The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Event Review: Three Awesome Things about Awesome Soup — June 9, 2012

Event Review: Three Awesome Things about Awesome Soup

What: Awesome Soup was organised by Sydney’s chapter of The Awesome Foundation as part of Vivid this year. Each month the group come together to read applications of local projects and then fund one of those projects with a $1000 microgrant. Awesome Soup awarded a $5000 grant to the winning idea chosen by all of the attendees. Your ticket to the event went toward the grant total. By contributing financially and participating in the voting process, attendees of Awesome Soup gained some insight into how the Awesome Foundation operates each month.

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) as part of the Vivid Ideas Exchange.

Overheard: Oh no, I said that ‘awesome word’ again.

Awesome Ideas

We heard five finalist pitches (narrowed down by the Awesome Foundation board). It was everything from a day of bubbles bringing random joy to Sydney-siders, to a business that would turn Japanese tattoos into wallpaper. Each project shared had its own level of awesomeness; however our champion at the end of the night was Oxford Street Design Store — a project that has already shown a promising start, and will continue to give back to the community.

Awesome People

One of the best parts of Awesome Soup was all of the wonderful people who it attracted. It was great to chat with some friends of the Fetch and also see some new faces. As part of the event, we had dinner (soup, if you couldn’t guess by the name) and get to know our table. We were bonded by good conversations and good food, a winning combination in my book.

Awesome Sydney

Hearing these ideas and being in this room surrounded by inspired people was just another reminder of how awesome the Sydney community is. I’m glad that this event was part of the Vivid lineup.  I wonder what other awesome, local, ideas we can support over this coming year.

Have an awesome idea that needs some help getting off the ground? Apply for an upcoming grant from the Awesome Foundation. 

Interview: Sydney Local, Renae Mason — April 29, 2012

Interview: Sydney Local, Renae Mason

Renae Mason

Name: Renae Mason

Website: awesomefoundation.org

Twitter handle: @awesomefoundsyd and @missnae

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 sydney@awesomefoundation.org. Likewise, we are open for applications all year round, so head over the website to apply.

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