FOUNDER AND CURATOR
Alessandra Mattanza, author, fine art photographer, and multimedia artist, started writing stories when she was ten years old. As a child, she was passionate about nature and animals, rescuing stranded cats and dogs from the streets and spending time with a friend’s horses, as they were also her pets. Alessandra was an only child and very introverted, so during that time, she considered animals as friends that she could connect to and communicate with.
When she was sixteen and a student at the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, Italy, Alessandra began working as a journalist and writer for some of the most popular magazines and newspapers. She has traveled the world ever since and called many places home while developing her photography skills.
Alessandra has worked as a journalist and photographer for some of the most renowned magazines such as FORBES, VANITY FAIR, COSMOPOLITAN, ELLE, GQ, HOW TO SPEND IT, CONDE NAST TRAVELLER, and as a writer for publishers such as WHITE STAR PUBLISHERS/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, GIUNTI, RIZZOLI, SPERLING & KUPFER, HACHETTE, MONDADORI, PRESTEL, and RANDOM HOUSE.
Focusing on art, culture, biographies, interviews, and specific social and environmental issues, Alessandra is involved in the creation, production, and development of artistic and creative campaigns, videos, documentary films, and books. A passionate animal lover, she has written many articles about the environment and the protection of nature and animals.
Alessandra is also active in the protection of Indigenous Rights, as she has relatives in Perth, Australia, and has spent time in different areas of the bush and Aboriginal land such as Arnhem Land and the Kimberley. She spent time with Native Americans, especially with the Hopi, and French Polynesians, learning about their incredible cultures and beliefs. While living for a few months in Kenya, Africa, Alessandra got involved in the protection of wildlife, especially elephants. While living in Miami, Florida, Alessandra got involved in the protection of dolphins. On nature, the environment, and Indigenous Rights topics, she wrote: SOS Planet Earth – Voices for a Better World; Australia, and The New Frontier; Australia and the Aboriginal people.
Alessandra has won many prizes at the National Journalism Awards in Los Angeles for her work as a journalist and author: www.alessandramattanza.com
Augusto Ferretti, Art CURATOR AND ARCHITECT
Born in Rome, Augusto’s formative teenage years were spent studying in Tokyo, Japan, before returning to Italy to graduate from Rome’s prestigious La Sapienza University where he received his Italian Architectural Master’s degree and practicing license. Influenced by the rich architectural history of both countries, Augusto developed early on a passion for structural design and architectural ideology.
Upon graduating, he moved to New York in 2001 where he felt he could experiment with a wide range of styles and forms, and began working as a freelance designer for exhibitions, art installations, and trade shows. Projects included utilizing lighting design in New York Art galleries and exhibits.
In the following years, he expanded this work to include several large-scale exhibition projects throughout the United States. As a multi-talented and diverse designer, Augusto oversaw and coordinated art exhibitions such as the Italian artist Gaetano Pesce’s large-scale Pesce for Lunch exhibit at the ICFF; the inauguration of the Italian Emigration Museum in New Jersey; the Moleskine New Notebook Design Launching Party; Inner Earth Exhibition at The MACC Art Museum; and most famously, he curated, designed, and built the photographic exhibition of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Images in tandem with the director’s retrospective at MoMA.
During this time, Augusto expanded his architectural portfolio by working as a freelance designer for New York architectural firms on residential and commercial projects, utilizing his specific interest in contemporary design and minimalist features. Partnering with local architects, he contributed to the planning and building of a wide range of projects that included residential complexes, private mansions, restaurants, galleries, landscaping, as well as landmark and industrial renovations.
As his body of work grew, he began branching out as an individual designer, allowing him to focus on a more artistically inspired career. He began personally designing commercial and residential spaces that included both interior design and exterior renovation work. In 2010, he formed crAft-nyc, an architectural design studio involved with interior renovations of residential and commercial spaces and exhibition design.
Today, Augusto is working on the design of several townhouse and luxury apartment renovations in New York, as well as lobby designs, and is planning more exhibition work in museums, galleries, and in the urban environment as well as in nature.
Taylor A. Purdee,
MUSICIAN, ACTOR, FILMMAKER, PRODUCER
Taylor A. Purdee is the first bi-racial director and star of African American descent to have a narrative film theatrically released in America in the 21st century. That release also made Purdee the youngest director with a film in major American theatre chains in 2020 and 2021. Both the original screenplay and music for his debut film, Killian & the Comeback Kids, have been preserved by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Taylor is the son of actor Nathan Purdee and producer and documentarian Roberta Morris Purdee. After working on their films as a teenager he received a BA in theatre from Fordham University.
As a producer he has overseen the protection and re-release of screen legend Lee Grant’s documentary work, curating the “world’s first virtual repertory series,” 20th Century Woman: The Documentary Films of Lee Grant. As an actor, he has appeared on hit TV shows like Gotham and Marvel’s Iron Fist, and the surprise Finnish hit Nerd: DragonSlayer666.
His folk-rock duo, The Cumberland Kids, provided both the original score and original songs for Killian & the Comeback Kids.
Taylor has been working with Alessandra Mattanza for Studio Universal TV and Universal Networks International (NBC Universal) in the production and cinematography of mini-documentaries about Kirk Douglas, Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson. He is now creating videos and music for A BETTER PLANET, A BETTER WORLD.