From July 2015 - August 2016 I was a trustee at the New York chapter of Awesome Foundation, a global community acting on behalf of awesome, $1,000 at a time. Below are projects I helped fund. Each fully autonomous chapter supports projects through out-of-pocket micro-grants, usually given out monthly, and in total AF's given away over $2m. These are no-strings-attached funds given to people and groups working on awesome projects. You should click here and apply for a grant.
Murals for a Queens Supportive Housing Facility
AwesomeNYC is pleased to support artist Laini Nemett's mural project in a new supportive housing facility for Transitional Services New York (TSINY) in Jamaica, Queens. While our grant will fund the creation of the paintings on the first floor, the entire building has been created with art in mind, with 18 "art niches" designed into the structure's 7 floors.
AwesomeNYC is pleased to support the 2016 edition of ID Shop, artist Sue Jeong Ka's project that operates as a liaison between art and public institutions to help homeless and immigrant youths apply for federally issued ID cards.
Queer Kid Stuff
Queer Kid Stuff is a new educational web series creating LGBTQ+ videos for kids. Queer representation and content for children is scarce and Queer Kid Stuff aims to eliminate stigma by educating future generations through free and entertaining videos. The project allows young people to have access to a queer resource that is specifically made for them.
When was the last time you looked at the craters on the moon, the rings around Saturn, or the four moons around Jupiter? #popscope — which stands for “pop-up telescope” — brings free astronomy nights to the public. When the skies are clear, we “pop-up” in different neighborhoods to promote community-building through science.
Cello Without Walls
In his project Cello Without Walls, Jacob Cohen conducts music workshops and live concerts for teens and young adults in jail on Rikers Island. Jacob has been volunteering on Rikers for the past year, inviting young people to recite poetry, freestyle rap, dance, sing and make art together. Besides reducing stress in a notoriously violent jail, Jacob’s program has helped young people leaving the justice system find programs in education and mentoring after their release.
Amateur Science Meets Superconductor Research
Superconductors are materials that allow for the continuous transmission of electric and magnetic fields without loss of energy. They have numerous applications to industry, transportation, power generation, and medicine. This Awesome Foundation grant has been awarded to continue research on superconductor production methods which will could allow for the production of irregularly shaped superconductors. These irregular shapes could be utilized in power transmission, magnetic levitation trains, medical devices, and in plasma reactors.
The Harlem Free School
The Harlem Free School is a series of place-based micro-sessions designed to encourage freedom of the mental, emotional and social dispositions of Harlem residents. In the spirit of the historical Freedom Schools of the 1960’s, this two-day intensive presents itself, in the form of workshops, gatherings and collaborative creative sessions, to diverse range of Harlem residents at no cost.
SLIME - Students of Long Island Maker Expo
SLIME (Students of Long Island Maker Expo) is an interactive Day of Making for students, parents and educators from across Long Island, taking place on May 7, 2016. Students, parents, educators, and other community members come together from various school districts to participate in hands-on activities promoting imagination and creativity.
Gender Amplified is a movement that aims to celebrate Women in music production, raise their visibility and develop a pipeline for girls and young women to get involved behind the scenes as music producers.
Swale is a sculptural floating island containing a public food forest that will dock at various piers around New York City’s harbor in 2016. AwesomeNYC's grant will underwrite a series of educational/community workshops taking place at locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.
Visioning the adaptive reuse of the Montauk Cutoff
Across the Newtown Creek from Greenpoint in Long Island City, Smiling Hogshead Ranch has shown what can happen when a group of people can organize and work together with each other and with the city agencies to form a thriving community space.
Mobile Print Power + Combat Paper + Interference Archive
Mobile Print Power is a multigenerational collective bringing mobile printing carts into communities, collecting ideas, and turning them into collaboratively generated designs. Along with Interference Archive, Combat Paper will invite veterans to pulp their uniforms into paper as a medium for expressing their experiences.
The Free Portrait Project — Crown Heights
"The Free Portrait Project paints a portrait of a place through it’s people by giving oil-painted portraits to residents of Crown Heights for an entire year, creating a physical record of who we are now amid shifting demographics..."
ACCESS N. BK: Flushing Avenue J/M Station
ACCESS N. BK plans to take a creative and light-hearted approach to raising public awareness of the issue of closed, bottleneck-causing / dirty subway station entrances. They will be orchestrating events combining street art, theater and tech with old-school community organizing tactics to the people in the affected communities and beyond.
Alliance for Girls in STEM
"We are a publisher of picture books that show girls as the main characters in stories with science, technology, engineering, and math themes. Our target audience is girls from 4-9 years old, with an emphasis on girls from underrepresented minority groups."