Innovation, Community Outreach Rewarded at 2016 IMPACT Awards

Group photo for 2016 IMPACT AWARDS

On Thursday, April 7, Center for Art and Public Life (CAPL) at California College of the Arts presented the spring 2016 IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards, at which three juried interdisciplinary teams each were awarded a $10,000 grant to create innovative and creative solutions to social problems by collaborating with community experts and partners.

Through such grants, the awards program enables a new generation of creative innovators to develop meaningful social change. Students are challenged to apply their critical and creative problem-solving skills to make a difference locally, nationally, and internationally by developing proposals and facilitating actionable next steps.

In the spring CAPL received an unprecedented amount of grant proposals from undergraduate and graduate students across 15 different disciplines with project sites in San Francisco, Utah, India, Pakistan, China, and Columbia.

Judges involved in the final selections included CCA faculty members Greg Hurcomb (Architecture), Maria Morati (Interaction Design), Steve Jones (Graphic Design), Aaron Gach (Community Arts), Brett Cook (Community Arts), Kim Anno (MFA in Fine Arts, Photography), Chris Johnson (Photography); and non-CCA participants Garrett Jacobs (Executive Director, Open Architecture Collaborative) and Eve Blossom (Social Entrepreneur, Founder/CEO of WE’VE).

“This year’s IMPACT Awards have not only brought together a unique blend of multidisciplinary teams," explains CAPL Director Shalini Agrawal, "but also encouraged our international students to take their creative skills back to their home countries to make art that matters on a global scale.”

See images from the awards presentation »

Children Now China

$10,000 WINNER

Siwei (Shannon) Deng (BArch)
YuHe Yao (Film, Jewelry / Metal Arts)
Weijing Qiu (Graphic Design)

China’s economic growth has created a generation of children left behind by their parents who move to the cities for work. Children Now China will work with a school in the rural province of Sichuan that is especially strapped for resources and is focused solely on the care of these children. Only three teachers are responsible for 116 students, with 40 students living at the school because they have no one to care for them.

This project will make an immediate and direct contribution to their well-being by focusing the team’s efforts on improving this school, through renovation to their structure and facilities, while engaging the students in the process as well as bringing attention to their situation through a public-awareness campaign and an online platform for further donations of much-needed resources.


$10,000 WINNER

Daniel Olarte (Strategic Foresight)
Susana Eslava (Social Practice & Public Forms)
Michael Gordon (Fine Arts)

In Colombia Miti-Miti means to share “half and half.” Through a 50-50 social-impact model, Miti Miti will create a two-channel platform that addresses educational access in Bogotá. Due to the high cost of school supplies in Colombia, the simple lack of notebooks can mean the difference between attending school or not.

The team will design and produce high-quality notebooks that will be sold in a one-for-one system; when someone purchases a Miti Miti notebook, they also donate an identical notebook to a student in need. Miti-Miti will also create a digital, pod-based tutoring program that connects students of different socioeconomic backgrounds for the common goal of college test preparation.

The team will work with private and public schools in Colombia to create community awareness and commitment to educational access for all. Buy one, give one, build one.

The Navajo Nation Boarding School Project

$10,000 WINNER

Ryan Hueston (Fine Arts)
Magdalena J. Hartelova (Curatorial Practice)
Ella Schoefer-Wulf (Writing)
Graeme Aegerter, artist, documentarian, and activist
Lillian Makeda, Architectural Historian, University of Santa Fe

The Navajo Nation Boarding School Project (Hózhóogo Naasháa Doo) proposes to renovate and reopen currently abandoned historical boarding school structures in the Navajo Mountain area of Utah. Built in the 1920s as a place for acculturation of indigenous children, these buildings are one of only two examples of a rare hybrid of traditional Navajo hogans with Western architecture.

This project reinvents these structures from a historical past of eradication of native culture and identity to a place for creation and community engagement.

Run by students and young adults from the surrounding community, the program will allow for arts education and expression currently absent from the current public school systems on the reservation. As teachers and mentors, visiting artists will be offered residencies using the buildings as living spaces as well as classrooms in one of the most beautiful natural environments in the United States.

Other Awardees

Community with Karachi (Karachi, Pakistan), $5,000
Nirmoktra (Rajasthan, India), $2,500
Marcus Bookstores: Sankofa-cation Initiative (San Francisco), $1,250
Project Dahlia (San Francisco), $1,250

Read the 2016 IMPACT Awards press release »

About the IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards

The IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards is one of the core initiatives of CCA’s Center for Art and Public Life. The program encourages collaborative interdisciplinary teams of CCA students to develop and actualize a socially innovative project.

Three student teams are granted up to $10,000 each for proposed projects that exemplify interdisciplinary engagement, social entrepreneurship, and community collaboration.

All projects require teams to develop a detailed proposal that addresses a specific need in a local, national, or international community.

Read more »

The IMPACT Awards program is generously funded by an anonymous donor and the Center for Cultural Innovation.