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CicLAvia in the San Fernando Valley Debuts an LA River Component

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Popular bicycling and pedestrian event CicLAvia finally makes its San Fernando Valley debut this Sunday, March 22. The 12th rendition of the event will close 5.5 miles of streets to motorized traffic along Lankershim and Ventura Boulevards and will run through the North Hollywood Arts District, Universal City, the historic Campo de Cahuenga, Studio City Farmers Market and the Sportsmen's Lodge.

Apart from a full slate of activities, this version of CicLAvia will also introduce CiclaRIO, a series of events held along the San Fernando Valley side of the Los Angeles River. The event will allow Angelenos a glimpse of the waterway outside the hotbed of speculative excitement of the Glendale Narrows.

"We knew CicLAvia was coming near the Los Angeles River, so we knew we had to do something," says Carol Armstrong, Director of Los Angeles River Works at the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. Armstrong says there's a lot of common ground between CicLAvia and the Los Angeles River Revitalizations. "It's all about connecting face to face. Our streets are great civic gathering spaces and so is our river."

Planning the CiclaRIO events took about six weeks and the participants were very enthusiastic, according to organizers. At the Studio City Farmer's Market, events are planned from 10:00AM until about 4:00PM. Apart from taking in the Radford Art Walk at the intersection of Radford Avenue and Valleyheart Drive, people can also enjoy the following events.

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A sound installation by artist and filmmaker Tuni Chatterji, who describes it as "a meditative installation comprised of collected and reconstructed ambient soundtracks reflecting on the L.A river," will set up between 1:00 to 4:00PM near Laurelgrove Avenue and the L.A. River. Visitors will be able to choose from several headphones and objects to sit with in the hopes of increasing their awareness of to this particular place along the river.

At 2:00PM participants will be able to experience a work by writers Harold Abramowitz and Amanda Ackerman. Both collaborated with fellow writers to produce a new and original work inspired by the flowing nature of the Los Angeles River and people moving through space at CicLAvia. The work was inspired by the work of other writers mediating on the question: "What would a piece of writing look like if the audience were the cyclist/river -- in other words, what work would suit a reader who is in motion (flowing, whirring through space) instead of static/sitting in place? What kind of writing could be written and then read to the moving river/moving body?"

At Universal City HUB, participants can also enjoy a tour of Friends of the Los Angeles River's River Rover and learn how to make their own seed bombs from native plants.

The Los Angeles River Works, will host a booth designed to collect participants input on the past, present, and future state of the river. The organization will also set up an interactive model of the river where individuals can use objects to layout their vision of how the river revitalization could be. CicLAvia participants can also share their intended uses for a completed L.A. River Greenway.

This year's Valley CicLAvia installment is the first time an L.A. River component has been added to the popular event. The organizers hope that Angeleno's fascination and enthusiasm with social media can be expressed through the following hashtags: #LARiverGo, #LARiverArts, #LARiverNature, #LARiverGreenway, and #Riverly.

To learn more about the events planned please visit CicLAvia: The Valley

CicLAvia 2011
CicLAvia 2011 | Photo: Jory/Flickr/Creative Commons License