18 2 / 2013
Visit us @ Creative Chicago Expo, March 1 & 2
Since we had such a good time at the Creative Chicago Expo last year, spreading the word about the Awesome Foundation and talking to to folks about their Awesome new project ideas, we’re going back for more! In addition to having vendor booth where people can stop by to talk to our trustees anytime between 10 and 4pm on both days, we’re hosting a panel discussion on Saturday, March 2, at noon about “Small Project, Big Impacts” with some really great panelists (See details below). And as if that wasn’t enough, we’re also going to be announcing the date for our next Awesome Hour – featuring live project pitches this time!– at the Expo.
The Expo is being held on March 1 & 2 at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E Randolph).
Panel Discussion with The Awesome Foundation
Saturday March 2, noon to 1pm in the GAR Annex of the Chicago Cultural Center
Small Projects, Big Impacts
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. This panel discussion addresses 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.
Janet Attarian (Chicago Department of Transportation)
Janet L. Attarian, AIA, LEED AP is the Project Director for the Chicago Department of Transportation Streetscape and Sustainable Design Program and works to turn Chicago’s streetscapes, riverwalks, bike facilities and pocket parks into great urban places. She has overseen the design and management of over 100 streetscape and urban design projects. Ms. Attarian’s ability to meld the concepts of complete streets and ecological design led to the development of the City’s Sustainable Streets Program and Green Alley Program, and her commitment to community involvement and placemaking lead to the development of the Make Way For People Program.
Katherine Darnstadt (Latent Design/ Architecture for Humanity Chicago)
Katherine Darnstadt is the founder and principal of Latent Design, a collaborative of individuals whose projects focus on social, economic and environmental impact beyond the building. Latent Design brings community-based participatory design to resource limited environments through a holistic, creative approach to design. Since founding her practice in 2010, Katherine and her firm have been recognized as an emerging leader in the architecture profession and have been published, exhibited and featured widely, most notably at the International Venice Biennale, Core 77 Design Awards, Chicago Ideas Week and on NPR. Katherine also co-directs the Chicago Chapter of Architecture for Humanity.
Lindsey Obermeyer (The Red Thread Project®)
Lindsay Obermeyer is an artist, designer, author and educator with a passion for the textile arts. Since 1988, she has been exhibiting her work in galleries and museums around the world. Her art is in the permanent collections of Sweden’s National Public Art Council, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and the Racine Art Museum and among others. It has been featured in numerous books, magazines, radio and television programs including a pilot for PBS.
Derek Sherman (The Awesome Foundation)
Derek Sherman is a co-founder of the Chicago Awesome Foundation, a charity dedicated to awarding grants of $1000 to anyone with an idea to make Chicago a little more awesome. These ideas can be serious, quirky, art or science, or none of the above. Derek is SVP/Group Creative Director at Cramer-Krasselt Advertising. His work has been named among the best of the last 25 years by Archive Magazine. His first novel will be published by Penguin in 2013.
The discussion will be moderated by John Carnwath (The Awesome Foundation/Northwestern University).
03 9 / 2012
Join us for Awesome Hour
Celebrating a full year of Awesomeness in Chicago!
Join us on Sept. 25, 6-8pm, at the newly opened City Winery (1200 W Randolph) for drinks and good times with awesome people.
Over the course of its first year, the Chicago Chapter of the Awesome Foundation has given out twelve $1000-grants to awesome projects, and we think that’s a reason to celebrate!
This will be a great opportunity to meet the trustees of the Chicago Chapter, mingle with past grant winners, and learn more about the Awesome Foundation. So whether you’re thinking of applying for a grant, you want to become a trustee, or you just want to meet people who are doing awesome things in the city you love, we hope you’ll stop by our first ever “Awesome Hour.”
There will be a cash bar and performances/demonstrations/exhibits by our past and current grant winners.
Admission is free, but space is limited, so reserve a ticket here in advance.
29 5 / 2012
There’s just something about puppets, that’s … well … awesome. Put that together with people of all ages dancing on public access television and you’ve got yourself something that’s worthy of a grant from the Awesome Foundation. At least that’s what we think.
While we generally don’t fund ongoing projects, Ratso, the sock-puppet host of Chic-a-Go-Go, is in need of some new equipment to take his show to the next level, and we just couldn’t resist. If you live in Chicago, tune in to CAN TV (cable channel 19) on Tuesdays at 8:30pm or Wednesdays at 3:30pm and you’ll see why.
30 4 / 2012
Awesome Chicago proud to support Learnapalooza
Our April grant goes to the good folks who are organizing this awesome day-long festival of community teaching and learning in Chicago neighborhoods.
Learnapalooza invites amateur and professional teachers, businesses, and local organizations to host free workshops on a topic of their choosing. Anyone who has something to share (and basically we all do) can offer a class during the day-long festival.
The classes take place in spaces all around a neighborhood, soaking the community in exciting learning. The organizers take care of all of the class logistics.
Learnapalooza started two years ago in Wicker Park, and this year it’s expanding to two new neighborhoods in Chicago. That first year 350 strangers showed at 17 places across Wicker Park to learn new things and it’s only been getting bigger.
For dates, registration, and info on how to get involved check out www.learnapaloozachi.com.
26 3 / 2012
Our March Grant: Patrick Skoff’s Free Art Hunt
Among the many strong proposals we received this month we decided on Patrick Skoff as the winner of our March grant. Over a one week period (probably sometime in May) Patrick will be hiding original artworks in public spaces around Chicago. He’ll then be sending out clues about their locations through facebook and twitter to guide budding art collectors in their search. The first person to find one of Patrick’s paintings gets it for keeps!
Keep an eye out for more details and good luck on your urban art safari.
14 3 / 2012
Spreading Awesomeness at the Creative Chicago Expo
The Creative Chicago Expo is coming up and we’re going to be there. Are you?
Stop by our table at the Expo to chat about your plans, projects, or Awesomeness in general. Want more information on how to get one of our $1000 grants? Have an awesome idea, but you’re not sure if it qualifies for Awesome Foundation funding? Want to know how to improve your current proposal to make sure it grabs our attention at the next monthly meeting? Awesome Foundation trustees will be our booth on both days of the Expo (3/23 and 3/24), 10am to 4pm, so take advantage of this opportunity to stop by, say hi, and talk about all things Awesome.
Creative Chicago Expo, March 23 & 24, 10am - 4pm, Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington). Admission is FREE.
14 3 / 2012
This past Monday, several trustees and I dropped by the Nasty, Brutish & Short Puppet Cabaret to hand over a wad of cold cash to February grantee Lacy Campell. We were blown away by the preview of her show, as well as the rest of the acts in what we can guarantee is the only puppet cabaret any of us have ever attended. Which begs the question, why isn’t Chicago swimming in puppet cabarets? The show was certainly awesome, full of puppets and things that puppets do.
Chicago, we, who have chosen to take your awesomeness in trust, and further it with our micro-granting, implore you – make more puppet cabarets. Post-haste. Sincerely, the trustees of the Chicago Awesome Foundation.
(Seriously, if you were an act in the show on Monday, and you’re reading this, we know you have awesome in you, please let us fund your next awesome project to the tune of $1,000, it worked out for Lacy, it could work for you!)
Keeping with tradition, Chris hands over money in the creepiest manner possible.
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25 2 / 2012
Announcing February’s grant winner: Lacy Campbell’s The Story Story
Wordless, but no longer silent. Our February grant will go towards the composition and recording of an original score for the wordless play The Story Story. Convinced that language divides people more than it connects them, theatre artist Lacy Campbell has devised a new theatre piece that uses puppets, projected images, and now original music to tell a tale of story telling. The premiere will be on April 16 at The Plagiarists Salon followed by performances throughout Chicago over the summer. Learn more about the project on Lacy’s blog.
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06 2 / 2012
The life of urban youths seen through a pinhole
AF Chicago is proud to introduce its newest grantee: Paco Barba.
Paco is a photographer who plans to use handmade images of urban life in a cultural exchange between youths in the the US and Brazil. Collaborating with local youth centers, Paco will offer workshops that teach kids in underprivileged neighborhoods, how to make pinhole cameras out of recycled materials (cans, matchboxes, soap boxes, etc.), how to shoot images, and how to develop the film themselves. The kids and young adults will then be invited to share aspects of their everyday lives with their counterparts on the other side of the equator in handcrafted photographs, postcards from strangers in a far-away place. The images will then be shown in exhibits both here and in Brazil.
In Chicago, Paco will collaborate with Yollocalli Arts Reach in Pilsen, and the Awesome Foundation is delighted to support the project with a $1000 grant that will cover the necessary materials.