LA’s Mark MacInnis is Awesome.

November 17, 2011

Mark MacInnis is a filmmaker. Big whoop. Mark MacInnis directed a great documentary about urban farmers in Detroit. OK, now I’m intrigued… Mark MacInnis is starting a project to build farms at urban high schools around the country, starting with LA. OK, that’s AWESOME. And that’s why he’s the winner of the latest 1K Awesome Grant from Awesome Foundation – LA! Mark’s Urban Roots/Field of Dreams project has committed to getting urban farms going at five LA high schools, starting with this big plot of nothin’ at Garfield HS in East LA: It’s a big job, and we hope that 1K from us will be a good start. But just in case it’s not enough (spoiler alert: it’s not enough), we’re helping to throw him this fundraiser on December 3rd. Buy a ticket at Eventbrite and be there, or be square. PS – We’re not the first Awesome Chapter to get amped up by urban farms (see Awesome Foundation NYC). This is one instance where we are happy to be copycats. Excelsior!

Awesome Boston goes Supersized!

November 14, 2011

Awesome Foundation Boston recently had a call for trustees. So many talented, qualified people applied that we decided to undergo a crazy experiment: what if we just took them all and double in size? We don’t know what our long-term plan will be; there’s been talk of eventually splitting into two chapters, but we’re playing it by ear. For now, we’d like to welcome these lovely folks into the ever-bigger Awesome Foundation family. Collectively, the weight of their awesomeness is pretty staggering! Want to meet them IRL? Come by MassChallenge for our next event on Wednesday, November 16th! Mark Birchem has been a Boston area entrepreneur for the past 25 years, branching out into the world of high and low tech startups as both advisor and owner. Mark makes time to be SuperDad, local art hound, relentless foodie, and Board Member of the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation. His wife Patricia thinks that all his toy robots would look much better on display in his office. mitcho (@themitcho) is a PhD student in Linguistics at MIT, researching formal models of syntax and semantics, with a focus on Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. He lives a parallel life in code and has been active in the… read more →

Boston Mega Fellowship Event – 11/12/11

November 8, 2011

Lots has been going on behind the scenes in Awesometonia, and we’re ready to let the proverbial cats out of the imaginary bag. Boston has a lot of awesome. So much so that the response to our recent trustee search was insane – in a good way. We’re now a legion of 23 with a few area university and high school chapters in the works. So, what does this mean for @awesomebos? Dunno. It could end up in any number of iterations: one big pile of awesome, topical chapters, or Sharks vs. Jets split. (If it’s the latter, look out for fab dance numbers and moving original ballads.) Here’s what we do know: we’re giving out 2X as much $ and that’s something to CELEBRATE! Meet the new members & hear four recent fellows talk about their projects. Join us at MassChallenge on Wednesday, November 16th – 7PM Here’s the line-up: ‘Tobin School Mural’ Internationally renowned Boston artist, Caleb Neelon took what was once a bleak, blank wall and turned it into a colorful beacon of creativity for elementary school students in Mission Hill. ‘Cronicas de Heroes’ During periods of civil unrest and social disorder, the focus on chaos in media coverage is often… read more →

Awesome NYC Fall Grant: Bushwick City Farms

November 7, 2011

Announcing Awesome NYC’s October grant: Bushwick City Farms: Bushwick City Farms is a network of open spaces run by neighborhood volunteers that provides free food, clothing and educational programs for the community. BCF farms create a unique opportunity to experience active models of responsible food production in the city. In addition to producing free organic vegetables and eggs at the farm’s main locations, we host school field trips and youth service groups, hold free beginner’s English classes for speakers of other languages, and coordinate with local businesses to distribute bread and fresh produce donations. Every Sunday free food and clothing is distributed at the farms main location at 897 Broadway. We collaborate with property-owners for the free availability of their vacant, often neglected lots and turn these spaces into beautiful productive community farms that are safe for the community to enjoy. With the help of local community residents BCF cleans out the lots, constructs raised vegetable beds, chicken coops and ranges, community compost systems and greenhouses, all from recycled (dumpstered) materials. BCF transforms vacant lots into community green spaces which beautify the block, attract passersby, and serve as an educational, environmental and humanitarian resource for the entire neighborhood. BCF also… read more →

AF Sydney June recipient is all about shredin’ sustainably

November 7, 2011

Back in June we funded a project that we’d love to share with you (yes, the Awesome Foundation Sydney folks are busy…better late than never, right?!). It’s all about shredin’ sustainably, and by shredin’ we’re talking high performance surfing. Our recipient Chris Anderson is a keen surfer from a scenic coastal town called Minnamurra, known for its ‘devilish’ reef breaks, “I have a passion for design and high performance surfing as it is pretty dam awesome – big airs, gnarly waves, fast spins, shredding turns and of course, insane wipeouts. High performance surfboards need to cope with many bashings whilst also needing to be very lightweight. The result is that they often snap straight in half when under high pressure. As surfers churn through multiple boards a year they are also churning through many nasty resources. Just one board uses around 2L of petroleum, which is combined with other toxic chemicals to create EPS (expanded polystyrene) a horrible pollutant that takes decades to rot in land fill – stuff that is ultimately ruining the environment we love to play in.” His solution to this problem is to prototype a new kind of surfboard, one that uses sustainable materials but doesn’t trade off… read more →