Park simulation of 15 years, autumn period, rendered by PNAT@Associazione Arte Continua


The ART FOR REFORESTATION event will be held on 4 October, a project conceived by Mario  Cristiani and organized by the Associazione Arte Continua in collaboration with the Municipality of  Prato, Tuscany, Italy, commissioned to Professor Stefano Mancuso and PNAT. Art for Reforestation is a philanthropic project born with the aim of transforming the Tobbiana  Allende Area of Prato, Italy, home to a group of public housing, into an innovative neighbourhood that integrates urban reforestation, energy saving and the installation of works of art in dialogue with homes and green lungs, leading to the creation of public housing conceived as energy saving homes. 

The funds raised through the project will allow the creation of a wooded area of approximately  150 trees of different species, chosen by Professor Stefano Mancuso, an important scientist and botanist known internationally, capable of fixing 3000 kg of CO2 per year and reducing dust subtle coming from the heavy traffic in the area, while at the same time offering the inhabitants of the neighbourhood a green space to relax in contact with nature. 

With PNAT (Project Nature), a think tank made up of researchers and architects including  Mancuso himself, they aim to develop tools and methods to collect information on the state of health of our cities through plants. In this way, each tree works as a node in a network capable of providing public administrations with solid and reliable data that can guide public interventions,  direct environmental policies, and draw up assessments of the benefits of greenery. 

The benefits that urban green spaces can offer are multiple, from simple places of leisure and recreation for residents, they promote an active lifestyle and reduce stress. Furthermore, trees also help reduce noise pollution, thus improving the quality of life in cities, they help restore ecological balance with biodiversity, providing habitat for insects, birds and other forms of wildlife.  The improvement is 360°. 

The project also aims to create an alliance between artists, friends of art and nature, citizens of the neighbourhoods and figures of the Public Administration, beyond any difference in gender,  orientation, ethnicity and religion, taking a first step towards the concrete birth of what the  Association conceives as the Cities of the Future. 

The launch of the initiative was made possible thanks to a fundraising campaign established in  2022 through the auction of graphics, serigraphs, lithographs and unique pieces generously donated by seventeen international artists: Per Barclay, Massimo Bartolini, Loris Cecchini, Alberto  Garutti, Carsten Höller, LABINAC (Maria Thereza Alves and Jimmie Durham), Cildo Meireles,  Giovanni Ozzola, Tobias Rehberger, Kiki Smith, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Nari Ward and Antony  Gormley. On the same occasion, the prints and wine boxes created for Arte Continua millions of euros guaranteeing access to drinking water to some communities in difficulty in various parts of the world. 

A fundraising dinner is also organized for October 4th, in the presence of Nicolas Ballario, and Mario  Cucinella who will liven up the evening in the presence of artists such as Loris Cecchini, Giovanni  Ozzola and scientist Stefano Mancuso. Artists and prominent personalities from the world of culture at a national and international level. The dinner will be held at 8.00 pm at the Myo restaurant of Angiolo Barni and Elena Paci at the Pecci Center in Prato, Tuscany, Italy, the proceeds of which will be entirely donated to the financing of the project. For the occasion, the works of some artists will be presented, such as Leandro Erlich, Mimmo Paladino, Sislej Xhafa,  Massimo Bartolini, Carsten Höller, Clido Meireles and Nari Ward. 

This philanthropic project is much more than a simple charitable gesture. It is a commitment to improving the living conditions of those less fortunate, asking us to support the cause to build a  more equal world. It is an act of social responsibility that Arte Continua has pursued since its statute, a commitment to sharing beauty – says Mario Cristiani, a promise that reflects the work to share the improvement of the living conditions of those in difficulty and to enjoy art in places and common spaces open to the public. 

Economic and social inequality is an increasingly pressing challenge in modern society.  Philanthropy can serve as a bulwark against this destructive trend. People don’t have to be a  billionaire to make a difference, even small acts of generosity and service can have a significant impact. Volunteering, moderate donations and attention to those less fortunate can help build a  stronger and more supportive community.

In order for change to occur with maximum impact, cultural regeneration is necessary, which can no longer be considered an option, but rather a moral obligation. In this case, artists, collectors and philanthropists will intervene to create an important turning point starting from this Tuscan city. The project will probably be able to act as a model for other parts of the world that ask to be renewed, as has already happened for some areas in which Arte Continua has operated.

Marika Marchese

I have been living and working in Milan since 2016 where I teach and write about contemporary art. I follow my passion for art always, not only for my career, but also for my hobbies, in fact, I define myself an art lover. I also love to travel and read. I have been writing for Made In Mind since 2017, I have been manage the Streams column since 2020.

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