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Need a Grand for Your Big Idea? Meet The Awesome Foundation

The Awesome Foundation wants to give you $1,000 for your public art project or madcap science experiment.

Got a great idea to improve your little corner of the city? Would a thousand bucks help you make that happen? A Boston-based operation called The Awesome Foundation launched in 2009 with a simple mission: to put a grand in the hands of people with great ideas every month. Public art, mobile applications, madcap science experiments—all ideas welcome. It's spread to an additional ten cities since.

So how do they define awesome?


Awesome projects are not strictly defined, but tend to challenge and expand our understanding of our individual and communal potentials. They bring communities together, casting aside social inhibitions and boundaries for a moment. They spark an instant of joy and delight and inspire a long-term hope for a more awesome future.

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The Baltimore Globe recently caught up with Amy Webb, dean of the Baltimore Awesome chapter. It's a pretty scrappy initiative as she describes it.

Rather than trying to reward people for huge projects that could take a long time to implement or ultimately not work out, the idea is to give people a chance to come up with something creative that somehow makes the city more awesome. The way we think about it is if the MacArthur Foundation had micro-grants to award for geniuses.

This is not one of those things where we'll go out and approach foundations. I've had all these groups come forward and say they want a seat on the board. This is about 10 trustees and one dean who sit on the board. It's about handing someone an envelope of cash with no strings attached.

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You can submit your awesome idea here and get more information about starting an Awesome chapter in your town here.

Oh, and if you're in L.A., you can attend the Awesome launch party Thursday night.

photo (cc) flickr user headlouse

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