There It Is—Take It!

There It Is—Take It! is a self-guided car audio tour through Owens Valley, California along U.S. Route 395 examining the controversial social, political, and environmental history of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system. The tour illuminates various impacts this divisive water conveyance infrastructure has created within the Owens Valley over the last one hundred years of the aqueduct’s existence. Stories of the aqueduct are told from multiple perspectives and viewpoints through the voices of historians, biologists, activists, native speakers, environmentalists, litigators, LADWP employees, and residents from both Los Angeles and the Owens Valley.

Designed as a 90-minute program, There It Is—Take It! seeks to shed light on the mutual past, present, and possible future of Los Angeles and Owens Valley—centered around its complicated and intertwined water history. The project will illuminate the historic physical source of drinking water for the Los Angeles municipality while simultaneously revealing the complex relationship these two seemingly polar regions of California share through an innovative aural program incorporating interviews, field recordings, music, and archival audio that educates the listener while experiencing scenic Owens Valley landscape firsthand along U.S. Route 395. Optionally, the program may be experienced online. A tour map featuring points of interest along the route is available for download.

There It Is—Take It! was launched on Sunday, October 14th, 2012 at a public listening party and panel discussion hosted by the Friends of the Eastern California Museum in Independence, California. There It Is—Take It! was featured in BOOM: A Journal Of California’s Fall 2013 issue and was included in After the Aqueduct (curated by Kim Stringfellow) at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) in Hollywood, CA in 2015.

This project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, an independent non-profit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information visit Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Cal Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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