Skid Row Visit Scheduled for William and Catherine
Skid Row, Hollywood's most notorious neighborhood, will receive a visit from Prince William and Catherine during their trip to the United States. William and Catherine will be visiting Inner-City Arts, a nonprofit academy that has given children from poverty-stricken neighborhoods free classes in visual and performing arts since 1989. About 90 percent of the children there are Hispanic, many from families that lack a stable home life. Skid Row is the homeless capital of the U.S., with some 4,000 people crammed into a 50-square block section of downtown Los Angeles. Almost 1,000 sleep on the street every night. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will paint and work in ceramics alongside 120 grade-schoolers and then watch a dance performance by a troupe of teenagers. The 16 dancers have been frantically rehearsing twice a week for six hours at a clip since the visit was announced in early June. Skid Row residents seemed largely apathetic about the visit, noting that since the focus is on the academy, the royal presence won't do much to help the larger neighborhood. "It's good for the kids," shrugged Michael Nicholson, 58, who was sitting in a wheelchair on a street corner a couple blocks from the academy, according to the Associated Press. "But I don't think it will do anything for Skid Row." But the kids are excited, though the initial announcement prompted some confusion. "I said 'I need to research them'," Lorenzo Perez, 19, told the AP. The most important visit to the academy was previously a group of congressional representatives. "We thought that was the biggest we could get," he said. "I never pictured that I'd be performing for the royal couple."