Skid Row, which usually is only associated with homelessness and endless rows of tents, turned into a little oasis of art and community last weekend.
The Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) put on the sixth annual Festival for All Skid Row Artists in Gladys Park. The festival gives residents of Skid Row the chance to showcase their talents, which are mostly unseen due to their daily struggles. The festival also provides outsiders with the opportunity to see what they usually don’t expect on Skid Row. Among the artists were spoken word performers, singers and songwriters, visual artists, musicians and dancers.
One performer after another took to the stage and it was never left empty. Reggie Steed, a hip hop loving music producer now living on the streets, performed a couple of his original folk songs and captivated his audience. Ronald Troy Collins sang an original gospel composition and spellbound his listeners while Jo Clark conquered the stage with impressive and highly entertaining impersonations of Diana Ross and Michel Jackson.
Apart from the live performances, visitors could engage in drawing or play a game of chess and take in the visual artworks around the park.
Music, laughter, artistic expression and meaningful conversations dominated the weekend. Most of all though, the festival was a showcase of a powerful community spirit.