Awesome SA Stays Golden with Music, Movies, and Math

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A busy Stay Golden Social House at the Pearl Brewery complex. Photo courtesy of Stay Golden Social House.

A busy Stay Golden Social House at the Pearl Brewery complex. Photo courtesy of Stay Golden Social House.

Stay Golden Social House, formerly known as the Golden Gloves Social House, at the Pearl will host the June Awesome SA party this Thursday, 6 p.m. at 401 Pearl Parkway. The winner will be announced at 7 p.m.

UPDATE: Dan Suttin’s OCTA-TETRA Museum received the $1,000 Awesome SA grant Thursday evening. A retired middle and high school science and math teacher, Suttin will be using the money to transport the Mini-MEGA-TETRA, which will serve as an educational art installation in various locations around San Antonio. Visit the museum at it’s new location at 1100 Broadway to learn more about the STEAM – science, technology, engineering, ART, and math – education concept. (Read more about Suttin’s fascinating museum in his application at the bottom of this post.)

Awesome SA Trustees pose for a photo with Dan Suttin (center)of OCTA-TETRA Museum, winner of a $1,000 grant to continue is educational STEAM (Science, Technology, Art, and Math) projects. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Awesome SA Trustees pose for a photo with Dan Suttin (center)of OCTA-TETRA Museum, winner of a $1,000 grant to continue is educational STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) projects. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

On a monthly basis since October 2011, Awesome SA Trustees receive 8-15 applications from San Antonians with an awesome idea. From this pool, finalists are selected on simple criteria: will this make San Antonio more awesome? With active chapters in 16 countries, Awesome Foundation has provided grants to people willing to make their home cities awesome through the arts and sciences.

Finalist applications below are in the applicants own words. Minor edits for clarification and AP style have been made.

RightLight by Jack Schneider

A little about me:

Jack "Landstreet" Schneider

Jack “Landstreet” Schneider

Originally from Washington, D.C., I was summoned by the called of duty to our glorious city of San Antonio. I served a full-time volunteer year through the nonprofit City Year in a struggling Eastside school, and developed life-changing relationships with the community and students. I am a professional musician, a substitute teacher, and an agent of change. I went from street performance last year to producing my first full original album and starting a music company this year.

Here’s my idea:

San Antonio has been an incredible home for me these past two years. My music was born last year when I took to the streets of Southtown for First Friday. I was astounded by the amount of public support I received. Quickly, I adopted the mentality that every dollar thrown in my case was simply fuel to continue my efforts to give back. Through my work as a civil servant for City Year, I was given an insight unlike any other into the tragedy of our national dropout crisis. In the United States over 1 million students drop out every year. I work intensively with students that, by all rights, have been failed by our public education system. The school’s culture is tumultuous, and the community and home life staggering.

However, there is no place for pity – only positive action.

I began my company, LoveTap, under the notion that music IS communication. The mission is to raise awareness about education reform, highlight the powerful work already being done, and call others to action. So, my project— This will be the first of many LoveTap projects. I will be producing a three minute video that highlights Sam Houston High School, the Eastside Promise Neighborhood initiative, and San Antonio as a “City On The Rise.”

The video will include an interview, live performances, footage of student work, and glimpses into the new Sam Houston garden. The video will be directed by a junior at Sam Houston using our “New Tech” studio, and ten other students will be involved as singers and actors. Three local college musicians will be included to encompass a spectrum of the educational world.

Providing students with involvement in “real world projects” is crucial to the developmental experience. I take great pride in this Eastside community, and it is frustrating to witness the reputation it carries. Many people are quick to judge the area and the school without any true foundation. My goal is to bring the positives to light, while emphasizing the community need for a higher level of investment.

How I will use the money:

$650 will go to my director, a Sam Houston student. He wants to start his own production company, and intends to use the money for top quality editing software.

$120 (total) will go to college musicians for transportation and talent.

$100 (total) will be used to pay each of the high school student participants.

$60 will be used for my own transportation over a week of filming.

The remainder will be “flex funds” to provide snacks, and anything else that will make the team happy and healthy.

How will this make San Antonio more awesome?

The few high profile music industry figures I have spoken to have expressed wild positivity regarding my company and the mission. LoveTap has the potential to make real impact, and this will be a wonderful way to begin. Because of my affiliation with City Year, I have developed some incredible connections in San Antonio – District board members, city officials, restaurant owners, and eccentric singing car salesmen. Through those connections, I plan to maximize the reach of the video. When it achieves the audience that it deserves, it will move people to action and be a pivotal part of the budding effort to revitalize the Eastside.

And that’s pretty awesome.

Juneteenth Arts & Film Festival by Patsy Whitfield, et al.

A little about us:

Patsy Whitfield, founder of Another Open Door and organizer for the arts and film networking team, has

produced two award-winning short films and several films, plays and more.

Deanna Brown is founder of Forward Progress Arts & Entertainment, a diverse group of young, talented, faith-based artists in a place to connect and create.

Febra Gaitan, our director of film and arts programming, is an elementary school teacher, film producer, and keep moving coordinator for Another Open Door.

Helen Lindsay, our artistic director, started as a mentor with Another Open Door, and has excelled into a creative graphic artist.

Here’s my idea:

Flyer for the Juneteenth Art & Film Festival, designed by Mixed Media Group.

Flyer for the Juneteenth Art & Film Festival, designed by Mixed Media Group.

Our idea is to collaborate with an organization that will bring the arts to our local youth every year. Starting with my neighborhood, the Eastside, we hope to connect experienced artists to youths with passions or dreams. Our goal is to network, inform, and mentor our emerging artists in all genres. Our first collaborations with Juneteenth, Mixed Media Group, and Ella Austin is exciting. Our future will connect other nonprofit organizations, production companies, professional artists, co-ops on the Eastside and more.

How we will use the money:

Equipment, theatre rental fee, adminstrative costs, and some production crew.

How will this make San Antonio more awesome?

Juneteenth Arts & Film Fest will highlight Dignowity Hill and the Eastside, creating an arts haven for our neighborhood. There are many talented young artists with no information or place to go. We will enhance and shine a light on our host venue’s Mixed Media 718 N. Cherry St. location. Mixed Media has agreed to house future artists and establish a recording studio and a filmmakers nest co-op.

The OCTA-TETRA Museum by Dan Suttin

A little about me:

I am a retired middle and high school math and science teacher. My retirement day job, half-time for the last four years, has been as a tutor in the math lab at San Antonio College, where I specialize in college algebra and pre-calculus and trigonometry. Beyond that, my creative energies and passions for teaching have all gone into the creation of the OCTA-TETRA Museum.

Here’s my idea:

The OCTA-TETRA Museum is my “pay-it-forward” project, with a goal to have an educational impact on the young people of San Antonio. Here are some excerpts from my museum flyer, which I can also provide by email.

Dan Suttin stands with the MEGA-TETRA. Photo courtesy of The Octa-Tetra Museum.

Dan Suttin stands with the MEGA-TETRA. Photo courtesy of The Octa-Tetra Museum.

Mission Statement:

1) To inspire future architects, engineers, designers, artists, and mathematicians to pursue educations and careers in those fields.

2) To advance the understanding that the above-named fields of endeavor are not mutually exclusive; but rather that they may overlap significantly.

3) To celebrate creativity in all of the arts.

Students, if you come by at a time when I am not too busy with other visitors, I would be happy to help you with your math homework, arithmetic through pre-calculus.

Browse through the “OCTA-TETRA Files,” a chronology of my OCTA-TETRA adventure, and a treasure trove of material on art, architecture, engineering, and all the creative arts.

Take part in hands-on activities building OCTA-TETRA and modular origami models.

One facet of the project is the people coming to the museum, and another is my going out into the community to do presentations and workshops.  One of my recent visitors gave me the ultimate compliment by saying, “You are like Mr. Magorium and this place is like ‘Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium’.”  The magic only happens when there are kids in there.

How I will use the money:

I am working on a model called the Mini-MEGA-TETRA, which was featured in a KLRN Arts segment. I plan to have this project exhibited at various places throughout the city for several months at a time. I have offered it to VIA for the Westside Multimodal Transit Center, the Children’s Museum, and of course, San Antonio College. I would use funding from Awesome SA to hire a truck and driver to move it around from venue to venue, as well as for a mile-long wish list.

How will this make Travis Park awesome?

I thought that applications relevant to Travis Park were supposed to be those submitted during the month of April. I am submitting this during the month of May.

I will respond to this question with some activities I participated in during May:

May 3 – From 10:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m. I did a hands-on activity with the kids at the Children’s Museum for its 2nd annual Inventor’s Workshop, and then participated in a planning meeting to create a STEM working group designed to create museum and community-based programming in San Antonio.

May 9 – For the second consecutive year I hosted an interactive activity for “Art in the Park” at Morgan’s Wonderland for VSA Texas.

May 10 – I attended an orientation meeting for artists teaching in the Summer Arts Studios at the Southwest School of Art, marking the third consecutive year teaching a one-week course for kids there.

May 17 – Roxie Runnels, geometry teacher at McCollum High School, brought a busload of 25 of the school’s most enthusiastic math students to see the OCTA-TETRA Museum. She said, “I have a great group of kids that really love math!”

Here’s a quote from Angie Wright about a possible collaboration:  “I am the President of the Texas A&M University-San Antonio Math Club, and our adviser, Dr. John Romo, told us about your museum. We would love to see if we could visit and maybe get to work on building something. We were thinking sometime in May when our finals are over as a fun way to release stress. Everyone was so excited when they saw your Facebook page. We have another meeting in two weeks and I will be able to tell you a definite day then.”

*Featured/top image: A busy Stay Golden Social House at the Pearl Brewery complex. Photo courtesy of Stay Golden Social House.

Related Stories:

Awesome SA Popping Up in Travis Park

Awesome SA Finalists: Adopt a Tree, Co-Creating Space, and Sun Safety

San Anto Cultural Arts & Awesome SA: Paletas, Bikes, Youth Engagement

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