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September 11, 2013

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AF Austin’s July grantee: A Dance to Remember

July 30, 2013

The Austin Chapter of the Awesome Foundation is thrilled to announce our July grantee: CASACA, the Capital Area Social & Activity Coordinators Association, and their project, A Dance to Remember. CASACA, the Capital Area Social & Activity Coordinators Association, supports life enrichment activities for over 60 long-term care facilities in Austin. “‘Play’ may not be most people’s first thought about nursing homes,” says Maggie Gallant, CASACA’s vice president, “but our residents refuse to be limited by their age or their physical impairments.” Gallant says the annual dances put on by CASACA give adult residents in long term care a chance to socialize, reminisce and show off on the dance floor. And, adds Gallant, “They tell these residents that they have not been forgotten about — that they are still part of our community and are still respected.” To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of dances, CASACA is planning “A Dance to Remember” in October 2013. Held at a venue that’s worth dressing up for, there will be dance cards, attentive volunteer dance partners, a live band, and — by popular request, the first-ever dance-off. Gallant expects at least 100 residents to attend, and the $1000 grant from the Austin Awesome Foundation… read more →

Congrats to our April grantee, Performing Possibilities, on an amazing performance!

July 16, 2013

We here at the Austin Awesome Foundation weren’t the only ones to take note of the sheer awesomeness Conspire Theater’s Performing Possibilities project, which aims to empower formerly incarcerated women through the dramatic arts. Performing Possibilities also garnered a glowing profile in the Austin Chronicle. As co-artistic director Kat Craft explained in her grant application: “Conspire will bring a group formerly incarcerated women together with local artists for an intensive three-day weekend in July 2013. Using techniques we’ve perfected creating theatre in jail, we’ll interview the participants and use the resulting stories to create an impactful performance together. High production values are guaranteed by the musicians and theatre artists from the Austin community committed to the process. On Sunday evening, we’ll take the stage together before an audience of family, friends, Conspire supporters, and the Austin community.” When the day finally arrived, the house was packed, and the AF trustees lucky enough to get tickets were amazed at how such a powerful, moving, and enlightening event came together in such a short period of time. The next step, according to Conspire Theater‘s co-artistic directors Michelle Dahlenburg and Kat Craft, is to take an expanded version of the program on the road. We… read more →

AF Austin’s June grantee: Control Moment Gyroscope for Robotics

June 30, 2013

The Austin Awesome Foundation’s June $1000 grant goes to a talented team of Austin high school students, Joshua Stricker and Marek Travnikar. Both Josh and Marek are members of their school’s robotics team, which is how they got the idea for their project: a Control Moment Gyroscope (CMG). We’ll let Josh and Marek explain what that means:   A CMG uses the angular momentum of a high speed flywheel to effect the movement of the object that the gyroscope is mounted to. The most common application of CMGs is in satellites, such as the international space station, where they are used for navigation and maneuvering. Our design is obviously on a much smaller scale. our goal is to be able to perform wheelies, somersaults, rolls and other maneuvers on a 120-pound robot solely using the CMG.   The way we would accomplish this is relatively simple. A 30-pound flywheel is spun up to and kept spinning at 6000rpm by two powerful Cim motors. This assembly is mounted on two gimbals which can each be rotated 360 degrees, applying a torque to the flywheel. This rotation is accomplished with two more Cims, one per gimbal, each with a three stage planetary gearbox… read more →

AF Austin’s May grantee: Queerbomb

May 22, 2013

The Austin Awesome Foundation is proud to be a part of the fourth-annual QueerBomb, the winner of our latest $1000 grant.   The QueerBomb Manifesto explains the inspiration behind the event and the movement it represents: QueerBomb is a family of LGBTQIA individuals gathering to support our unique and collective pride. Our purpose is to provide a space to celebrate each and every member of our community and encourage all to embrace the manifold ways we contribute to building a beautiful and diverse society. We reclaim the radical, carnal and transgressive lineage of our ever-changing community in our ongoing fight for equal justice and the right to express ourselves in whatever way we see fit. Each June, the month of Stonewall, we stand together to embrace our sexuality, bodies, personalities, art, music, literature and politics, while recapturing pride from corporate sponsorship. We strive for a pride that refuses to put rules on what you can and can’t be proud of, that says every expression, from the spirit to the flesh, is worthy. QueerBomb does not apologize. QueerBomb does not make excuses. QueerBomb is free for all. QueerBomb stands proud, and so should you. Writes organizer Beth Schindler, “We have definitely… read more →