596 Acres – Awesome NYC’s April Grant

April 27, 2012

After a hiatus, Awesome NYC is springing back with our April grant to 596 Acres. Here they are in their own words: 596 Acres distributes information about publicly owned vacant land in Brooklyn by publishing print maps, creating and hosting an interactive map, holding land use visioning sessions, and providing advocacy and support for community-based groups all over Brooklyn as they negotiate with city agencies for permission to use currently vacant and fenced-off lots for community-determined projects. Since we tested our tactics in a pilot project in June 2011, three vacant and warehoused lots in Brooklyn have become official sites of community projects: 462 Halsey Street, Feedback Farms, and the Java Street Garden Collaborative; Myrtle Village Green and Patchen Community Square are nearly official, too. Twenty-seven other communities are organizing for control of different pieces of Brooklyn using our tools. The April 2012 Awesome Foundation grant will be used to fund a dramatic extension to our current project by adding the publicly owned vacant lots in the other four boroughs to our site. This will give the communities in the rest of the city an idea of which vacant lots are owned by the city. It’s extra Awesome that this part of… read more →

Meet The Awesome Foundation’s 38th Chapter – Awesome Foundation TV!

April 26, 2012

  Little-known fact: five times a day, Awesome Foundation members from around the world face Boston (where it all began) and in a creepy, droning tone recite our mission statement in unison: Furthering the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time. But sometimes an idea is so hilariously great that a little extra somethin somethin is in order. Enter AWESOME FOUNDATION – THE SHOW, where we give six times the $$$ and a kick in the pants to make your awesome idea happen ASAP. The pilot will be shot this spring and we’ll be awarding 3 mega-awesome grants to the awesomest of the awesome ideas. So, if you’re submitting an idea to your local chapter and you’re feeling ballsy, throw your hat in the ring for the show as well (apply here) – we may invite you to come pitch us in person in beautiful downtown Burbank! We’ve got three big unmarked bags full of cash just waiting to be blown on your awesome idea.

Awesome Squared. Second Grant for Melbourne.

April 24, 2012

Last night Awesome Squared headed to Kanapai, a wonderfully dirty Japanese den in South Yarra. We were out for two reasons: 1. Have a sake bomb: Asahi, chop sticks and Sake. We’re not sure how much of the contents made it to our mouths, as opposed to the table, floor or Erika’s jeans. 2. It was our second grant giveaway. After mountains of sushi, not enough fried chicken, and much debate, we came to a decision as to who we would swing 1K across to. httpmote. Mitch Denny is a dad, a husband, and also a dabbler in many visual & tech things. According to his application he thinks of 100 new ideas a week. This one in particular took our fancy: Mitch hates remote controls. Funnily enough, so do we. Mitch wants to build a system where he can use his iPhone to buzz open his garage door. He also wants to share that buzzer with his friends and family, and even when he gets Jim’s Mowing to mow his lawn. This would work by ‘sharing’ the remote via a text or URL, with a time limit so that when ‘Jim’ comes to mow his lawn, he can buzz… read more →

San Francisco Announces Two Spring Fellows!

April 23, 2012

We’ve been quiet here at Awesome Foundation San Francisco for a little bit, but excited to say that we’re back this month with a duo of amazing projects that we’re thrilled to be a part of. One is a dance party, another is a game festival. Presenting… 1) The Balloon Powered Dance Party George, Will, and Issac are these three guys that we met recently who in their free time have been launching various items into the stratosphere using hundreds of helium balloons (see, e.g. a Christmas tree). They’ve teamed up with the good people over at the Million Fishes Art Collective in the Mission to do an installation that will fill their massive 22,000 cubic feet gallery floor to ceiling with balloons. We’re funding them to do as much. This alone would be probably awesome enough to warrant an Awesome Foundation grant, but the added twist is that they’ve been playing around with little radio receiver/speaker/LED units that will fit inside a few hundred of these balloons, allowing them to broadcast some bumpin’ tunes and shine a weirdo ethereal light through the morass of inflated elastic that people will be allowed to wander through. The results, we expect, will… read more →

Awesome Summit 2012: It’s Coming!

April 23, 2012

The Institute on Higher Awesome Studies is incredibly proud to present the first-ever Awesome Summit, July 21-23, 2012 in Cambridge, MA! On the 3rd anniversary of the first meeting of the Awesome Foundation, we are having a two-part summit to celebrate, discuss, and hack on our founding principles: peer-to-peer giving, democratizing grants, and making our communities more awesome. Awesome Summit: Assemble (July 21st-22nd) will be a meetup and workathon for Awesome Foundation affiliates ONLY. Representatives from each of our chapters will gather to meet each other, share advice and experiences, and work on shared resources to help spread our model even further. If you’re a member of an Awesome Foundation chapter and would like an invite, please email us. Awesome Summit: Connect (July 23rd) is open to the public and will extend the discussion to the wider community of people who are experimenting in the philanthropy/community development space. Join representatives from tons of organizations like Kickstarter, DonorsChoose.org, and New Urban Mechanics in discussing issues like decentralized organizations and open brands, encouraging engaged donors, and the legal and political infrastructure we need. We want this to serve as a launching point for collaborations between these various organizations, and as a place to discuss the broader questions facing all the new organizations that… read more →