Accomplishing milestones feels good. In late 2012, our team surpassed some really big goals and Jeb offered up a bonus of $5,000 to use as we pleased. We could have bought some tech gadgets or thrown a party, but instead landed on using the money for the greater good.
We love this city. Like fierce, mad love for Indianapolis. It just made sense to use this money to support creativity and growth in Indy.
We put out the call for entrepreneurs, start-ups, artists, and the like, offering up five no-strings attached grants of $1,000 each. Our only request was permission to follow up on the progress of the funded projects. And thus: Nice Grants were born!
The day before the our deadline of January 18, Indianapolis-based consumer ratings service Angie's List offered to give an additional $5,000 to the program, making for a total of ten $1,000 grants.
We love this idea so much that we decided that it's going to be a permanent fixture in the lore of SmallBox. Stay tuned to learn more about our winners and future updates from Nice Grants.
Here's the list of our 2013 Nice Grant winners!
Bee Public, which aims to expand urban bee hives in the Fountain Square area and other Indianapolis cultural districts.
Clifton-on-the-River Green Tomato Festival, which plans to build a bus stop shelter near the corner of 36th and Clifton Streets as part of an expanded neighborhood harvest celebration.
Draw on the Walls, a working prototype of a drawing robot to be installed permanently in the Big Car Service Center for community use, as well as a second robot for use in homes or community murals.
Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, which wants to teach kids about bicycle maintenance and offer stipends to apprentice bike mechanics.
IndyGo PUPstop, which would help People for Urban Progress re-use 9,000 Bush Stadium seats at IndyGo bus stops.
Cataracts Music Fest, which aims to build participation in the annual cultural event.
Earth Art Labyrinth, which wants to build, document and market a nature-inspired labyrinth and host a one-day workshop on the art form.
Visualize Indy, which would commission local graphic artists to create licensed infographics that portray various aspects of Indianapolis.
PROJECTiONE, which would help bring a design group founded by two Ball State University graduates to Indianapolis from Muncie.
Coder Dojo Indy, which would recruit female volunteers/mentors and increase the number of girls participating in dojo activities to encourage them to explore technology and computer programming.
Nice Grants Update: Visualize Indy
The Nice Grants team was immediately drawn to Jon's plan to do a series of infographics that help people visualize different issues affecting Central Indiana. It most certainly had something to do with the fact that we like data-driven design about Indianapolis!