The Hardest Part of any Project is Getting Started.

At work you have your boss and external deadlines to keep you on track. Your personal, creative projects are probably just as important to you (or more) … but it’s hard to prioritize them when you’re constantly distracted by work and other aspects of your life.

The Summer Stipend is a $1000 grant to help finish a creative project. Learn more.

After years of talking to each other, clients, and friends, we recognize that our internal approach can help people find focus outside our office too. With that in mind we created a series of public-facing workshops called Working Yellow. To learn more, see macktez.com/workingyellow.

These project planning workshops teach the difference between planning and doing, and reinforce that the former is very helpful to the latter.

To create a good plan you need more energy at the start, but it is worth it — when the time comes to excecute it, you can sit back, relax and follow it. Trusting that plan leaves you with less stress, so you can focus on the piece that is in front of you right now. If you’re less anxious, you’re more focused and effective, and you can get more done without feeling frazzled.

The Summer Stipend application itself is designed with our methodology in mind. It includes a worksheet to help you define a clear schedule, choose deliberate actions, and focus your attention where it needs to be. If you can make the time to outline your plan, you might be surprised to find yourself a few steps closer to finishing your project before the stipend recipient has even been selected.

Summer Stipend Application

The deadline is July 26. Use this application worksheet to make sure you prepare your proposal thoughtfully and on time.

Let this application help you clarify your needs, focus your attention, and set a schedule.

If our panelists are moved by the originality and relevance of your application, you’ll receive $1000 to help you reach the finish line.



Please check your submission carefully prior to hitting the submit button. This information is sent immediately and you will not have the opportunity to review or edit.

You will be notified by email when finalists are selected, and when our 2014 recipient is named.


Ownership: By submitting material you affirm that you are the sole owner of all materials submitted for the Macktez Summer Stipend including but not limited to text, drawings, diagrams, photographs and video.
Permissions: You hereby grant permission for publication of the submitted material for potential use in press releases, presentations, exhibits, history books and similar publications; as well as for public access for student and educational purposes in all media including the Internet.

The Macktez Summer Stipend is a development grant to encourage one of the many imaginative people we meet and work with every day to finish their summer project. We evaluate applications on three simple criteria: originality, relevance, and conviction.

Stipend Archive

  • 2013 — Congratulations to Andrew Ellis, Summer Stipend Recipient
    Andrew is wrapping up production of Oakland: New Urban Eating. After adding some final touches, he is hoping to finish the whole project before the end of June and will most likely make it available as an ebook through Blurb.
  • 2012 — Congratulations to Sarah Nelson Wright
    Sarah and her colleagues partnered with a robotics lab at NYU to host an event (similar to the Newton Creek Armada project) on the Gowanus Canal for City of Water Day in July. This time, in addition to video, the boats sent live water quality data back to shore. In April, they curated a group show of projects about the Newtown Creek and Gowanus Canal at Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn. In May, we presented the Newtown Creek Armada at the Open Engagement conference at the Queens Museum.
  • 2011 — Congratulations to Mary Jeys
    Mary's Brooklyn Torch Project has been thriving since she received the Stipend in 2011. In August she will present the project at a conference on artists and communal exchange in Rotterdam with a group called Oblique International. She's also writing a book about her journey. Most recently, she convened a panel on the DIY economy at the Left Forum in NYC.
  • 2010 — Congratulations to Jack Shaw
    Jack received the 2010 stipend for his vision to create a waste-free product made out of its own packing material. The result will be The Light Box, a floor lamp or wall sconce incorporating its own packaging into the design and construction.
  • 2009 — Congratulations to Zoe Fraade-Blanar
    Zoe Fraade-Blanar received the 2009 stipend to map the difference between the news people are searching for and what journalists are publishing. Beautiful visual representations can show editors which hot topics are underrepresented by news sources, giving them the opportunity to generate readership by tapping unmet demand. The result was Current: A News Project her thesis project at NYU's Tisch ITP. Current is now being used at a large (unnamed) newspaper to help editors determine what stories to move to the front page of their website.
  • 2008 — Congratulations to Nicole Kenney for Before I Die I Want To
    Nicole and partner KS continue to grow the Polaroid project. Since the summer that they won the stipend, they have taken the project to India as well as hospice. Nicole is finishing a 1-year program in Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography. She had an exhibition opening at ICP June 24, 2011 called "living in love, living in loss," an autobiographical exploration of the impermanence of marriage. Check out her website to see what she's up to now.
  • 2007 — Congratulations to Andrew Sloat for A More Perfect Union
    Andrew Sloat has been keeping himself busy, directing TV commercials and holding down a graphic design practice, as well as teaching at RISD. Last October he had a piece in Times Square.
  • 2006 — Christopher Allen and UnionDocs
    Christopher Allen and UnionDocs are busy with a new Summer Documentary Intensive program and their “Living Los Sures” project which premieres at a festival this fall. Two shorts from the larger collaborative project just won Best Short Documentary and Best Brooklyn Film at the Brooklyn Film Festival!
  • 2005 — Daniel Marr, Chinatown
    First of all, Daniel's changed his surname back to the one he was born with: Maher. When we last spoke to him, Daniel was writing songs for his seventh album.