The People Concern’s Studio 526 is community arts and cultural platform in Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood, rooted in the understanding that equitable access to arts and cultural spaces is essential for all people and communities, and a fundamental human right.
Located at the Village – the organization’s main interim housing facility in the heart of downtown L.A.’s Skid Row – Studio 526 is open to everyone. Our focus is on increasing accessibility to community arts spaces for people who are experiencing homelessness or in extremely low-income poverty, and a commitment to being a safe space for people who are living with mental illness. The studio encourages long-term participation as artists develop their individual voices, display their artwork, inspire each other, build community together and make creativity a continuous, restorative part of their lives.
Celebrating 22 Years in the Community
Studio 526 (formerly Lamp Arts Program, renamed in January 2018) builds on a legacy that stretches back to 1998, when Rory White founded Lamp Art Project as an internal fine arts program for “artists undeterred by mental illness.” Hayk Makhmuryan assumed leadership in 2008, and built on the core principle of a safe and nurturing studio environment, opening the program to everyone in the community in 2012, building on grassroots community members’ engagement, collaborations, guest artists and volunteers to become an important multi-disciplinary arts resource and outlet in the neighborhood. Studio 526 relies on private financial, art supply donations and volunteers to keep its doors open.
Studio 526 currently consists of painting, drawing and music studio sessions, complemented by workshops exploring other creative avenues from writing to photography as well as periodic art shows, collaborations and other participatory projects.
Studio 526 plays a central role in the recovery and stability of many of its participants. Mental health professionals widely recognize that artistic expression can enhance the well-being of men and women living with mental illness while also serving as a bridge to other clinical and supportive services. Creative self-expression is a core component of an individual’s social health.
The People Concern has long been a trailblazer in permanent supportive housing, harm reduction and Housing First approaches. Studio 526 is an integral part of the agency’s commitment that everyone should be housed, healthy, and safe.
The People Concern relies on the generosity of community members to provide donations as well as public funding to keep these operations running. We are also always in need of volunteers to help staff operate the program.
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Studio526LA/