Access Granted: The Awesome Foundation
January 26, 2016
The missing link in turning a brilliant idea into a successful project is support. Very few times do we hear about the silent believers, the encouraging collaborators that see a vision’s vast potential before ever having a tangible product to hold. Many established companies, and powerful leaders seem to sprout from the ground on their own accord, pulled by the gravitational force of their own ambitions. But now’s the time to uncover the truth behind many local wins, a collection of some of the city’s most generous and creative minds: the giants whose shoulders are being taken for a ride at Miami’s Awesome Foundation chapter.
More than just a grant-offering platform, Awesome Foundation understands just how intimidating presenting your idea to a room of established professionals can be. They make the grant application process easy and break down the heavy pressure that comes with knowing your dreams are being judged for a possible investment. Minimal word counts and an open application field makes the possibility of winning a grant not just welcoming, but an exciting part of your entire project. The Awesome Foundation has chapters all over the world, with a self-elected board of trustees consisting of 10 members who each donate $100 a month to equal the monthly $1,000 grant prize. That’s the thing. There’s one winner every month and possible grantees can apply an unlimited amount of times, even ask for advice to strengthen their idea from month to month.
In our city, many of your favorite cultural partners have seen that much-needed boost from Awesome Foundation in early stages of their respective projects. There are certain steps that just can’t happen without investment, whether emotional or monetary, and that’s where they step in. Miami’s Awesome Foundation chapter has provided a priceless platform to catalyze projects like yoga & meditation for prisoners, and a mobile library bringing books to children, to live music and photography at our metro stations, and conflict resolution workshops for kids. Like their grant submissions, the trustee’s at Miami’s Awesome Foundation chapter have a kaleidoscope of interests and focuses, ensuring that each month a different social and cultural pillar is covered through their newest grant winner.
Many of these projects go on to evolve into full-blown initiatives and charitable foundations, and the success stories are endless. Here are just a few projects the Awesome Foundation has helped out, you may recognize a few familiar faces in there: Dejha Carrington’s NEWT Miami, the Miami Marine Stadium Mural Project, EXILE Books’ “Listen to this Building”, Colony1’s Design Charrette, the Wynwood Maker Camp, Borscht Film Festival, Sweatstock, Buskerfest, the Wynwood Brewing Co. mural project, the Little Haiti Community Garden, and several projects by none other than The New Tropic.
Many of us creatives have to live with a constant rotation of dreams and ideas flowing through our heads, taking up space and interrupting our daily realities. Many of those golden nuggets go undiscovered in an entire lifetime. No one suspecting a thing. It takes a lot of guts, nerve, chutzpah to turn the invisible into the visible and at the end of the day, The Awesome Foundation applauds all those who are willing to take that step. It may be the first one, but with their help, it most definitely won’t be the last.
Keep an eye on more Awesome spotlights coming to you throughout the year, but for now, find out more about their current grantees and initiatives here.