2019 Summer Stipend Finalists Announced

Below are the application submissions from our finalists, currently being reviewed by our Summer Stipend Panelists.

Karen Dybis

Project SAVE: The Delray Preservation Plan


I am creating an archive, photography exhibit and oral histories of Detroit’s historic Delray neighborhood in hopes of creating a prototype for neighborhood research by “citizen archivists.” My goal is to find ways for local storytellers, neighbors and interested researchers to document, preserve and honor the stories and legacies of the people, places and things that existed in threatened neighborhoods or any neighborhood. I am particularly interested in Delray because it is shrinking and most likely disappearing in light of the addition of the Gordie Howe International Bridge, which is taking 160 acres out of the neighborhood for its development.

Project needs

I need funding to help me create a student photography exhibit and artist readings. My goal is to introduce kids and young adults in Delray to oral history taking, photography and art so they can tell their own stories about the neighborhood. I want to give them the tools — cameras, videocameras, art supplies — to help them express themselves and show people what Delray looks like to them. This way, we can preserve a part of its story in a real and honest way. I need $1,000 to make these purchases, to bring in artists and photographers and to buy supplies to create a program at the Delray Community House for kids and young adults to participate in and recreate on their own.

Project description

I am working on setting up a long-term archive, oral history and photography project around Detroit’s historic Delray neighborhood that could be recreated and used in any neighborhood. This includes collecting historical documents, sourcing historical photographs and films, creating new photography and stories of Delray as well as helping the local community find resources within the arts industry to further develop its storytellers of all ages.

More from karendybis.com.

Kat Roma Greer

Disrupting Climate Disruption: A Global Day of Creative Action


On the day of the 2019 U.N Climate Action Summit, I will be conducting a Global Day of Creative Action. An accessible movement where creatives mobilise within their individual communities, develop, present and document a public, creative response to climate disruption. The works will span across all practices, with a particular focus on the involvement of creatives from member countries of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. These works, their development and public response will be documented and featured online live, be part of a virtual online exhibition, and form the basis of a micro documentary. This project will culminate with a virtual conference involving participating artists and organisations, and a report based on a longitudinal study.

Climate disruption is everyone’s concern: but particularly those on the front line of the effects.

During my recent residency in the Arctic to further research climate disruption, it became apparent that the majority of participants were from developed countries who were educated, have access to resources, information, and possess skills and power to create change. We will not experience the full effects of climate disruption – at least, not immediately. It will be the under-privileged in developing countries who will be disproportionally affected, and bear the burden of the initial stages. And yet, in all of my explorations and creative disruptions across low-socio economic areas, I could see a common thread: people did not know, or understand what was happening  to their environment. Furthermore, if they did have any information, it was so data-soaked, abstract and intangible, that they dismissed it. Some of these communities are going to be the first and worst affected by climate disruption, and yet have the least amount of access to information, power to make change – or even have a voice in the global discussion. Climate justice is sorely lacking. 

What I have also witness, documented and had studied is the powerful affect of the arts within these communities as a tool for education, communication, positive change, placemaking and empowerment. If provided an opportunity to engage on a subject with self-autonomy, freedom of interpretation, self-determination, and the work inspires; then this combination psychologically triggers a willingness to consider things in a new light, to embrace unconventional solutions – to really feel as though change is possible (Per Espen Stokes).

Yet, all of these cultural activities are occurring and accessible by communities who already have reasonable access to information, resources, forms of enquiry and education on this subject. I want to take this model and transfer it into the communities who urgently need it. 

Project needs

The project will take place through 3 different streams:

1. 5 x Micro Galleries International Artist Collective  artists creating work in Nepal, Indonesia, USA, Australia and Kenya.

2. 10 x invited community groups to take part in our open source work by artist, Adam Kuby “Sea Level 2080”. This work is sent to participating groups in a box with instructions and all materials provided (200 participants)

3. Open callout for any public who would like to contribute works on this day using our platform (estimating 100 works world-wide with 200 participants involved in their creation)

The works will be live streamed over 24 hours on 23 September via Twitch, and then documented in an online exhibition via Owlstand. 

We are all donated our time and materials for  streams 1 and 3, however we need $1,00 to assist us with stream 2 and make this project truly powerful and accessible. The money would be used for two things:

1. To purchase all materials and create all instruction manuals and videos for the “Sea Level 2080” project, and have them sent to the partner organisations in the targeted vulnerable communities.

2. To assist these communities in gaining access to cameras or smart devices to record the process, set up, and public engagement, and getting this documentation to us. 

More from Disrupting Climate Disruption.

Carand Burnet

Songs of The Kioea


Since February of 2019, I have composed a series of instrumental compositions inspired by the life of an extinct Hawaiian bird called the Kioea (Chaetoptila angustipluma). Kioea translates in the Hawaiian language to mean “stand tall” or “to be lifted up.” Its story was a much a mystery during its life as it was after its vanishing. The Kioea, approximately the size of a crow, had moss green and chartreuse yellow feathers. The species had two interesting adaptations — a fringed-tongue paired with a curved beak for nectar-feeding and wispy feathers as fine as hair. The Kioea was last seen around 1859 gracefully fluttering through the plants that reclaimed the Kīlauea volcanic eruption.

After learning about this bird that symbolized courage and the importance of Eco-conservation, I drew from my 20+ years of experience as a guitarist to write a series of songs that re-imagined the Kioea’s life. This spring, I partnered with a double bassist and percussionist who have helped create over a dozen musical compositions to date.  Currently, the project is booked for live performances at four venues in New England. This will be the first time I will have the opportunity to play live before an audience with a backing band. As a female lead guitarist, I hope to inspire women while educating listeners about the Kioea and the current need for sustainable environmental practices.

Project needs

While I currently have several venues booked to perform this series of songs, I would love to professionally record an album so this music and its message will reach a larger audience. Previously, I have used my own equipment to record drafts, but the audio quality is significantly diminished. I would like to record live to best use the funding for the studio. In the past my band members have worked with the Electric Cave studio in Portsmouth, NH, to produce quality recordings. So far, I have spent $200 for the professional recording of three songs during late July at The Electric Cave. However, this is the entirety of the project’s budget; I would like the rest of the series recorded as well because each song is stylistically diverse as it reflects Hawaii’s ever-changing landscape.

Project description

The $1,000 stipend would cover the recording costs of at least 10 songs and album production. It would also allow me to sell the album digitally to help raise money for Eco-charities. The stipend would make a lasting impact beyond the initial recording. The music can be disseminated online and connect with a wider audience. In turn, this would bring awareness about contemporary environmentalism.

This album marks the beginning of a long-term project: I am currently booking live performances for next year, and I am excited to compose more music inspired by the Kioea. My band members and I stay motivated with this project in part because of our local environment. The New Hampshire/Maine coastline where we live has recently reached a critical point (the Gulf of Maine is now one of the fastest warming areas of oceans in the world). Music is an excellent way to communicate with listeners messages that will make them emotionally invested in seeking personal change and Eco-activism in their lives.

More from kioeamusic.com.

Alejandro Franco

Withering Away


The project consists of  an exhibition with stained glass windows made out of single-use plastic. We are making use of the translucency and variety of colors of this material to present the audience with meticulously crafted pieces that turn a material so transient and detrimental into something of great beauty, worth preserving.

By spending all this time and effort to recover an undervalued material through labour, we hope to make an allegory of the efforts we need to make to preserve a healthy ecosystem, one where we can feel hopeful and proud, an essential desire so often taken for granted.

Within these windows we will illustrate the future of our planet as if we were looking at it through the filter of our careless habits, a place where humans went extinct and nature is gracefully reclaiming architectural structures. Our goal is to draw attention to the unmindful use of plastic as packaging material and to foster a sense of consciousness.

Project needs

This is a collaboration project between Kelly Jimenez and Alejandro Franco. Since our chosen material is single-used plastic, we collect it from the packaging of the food and products we are consuming, this allows us to keep a low cost on materials.

However, this project is labor based and time consuming, the plastic we are using  is non recyclable so it often gets mixed up with kitchen waste and all kinds of crap that go in the trash and makes it hard to recover. We need to spend time recovering all the potential plastics that we find on dumpsters around the neighborhood. 

We are both committed to this project, we both have part time jobs that allow us to make this exhibition our priority, every piece is meticulously crafted and it will take us at least 8 months to complete it. we also use some materials that cost us some money, plus covering any installation costs. Our budget for this project is $10,342, we already got $4500 after fees from a successful kickstarter campaign, in order to keep making this exhibition possible we need to continue collecting the remaining funds needed to complete our project.

Project description

The show is an art exhibition composed of 10 pieces of 100 x 50 inches, highly crafted stained glass-like illustrations made out of cutouts of plastic. These illustrations are images of different scenarios where nature is overtaking remainings of human existence, vines are wrapping around everything and one can experience the exuberance of nature conquering over concrete. They will be mounted on a structure and wrap around a led light box that allows the light to shine through the piece without heating up the plastic. In the center of the big room, we will have a large sculpture, an 8 feet B/W rainbow that emerges from two colorful garbage clusters.

More from artefranco.com/withering-away.

Mahua Biswas

Scarred But Winners


I am conducting an in-depth study of acid attack phenomenon in both developed and developing world. Because, that heinous crime is spreading like a wildfire from Middle Eastern, South Asian and South – East Asian nations to almost all over world.

The purpose of that study is firstly searching the reason which provoking this particular trend as most attractive to perpetrators worldwide and secondly providing all the necessary information which can help acid attack survivors to fight their battle against all kind of odds. All these information I want to publish along with many survivors’ testimonials in a free E-book format which would be available worldwide and anybody who wants to lend their support would be able to contact these survivors.

Project needs

I have already received a micro grant from Harnisch Foundation, USA worth US$1000 on April, 2019 which has covered all the initial expenses of that project and presently I need around US$1000 to provide a small cash remuneration/gifts to the survivors to compensate their time for that project.

I am planning to pay US$10 to per participant acid attack survivor in cash or kind and I want to interview around 100 Indian survivors for this project. Therefore the approximate requirement of fund would be: US$10/ Survivor x 100 Survivors = US$1000

My project is stuck presently since any NGO does not want to provide me information of their clients because I don’t have sufficient fund to compensate their clients’ time.

More from awesomewithoutborders.org.

Coreen Callister



The RepairCycle is a mobile bike trailer and garment mending service. We offer visible clothing repair and teach mini workshops in the greater Seattle area. Our goal is to catalyze a culture of clothing repair (versus disposal) by offering a collaborative, community-driven service and experience. 

Our relationship with clothing is out of balance. The average life cycle for an article of clothing (in the U.S.) is less than one year. With no straightforward way to recycle textiles, this disposable mindset is creating massive solid waste (about 1 garbage truck every second, or 92 million tons dumped into landfills annually). Striking a balance means disrupting this wasteful cycle with thoughtfully designed experiences that inspire and empower us to keep and enjoy clothing longer. Which ultimately means, building a culture of garment care and repair. The RepairCycle is more than a functional service, it’s a delightful way to “re-experience” your clothing.

Project needs

We’re excited to share that the RepairCycle has been accepted to the Seattle Design Festival and CHOMP (King County Sustainability Fair).

Our team will offer light repair services and host creative mending workshops at these community events in August. And eventually, we hope to tour across all three University of Washington campuses in 2019-2020.  

We’ve built our bike trailer and we own one hand-crank sewing machine. However, as newly graduated students we need funding to make key investments that will kickstart and sustain our RepairCycle passion project. In the spirit of up-cycling, most of our materials are lower cost, because we plan to purchase second-hand versus new. Our partnership with King County also gives us access to some material donations such as scrap fabric and buttons. However, to reach the finish line and be successful at our launch events in August, we must invest in some key items, outlined below: 

– ($400) Serger machine (used, available via craigslist or Ebay)
– ($100) 1 year of website domain name & hosting 
– ($300) Repair Kits: Event take-away for workshop participants learning mending techniques.  Thread, small patches, buttons, single sewing needles, small booklet/card (with repair instructions). 
– ($200) Honorariums for 4 local sewers & technicians to teach 1 hr workshops (at $50 each)

Project description

The RepairCycle is a mobile, on-the-spot garment mending service and experience that brings the Seattle community together around the universal aspect of clothing — offering a functional service while creating connection and dialogue through a shared activity. By empowering creative and easy-to-learn mending skills, we are working to transform our local community’s relationship with clothing. Ultimately, we believe that garment repair is not just a viable option, but should a delightfully designed experience. 

The Macktez summer stipend would directly support essential material purchases such as a second-hand surger for technical clothing repairs, promotional and workshop materials, etc (as outlined in previous sections) for our two upcoming August community events. Thank you for your consideration!