Artist Matthew Mazzotta works at the intersection of art, activism and urbanism. His ‘The Main Idea’ organization addresses the phenomenon of abandoned and failing main streets across the United States and beyond; focusing on the imaginative and convening power of artists to reimagine our built environment.
The Main idea was developed by Matthew Mazzotta as a model for working with communities suffering from disinvestment and transforming them into distinct sites for intimate, radical, and meaningful exchanges.
The Main Idea mobilizes communities, local government, artists, designers and architects to reshape failing downtown cores into creative and sustainable spaces for new business and social life. Through direct community engagement, these spaces, from single buildings to entire neighborhoods, are designed, built, and programmed to restore the most important aspect of civic life: the human connection.
Similar to the intentions of the founders and dreamers who originally built these downtowns years ago, The Main Idea aims to totally re-conceptualize these iconic spaces, transforming the currently vacant buildings into thriving sites of public engagement and community health. Each project is tailored to its local context and aims to affect real social, economic and political change.
Culturunners follows Matthew Mazzotta to Lyons, Nebraska where he has been invited to work with local communities on a site-specific artwork. The result was a 100-seat theater, which flips down from an unassuming abandoned freestanding storefront in the small town.
Matthew Mazzotta works at the intersection of art, activism, and urbanism, focusing on the power of the built environment to shape our relationships and experiences. His community-specific public projects integrate new forms of civic participation and social engagement into the built environment and reveal how the spaces we travel through and spend our time living within have the potential to become distinct sites for intimate, radical, and meaningful exchanges.View profile