LIVE PERFORMANCE | STREAM The New Compassionate Downtown

The New Compassionate Downtown

Fri, 05/14/2021 -
Sat, 05/15/2021


Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD)

Presented by MOCA as part of ART RISE, a project of We Rise LA.

Directed by: John Malpede and Henriëtte Brouwers.
Visual Art by: Robby Herbst
Cast: Stephanie Bell, Iron Donato, Tom Grode, Leyla Martinez, Lee Maupin, Matt Miyahara, Lorraine Morland, Clarence Powell, Dianne Prozeller, Anthony “ToneTone” Taylor, Maya Waterman


Friday, May 14th 2021 @ 8:00 PM PDT
Watch Live Stream via Youtube  

Saturday, May 15th 2021 @ 8:00 PM PDT
Live Stream via Youtube 

Downtown L.A. has long been marketed as a nightlife destination. Los Angeles Poverty Department's "The New Compassionate Downtown" dares to imagine a downtown that attracts people who value the wisdom and compassionate practice exemplified by Skid Row workers and residents. In The New Compassionate Downtown, an alternative marketing approach touts downtown as "a place you can live guilt- and resentment-free. No longer will the subterranean guilt of ignoring privilege haunt you and, through psychological displacement, manifest itself as anger."

Work on the performance began pre-pandemic and explores themes that have gained resonance in the past year. The setting is a meeting of "The New Compassionate Downtown," a diverse group of people living and working in all parts of downtown who embrace building a community of compassion. The performance interweaves the meeting with scenes that concretely explore compassion in action as life unfolds daily. The performance, staged in a socially distant manner by a cast of eleven performers, is live-streamed and recorded.

Los Angeles Poverty Department is a performance group of people who live and work in Skid Row. All the cast members have contributed to this script.

The New Compassionate Downtown was funded in part by the Mike Kelly Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts – Theater, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Goethe-Institut, the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, The BOX, and MOCA-Geffen.