Mike Blockstein

Mike Blockstein is a visual artist and educator with a long track record of expanding the boundaries of the arts. He is Co-Founder and Principal of Public Matters, a Los Angeles-based creative studio for civic engagement that uses socially engaged art to leverage greater inclusion, public participation and transformative change. Founded as a social enterprise in 2007, Public Matters develops and implements proactive education and engagement strategies that transform the culture, practice, and experience of civic participation in communities of color. These strategies aim to address the trust gap between institutions and agencies and historically marginalized neighborhoods and communities. He developed and co-leads Public Matters’ leadership development initiative, Urban Futures Lab.

Mike’s 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. His work draws its roots and inspiration from his time with Southern Exposure where he formerly served as Executive Director. Mike is also a rare visual artist with a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School.