Artist Projects

History of Incarceration


Los Angeles Poverty Department

History of Incarceration is comprised of an evening-length theater performance, a public artwork and various community engagements around issues of incarceration in America. Utilizing collaborative techniques developed over 20 years with Malpede’s company, Los Angeles Poverty Department, History of Incarceration is created by artists, organizers and residents of Los Angeles’s Skid Row, many of whom are recently released from prison. Material is being developed through community meetings and partnerships with grassroots organizations, first toward a large-scale outdoor public event and then for the theatrical performance.

Project Updates

  • 2011: LAPD present State of Incarceration at RADAR LA Festival

  • 2011: Video excerpt from the Highways performance of State of Incarceration is included in Police & Thieves exhibition at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago

  • 2011: History of Incarceration premieres with State of Incarceration performance at Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles

  • 2010: LAPD presents an iteration of History of Incarceration at BOX Gallery in Los Angeles

  • 2010: Los Angeles Poverty Department receives an NPN Creation Fund Grant to support History of Incarceration

  • 2010: Los Angeles Poverty Department presents work-in-progress performances of History of Incarceration for probationees at re-entry programs throughout Los Angeles

  • Artists

    Los Angeles Poverty Department

    Los Angeles Poverty Department, founded in 1985, is made up of people who make art and live and work on Skid Row. LAPD tells the rest of the sto…

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    Henriëtte Brouwers

    Henriëtte Brouwers is the associate director of Los Angeles Poverty Department and a performer and director with experience in Europe and t…

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    Kevin Michael Key

    Kevin Michael Key is a performer, community organizer and attorney. He is active in the recovery community in downtown Los Angeles and in such a…

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    John Malpede

    John Malpede is a director, performer, writer and the founder of the theater ensemble Los Angeles Poverty Department. The company’s mission is …

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    Pamela Miller

    Pamela Miller is a magazine writer and editor from New York City. She joined Los Angeles Poverty Department in the summer of 2007 and has worked…

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  • Events

    Oct 03 – Dec 18, 2015
    Los Angeles Poverty Department Presents Skid Row History Museum With “General Dogon: Screaming Two-Wheelers”



    Oct 17 – Oct 18, 2015
    Los Angeles Poverty Department presents the 6th annual Festival For All Skid Row Artists in Gladys Park in downtown Los Angeles.



    Jun 14 – Jun 26, 2011
    LAPD’s "State of Incarceration" and Rude Mechs’ "The Method Gun" in the RADAR L.A. Festival



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  • Project News

    January 26, 2011
    Project Premiere: Los Angeles Poverty Department's State of Incarceration at Highways Performance Space in LA



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