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Prototyping Festival – A festival of Ideas to experience, explore, and engage

by Catherine Shappell | November 2, 2017

Put on your walking shoes and enjoy the FREE Main Street Prototyping Festival, November 17 & 18 in the heart of downtown Mesa. What is a Prototyping Festival you may ask? An event to showcase 20 temporary and unique conceptions focusing on art and technology, science and engineering. Each concept is developed to serve a specific purpose. Some examples include creating gathering places, virtual reality experiences, structures that offer space for interaction and performances, or places to play and share in art making. The festival allows the community to experience and identify structures that can contribute toward the livability of their communities. Prototypes showcase how a neighborhood can be transformed into a lively, beautiful, and sustainable place with the arts at their core.

Situated on Main Street in downtown Mesa, this family-friendly festival allows attendees to walk at their own pace between prototypes. Exploration and hands on interaction is encouraged. Residents and visitors of the festival are urged to provide feedback and vote for their favorite prototype. Chosen selections will work with the City of Mesa and its partners to foster ideas into reality for future installation within the downtown corridor. Where else can community members choose from ideas that can develop into social and environmental opportunities?     

Prototyping Festivals are the newest trend in urban communities with successful events held in Denver, San Francisco and most recently, San Jose. Events like these allow pedestrians to engage in conversation, discover art in the most unusual forms and simply have fun. 

Prototype teams consist of folks of various backgrounds including artists, architects, designers, students, makers, urban planners and others. For project descriptions and a map of prototype locations click here. In addition, artists Erin V. Sotak and Sophia McGovern will work with community partners, Grant Woods Boys & Girls Club and Mesa’s CARE Partnership, to engage residents in using art and art-making to explore and express their neighborhood and community goals.

Afterwards, attendees can enjoy a multitude of other FREE events! Friday night includes Juice Farm Hip Hop Art Show at Queen’s Pizzeria and a family-friendly Figment Friday in downtown Mesa for art workshops, crafts and a ton of fun. Saturday’s enjoyment can be found at the Mesa Arts Center campus including an arts brunch; Creative Catalysts Mimosas & Palomas. In the evening discover spark! After Dark and BidUp! Silent Auction, two events hosted at Mesa Arts Center for creative and original art work from Valley artists. And be sure to leave time in your afternoon for the Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts.

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