Los Angeles Poverty Department

Los Angeles Poverty Department

The Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) is a non-profit arts organization that was started in 1985 by artist John Malpede.  
LAPD’s mission: creating performance work that connects lived experience to the social forces that shape the lives and communities of people living in poverty. LAPD is committed to creating performances and artworks that express the realities, hopes and dreams of people who live and work on Skid Row.
Jun 6 2017link

An art group's mini-golf links take on L.A. zoning, density and Trump's Palos Verdes golf course

Los Angeles Times

by Carolina A. Miranda

Apr 6 2016pdflink

LAPD Announced a Recipient of Mike Kelley Foundation 2016 Artist Project Grant

Details here

Dec 17 2015pdflink

The Art of Politics, in 'Agitprop!' at the Brooklyn Museum

New York Times

by Holland Cotter

Apr 1 2014pdf

Los Angeles Poverty Department


at Queens Museum of Art


by Colby Chamberlain


Oct 22 2016

LAPD 7th annual Festival for Skid Row Artists

The Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) presents the 7th annual Festival for All Skid Row Artists on Saturday and Sunday, October 22 and 23, from 1–5pm each day. 

Gladys Park - Skid Row 

808 east 6th street, Los Angeles, California 90021


Jun 7 2016

LAPD performing at Hammer Museum

The Hammer Museum and Los Angeles Poverty Department co-present

Chasing Monsters from under the Bed

Tuesday, June 7 at 7:30pm

details here

Apr 6 2016

LAPD Announced a Recipient of Mike Kelley Foundation 2016 Artist Project Grant

Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD)

The Back 9: Golf and Zoning Policy in Los Angeles with Rosten Woo

LAPD and artist Rosten Woo will collaborate on the exhibition, The Back 9, a playable miniature golf course addressing current and historic zoning issues, from the origins of the SRO housing model that underpins Skid Row, to the potential endangering of the area’s affordable housing through the city’s new re:code LA initiative. To inform the exhibition’s content and design, Woo will lead free workshops with the public and LAPD company members—artists who work and live on Skid Row—and company members will also create a major theatrical performance using the golf course as their stage. The project is set to open in early 2017 at LAPD’s Skid Row History Museum & Archive.

Apr 19 2016


Watch the Los Angeles Poverty Department perform Abolition and the Radical Imagination in 5 parts on Youtube, as part of the event presented by the LAPD and Critical Resistance in Los Angeles on Feb. 20, 2016. 

Video here

Feb 20 2016

Profiles of Abolition benefit for Los Angeles Poverty Department and Critical Resistance

FEBRUARY 20TH in Los Angeles
5pm Doors, 6pm Event


A fundraiser event to benefit Critical Resistance and Los Angeles Poverty Department

Critical Resistance and Los Angeles Poverty Department invite you to join us forProfiles of Abolition: Abolition and the Radical Imagination. We are excited to host acclaimed poet Fred Moten and renowned printmaker Melanie Cervantes of Dignidad Rebelde in conversation with Angela Y. Davis.

Abolition and the Radical Imagination will encourage audience members to reinvigorate a critical understanding of prison industrial complex abolition and inspire us to take creative and practical steps to build this liberated future. Moten, Cervantes and Davis will be joined by performances by the Los Angeles Poverty Department to spark our radical imagination and lift up the spirit of liberation. All proceeds with benefit Critical Resistance and Los Angeles Poverty Department. This event will also mark a special celebration of the Los Angeles Poverty Department’s 30-year anniversary.

TICKETS ON SALE @ http://abolition2016.brownpapertickets.com/

SPONSORSHIP: To make this inspiring event accessible to as many people in the Los Angeles community as possible, we are asking for your support. Sponsoring this event helps subsidize tickets for formerly imprisoned people, youth, and low-income communities. Sponsorship also helps demonstrate community support for creative movement building and rigorous, left analysis in these hopeful yet troubling times. For more info on sponsorship: http://criticalresistance.org/abolition/

About the Speakers

DR. ANGELA Y. DAVIS is Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Davis came to national attention after being removed from her teaching position at UCLA because of her activism and membership in the Communist Party, USA. In 1970 she was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List on false charges. During her sixteen-month incarceration, a massive international “Free Angela Davis” campaign was organized, leading to her acquittal in 1972. Today Prof. Davis remains an advocate of prison abolition and has developed a powerful critique of racism in the criminal justice system. She is the author of many books, including her most recent collection, The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues (City Lights Open Media).

FRED MOTEN is author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition,Hughson’s Tavern, B. Jenkins, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (with Stefano Harney), The Feel Trio and The Little Edges. A new poetry collection, The Service Porch and a new collection of essays, consent not to be a single being are forthcoming. Moten lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of California, Riverside.

A member of the Oakland-based arts collaboration, Dignidad Rebelde, MELANIE CERVANTES is a Xicana activist-artist whose work includes black and white illustrations, paintings, installations and paper stencils. She is best known, however, for her prolific political screen prints and posters which have been used by movements across the globe. Employing vibrant colors and hand-drawn illustrations, her work moves those viewed as marginal to the center — featuring powerful youth, elders, women, and queer and indigenous peoples.

Dec 11 2016

Los Angeles Poverty Department at Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum

December 11, 2015 - August 7, 2016

Jan 23 2016

Los Angeles Poverty Department at Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena

January 24 - May 15, 2015

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 23, 6-8PM

Performances: March 25, 26 and April 1-3, 2016

Apr 11 2015

LAPD Skid Row History Museum & Archive

Exhibition: Blue Book / Silver Book

April 11 - June 27, 2015

Opening reception: Saturday, April 11, 6-9 PM


Skid Row History Museum & Archive
440 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

open Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 2-5 PM
and Friday 3-6 PM

Apr 1 2014

Los Angeles Poverty Department

The Los Angeles Poverty Department's work at Queens Museum of Art is featured in the current issue of Artforum magazine. Written by Colby Chamberlain. 


Download the full article in the LAPD's "Press" section here: http://theboxla.com/artist.php?id=4623

Jan 31 2014

Los Angeles Poverty Department Performs State of Incarceration at Queens Museum in New York

The Queens Museum in New York will host the first East Coast presentation of State of Incarceration (2010-ongoing) by LA performance group the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD).

Performance Dates: January 31st and February 1 at 7:30pm, and 5pm on Sunday, February 2, 2014. The Sunday performance will be preceded by a gallery talk with curator and artists beginning at 3pm.

All performances are free and unticketed.

More information here: http://www.queensmuseum.org/events/performance-state-of-incarceration-by-los-angeles-poverty-department/


Stay tuned for more details on the LAPD coming to The Box, Los Angeles in March 2014.