Event - Workshop for Artists & Advocates with the Los Angeles Poverty Department

Workshop for Artists & Advocates with the Los Angeles Poverty Department

02.23.14, 2:00 pm

Deadline February 18

Application Forms Here:


As part of its new Open A.I.R. Artists Services program that offer professional development topics targeted specifically to emerging artists, the Queens Museum invites artists, cultural and community organizers, and educators who are developing work alongside communities around narratives, to join us for a workshop with the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD). Founded in 1985 on Los Angeles’s Skid Row by performance artist, director, and activist John Malpede, LAPD is made up principally of homeless or formerly homeless people and has been an uncompromising force in performance and urban advocacy for almost 30 years.

The work of LAPD will be the subject of a large retrospective gallery show, Do you want the cosmetic version or do you want the real deal? Los Angeles Poverty Department, 1985-2014. The exhibition at the Queens Museum will include documentation of works since their first in 1986 and live performances of two critically acclaimed works: State of Incarceration (2010-ongoing) in its East Coast premiere and Agentes & Activos, the North American premiere of the Spanish language version of Agents and Assets (2001-ongoing).

In this hands-on workshop with LAPD members and leaders, participants will:

  •  learn about LAPD’s history in Skid Row
  •  discover strategies for using theater and art to build community
  • use personal narratives and theater to highlight and advocate against broader social and political injustices
  • explore how theater and art promotes collaboration and partnership within communities
  • share the challenges they have encountered in developing their own projects and receive feedback and advice

Application Process:

This half-day workshop will be a unique opportunity to reflect on your practice and learn about the methodology that has allowed LAPD to develop meaningful work and relationships for the last 3 decades. Due to the limited space available, a simple application is required. Applicants must already be involved in the process of developing work in collaboration with community members, groups are encouraged to submit a single application with up to 4 individuals in it. Priority will be given to applications that include community participants. Spanish-English Interpretation will be available during the workshop.


Workshop Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one or both performances as an integral part of this workshopState of Incarceration on the California prison system which takes place amidst 60 prison beds installed at the Museum (Jan 31 & Feb 1 at 7:30pm, and Feb 2 at 5pm); and Agents & Assets/ Agentes y Activos, a reenactment of a US House of Representatives hearing on the drug wars abroad and at home (performance in Spanish with English Supratitles; locations to be announced; Feb 28, March 1, and March 2). All performances are free of charge and no tickets or RSVPs are required.

Workshop spots are very limited and advance registration required by February 18:  https://queensmuseum.wufoo.com/forms/workshop-for-artists-and-advocates-with-lapd/. 

For more information please e-mail: Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz at sjmo@queensmuseum.org.

Do you want the cosmetic version or do you want the real deal? Los Angeles Poverty Department, 1985-2014 is supported by grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and National Endowment for the Arts.  Project funding also provided by Surdna Foundation and Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Additional support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Open A.I.R. is made possible by a generous grant from The Scherman Foundation’s Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund.

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