Allison Carruth, associate professor of English and affiliate of the Institute of Environment & Sustainability, has been awarded a $185,000 grant from ArtPlace America, together with historian Catherine Gudis of UC Riverside and Jenny Price, a writer, artist and independent scholar.

The grant will support "Play the LA River," the launch project of a collective of artists, designers, community organizers, scholars, and urban planners called Project 51. "Play the LA River" will invite communities across Los Angeles to sites along the LA River through a year-long, multi-pronged public art initiative. Through playful activities, interactions, festivals and performances, the project will bring the 51-mile concrete river to life as a vital civic corridor and public space in Los Angeles and surrounding cities. The engagement is designed to reconnect residents with their waterfront while asking them to help imagine what future development along the river might be.

The project has also received support from the UC Humanities Research Institute, the California Studies Consortium, the UCLA Department of English and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

Carruth conducts research on American literature and visual culture, with a focus on how writers, artists and grassroots activists imagine the interconnections between food and technology. Her current research also explores the role of the arts broadly defined within urban environmental movements in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Seattle and Honolulu. The author of "Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food" (Cambridge University Press, 2013), she is currently working on a book-length project titled "Radical Gardens, Digital Times: From Server Farms to Seed Libraries in Contemporary American Culture."

For more details about the ArtPlace America grant and the 2014 recipients, see the announcement. Learn more about "Play the LA River" here.