The Chicago Awesome Foundation is celebrating 7 years of forwarding awesome in the Windy City. Celebrate with us! The party will be an opportunity to meet and mingle with previous grant winners and our chapter’s trustees. We’ll have a brief presentation featuring projects funded by the Chicago Awesome Foundation. 7pm Wednesday June 6 2018 @ The Ace Hotel, 311 N Morgan St, West Loop https://attending.io/events/7th-anniversary-party
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.
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.