Doris Duke Artist Award, 2013
Los Angeles, CA
John Malpede directs, performs, and engineers multi-event projects that have theatrical, installation, public art, and education components. In 1985, he founded the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), a performance group comprised primarily of homeless and formerly homeless people who make art, live, and work on Skid Row. Beyond L.A., he has produced projects working with communities throughout the U.S., as well as the UK, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Bolivia. His 2004 work RFK in EKY sought to re-create Robert Kennedy’s 1968 “war on poverty” tour in the course of a four-day, 200-mile series of events focused on historic and current issues and social policy. As a 2008 fellow at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Malpede developed Bright Futures in response to the financial crisis. He has received grants, with LAPD, from MAP Fund, NEFA National Theater Project (2013), and a Creative Capital Award (2009). In 2014, the work of LAPD will be the subject of a large retrospective exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art.