Over the past four years, LAPD’s Festival for All Skid Row Artists has grown to become a treasured and much anticipated event for both artists and audiences alike. Here you can hear what you usually don't hear about Skid Row: yes, the community is poor, but it is rich with talent! Skid Row is rich with well-trained and experienced musicians who write and perform their own repertoire in many forms: rap, reggae, gospel and rock, jazz etc., and powerful spoken word that comes from the heart and gets everyone on their feet. Also visual artists have found a home at the festival to produce and share their craftsmanship and talent. The creativity stations have expanded and are booming with energy. Every year more children are participating and spend hours drawing and listening to the music. The Festival for All Skid Row Artists shows that Skid Row is a community, where many artists live and where people speak out and interact. A testament to the artistic vibrancy of the community, many artists who have performed at previous LAPD festivals have signed up and are slated to perform in this diverse mix. Artists like LAPD member and poet Michelle Yvonne-Autry, cabaret singer and Downtown Neighborhood Council president Patti Berman, and artist/designer/entrepreneur and rapper Crushow Herring, to name a few, will perform. Franc's Melting Pot will end the first day of the festival with their kinetic Jazz and Blues.
This year, a banner with 36 portraits of Skid Row visionaries, designed by Mr. Brainwash for LAPD's 2012 Walk the Talk, a biennial performance and parade that honors Skid Row visionaries and their initiatives, will be on display as well as 8 large hand quilted portraits of Skid Row visionaries created by artist Brian Dick for LAPD’s 2014 Walk the Talk, previously on display at Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead at The Geffen, MOCA.
A select number of artists from outside Skid Row, such as Vijay Gupta's Street Symphony - performing a classical music concert - and the Wicked Saints have been invited to perform and exhibit as well, reflecting the burgeoning cultural exchange between Skid Row artists and the greater Los Angeles arts community.
Los Angeles Poverty Department celebrates and is interested in preserving the rich artistic heritage of Skid Row and since 2009 has kept a registry of Skid Row artists, which now numbers more than 500. LAPD is a theater company comprised primarily of low income and homeless people living in those blocks of downtown Los Angeles known as Skid Row. Founded in 1985, LAPD creates performances and multidisciplinary artworks that connect the experience of people living in poverty to the social forces that shape their lives and communities. LAPD’s works express the realities, hopes, dreams and rights of people who live and work in L.A.'s Skid Row.
Festival for All Skid Row Artists is produced by Los Angeles Poverty Department with partners United Coalition East Prevention Project and Lamp Community's Fine Arts Program. This year’s festival is made possible by support of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the city Los Angeles, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC), Los Angeles County Arts Commission and The California Arts Council’s Creating Public Value program. CAC’s CPV program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
More information @ http://www.lapovertydept.org