Walk the Talk

May 26, 27, 28, 2012
May 24, 2014

Walk the Talk is no ordinary walk. It’s a parade! LA Poverty Department brings the neighborhood to life with performances along the parade route that pay tribute to neighborhood initiatives and the men and women whose contributions to the community call for a big, blaring celebration!

Project History

WALK THE TALK is the continuation of a 10 year process of community engagement including performances, exhibitions, public conversations, interviews, drawing, writing, singing and improvising. The conception of this project is to honor people who live and work on Skid Row and who have made it one of the most significant areas for solving the problems that other people have given up on. One of the original goals of Los Angeles Poverty Department is to create community on Skid Row and to employ the voices of the people who live on Skid Row to communicate the experience of living there to the larger community of Los Angeles and to the nation. This project started in 2002 with the LAPD installation / performance series Is there History on Skid Row? and continued with 2006 to 2011 activities: UTOPIA / dystopia where, in preparation for the performance, LAPD created events that engaged community brainpower to identify initiatives and people who had made positive contributions to the neighborhood. We invited some of the most widely recognized social visionaries from the neighborhood, and they were asked to speak about other people and initiatives that they valued. The input led to the installation, Skid Row History Museum, at The Box Gallery, which included more performance and public conversation events, to solicit further community input.


May 26, 27, 28, 2012 – 36 Skid Row visionaries were celebrated with 3 DAYS of PARADES and PERFORMANCES with PARADIGM BRASS band, traveling 3 routes through the Skid Row neighborhood with portraits of honorees created by Mr. Brainwash.


May 24, 2014 – Eight additional Skid Row visionaries celebrated in a PARADE with PERFORMANCES and a mobile EXHIBIT about Skid Row’s history inside the MIKE KELLEY Mobile Homestead, stationed at MOCA from May 29 – June 16. Portraits of the honorees created by Brian Dick.