Awesome NYC’s January 2013 grant: Uplift Yourself, Uplift the World

January 19, 2013

This January, the New York City chapter has decided to fund a project that combines mental health awareness with telekinesis! Zachary Valenti’s “Uplift Yourself, Uplift the World” project will stage touring mindfulness carnivals on college campuses, where students will be able to learn about mental health resources and practice mindfulness.  The centerpiece of these carnivals, which Awesome NYC is helping to fund, will be a large tower containing floating globes which rise or fall depending on the signal from an EEG headset worn by a student volunteer.  So if you wear the headset and uplift yourself, you can quite literally uplift (a scale model of) the world!  This awesome application of 21st-century technology will help draw traffic to the mindfulness carnivals, spreading awareness about mental health. Read more on our January project page!

Awesome NYC December Grant: A 101-year-old Electric Car!

December 18, 2012

One hundred years before the Tesla Roadster or the Nissan Leaf, a company called Baker Electric was making cars entirely powered by electricity. Today, a group of awesome folks in Rhinebeck, NY are bringing a Baker Electric car back to life. This month, the NYC chapter of the Awesome Foundation is proud to announce that our $1000 microgrant will allow a group at the the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome museum to restore a 1911 Baker Electric Automobile to working order. This vehicle is quite a unique piece of early automotive technology, illustrating the little-known history of electric car experimentation before the internal combustion engine dominated the rest of the century. Currently, the Aerodrome’s Baker has been moved out of storage and into the workshop for cleaning and evaluation. Check out the group’s Baker Electric blog for photos and updates on this awesome car’s restoration (and for a video of Jay Leno with his own 1909 Baker Electric)! In the summer, audiences at the Aerodrome can check out air shows and a “Parade of Vintage Vehicles” which will include the Baker Electric Car once it’s been restored. If you are interested in joining the Awesome NYC Trustees to visit the aerodrome this… read more →

Awesome November in NYC: Hurricane Sandy Relief

December 18, 2012

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, communities in the most devastated parts of New York City began the process of rebuilding almost immediately, mostly through the work of volunteers and self-motivated individuals stepping up personally with very little infrastructure or centralized support. In the Rockaways, one of the areas hit hardest, a group of local artists and builders are collaborating on an alternative relief and resilience project called This is Not a Trash Pile. They have teamed up with Culinary Kids, a local organization working with youth to promote nutrition and self-sufficiency through local agriculture and aquaculture projects. Together, they have erected a tent built from salvaged material on NYC Parks Department property under the stewardship of Culinary Kids. With programming from The Whale Project, The Fixers Collective and Time’s Up, among many others, this tent will be a hub for the community and will host combination of youth educational programs, resilient community programs, and mutual aid and distribution programs. We’ve even heard that the tent is going to house a library!       AwesomeNYC is proud to name This is Not a Trash Pile our November grant recipient. The funds will go toward materials and heating units for the tent,… read more →

Trespass Theater with Project Wanderlust

October 14, 2012

How would you describe a project that is part immersive theater, part designer kidnapping, and totally top secret? Awesome. That’s how. Wanderlust rendezvous: Oct. 6th, 7 pm sharp. Our agent will find you on the north end of the High Line, 30th St. & 10th Ave. Sturdy shoes/warm clothes/flashlight. That brief and cryptic text message was all we received before everything went down. My partner-in-crime and I gather with 5 other couples on the top of the High Line on a brisk early October evening. At 7, our agent arrives dressed in dapper 70s vintage gear and holding an orange Igloo beverage jug. He introduces himself as Fox and asks us if we are there for the couples retreat. We say yes. A couple of confused tourists say “no” and scamper off. Fox leads us down the stairs of the High Line to street level, where we board a big hippie RV named Harvey Love Muscle. Destination? Unknown. “We can’t tell you, but it’s about 2 hours from the City.” Ok. Sure. Just go with the flow. That’s part of the fun of it all. After a brief stop for gas, there’s nothing left to do but sit back, relax,… read more →


June 5, 2012

The Awesome Foundation New York is proud to present our latest grant to Kylin O’Brien and her awesome project, the LEGOmandala. Congratulations! Kylin O’Brien is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Her LEGOmandalas combine the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of creating and ritualistically dismantling ornate sand mandalas with the contemporary medium of LEGO. A meticulous work of art, once complete it is taken apart by a group of adults and children invited to transform it into their own creation. The deconstruction of the piece represents the acceptance of material impermanence. The reconstruction of the LEGO represents the importance of imaginative co-creation and joy in transformative work. LEGOmandala brings people together, raises awareness and gives voice to Tibetan culture in a Western context – making its deep philosophical concepts accessible, contemporary and relevant. View a time-lapse video of a LEGOmandala event on Vimeo.