What is Public Matters?
Public Matters is an interdisciplinary California-based social enterprise comprised of artists, media professionals and educators. We design and implement integrated new media, education and civic engagement projects that yield long-term community benefits.
We offer consulting services in program design + implementation, curriculum development, cultural + visual production, new media, community-building and leadership development.
Our work is distinctive for its creativity, depth, breadth and ability to create cross-sector partnerships between community organizations, academic institutions, neighborhood residents, youth and local municipalities. It spans a broad range of constituents and concerns:
* community building
* economic development
* neighborhood identity
* youth leadership
* public health
Public Matters works with community members to create media about their neighborhoods.
The goal is to connect them to the places they live and work, and in so doing, develop in them a sense of ownership over these places and a belief that they can directly shape their neighborhoods’ future. The media content reflects and benefits the community that has helped create it, advancing a specific community-defined agenda or initiative (for example, healthy food access
in South + East LA and increased public awareness of immigrant contributions
in Historic Filipinotown).
These Neighborhood Narratives are innovative, place-based projects that build creative, civic and social capital in communities.
They link story and community engagement with direct actions, teaching residents and stakeholders how to be creative, critical, media-savvy problem solvers with a deep understanding of their neighborhoods. Driven by community interests, participation and needs, Neighborhood Narratives illuminate the history, character, conditions and questions of “meaning” in neighborhoods, while strategically advancing policy and advocacy efforts, educational programs, organizational capacity and community development. Through Neighborhood Narratives, participants deepen their sense of place, purpose, and involvement in their communities, and work in partnership to achieve shared goals.
top: Creative Licenses issued to youth participants
bottom: Public Matters receives a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles presented by Ryan Carpio, Field Deputy, City Council President Eric Garcetti (CD-13) (2nd from left) and Aquilina Soriano-Versoza, Executive Director, Pilipino Workers’ Center (far left), pictured with Public Matters’ Reanne Estrada (2nd from right) and Mike Blockstein (far right).