Mike Blockstein

Public Matters
Los Angeles, California

Mike Blockstein is a visual artist and educator with a long track record of expanding the boundaries of the arts. He is Principal of Public Matters, a Los Angeles social enterprise and creative studio for civic engagement that uses socially engaged art to leverage greater inclusion, public participation and transformative change. His work addresses art’s role in civic life, working with diverse groups and institutions of varying scale to reflect on, understand and shape their physical, social and political geographies.

Mike developed and co-leads Public Matters’ leadership development initiative, Urban Futures Lab, a two-year paid fellowship for young adults of color ages 18-26. The Lab is part on-the-job training, part professional development, part network-building and 100% community-focused. Fellows are trained to be multidisciplinary, creative community problem solvers and catalysts for change.

Underscoring his cross-sector work, Mike is a rare visual artist with a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School. He spends his days bringing together professionals from public health, urban planning, and transportation to work with high school students, Fellows and artists on placed-based projects that transform the culture, practice and experience of civic participation in communities of color.