Awesome SA July: Four Finalists, New Venue

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Courtesy of Roberto Treviño.

Courtesy of Roberto Treviño.

Taking a break from its usual location at Alamo Street Eat Bar, Awesome SA and its $1,000 grant award ceremony will be held at The Richter Co. this Thursday for a smaller, more intimate event (registration required).

Inside The Richter Co. (Photo by Mario Guajardo).

Inside The Richter Co. (Photo by Mario Guajardo).

Awesome SA is a collection of local trustees and board members that gather each month to review submissions based on general awesomeness, how much of said awesomeness will be brought to San Antonio, and to celebrate the most awesome $1,000 idea at monthly ceremonies.

Richter Co. T-shirt

The Awesome SA shirt, made/designed by The Richter Co.

While it will likely return to its roots at Street Eat next month, Awesome SA wanted to spread the local love around this month to support one of its sponsors, Mario Guajardo.

Mario co-founded The Richter Co. with his girlfriend and business partner Teal Thompson. He has designed and produced new Awesome SA t-shirts – which of course will be for sale during the event.

All proceeds go directly back into to Awesome SA's operation and grant funds. T-shirts can also be ordered through The Richter Co.'s new website which launched earlier this month at www.therichterco.com.

Sarah Brooke Lyons celebrates her $1,000 Awesome SA grant at Alamo Street Eat Bar. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Sarah Brooke Lyons celebrates her $1,000 Awesome SA grant at Alamo Street Eat Bar. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

[The Rivard Report is a sponsor of Awesome SA. Read more about the Awesome SA and its past award ceremonies here – including last month's winner: Sarah Brooke Lyon's 1005 Faces Project.]

Eugene Simor of Alamo Beer is sponsoring the event with complimentary beer and DJ Steven Lee Moya will bring provide music to support of the local Awesome Foundation chapter.

Tapa Tapa food truck will be curbside, accepting cash and credit for its exotic food samplings: Brazilian, Tex-Mex, Asian fusion, new American, and more.

There is limited occupancy – so RSVP at Awesome SA's Eventbrite page: www.awesomesajulyparty.eventbrite.com.

When applying for the Awesome SA grant, July's participants submitted informal proposals of their idea to the board, which we've published below for your perusal. Stay tuned Thursday night to find out which awesome idea wins the  $1,000 (via our homepage, Facebook, or Twitter @rivardreport).

Roberto Carlos Treviño:  Piazza Di Columbo (Little Italy)

Courtesy of Roberto Treviño.

Courtesy of Roberto Treviño.

A little about me:

Roberto Carlos Treviño

Roberto Carlos Treviño.

My name is Roberto Treviño and I am a local architect representing the Christopher Columbus Italian Society and the newly formed Piazza Di Columbo 501(c)(3). I am small business with a diverse portfolio of project types. I have lived in San Antonio for over fifteen years and wish to contribute to the social and cultural fabric of our community. I am currently in Leadership San Antonio class 38 and have been asked to serve on the Zoning Commission and the Airport Advisory Committee. Thank you, kindly.

Here's my idea:

Every major city in this great country has its unique cultural corridors or neighborhoods and some cities are defined by them. San Antonio is no different with its incredible pioneer history. This city will celebrate 300 years of its existence in 2018. Most people know the city for the "Alamo" and the spirit of rugged individualism. This is a great city with hidden treasures all throughout the region. I believe one of those treasures exists at the heart of where the city began its nearly 300 year existence. Little Italy San Antonio represents everything this city was founded on. As early as the 1870s Italians from southern Italy specifically from a town in the Calabria region known as Spezzano della Sila migrated to San Antonio. They would settle in the northwest part of downtown and band together to form their very own Italian neighborhood. In 1890 they would create the country's oldest Italian organization known as the Christopher Columbus Italian Society.

In 1927, the midst of the Great Depression their organization intrepidly built the now historic San Francesco Di Paola church and the CCIS Hall. In the late 1950s the highway act commissioned I35 and I10, cutting through the old italian neighborhood. The only remnants of the neighborhood are the church, the hall and Christopher Columbus Park. Little Italy San Antonio is a non-profit development seeking help to salvage the authentic history that exists today. Members are getting older and their generation is threatened with consequence of a forgotten legacy. LISA will provide a community/cultural center rich in authentic italian history that is unique to San Antonio. We must tell this story where it began and ensure a legacy that we can all appreciate. San Antonio is Awesome, especially for its history which is weaved into the fabric for all of us to enjoy.

How I will use the money:

Your award would be used for the inception of our project that begins with a sign denoting "Piazza Di Columbo". The signage has been approved by HDRC, Parks and Rec, Diego Bernal, VIA, Judge Nelson Wolff and County Commissioner Paul Elizondo. we have all elements to construct the project except for the lighting. $1000 would represent the lighting of this sign which is crucial to our design. Lastly, your award goes beyond monetary value. Your award would represent the very first private donation

Is your project a start up business?

This project is an extension of the 123 year old Christopher Columbus Italian Society through the newly developed Piazza Di Columbo 501.c3

Please visit the website the italians put together. www.littleialtysa.com

How will this benefit San Antonio as a whole?

This project will be another great destination for locals and tourists. LISA will work to partner with other existing elements of our community such as; Hemisfair Park, Main Plaza, La Villita, the Alamo, the Riverwalk and the San Pedro Creek improvements.

How did you hear about us?

I heard about your group through Facebook and followed up by attending an award ceremony.

Ben Judson: wabiStory App

Courtesy of Ben Judson

Courtesy of Ben Judson

A little about me:

Ben Judson

Ben Judson

I'm a web developer, writer, and community builder from San Antonio. I've built sites for San Antonio Museum of Art, Trinity University Press, and Contemporary Art Month, among others.

I was a corresponding editor for Art Lies: A Contemporary Art Journal, and wrote a column on city planning and community development for Plaza de Armas for two years.

I'm currently a committee member for PechaKucha San Antonio, a DJ at KRTU, and sit on the board of the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association.

Here's my idea:

wabiStory is an experiment in a new kind of placemaking. The app allows selected authors, artists, and musicians to leave small (90 second) recordings in physical locations for other people to find.

This platform empowers artists to engage in a vital, uniquely concrete dialog about the significance of place. Fiction writers can record stories that add layers of narrative to a vacant building; poets can leave verse in a forgotten corner of an old park; songwriters can lay ballads down on a street corner.

Andrew Porter (fiction), Mark Menjivar (social practice artist), and myself (poetry) have completed projects already. New projects by Jenny Browne (poetry), Nicolette Good (music), and Pak Sheung Chuen (conceptual artist) will begin soon. I plan to organize public bike tours of sites in and around downtown, with the contributors when possible.

Contributors record their work through the app while standing in a place that they find meaningful (wabiStory sets no limitations on site locations). Once the recording is uploaded, it can only be accessed by other people standing in the same location. When users listen to these pieces, they are connected to the author not just through the work, but through the physical presence of place.

Ben Judson sets his beer down before describing his awesome idea, the wabiStory mobile app which is currently in beta form at wabiStory.org. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Ben Judson sets his beer down before describing his awesome idea, the wabiStory mobile app which is currently in beta form at wabiStory.org. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

Each site created by a contributor can hold numerous recordings, by one or more authors. The app shows users a list of nearby sites, and provides a map for each one with a suggested route. Users can also follow authors or sites to easily see when new recordings of interest have been added.

Contributors join wabiStory by invitation, so that a collection of high-quality work across multiple disciplines will draw curious listeners into the city's unique places. It's part geocaching, part literary magazine, part site-specific installation.

Currently, wabiStory is available for free in Apple's App Store, and as a cross-platform web app. A version for Android is being tested and should be released later this year.

How I will use the money:

The contributors have agreed to work without compensation, as I have no income source for the app at this point. However, I would like to pay all contributors a $100 artist fee. These fees will be sustained later by more grants, and perhaps promotional underwriting from like-minded businesses.

Is your project a startup business?

No, wabiStory is conceived as an artist project, and may later be managed by a non-profit organization.

How will this benefit San Antonio as a whole?

The goal of wabiStory is to encourage residents to explore their city, to see unique places through a creative lens, and to engage artists in a dialog about place. I feel that this will enrich the entire city as it grows.

How did you hear about us (Awesome SA)?

Word of mouth.

Kelly Schaub: Community Supported Art

Courtesy of Kelly Schaub.

Courtesy of Kelly Schaub.

A little about me:

Kelly Schaub

Kelly Schaub

I am a life-long supporter of the arts, a nonprofit administrator and serial entrepreneur. I have founded Arts Mall – San Antonio to create a community of business-savvy artists and art-savvy consumers/patrons. I am passionate about nurturing new connections between the arts and our community.

Here's my idea:

CSA-San Antonio (community supported art) is a new model for collecting art and supporting local artists in San Antonio. CSA-San Antonio is launching a subscription service for locally produced art. Similar to the boxes of fruit and vegetables one might get from a local farmer as an agricultural CSA, CSA-San Antonio will offer “shares” of art to feed the public’s cultural appetite and sense of adventure.

Nine local artists will be chosen to create 50 pieces for the inaugural CSA season. Each share will consist of works across several disciplines, potentially including painting, printing, sculpture, textile, decorative objects, ceramics, music, lighting, t-shirt, collage and books. Additionally, workshops have been held to assist artists with the application process and learn to treat their art like a serious business endeavor.

CSA-San Antonio makes contemporary art accessible by connecting San Antonio-based artists to the community, and in return that community provides significant support for their work. Shares will available for purchase, with each shareholder receiving nine original works of art commissioned specifically for CSA-San Antonio. The shares will be distributed at three art-centric community events, allowing shareholders and the general public to meet our artists, and be exposed to other awesome art forms being created in San Antonio.

Becoming a shareholder in San Antonio’s first Community Supported Art initiative will allow patrons to enjoy the benefits of affordable, high-quality, local art while supporting artists working in our community. This simple program will benefit our city and the local arts community. Artists get support for the creation of new work, as well as exposure and distribution. CSA shareholders receive multiple works from local artists to expand or begin a new art collection, thus becoming an integral part of the growing San Antonio Arts Community. All of this promotes the idea that our city values art and artists.

How I will use the money:

A grant from Awesome SA will help CSA-San Antonio to reach a larger audience of artists and patrons. A call for artists is posted, artist info sessions have taken place at Geekdom, and promotional efforts have begun. Curators from the local art scene are on board, a website is in place and the kickoff party is being planned.

The CSA model is self-sustaining, as sales of shares cover payments to the artists, and assist with producing the community pick-up events.

Is your project a start up business?

Yes. CSA-San Antonio is the first project blending art and community to be produced by the startup organization, Arts Mall Productions, located at Geekdom. Arts Mall is creating a community of business-savvy artists and art-savvy patrons. A monthly social media breakfast for arts organizations (SA SMARTS) has begun, with great representation from arts groups and the city of San Antonio.

Arts Mall will continue to replicate projects that have proven to be a successful intersection of art, commerce, and community. When the needs of artists are addressed, the community also benefits, and in many cases can thrive. Art is unique. Artists make a community unique. Arts Mall is exploring various models that work in other industries, in an effort to create these intersections.

How will this benefit San Antonio as a whole?

A greater connection between artists and their community will create jobs for artists and small business development for San Antonio, along with creating more livable neighborhoods, a healthier local economy, increased cultural engagement, regional pride and mutual respect among diverse members of the community. CSA-San Antonio is the first of many projects that I am undertaking to make these connections.

How did you hear about us?

Through Geekdom and The Rivard Report. We were a finalist in March as well.

 

Mary Elizabeth Cantu & Gabriela Santiago: Spare Parts Mini Museum

Courtesy of Spare Parts.

Courtesy of Spare Parts.

A little about me:

Mary E Cantu Spare Parts awesome sa finalist

Mary Elizabeth Cantu

Spare Parts supports: cultural & environmental sustainability; affordability & accessibility to the arts; & community, education & creativity, green-style. Spare Parts’ purpose is unprecedented in San Antonio. It is the leader in reuse education through the arts. Spare Parts responds to: a noted lack of creativity in K-12 classroom, City of San Antonio’s “Creating a Pathway to Zero Waste” 10-year plan, and our thriving arts and cultural community that makes a positive impact on the economy.

Here's my idea:

The car trunk closes and spare parts drives to the West Side of San Antonio. We’re greeted by the school secretary and are led to the library where two tables await us. A class of excited second graders enters and sits down. No buses were needed for this free field trip. The spare parts MINI ART MUSEUM (MAM) came to them.

Binders found at thrift stores were painted white and spare parts curatorial and education staff selected from their permanent collection a series of miniature masterpieces for the students to tour. Equipped with magnifying glasses, they explore the museum on a docent-led tour. The standard size of each artwork is approximately two-by-three inches and each museum wing (binder) can house up to 6 works. Kids are amazed at the small-scale but intrigued by the diversity in artwork on exhibit. Size doesn't matter here. What matters to spare parts is the accessibility to fine arts experiences when bus funds dry up and curriculum enrichment falls by the wayside.

After the tour, the MAM educator passes out art materials for students to create their own contribution to the collection. Upon completion students install their own wee work in hand-crafted spare parts frames and the MAM education hangs a new exhibition in minutes.

The children’s artwork remains on exhibit for other classes to visit while proud young artists stand by their work, explain to their peers their process and share their creativity with the whole school.

Students have the option to keep their work or donate them to the spare parts MAM permanent collection where they will continue on their journey to other schools and communities. We thank the teacher, class and librarian, close our museum walls and turn off the spare parts MAM lights. The spare parts MAM fits back into the car trunk. The Museum will reopen to visitors today at another school, for a docent-led tour with another group of student for a truly unique museum field trip.

How I will use the money:

Beginning in August to kick-off the school year we'll need: $240 to create 30 durable, reusable frames utilizing reusable and eco-friendly materials for mini artwork to be installed in and hung after each student makes their own museum masterpiece; $60 for magnifying glasses and other visual aids; $100 for MINI ART MUSEUM educational resource development and printing costs; $600 to cover Spare Parts MAM art instructor's fees (10 school site visits).

Is your project a startup business?

This project is brand new (program) of Spare Parts and will be our first outreach program to directly reach San Antonio students in the classroom. So far, we have collected artwork from participants at a couple of spare parts happenings. We briefly introduced the spare parts MAM to a group of camp kids this week and they loved it!

How will this benefit San Antonio as a whole?

The sky is the limit with this project. We are most focused on bring art experiences to schools and neighborhoods that don’t always have the opportunity to visit museums or engage in art making and have the opportunity to have their artwork hung in a museum. We envision the spare parts MINI ART MUSEUM receiving national attention though this distinctive fine arts and all-inclusive experience. Guest curators could select work from our collection and create exhibitions. Artists could be asked to partake in residencies, too. Then we would share internationally-recognized contemporary art with the San Antonio community.

How did you hear about us?

Through Facebook & Twitter. We especially love the Thrift Off SA and Little Libraries projects you funded! Thank you for offering these awesome projects the financial support they need to make San Antonio awesomer (it should be a word)!

 

Related Stories:

Awesome SA <3′s 1005 Faces

Gallery: 1005 Faces by Sarah Brooke Lyons

Amazing! The Awesome Foundation Spreads to San Antonio

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

UPDATE: January Awesome SA, $1,000 Towards a ‘No Kill’ San Antonio

$1,000 for Awesome Little Libraries

Who Will Win December’s $1,000 Awesome SA Grant? Find Out at Third Brewsday

 

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