.

October 29 & 30, we produced the 13th Annual Festival for All Skid Row Artists. 
We’re back with a full 2-day festival. The Festival attracted many of the new people now in the Skid Row neighborhood. They were surprised and amazed to find a large active creative culture in Skid Row ––and that they can be a part of it. Through their cultural participation, they become aware of services that they are entitled to. That’s the way neighborhood culture functions, that’s the way community safety is realized.

DTLA2040 – Skid Row Now & 2040
For years we’ve been working to ensure community input, as the city develops a new community plan that will guide downtown development for the next decades. 3 of our exhibitions have dealt with this: Blue Book / Silver BookThe Back 9 and How to House 7,000 people in Skid Row. We formed a coalition, Skid Row Now & 2040, and developed a plan that reflects the priorities of the neighborhood residents and grass roots organizations. Many of our concerns have been incorporated into the plan that will go to City Council for approval in early 2023. 

November 22, 2022 – January 28, 2023: “Blue Book – Green Paper”
On November 22, we opened a new iteration of the “Blue Book / Silver Book” installation. The “Blue Book” was a community plan adopted by the LA City Council in 1976 —it defined the boundaries of Skid Row, saved the housing, and prevented market rate development within Skid Row. The “Blue Book” is still relevant to save Skid Row’s history from misrepresentation and to save it from the displacement of its people.

Our museum’s scholar in residence, UC-R historian Cathy Gudis, published a research paper, Containment and Community, articulating this history and arguing for the preservation of the neighborhood, for the people who have made it a neighborhood. The paper has a green cover and following in the tradition of color-coded references to planning documents, we’re calling it the “Green Paper”.  On Nov. 17 we discussed her paper at MOCA.

On November 22, Skid Row Now & 2040, held a press conference to present the paper and highlight the points that we want to see included in the City’s plan. And we opened the Blue Book – Green Paper exhibition, designed by artist Robert Oschshorn. Ochshorn is the co-founder of SF based, REDUCT, Inc. where he designs media interfaces for extending human perceptive and expressive capabilities.

December 8, 2022 – January 31, 2023: WALK THE TALK RESPONSES
LAPD’s Skid Row archive is an active community archive. On Dec. 8, the Museum will open an exhibition, featuring 12 video responses to our Walk the Talk Archive, created by artists, activists, scholars, and Skid Row residents and host a public conversation event with these creators. These responses are available on the website, also designed by Ochshorn.

February – June 2023: Charles Porter
In February, we’ll launch a new exhibition, the first of our Community Curators project. It will highlight the work of Charles Porter, the highly respected director of prevention at UCEPP, United Coalition Prevention Project. The project will focus on Charles’ concerns: “spirituality, arts, healing and culture,” and manifest as culturally specific musical events, an exhibition, conversation events, and thematically related performances in the space by our LAPD, Skid Row resident performers.  

Cooling Station
Our space is on Broadway, 2 blocks outside the Blue Book’s official boundaries of Skid Row— which means that many of the unhoused persons on the block are disconnected from services and community. This summer, led by our archivist Zach Rutland, we initiated a cooling station in front of the museum; offering water, a place to sit in the shade, reading materials, conversation, referrals, and clothes.

To end the pain of mass houselessness, policy changes are needed that create new mechanisms for funding the creation of housing for extreme low-income people. You can find out about some new funding stream ideas on our website.   

And, a donation to LA Poverty Department goes a long way and is much appreciated.

Super Best,

John Malpede

Please consider making a monthly donation on our secure website.
Or send a check to Los Angeles Poverty Department, POB 26190, Los Angeles CA 90026
* Los Angeles Poverty Department is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. 
Donations to Los Angeles Poverty Department are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

Download the PDF of the Year End Letter 2022