Press Kit

51 weeks & 51 miles of public outreach & civic engagement

Press Kit

Press Contacts

To request a card deck or to schedule interviews, please contact these Project 51 members:

Allison Carruth

Catherine Gudis


What is Play the LA River?

Play the LA River is a come-one-come-all 51-week initiative by the arts collective Project 51 that invites Angelenos to explore, enjoy, reclaim & reimagine the 51-mile LA River as a grand civic space that can green & connect our communities.

It’s a 56-site guide to the entire LA River designed as a playable card deck—a game of urban exploration that showcases 56 places to play from the river’s headwaters in Canoga Park to the mouth in Long Beach.

It’s a mobile-friendly website that features an interactive version of the card deck, a social media wall, a community-generated events calendar & a multimedia exhibition space. The website will grow into a vibrant online community for sharing all different ways of playing on the LA River—& for reimagining & reclaiming it as civic space.

It’s a year of DIY impromptu happenings & other events. Its rallying cry is “How do you want to play? Share it! @ #playthelariver.”

Where is Play the LA River?

Along all 51 miles of the LA River!

The Play the LA River card deck is organized into 4 suits—Valley, Glendale Narrows, Downtown & South—each with 13 river sites plus an off-river wild card designed by a local artist.

Each card takes users to a unique site along or near the river, highlights the neighborhood & offers a few ideas for how to play there. The sites include parks, future park sites, greenways, overlooks, bridges, bike paths, horse trails, gardens, murals, wetlands, wildlife, playing fields, amphitheaters, kayak zones, fishing spots & more. The deck also includes sites that haven’t received much attention yet in LA River revitalization efforts, with a call to show them some love!

When is Play the LA River?

The project launches September 13, 2014 at Marsh Park II in conjunction with Frogtown Artwalk & runs for 51 weeks into September 2015. But we urge Angelenos to keep playing, ever after.

Why Play?

Because it’s fun—& because the LA River connects our communities. It flows 51 miles through the heart of the LA area, through 18 cities & many of our neighborhoods.

“The LA River has always been its own strongest advocate—and anyone who goes down to the river & plays on its banks will see the huge importance of the river to LA’s past, present & future.” -Project 51 co-founder & longtime river champion Jenny Price

Because right now dozens of public agencies, elected officials, activists, artists, nonprofits & others are together investing over a billion dollars to revitalize the LA River. This hugely ambitious project will clean up our waters. It will maximize our water supplies. It will bring parks & community spaces to LA’s park-starved neighborhoods—many of which sit right on the banks of the LA River.

And because Angelenos should have a voice in the LA River’s future! Especially if they live near the river—but everyone in the LA area will be touched by this huge vision for lots & lots of new parks, wetlands, bikeways & public spaces.

Who is Spearheading Play the LA River?

Play the LA River is presented by Project 51—a collective of river-loving artists, designers, writers & educators. Project 51’s co-founders are John Arroyo, Barron Bixler, Allison Carruth, Amanda Evans, Catherine Gudis & Jenny Price. Our programming & outreach team includes Erika Barbosa, Lila Higgins, Kat Superfisky, Allison Wyper & Natale Zappia.

Play the LA River contributes to ongoing efforts to revitalize the LA River & to bring Angelenos to its banks. It’s an umbrella & a means for collaboration. Our partners to date include artworxLA, Clockshop, LA River Corp, Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority (MRCA), California State Parks & Urban Waters Federal Partnership. The project has received generous support from ArtPlace America, KCET, MRCA, UCLA, UC Riverside & 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 & engage with the multitude of exciting activities along the Los Angeles River corridor.” -California State Parks superintendent Sean Woods


Images of the Play the LA River Card Deck River Guide


All Play the LA River images are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND, noncommercial reproduction without any modifications permitted; all other rights reserved. Appropriate attribution is required.

Click any image to enlarge.

The Play the LA River Card Deck River Guide, ©2014 Project 51

Headwaters Card / Valley Suit, ©2014 Project 51

Water Reclamation Park Card / Glendale Narrows Suit, ©2014 Project 51

LA State Historic Park Card / Downtown Suit, ©2014 Project 51

Cesar Chavez Ave Bridge Card / Downtown Suit, ©2014 Project 51

Ralph Dills Park / South Suit, ©2014 Project 51

Mouth Card / South Suit, ©2014 Project 51

Play the LA River Overview Map, ©2014 Project 51

Photos of the LA River & Environs


All Play the LA River photos are licensed by the photographers under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND, noncommercial reproduction without any modifications permitted; all other rights reserved. Appropriate attribution is required.

Click any image to enlarge.

View of the 4th Street & 1st Street Bridges & River Channel, ©2014 Barron Bixler

Glendale Narrows, ©2014 Barron Bixler

View over Railyard & River Channel from the 4th Street Bridge, ©2014 Barron Bixler

Street Art Tour between the 1st Street & 4th Street Bridges, ©2014 Barron Bixler

View under the Olympic Street Bridge, ©2014 Barron Bixler

Kayaking the LA River through Sepulveda Basin, ©2014 Jeff Houze

Playing in Sepulveda Basin, ©2014 Jeff Houze

Horseback Riding in the Glendale Narrows, ©2014 Jeff Houze

Horseback Riding in the Glendale Narrows, ©2014 Jeff Houze