About Play the LA River

What is Play the LA River? A project. A movement. An invitation. A DIY game.


Led by the arts collective Project 51, Play the LA River has three main elements. The centerpiece is a playable card deck -- a 56-site guide to the entire LA River, from the river's headwaters in Canoga Park to the mouth in Long Beach. But the project has a vibrant digital life, too. The mobile-friendly website features an interactive card deck, a community-generated river calendar, a social media wall, and multimedia exhibits. Together the card deck and website galvanize the third element of Play the LA River: a year of happenings -- big and small, impromptu and planned-brought to you, by all of you. While the project is organizing a diverse range of public programs over the year, Play the LA River is counting on you to inhabit the space of the river, to share what you and generations of river residents have been doing at sites important to you, and to dream up more ways to play.


Why play? The LA River connects our communities -- it flows 51 miles through the heart of the LA area, through 18 cities and many more neighborhoods. And right now an enormous effort and over a billion dollars are going towards revitalizing the LA River. This hugely ambitious project will clean up our waters and maximize our water supplies. It will bring parks and community spaces to LA's park-starved neighborhoods -- many of which sit right on the banks of the LA River. Play the LA River because it is a way to engage, to join these efforts at this important moment, and to have a voice in the LA River's future -- especially if you live near the river, though everyone in the LA area will be touched by this huge vision for dozens of new parks, wetlands, bikeways, and public spaces.


Play the LA River asks: How do you want to play? What do you want our mighty LA River and our megalopolis to become?



Project 51's co-founders are John Arroyo, Barron Bixler, Allison Carruth, Amanda Evans, Catherine Gudis, and Jenny Price, and Play the LA River's outreach, programming, and community-building efforts are also supported by team members Erika Barbosa, Lila Higgins, Kat Superfisky, Allison Wyper, and Natale Zappia.