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John Malpede and Henriëtte Brouwers | Los Angeles Poverty Department
Local Artists in Residence
18th Street Campus | 1653 18th Street #4, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Henriëtte Brouwers is the Associate Director of the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD). Since 2000 she co-directs, produces and performs in many LAPD performances and she worked with John Malpede on the creation of RFK in EKY (2004) a community-based re-enactment of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 trip to investigate poverty in Appalachia.  

Born in the Netherlands, Brouwers performs, directs and has taught internationally. She was a member of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed group and studied corporeal mime with Etiènne Décroux in Paris, France.  In Amsterdam, she founded movement theater ACTA and performed with Shusaku & Dormu Dance Theatre, Grif Theater, Nationaal Fonds, a.o.  In the US, her work was presented by the Theatre Project in Baltimore, Highways in Santa Monica and UT Knoxville, TN.  She has performed with Touchstone Theatre, PA and 7 Stages Theater in Atlanta and was the movement director for Blue Monk by Robert Earl Price, for the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival.  Brouwers devised a series of performances based on the Mexican legend of La Malinche and La Llorona.  Henriëtte Brouwers is featured in Bill Viola’s renowned ‘The Passions’ series.

John Malpede directs, performs, and engineers multi-event projects that have theatrical, installation, public art, and education components. In 1985, he founded Los Angeles Poverty Development (LAPD), a performance group comprised primarily of homeless and formerly homeless people who make art, live, and work on Skid Row.  In 2015, LAPD started the Skid Row History Museum & Archive, a community cultural space dedicated to uplifting the compassionate history of Skid Row, a low-income residential neighborhood, continually under threat of displacement.  

He has produced projects working with communities throughout the US, as well as in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Bolivia.  His 2004 work RFK in EKY sought to recreate 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 2008-2009 fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Malpede developed Bright Futures in response to the worldwide financial crisis. In 2013, John Malpede received the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. In 2014, the Queens Museum of Art in New York City mounted the first retrospective gallery exhibition on the work of the LAPD, which traveled to the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena in 2016.

John and Henriëtte are co-recipients of the 2018 City of Santa Monica Visual Artist Fellowship.

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