Skid Row History Museum

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The Box Gallery and the Los Angeles Poverty Department, a non-profit arts organization, are exploring the narrative history of L.A.’s infamous skid row. The downtown streets and alleys that make up the row might house an estimated 10,000 on any given night and city officials have grappling with what to do with drugs, homelessness, and violence that characterizes the row for decades.

Skid Row History Museum honors the row’s history, highlighting the successful projects and people that have changed the face of L.A. poverty over the years. On the gallery floor, a map of skid row connects places to stories and visitors are invited to contribute to the ever-morphing Skid Row Walk of Fame in the back gallery space. The map, the Walk of Fame, and the videos and images included in the exhibition are the initial strains of the Skid Row History Museum project, something the Poverty Department hopes to grow into a thread of permanent public artwork.

The exhibition opened on June 28th with reflections from key players on the Skid Row battle front, music by Ron Taylor and Oscar Harvey, and performances by Ibrahim Saba and Kevin Michael Key. Public conversations, featuring representatives from organizations including Lamp Community, Hippie Kitchen and Dome Village, will be hosted in the gallery on July 18th, July 26th and August 2nd.

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