It's the most wonderful time of the year (cue the Andy Williams)! Okay, we say that a lot around the SmallBox office, but seriously – what could fill our hearts with more joy than giving out 10 no-strings-attached $1000 grants for community-minded projects?
Well, we enjoyed it so much last year, dubbed it Nice Grants, and brought it back for a 2014 edition.
Cindy Tow is seeking to... minimize the food desert that exists in her community. She’s involved in the 27th Street Community Garden, which was created on an abandoned lot that once housed the remnants of a tragic crime. Cindy and her group aim to spread community awareness around self-sustaining gardening, and to deliver fresh fruits and veggies to homebound neighbors.
Cindy Tow, you have been NICED!
Megan Jefferson is seeking to... repurpose the Infinite Storage Building murals along the Monon Trail. The 43 murals that line the trail between 52nd and 54th streets have suffered from years of wear and tear, and graffiti. Megan and her group – Department of Public Words – hope to begin work by July of this year, with an unveiling celebration in October. If there’s something a SmallBoxer loves, it’s the Monon Trail!
Megan Jefferson, you have been NICED!
Timothy Carter is seeking to... pilot a “community currency” program in the Midtown neighborhood that benefits water quality in the area. For each hour of environmentally friendly tasks performed, residents receive $10 worth of credit at participating local businesses. Tim and the Butler Center for Urban Ecology group piloted the program in the Mid-North neighborhood in 2013, and encouraged more than 365 hours worth of service.
Timothy Carter, you have been NICED!
Jessica and Michael Flaherty are seeking to... host a series of open cooking and science activities for preschool children throughout this summer and fall. Michael and his wife, a preschool teacher, want to teach children about healthy foods – in particular, helping them to understand the benefits, and teaching food preparation skills. You are what you eat!
Michael Flaherty, you have been NICED!
Adam Gross and a few friends are seeking to... create a lush, vibrant and educational message for children – that is also entertaining for adults. We loved this idea, and we’re pretty sure all of the parents out there will too! The group plans to record and animate each song, so watch out Disney...
Adam Gross, you have been NICED!
Steven McCloud is seeking to... create a Big Picture mural using nine traffic signal boxes – or “Invisible Canvases” – in the Northeast Corridor/King Park. The public art project aims to reflect the neighborhood’s creative identity and history, and will utilize the storytelling talents of photographer William Rasdell.
Steven McCloud, you have been NICED!
Kevin Whited is seeking to... spread the word about his citywide program that combats bike theft! His group – INDYCOG – has been at the forefront of our beautiful city’s bicycle scene since 2010, and is looking to tame (and eliminate!) bike thefts by enlisting the help of local pawnshops and bike shops, and encouraging bike owners to register their property online.
Kevin Whited, you have been NICED!
Susan White is seeking to... provide children with books. As a teacher, Susan often sees students longingly gazing at books that they cannot afford. “Books should not be a luxury,” she says, and we tend to agree! Each book she purchases would come with a friendly reminder to “Remember to nice someone.”
Susan White, you have been NICED!
Michael Bogan is seeking to... reward children for their acts of kindness. Michael’s organization – Promise Monsters – wants to take their kindness program to Indianapolis schools. This grant will help them teach children about why kindness is important, and how small acts of kindness can make a big difference. Sounds pretty #nice to us.
Michael Bogan, you have been NICED!
Alan Goffinski is seeking to... create an interactive “Mega Music Machine,” which will debut at Optical Popsicle 7. He and his crew at Know No Stranger will create the piece using various found objects, gears, cranks, old musical instruments, bicycles, and more! Creative recycling and art? We’re in!
Alan Goffinski, you have been NICED!
Thanks a million to all the groups and individuals who applied for a 2014 Nice Grant. We enjoyed learning about your projects, and the narrowing down of submissions was excrutiating.