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Skid Row, as lit by USC Students

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Welcome Home LA, a group of students from the USC Roski School of Fine Arts, recently hit Skid Row using
performance/public/street art to draw attention to the Downtown neighborhood and its issues.

"We want to utilize public art and the reproduction and documentation of public art to bring attention to marginalized urban space," the Welcome Home LA website explains. "These images, which allude to homes, human presence, security and comfort, will be juxtaposed with the urban spaces and bring attention to the lack of all of these qualities in these spaces. The symbol of windows also alludes to research which reveals that areas with a high crime rate have more broken windows."

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Interesting to point out that graffiti in this case is used to highlight the issues of broken window theory and not exemplify it. In an interview earlier this year with LAist, Councilwoman Wendy Greuel explained the city's view on the subject: "The 'Broken Windows' theory is predicated on the belief that stopping violent crime begins with cracking down on smaller crimes likes vandalism. All urban blight contributes to the progressive deterioration of neighborhood safety, but no vandalism is more inherently tied to violence and gang activity than graffiti."

Though, in this art project, the graffiti found here are Throwies made up of LED lights attached to magnets that stick to metal surfaces. Therefore, nothing is destroyed and abatement is virtually non-existent. LAist totally approves.

Welcome Home LA wants to involve the USC and Los Angeles communities. "Everyone who wishes to be involved will help place these throwies in areas that are often ignored and shunned, such as Skid Row, the warehouse district, etc... The project presents beautiful potential for an image and ultimately dissolves into the night."

Photos and video by Welcome Home LA