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Last year through the Main Street Prototyping Festival, we asked the question: How does a community design itself? Now, in Part II of our Mesa Prototyping Project, we explore this question again.


We seek to build community relationships by connecting neighbors and neighborhoods to each other and to cultural resources, and by offering creative ways for ideas and community opportunities to be explored, expressed, and celebrated.


This is a two-phase project focusing on a group of neighborhoods surrounding Mesa Artspace Lofts that are within walking distance of each other but isolated by a busy main road and multiple large industrial sites. We seek to expand civic engagement while testing community-informed design solutions to enhance vibrancy on the south side of downtown Mesa.


Learn more about the initial project, the 2017 Main Street Prototyping Festival, in the final evaluation report.


Phase I

Community Residencies – Two artist teams will engage the community in art-making during a series of workshops at two partner sites, one a combined residency at Mesa Urban Garden and Mesa Artspace Lofts, and the other at CARE Partnership. In addition, the artist teams will facilitate multiple neighborhood walks where residents will identify areas that need improvement--where creative intervention might be used to enhance aesthetics, safety, walkability, or gathering spaces, or to address other needs/opportunities identified by the residents.


The residencies will culminate in an April 2019 community event that will celebrate the ideas and artwork generated by participants. During this celebration, an RFP will be issued that invites proposals for prototype ideas for the sites identified as needing intervention.


Extended Testing of Second-Generation MSPF Prototypes – Three prototype teams from the 2017 festival will be selected by a community panel to create second-generation prototypes for a two-month public installation beginning mid-February to mid-April 2019.

Phase II

Prototypes – Responses to the RFP issued in April 2019 asking for proposals for the sites identified by the community will be due in late June 2019. Selected projects will be notified by August 2019. Designers will be invited to a series of community events where they will present their projects, receive feedback, and share opportunities for public participation in the development of his/her prototype. Prototypes will be installed for public interaction for two days in March 2020.