No one said having ideas was easy; in fact, Walter Bagehot went a little further, “One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.” But ideas are also the great exception to my bootcamp instructor’s favorite anthem: If it were easy, everyone would do it. To our great benefit, all of us are small-scale idea-generating machines in our own right. Unfortunately, many potentially ideas are put down through self-critique or dismissed as not relevant, many are left unwritten over the course of our multitasking days, and many interesting observations are forgotten by the time we get out of the shower. This draining of awesome observations represents a colossal loss in our community, but Awesome Foundation MIAMI is here to help. We believe your ideas deserve an ear to listen and a partner to provide feedback. We believe bigger is great, but smaller is not too shabby either. We believe awesomeness can be promoted in our city only if all parts of our diverse community feel engaged and find avenues to participate. With this in mind, we launched in January 2013 to award self-funded, no-strings attached micro-grants to ideas in Miami. Now, a year and a half… read more →
Join us on Thursday, July 10 and dine with a purpose at AWESOME SOUP, an event produced in collaboration between MIAMI SOUP and Awesome Foundation MIAMI. SOUP is grassroots model for funding small to medium-sized projects designed to enhance the quality of community life. MIAMI SOUP is a convivium of neighbors enjoying a simple supper of soup, salad, bread, and beverage that generates a profit to be invested back in the community. The SOUP model combines the best of the eating philosophies of Slow Food with the fund-raising approach of Kickstarter. Along with the purchase of the meal, each attendee receives a vote to cast in favor of a proposal for neighbor improvement. The income from the meal becomes part of a grant awarded that very night at the discretion of the dinner guests. MIAMI SOUP is more than food for thought because it enables ideas to be transformed into reality and empowers positive change in a single neighborhood. The July 10 event will take place at Grand Central and will food prepared by Chef Alan Hughes of The Embassy. Tickets may be procured here.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced a $20,000 grant to support and expand the grant-giving capacity of the Awesome Foundation Miami chapter. For more details, please see the press release or visit the grant page. Since awarding our first grant in January (a meditation program for high school students), we have received hundreds of proposals. Applicants have spanned every geographic area of Greater Miami. They’ve come from a diverse group of applicants: from students to artists, business professionals to residents of homeless shelters. As a consequence, we’ve been fortunate to fund a range of awesome and uniquely Miami ideas such as surfing classes for kids, a community garden in Little Haiti and a mural display by local artists in Wynwood. We’ve also learned that $1,000 a month, while it provides enough to kick-start many projects, doesn’t go very far when you have so many applicants. Multiple times, instead of awarding a grant, we’ve brainstormed how to connect an applicant with someone who is working on complementary projects or an organization that might fund the idea. We hope to foster more of these connections that might not happen otherwise. Thanks to Knight’s support, we will continue to fund great ideas and build connections across our city through social… read more →
Awesome Foundation MIAMI is thrilled to announce a collaboration with WhereBy.Us, a local Miami collaborative formed to create and do small, achievable civic projects together that make Miami a better place to live! The two organizations came together to host an pannel discussion and working session to address the issue of “How to create a more vibrant Downtown Miami?” Multiple working groups pitched their ideas to the gathered audience and three finalists were selected, all intent on creating innovative avenues for more engagement and activity in Miami’s Downtown. The three finalists will now have a month to construct more specific plans for their ideas and present them in more detail to the Awesome Foundation MIAMI. In turn, we will give an additional monthly grant to our favorite idea. To see photos of this fantastic collaboration, see our Facebook album!