Play the LA River launches 51 weeks & 51 miles of civic engagement

Open to the public, the Play the LA River launch takes place on September 13 at Marsh Park II in conjunction with the annual Frogtown Artwalk

Los Angeles, CA (September 2, 2014)—Play the LA River is a come-one-come-all initiative led by the arts collective Project 51 that invites Angelenos to explore, enjoy, reclaim and reimagine the 51-mile LA River as a grand civic space that can green and connect communities. The project’s public launch event takes place on September 13 from 4 to 10 pm at Marsh Park II in conjunction with the 8th annual Frogtown Artwalk.

A celebration of art, recreation, games, citizen science and the ongoing LA River revitalization movement, the launch will be the public unveiling of the free Play the LA River card deck—a 56-site guide to the often invisible river that runs through the heart of the Los Angeles area.

The event will also feature paper boat races, a game of giant Twister, balloon mapping, a plein-air painting workshop with Cole James and artworxLA, a “People’s Community Dance Class” with Marina Magalhães, poetry writing with The Poetry Society of Los Angeles, and bird and insect sightings with experts from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (NHMLA). Mariel Carranza and Rebeca Hernández will offer river-inspired dance and performance art, and the wulf. [sic] is curating music for the event. On hand to field questions and lead games of their own will be LA River aficionado Joe Linton and Project 51 partners. After dark, the play will continue with a campfire (and roasted marshmallows!), nocturnal insect viewings and a pop-up dance party (@PinDropParty).

Project 51 has partnered on Play the LA River with many of the leading LA River agencies and nonprofit groups, including artworx LA, Clockshop, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), California State Parks, the Urban Waters Federal Partnership and LA River Corp (with whom Play the LA River is in the running for an LA2050 grant).  The project has received generous support from ArtPlace America, KCET, MRCA, UCLA, UC Riverside and the UC Humanities Research Institute.  “For the first time in the history of the Los Angeles River revitalization effort, there is finally a comprehensive platform for Angelenos to explore and engage with the multitude of exciting activities along the Los Angeles River corridor,” California State Parks superintendent Sean Woods said of Play the LA River and the partnership with LA State Historic Park.

The revitalization of the LA River has been a massively collaborative effort over the past two decades. The launch of Play the LA River is a rallying cry to all Angelenos to join these efforts and have a voice in the future of the river.

“The Los Angeles River is experiencing an amazing renaissance and the federal government through the Urban Waters Partnership is proud to be a part of this,” said Los Angeles River Watershed Ambassador Pauline Louie. “Regardless of whether you live close or far from the waterway, there are so many different ways to interact with a river that is simultaneously ecosystem, infrastructure and icon.”  A champion for the revitalization, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti praised Play the LA River for “engaging even more people to discover and enjoy the Los Angeles River.”

What is the LA River? Where is the LA River? In 51 weeks, we hope that no Angeleno will ask these questions again.


Saturday, September 13, 2014, 4 to 10 pm
Marsh Park II
2999 Rosanna Street, LA 90039 (Map It)
Play the LA River Website
Launch Event Details


Just opened by MRCA, Marsh Park II adds glorious green space to the adjacent Marsh Park I, established in 2006 in the Elysian Valley (aka Frogtown), along the Glendale Narrows stretch of soft-bottom river. A magical spot, this street-end stormwater park catches our runoff while it gives us the largest and most ambitious park so far on the Elysian Valley stretch.


To request a link to our online press kit, a sample Play the LA River card deck (available after 9.13.14) or to schedule interviews, please contact one of these Project 51 members:

Allison Carruth
Team Member & UCLA Professor 

Catherine Gudis
Team Member & UC Riverside Professor


Media Contacts

Allison Carruth

Catherine Gudis

Recent Press Releases