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 →

Play it Forward: The Acoustic Guitar Project – AwesomeNYC’s October Grant

October 16, 2012

Dave Adams is not a musician. But he’s a devoted believer in music’s power to inspire creativity, community and emotion. So one day, Dave bought a used guitar, gave it away to someone who could use it to make music — and started The Acoustic Guitar project. Dave’s conditions: 1. The musician has one week to record an original song using only a used acoustic guitar and a handheld recorder provided by The Acoustic Guitar Project. No editing or post-production is allowed. 2. When the musician is finished, they sign the guitar, take a picture of themselves with it, and choose the next musician to participate. The guitar travels to a new musician every week, becoming a viral memento. Today, the first traveling acoustic guitar is with its eighteenth owner in New York City. Every week a newborn song appears at as a free download, along with lyrics, photos, and candid interviews with the songwriter.  A second guitar has been making the rounds in Helsinki, starting with the Finland winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, one of Europe’s most popular TV shows. Singer-songwriters of all stripes have crafted heartfelt ballads and bluesy riffs. No two songs are the same… 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 →