Providence Chapter February Awesome Foundation Winner to Build Materials Petting Zoo

March 17, 2010

The Providence Chapter of the Awesome Foundation for Arts and Sciences has selected Matt Grigsby to receive its February award. Grigsby will use the Awesome Foundation Grant to create a “Materials PettingZoo” showcasing textile, industrial, consumer products and residential construction materials that offer ecologically sensible solutions to more traditional products. Moving beyond descriptions and pictures of such materials, the materials zoo will encourage participants to touch, feel and directly interact with a variety of materials, offering a novel and interactive way to help people of all ages get educated and exposed to spectacular sustainable materials. “The goal of the Materials PettingZoo is to have lots of fun while educating people about on the best sustainable material alternatives and technologies available,” says Grigsby.  “With this on-site and hands-on educational event, the PettingZoo serves as an approachable way for the community to gain real knowledge of what a sustainable material or technology truly can be.” Grigsby, an industrial designer and sustainability expert, has been collecting and investigating sustainable materials for years.  With this grant, Grigsby will expand his collection and improve the design of his mobile “zoo” so that it can be displayed in more locations and at events across the city…. read more →

Providence Chapter Brings Cash (and Chutzpah) to Downtown Drive

February 11, 2010

The Providence Chapter of the Awesome Foundation for Arts and Sciences has selected Steph Burbridge to receive its January award. Burbridge will use the Awesome Foundation Grant to create a mobile “trivia for cash” game in downtown Providence, an idea that borrows inspiration from a popular television show airing on the Discovery channel. Burbridge’s plan is a playful marriage of daft fun and viral marketing aimed at showcasing Providence’s curious past, present and future through a rapid-fire trivia game that contestants will play while being driven around the city. Contestants, who accept a ride in Burbrigde’s “cash cart,” will be subjected to a barrage of Providence-based trivia. Players will win cash for each question they answer correctly. Miss three questions, and contestants get kicked to the curb. Segments, expected to be filmed over a three-day period later this spring, will be taped, edited and turned into a short production that celebrates city resident’s knowledge about their kooky capital city. Burbridge—and funders at the Awesome Foundation—believe that game and the creation and broad release of the web video will be a great way to bring visibility to parts of the Providence experience not regularly featured in traditional tourism campaigns. “I’ve always… read more →

Providence Chapter Makes Music With Inaugural Award

January 4, 2010

The Providence Chapter of the Awesome Foundation for Arts and Sciences is psyched to announce that Otto D’Ambrosio of D’Ambrosio Guitars has received the chapter’s first award. D’Ambrosio will take his $1,000 and complete a functional, four-foot replica of the renowned hollow body guitars the Rhode Island-based craftsman builds for musicians across the U.S. This time, the rare wood and antique finish D’Ambrosio uses on his one-of-a-kind instruments will be replaced with durable fiberglass, kid-inspired colors and simple electronics to create a giant, playable guitar for music-hungry kids across Providence. D’Ambrosio will begin work to complete the guitar in January, with an eye towards debuting an initial installation of the mobile unit in early spring. D’Ambrosio’s proposal was selected from more than two dozen applicants, many of who have been encouraged to re-apply in the coming months (the Providence chapter of the Awesome Foundation makes one $1,000 award each month). “I’ve had the framework for the guitar kicking around my shop for more than a year–the mock up was initially used in a magazine shoot,” says D’Ambrosio. “The frame, an oversized replica of a guitar I built for a customer, was too bizarre to throw away after the shoot. I’ve… read more →

Welcome, Awesome Foundation Providence!

October 14, 2009

The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences has been talking for some time now about expanding and opening up chapters in different locales and specialized in different arenas. Many of you have gotten in touch, and we’ve been thrilled by all the people volunteering — but we’ve to date held off, getting the formula right, and figuring out how to start building outwards. Today, I’m thrilled to announce today that we take the first, critical step in changing that by announcing the official formation of Awesome Foundation Providence! Headed up by Owen Johnson and TJ Sondermann, they’ll be joining our Boston branch in forwarding the interest of Awesome in the universe. AF-Providence will be involved in administering its own $1,000 grant each month to projects, which means two grants coming out every month, and generally more excellent schemes going down. They’re also currently in the process of assembling their group of micro-trustees, so, if you’re interested taking a serious oath of office and funding projects, be sure to drop them a line at owen AT, and tsondermann AT Fantastically enough, they’ll also be participating in the November grant cycle! So, if you’re interested, be sure to drop your idea on our… read more →