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In L.A., Skid Row is more than a metaphor. It’s a place, about two blocks from the developing downtown area designated Gallery Row. It’s also the nation’s largest recovery community, home to residents who hail from all backgrounds and all over the United States. This being L.A., those backgrounds often include the arts. Already known and admired internationally for its citizen theater productions treating thorny contemporary issues from incarceration to women’s rights, the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) and its performance-artist capo John Malpede are tireless advocates for effecting social policy through the arts. Now for the fifth year, the LAPD partners with Skid Row advocates United Coalition East Prevention Project and community-based Lamp Arts Program to produce the 2014 Festival for All Skid Row Artists. Happening on both afternoons this weekend in Gladys Park (a green space on San Julian between Sixth and Seventh streets), the festival is open to visual artists as well as musicians, performers, poets and spoken-word artists, dancers — even hair artists! — and really anyone in the neighborhood who has something exciting to offer. Though mostly a neighborhood celebration and a chance for nonresidents to have some myths dispelled about their city’s history, these events also allow LAPD to create an artists’ registry and archive. Go ahead, surprise yourself. Gladys Park, 808 E. Sixth St., dwntwn.; Sat., Oct. 18-Sun., Oct. 19, 1-5 p.m.; free. (213) 413-1077, lapoverty?dept.org. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Sat., Oct. 18, 1-5 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 19, 1-5 p.m., 2014
(Expired: 10/19/14)

LA Weekly