Name: Renae Mason
Works at: Boomworks by day, Awesome Foundation by night
Sydney has a chapter of the awesome foundation, which is awesome. Can you tell us a little about it?
The Awesome Foundation provides micro-grants for micro sparks of genius and creativity. Every month ten trustees chip in a collective $1000 of their own cash to fund a project, no strings attached. There are currently about 33 chapters in the world providing a great support network and sharing so many inspiring stories, it can be hard to keep up with all the good news!
What do you think is awesome?
Well that’s easy. Every month there’s something new to choose from in the world of Awesome! One of my favourite projects is The Oxford St Design Store, where a variety of quality, local and handmade goods are sold for $1, $5, $10 and $20 respectively. They are also hosting events, an artist-in-residence and a co-working space. It’s great to see this happening right in the heart of Sydney, where rental prices can make this kind of gathering very difficult to pull off.
Some of my other favourite projects just demonstrate what a big kid I am. In Awesome Boston, they built the world’s biggest hammock in a park for all to enjoy. In Awesome LA they installed guerilla swings in interesting locations all over the city (imagine the joy of swinging under a boardwalk as the tide rolls in!), and in Toronto there was a night of cardboard fort building. The designs were epic!
Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?
I like a lot of stuff that’s happening at the edge of industry, with events like Pecha Kucha, TEDx and Trampoline Day. These events empower people to come together and share their unique perspectives.
Also, I’m a huge museum and gallery fan and the work of the White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale really stands out from the crowd. The passion for Chinese contemporary art, cultural exchange and audience engagement shines through in everything they do.
Where do you get your information from?
All over the place! I’ve got to admit – my feed reader is bursting with loads of interesting things I will never get the time to read. Mostly I find great links and stories from people I know via Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Goodreads, Foursquare, Instagram, Path, LinkedIn. Yes, I’m an app junky.
What are some awesome upcoming events you would recommend to the Fetch community?
We’ll be holding an epic event as part of Vivid Sydney festival this year. It’s called ‘Awesome Soup’ and the idea is that folks will pitch their projects to the audience, who will then vote for their favourite project, whilst sharing a delicious meal. It’s going to be awesome! Anyone can apply to pitch their awesome idea on the night. Tickets are now on sale on the Vivid website.
How do people learn more or get involved with the awesome foundation?
We’re about to launch our own Sydney website, but for now you can find our more about us here. We’re also on Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to be considered for a position on the board, we’d love to hear from you at any time – just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Likewise, we are open for applications all year round, so head over the website to apply.