Small Projects, Big Impact Some creative projects require years of planning, large staffs, and extensive fundraising campaigns. Others don’t – but that doesn’t mean that smaller projects are easy to accomplish or that they are any less important. On March 2, 2013, John Carnwath and Derek Sherman of The Chicago Awesome Foundation sat down with Janet Attarian (Chicago Department of Transportation), Katherine Darnstadt (Latent Design / Architecture for Humanity Chicago), and Lindsay Obermeyer (The Red Thread Project®) at the Creative Chicago Expo to discuss Small Projects and Big Impacts. An audio recording of the discussion is now available online. The panelists discuss small-scale projects of various sorts – “small” being defined variously in terms of physical dimension, budget size, duration, or institutional establishment – asking why people do them, how they get funded, what challenges to expect, and what their impact is.
In July of 2013, a group of art graduates called WHALE is returning to the northernmost parts of Manitoba to continue their adventures with Canada’s beluga whales. Their project: Becoming Beluga, to create a suit of wearable artwork that resembles a beluga and allows the wearer to don the whale’s appearance. Can a human be accepted into the pod? Can we break the barriers of communication? WHALE will construct the suit using underwater cameras, a speaker on the top of the head, and hydrophones for ears, among other things. The experience can be recorded for later. AF Winnipeg is excited to award WHALE $1000 for their April grant, and look forward to hearing all about their adventures come summer.
On Thursday, 18 April, Awesome Foundation – Kingston hosted its monthly pitch party at the RCHA Club on Ontario St! We heard three great pitches from the community and had a guest presenter and guest musician to round out the night. Read about how it all unfolded – and who won!
We thought we’d try something new in Chicago this month, so instead of picking our winner in the smokey backroom of an undisclosed location like we usually do, we invited six finalists to pitch their project proposals to a live audience and let the crowd decide on the winner. All six of the projects were certainly worthy of a thousand-dollar grant, but after hearing all the pitches and engaging in 20 minutes of intense deliberation the dedicated crowd at the Next Door Café rose to the challenge of selecting a single winner for the night. Elizabeth Ortiz & Gilberto Sandoval, two teenagers from Yollocalli Arts Reach, delivered an enthusiastic pitch for their “Clean Graffiti” project that won the audience over. The idea is simple, creative, and compelling: they’re going to make stencils, rent a pressure washer, and blast positive messages into the grime of the city’s sidewalks. In doing so they’re flipping the idea of graffiti on its head, replacing the defacement of public property with an act of civil service (cleaning the sidewalks) and turning the negativity of gang tags into encouraging messages. Congratulations to Elizabeth and Gilberto, and a big nod of recognition to Yollocalli for engaging and fostering such promising kids.
and the South Bay Awesome Foundation is rewarding The Bella Foundation for their deep inner beauty. The $1000 grant goes to “Childrens Portraits for Struggling Mothers.” A picture is worth a thousand words and provides a lasting memory that is forever. Working with a local womens shelter, Ms. Ward, the project leader on this one, used her photography skills to provide a beautiful family photo to women and their children who otherwise might not be able to afford one. At a time when money is tight, the women were happy to bond with their children around the photo. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? Besides writing a mandatory by-law that says that chocolate must be eaten at every meeting, the four girls: Avery Ward, Annaliese Snowhook, Rebecca Schomer, and Alicia Schomer are serious about making the world a better place. The girls are on their way to non-profit status and using our Awesome grant, have been propelled to a higher realm. They are already making plans for future projects which include other photo days with Richmond Family Center, working the a local stable to provide lessons for autistic children, and providing improv classes to local youth. The Bella Foundation proves that a… read more →