Based in Los Angeles’s Skid Row and comprised largely of the area’s formerly homeless, the Los Angeles Poverty Department creates performances from the writings, stories, and experiences of its participants. The mission of LAPD (yes, their acronym is purposeful) is to illuminate the social forces that shape the lives and communities of people living in poverty. This article describes, and includes excerpts from, State of Incarceration, an LAPD production that taps the inside knowledge of core company members, including Kevin Michael Key, Riccarlo Porter, Anthony Taylor, and Ronnie Walker, and roomfuls of other participants, some from parolee reentry programs in the area.
The Other LAPD: Homeless and formerly incarcerated people making art in LA’s Skid Row
Catherine Gudis is the director of the Public History Program at the University of California, Riverside, which is a founding institutional member of the Humanities Action Lab, whose traveling exhibit, website, and public dialogues, States of Incarceration, takes its name from a performance by the Los Angeles Poverty Department.
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Catherine Gudis; The Other LAPD: Homeless and formerly incarcerated people making art in LA’s Skid Row. Boom 1 June 2016; 6 (2): 88–93. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2016.6.2.88
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