Take Me to Your River: A Cultural Atlas of the LA River, is a three-year collective history and cultural mapping project initiated by the Los Angeles-based arts organization Clockshop. Take Me to Your River aims to celebrate the diverse experiences of those who call Northeast LA home. In specific, neighborhoods that surround the Glendale Narrows section of the Los Angeles River, including Elysian Valley, Atwater Village, Cypress Park, and Glassell Park.

The project is a celebration of the communities that make up Northeast LA, and a dynamic reflection on how this area is rapidly and drastically changing. As gentrification displaces local residents, it also erases the complex histories of these neighborhoods.

Through Take Me to Your River, we hope to preserve these stories, and share them with the public. 

Take Me to Your River exists on both digital and analog platforms. The interactive website features a multi-faceted and nonlinear timeline, which will house texts, photographs, short videos, and archival research. Over the next three years, Clockshop will also host a series of in-person public programs, artists will also be involved as facilitators, organizers, and community historians. 

Please note: The stories on this site belong to the individuals who shared them, and should not be taken or reproduced without permission. As we embark in the process of creating this cultural atlas we are dedicated to listening and to be in dialogue with the communities we serve, and work collaboratively to establish deeper ties with residents to tailor relevant, accessible arts and cultural programming.

This work is ongoing; keep your eye out for an opportunity to submit a story of your own!


These core values, developed in consultation with community partners and local residents, guide this project: 

  1. Take time and care with people’s stories. 
  2. Ensure that participants find value in contributing.
  3. Center working-class communities of color. 
  4. Prioritize local knowledge bearers and artists.
  5. Encourage those working in these neighborhoods—agencies, nonprofits, activists, business owners—to hear these stories, and act on them. 


Clockshop works with artists to deepen the connection between communities and public land so as to build a shared future based in belonging and care. As a LA-based arts nonprofit, we produce free public programming and commission contemporary artist projects at Los Angeles State Historic Park in Chinatown and Rio de Los Angeles State Park in Glassell Park in collaboration with California State Parks.

Who We Are

Sue Bell Yank
Sue Bell Yank is the Executive Director of Clockshop. Her heart is in the river communities of Northeast LA. She believes in the power of people coming together to make big changes. This starts with telling our stories, and seeing ourselves in community with each other.

Julia Meltzer
Julia Meltzer is the Senior Advisor and Founding Director of Clockshop. She believes in the power of art to build and transform communities and has worked to create opportunities for the marriage of art and advocacy for nearly three decades as a filmmaker and the founding director of Clockshop.

Darío Herrera 
Darío Herrera is the Community Programs Manager of Clockshop. Born and raised in Elysian Valley, he’s witnessed firsthand the rapid gentrification and development of the neighborhood he calls home. He has a special interest in, and commitment to, the power of community history.

For inquiries about this project please
contact: dario[at]clockshop.org or info[at]clockshop.org

Rhombie Sandoval
Rhombie Sandoval is the Communications and Social Media Manager of Clockshop. She is a portrait photographer who oversees the visual storytelling of Take Me to Your River. She works with each person photographed to make sure they’re proud of their inclusion.

Madeline Aubry
Madeline Aubry is the Archives and Community Engagement Associate at Clockshop. She worked alongside staff to plan community events and programs related to Take Me To Your River. As an outsider coming to work in Elysian Valley, she is invested in learning about and preserving the history of the neighborhood and surrounding communities in which she works.


Still Photography

Primary Photographer: Mathew Scott

Brittany Bravo 

Carlos Jaramillo 

Damon Casarez

Noé Montes


Website Development 

Steve Goerger


Website Design

Tina Miyakawa


ArcGIS Mapping

Maegan Leslie Torres

GreenInfo Network



Jian Giannini


Timeline Contributors and Editors 

Gary Stein 

Jean Patterson Davis



All video shorts are directed by Julia Meltzer and are a co-production with Other Country Films.



Mustafa Rony Zeno

Helki Frantzen


Edited by
Catherine Hollander


Sound Design
Estevan Carlos Benson


Dave Vamos


The Mellon Foundation
The California Arts Council
Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Nature Conservancy

Take Me to Your River, and related programs, is supported through generous funding from the Mellon Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant, the California Arts Council, The Nature Conservancy, the Elysian Valley Riverside Neighborhood Council, and Clockshop’s generous community of individual donors.  


We express our gratitude to the community members who have agreed to participate, and to all who have advised us along the way. Thank you.