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2018 Grants Challenge

CicLAvia: "When LA Listens" captures and tells the stories of the people and places that is LA.

Idea by CicLAvia

LA is a place we love - our people, our neighborhoods, and our experiences connect us. CicLAvia: "When LA Listens" captures and tells the stories of the people and places that is LA.


Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

CicLAvia’s “When LA Listens” activation captures and shares the collective stories of LA and its people. An online home will be created to amplify the stories with a video-library to store and view content. With thousands of people attending CicLAvia each year, this activation reaches a diverse audience. The “When LA Listens” activation features ‘story-telling’ listening stations at each CicLAvia in 2019-2020, as well as roaming video-interview staff along the route to capture stories.

Which of the CONNECT metrics will your activation impact?​

Attendance at public/open streets gatherings

Number of public transit riders

Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?​

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

Northeast LA, Glendale, Culver City, Inglewood

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?​

Advocate for policy

Create new tools or technologies for greater civic/political engagement

Influence individual behavior

Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to CONNECT?​

Attending CicLAvia open streets events remind us that we are connected in more ways than we can possibly count. The tens of thousands of people gathered along miles of streets connecting our communities come from all parts of the city and region, and represent the diversity of our population. They voluntarily travel, sometimes as far away as San Diego or Ventura counties, to explore, rediscover, and interact with both the neighborhoods and each other. While CicLAvia has become a tradition in LA with 24 events since 2010, CicLAvia continues to resonate as a place to connect, where about one-third of the attendees are first-time participants who are drawn to the experience of connection, and where more than 60% of the participants arrive in groups of 3 or more — which represent a high family-oriented experience.

The activation, called “When LA Listens” will serve as the vehicle to document and curate, for the first-time, the real-time stories, perspectives, and experiences of attendees at CicLAvia open streets events. The stories will be captured through:

1. Key locations along the route will be transformed into video listening stations where people will have an opportunity to share experiences.

2. Roaming video interviewers along the route who will directly capture people’s experiences.

CicLAvia will develop and promote a dedicated and curated website to serve as the online space to showcase the stories. A video library will be established to insure that all stories will have a permanent home.

The 2019-2020 CicLAvia season will see no less than 8 CicLAvia open streets events throughout the city and region. We anticipate creating new routes and experiences in South LA, Central LA Downtown LA East LA, Northeast LA, San Fernando Valley, Westside, San Gabriel Valley, Glendale, and Culver City.

Since the first CicLAvia in 2010, LA has transformed in many ways. Former LA Times writer Christopher Hawthorne stated that: “CicLAvia hasn't only allowed Angelenos to see the city and its architecture with fresh eyes. It has allowed us to see ourselves with fresh eyes.”

When more than 100,000 people continue to come to a single CicLAvia event after 24 events, it tells us that Angelenos have a strong desire to belong to a larger community. CicLAvia helps create a space and place for the larger community to come together. There are no windshields to block out the ambient noise of the car’s engine. Instead, it is replaced by the ambient noise of conversations and story-telling along the route. CicLAvia’s activation - ”When LA Listens” will capture those stories, amplify them, and ensure that they will not be lost.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to CONNECT​

CicLAvia’s activation - “When LA Listens” - captures people’s experiences of the built and social environment of LA. It will broaden people’s understanding of what makes the diversity of LA the most important asset of our city and region. The ‘story-telling’ nature of the activation opens people to communicating their perspectives and reasons for coming together as a community. The inherent nature of CicLAvia introduces people to dozens of communities and neighborhoods each year. Often times, it would be the first time people have visited the communities in which CicLAvia occurs and would not have visited if it were not for CicLAvia. Prior CicLAvias have traveled in South LA, Watts, Florence-Firestone, EastLA, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Downtown LA, MacArthur Park, Westlake, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Arts District, Boyle Heights, Venice, Pacoima, Panorama City, Arelta, Van Nuys, Studio City, North Hollywood, Atwater Village, South Gate, Lynwood, Huntington Park, Culver City, Glendale, San Gabriel Valley (San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont).

The 2019-2020 season of CicLAvia will continue to occur in some of the previous areas and will add new communities/neighborhoods, including Hollywood, West Hollywood, West San Fernando Valley, Northeast LA, Inglewood, and new routes in South LA.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

Success of the activation will be measured by collection more than 50 individual stories per CicLAvia event (a minimum 4 events per year), and over 200 individual stories per year. Additionally, success will be measured by the successful development and launch of the online website dedicated to the activation, “When LA Listens” that tells and shows the collective stories captured at CicLAvia events.

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

In 5 years time, CicLAvia’s “When LA Listens” activation will part of the monthly schedule of CicLAvia events throughout LA and the region. The activation will become a new tradition for LA where people will have a space and place to tell the stories to shape the narrative of LA’s ever-changing built and social environment. The activation, and the website that houses the stories will function as source of inspiration and connection to the LA community despite the vast geography LA.