In a second museum space an extensive archive of Skid Row History (planning documents, articles, videos, audios, interview transcripts etc.), will be available for casual and scholarly research.  Visitors will be able to access this archive, comment upon it and use it to further explore the show’s themes.




About Robert M Ochshorn

Robert M Ochshorn holds a BA in Computer Science from Cornell University and worked as a Research Assistant in the Interrogative Design Group at MIT and Harvard. In 2012, he was a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht, NL), where he developed the open-source InterLace software that was used in collaboration to create the web-based documentary Montage Interdit (presented at the Berlin Documentary Forum 2, June 2012, Berlin, Germany), and he has recently completed a residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart, Germany).  He has performed, lectured, and exhibited internationally.


About the Los Angeles Poverty Department

Currently celebrating its 30th year, Los Angeles Poverty Department was the first ongoing arts initiative on Skid Row.

LAPD creates performances and multidisciplinary artworks that connect the experience of people living in poverty to the social forces that shape their lives and communities. LAPD’s works express the realities, hopes, dreams and rights of people who live and work in L.A.'s Skid Row.  LAPD has created projects with communities throughout the US and in The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Great Britain and Bolivia.

LAPD’s Skid Row History Museum & Archive project is supported with funding from the California Arts Council’s Creative California Communities Program, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts.


A project of The Los Angeles Poverty Department

Tel. 213 413-1077

POB 26190, Los Angeles, CA 90026

For Further Information on the Exhibition and Special Events Please call or email

Exhibition: Blue Book / Silver Book

Saturday, April 11 through June 27, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION April 11, Saturday, 6-9 pm


Skid Row History Museum & Archive

440 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 ~ Mezzanine Level

Open: Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 2-5  ~ Friday 3-6


Los Angeles Poverty Department is pleased to announce the opening of our Skid Row History Museum & Archive, and its inaugural exhibition, “Blue Book / Silver Book,” running Saturday, April 11 – June 27.

The exhibition juxtaposes dueling city development plans for the future of Skid Row, both created in the mid 1970s, as a way of making transparent the role urban design plays in determining the fate of communities.

The exhibition consists of a minimal installation of physical objects: two books, one Blue one Silver, on a bare table. As visitors turn the pages of each, thematically linked photos, videos, audio and paper documents, pop up, projected on the gallery walls.

The show is curated by LAPD and designed by LAPD in collaboration with Robert M Ochshorn. Ochshorn is a researcher at the Communications Design Group (San Francisco, USA), where he designs media interfaces for extending human perceptive and expressive capabilities. Ochshorn designed video / computer installation elements of LAPD director John Malpede’s “Bright Futures” project produced by MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

This exhibition “Blue Book / Silver Book” historically contextualizes both adoption of the city plan that saved the low income housing in Skid Row (known as the Blue Book) and the defeat of a front running alternative “Silver Book” plan that proposed “massive development of the area.”  In the wake of the clear-cutting of historic Bunker Hill in 1955, Skid Row was headed for a similar “redevelopment,” under a proposed general development plan known as the “Silver Book.” Community advocates, frustrated by the wholesale displacement of Bunker Hill residents, organized and presented an alternative plan, one that saved the single room occupancy hotels and committed resources to renovating and augmenting this housing and locating social services in the area. This plan, known as “The Blue Book,” was adopted by the city, in part as a strategy that would “contain” poor people in one corner of downtown. Significantly, it had the reverse effect of also preventing upscale development within Skid Row.  As a result, the area’s primary stakeholders remain its low-income residents, and their interests are increasingly prioritized as the community works to create a vibrant, viable neighborhood. This show utilizes the interplay of historical documents and non-linear, digitally reconfigured content--activated by each visitor--to unfold its story, thereby creating a mechanism for each visitor to experience the exhibition uniquely.

About the Skid Row History Museum and Archive

The Skid Row History Museum and Archive is a pop-up exhibition /performing arts space curated by LAPD. It foregrounds the distinctive artistic and historical consciousness of Skid Row, a 40-year-old social experiment. The Skid Row History Museum and Archive functions as a means for exploring the mechanics of displacement in an age of immense income inequality, by mining a neighborhood’s activist history and amplifying effective community strategies. The space operates as an archive, exhibition, performance and meeting space. Exhibitions will focus on grassroots strategies that have preserved the neighborhood from successive threats of gentrification and displacement, to be studied for current adaptation and use. The space will be activated by performances, community meetings and films addressing gentrification and displacement locally, nationally and globally.

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