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Play the LA River: 51 Miles and 51 Weeks of Play

Play the LA River is the launch project of Project 51, a collective of artists, designers, urban planners, writers, and educators (including DUSP MCP ’10 and current PhD student, John Arroyo, who is one of six co-founders). Play the LA River invites communities across Los Angeles to sites along the 51-mile LA River through a 51-week, multi-pronged public art initiative. The project is comprised three components: (1) a 56-site guide to the entire LA River designed as a playable card deck—a game of urban exploration that showcases four suits (Valley, Glendale Narrows, Downtown, and South) each with 13 unique river sites (parks, future park sites, greenways, overlooks, bridges, bike paths, horse trails, gardens, murals, wetlands, wildlife, playing fields, amphitheaters, kayak zones, fishing spots, and more), plus an off-river wild card designed by a local artist, (2) a mobile-friendly website that features an interactive version of the card deck, a social media wall, a community-generated events calendar, and a multimedia exhibition space, and (3) a year of impromptu happenings and other events including playful activities, interactions, festivals, and performances that will bring the concrete river to life as a vital resource in Los Angeles and surrounding cities. Play the LA River contributes to ongoing efforts to revitalize the LA River & to allow Angelenos to reimagine and reclaim it as a civic space. The project has received generous support from ArtPlace America, KCET, Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority, UCLA, UC Riverside, and the UC Humanities Research Institute.

Learn more about Play the LA River here.