We lose things

Dogs are famously loyal, but they don’t have built-in GPS. That’s what dog tags are for — so lost pups can be reunited with their families even if they’re a long way from home.

It’s not only dogs we sometimes can’t find, and you don’t need to go far away to lose things. So dog tags can be useful on all sorts of items: luggage, wallets, toddlers’ mittens. Even something right in front of your face can benefit from a label that helps you to find more useful information about it.

STEP ONE

A small label is good because it can fit on almost anything.

Add a single ID that will tell you what this is, or who to contact to get more information: serial number, phone number, IP address, storage box number. Add the date so you know how current this information is.

(Pro-tip: use an ultra-fine Sharpie.)

STEP TWO

We like to label network and server equipment with either the item’s IP address or hardware ID from our asset database. Putting that label up front means you won’t have to go searching with a magnifying glass to find a serial number or product code.

And if you’re tagging actual dogs, be careful not to wake them up.

We label things

This past year, we’ve helped a lot of our clients move from one office to another, or renovate their existing space, or build out a brand new facility.

When that happens, we become packers and project managers, dismantling a server rack in one location and then carefully rebuilding it in a new one.

The specific items for which we are often responsible — network devices, large-scale storage, and servers — can be pretty generic looking, and, especially to the untrained eye, can be indistinguishable from each other. That’s where a clear label on the equipment itself, or on the box we are moving from point A to point B, is indispensable.

Large institutions often add an asset tag with barcode to every physical piece of equipment they own. If you are tracking something through a warehouse, that might make sense. But most of our clients function on a more human scale (and can’t read barcodes ), so a more flexible solution is more appropriate. With these labels, we can choose a meaningful ID that provides the most context.

And the yellow “M” in the corner of the label lets you know this is a number that someone at Macktez will be able to work with. (This can save us all a lot of time troubleshooting over the phone.)

Congratulations to Sylvia Ryerson, our 2017 Summer Stipend recipient

“Restorative Radio NY: Public Airwaves Through Prison Walls” is a deeply moving project to bridge the physical divide between individuals incarcerated in upstate New York and their families. Sylvia co-produces “audio postcards” with family members that are broadcast over public airwaves in order to reach their loved ones in prison as well as a general listening audience.

Prisoners are culturally and geographically isolated; so are their families. But studies across the board show that maintaining family connections is an important factor in successful reentry upon release. That’s why Sylvia’s project makes such an impact.

Find out more about Restorative Radio at macktez.com/stipend.

– The Team at Macktez

02-23-2018 | Happy New Year

Congratulations to Sylvia Ryerson, our 2017 Summer Stipend recipient

“Restorative Radio NY: Public Airwaves Through Prison Walls” is a deeply moving project to bridge the physical divide between individuals incarcerated in upstate New York and their families.

Sylvia co-produces “audio postcards” with family members that are broadcast over public airwaves, in order to reach their loved ones in prison as well as a general listening audience. You can read Sylvia’s stipend application here. And much more about this project here.

Our panelists had a lot of good things to say about Sylvia’s project:

This project “aspires to bridge a chasm between the incarcerated and their loved-ones when the conventional visitation isn’t possible due to distance, finances, etc.” and also the chasm “between those within the experience and those outside of it.”

“I was very drawn to the social mission behind this project. I often drive and ride past Upstate prisons and it’s always struck me how remote and inaccessible they are. Letting the prisoners connect more with their families can only be a good thing.”

“Incredible project. I strongly support this. Not only does it share the stories of who is behind the walls, but also of who is left behind. Not only are these stories for those inside, but they’re for all of us since we are all affected/connected.”

If the project interests you, it’s definitely worth listening to some of the previous work Sylvia has done; she has several audio files online here.

08-09-2017 | Stipend

2017 Summer Stipend Finalists Announced

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

Marcos Chavez

Project: DERT Books

Goal: I am working on launching a social entrepreneurship brand (called DERT) which works with student designers to re-imagine classic works of literature into newly packaged books. DERT books will be used as fundraising tools to raise money for a literacy charity. DERT has partnered with Parent-Child Home Program (a social services organization with over 50 years working with at risk pre-school children providing home visits and books in order to ensure school readiness for children nation wide).

Description: The $1000 stipend would be used to print 10 of our student designed classic books. Books will be printed using on-demand digital printing (blurb) and the purchase of 100 copies of 10 books will bring the price down in order to be able to maximize our profit margin (more we can donate) and allow for the price per book to be more competitive and inspire more sales.

We have worked with students to create a line of books that we are planning to launch later this year. We are seeking funding to do a low run 1st printing of a 12-20 books and are seeking funding for the cost of printing. Any amount of help would be appreciated, and with the $1000 maximum amount we would be able to print approximately 100 copies of 10 of our books.

Right now all our books are being finalized with proofreading completed and just minor design finalizations taking place on a handful of books. Getting a small inventory of books printed and having our shipping process on our site is needed, as well as finalizing the formation of a B-Corporation which we are in the process of setting up.

Click here for additional materials

Diane Jean-Mary

Project: Admittance

Goal: This summer, I have dedicated myself to producing a short film that showcases the talents and abilities of black and brown women in cinema. The film is culturally specific, but thematically broad, depicting the world of a Caribbean mother and her Caribbean American daughter.

“Admittance” is a short film, with an entirely black and brown female cast and crew. In an era of under representation in the film industry, this project is vital to producing a story that is of a cultural reality, while employing the skills and creativity of individuals of that cultural identity.

The aim of this project is to (1) showcase Caribbean/Caribbean American culture in a non-stereotypical existence, (2) promote the filmmaking skills of brown and black women, and (3) establish working relationships for future collaborations between the cast and crew. We have assembled a stellar crew and cast of amazingly creative women, and hope that this project will be the first of many collaborations.

Description: I am applying to use this $1,000 stipend to fund the post production needs of the short film “Admittance”. This film depicts a pivotal day in the lives of Fabiola and her daughter Nathalie, as the overprotective Caribbean mother discovers that her daughter has hidden a college application (and acceptance) to a school on the other side of the country. Fabiola is forced to reconsider her relationship with her daughter or ruin it for good.

My near term goal is to produce this short film for public viewing, in community spaces and in the film festival circuit. My long term goal is to use the short film as a proof of concept to get funding for the feature version of this script.

It is an honor to be considered for this funding. I thank you all for your consideration!

Rosa Nussbaum

Project: Golfers (Working Title)

Goal: I am making a hand drawn animated short.

I am a visual artist and am currently going to grad school at the University of Texas at Austin. I moved to Texas from the UK about a year ago.

Then, everything was strange and new and I couldn’t tell what was normal. It was as though the world had become magical again in a way that it was when I was a child; the world had become strange and illegible to me. When you’re young it isn’t clear what is real—dinosaurs or crocodiles or dragons. Here in Texas I was equally uncertain. Was half a house trying to turn a corner in the dead of night normal? (You could see in, there was furniture and there were personal belongings). When you don’t know what is normal the world becomes suspended between magic and the mundane. This is where stories live.

I have always worked with the aesthetics of narrative in my work (feel free to look at things I have previously done on my website https://rosanussbaum.com). I’m heavily influenced by animation and comic books, especially the studio Ghibli movies and Kirikou and the Sorceress, and I have always been drawn to surreal short stories (for example Gogol’s The Nose has always stayed with me).

Every day I cycle to school in the heat. On my way I pass a golf course that is hidden from the road by a tall ridge. The bike path is littered with golf balls, like strange eggs. I imagined them hatching into tiny golfers. This is what gave me the idea for the piece I want to make. I want to tell the story of the tiny golfers in an animated short that captures the strangeness and innocence of following a stray thought that springs from a fascination with the world and that takes something normal and makes it strange.

Description: A three minute (mostly) hand drawn animation of a girl who finds finds golf balls on the bike path whilst cycling and puts them in her bag. She cycles home and puts them under a heat lamp to incubate them. Overnight the golf balls hatch into tiny golfers and build a small golf course on her bedside table. Later, a lady comes by to pick some of them up and take them to their new home (like kittens when you have a litter). At first they are sad to leave their old home, but they quickly make new friends.

The focus will be on the tiny golfers; shaking hands, stepping back politely out of each other’s way, being excited and dismayed by turns. I want to make something that is strange and magical and endearing and humorous and gently pokes fun at what seems eminently normal.
The backgrounds will be detailed watercolors based on places I have seen. I’ve already gone out and done sketches and have started the final painting for one of them. They will move a bit (trees swaying in the wind, plants shaking, light changing) but mostly be static. There are three background locations. The characters will be painted with cel paint onto animation cels. I will buy the cel paint from The Cartoon Color Company (the only place you can buy cel paints in the US). I will use the stipend to buy the cel paints, a light box and cels themselves.

One of the reasons I want to make a short is that it can be seen by lots of people easily. I always try to make the content of my work accessible but when working in sculpture or performance it can really only be in one place at a time and often it has to be shown in art spaces. This way I can submit it to short film festivals and my local cinema and put it online and I can still show the drawings and cels along with the animation in a gallery context. Animation is an unforbidding medium that can be kind and charming whilst still exploring interesting imaginary worlds.
Of course there is a long line of absurdists animators and there is a lot of very interesting writing on what conceptual and political roots animation has. If you’re interested in reading more about that there is a great article by Zoe Beloff called Bodies Against Time.

Click here for additional materials

Jen Pitt

Project: SHIFT

Goal: We are trying to create a narrative short-film on the day in the life of two people who had to be apart in order to grow as humans. Our main character Andy, is a trans man who leaves his wild days and his relationship in San Francisco to move back home to rural Maine in order to feel like himself at home for the first time ever.

We think it is important to represent nontraditional stories in the film in order to demystify the trans condition.

Description: Our project is a narrative short-film. We have spent the summer shooting at the Barn Arts residency in Maine. The story is about Andy, a trans man who decides to go back to his small town home to transition so that he can confront his demons and reach peace.

In the film, Andy is adjusting to life back home when an old love, Holly, visits from San Francisco, bringing a lot of their emotional baggage with her. It is the first time she witnesses Andy as a trans man and they go through a series of awkward conversations until they are finally able to speak candidly and openly about their feelings and how they had to leave each other in order to find themselves. They do not fall back in love or resume their relationship, but they find closure and acceptance in a profoundly empathetic way.

We cast a trans male actor as the trans male and a lesbian woman as Holly and they collaborated on the writing of the script so as to insure accurate representation of otherwise underrepresented groups.

We have a crew of 5 people: two co-directors, a director of photography, an assistant camera person and a sound operator.

We are very pleased with our creative process and the ensuing results but need extra money in order to master edit the film so that we can submit it to festivals. We plan on submitting to many festivals, including The New York Experimental Queer Film Festival; the OUTsider Film Festival in Austin, Texas; The Teddy Awards in Berlin and other non-queer specific festivals so that we can carry this progressive and heartfelt story to as many audiences as possible.

We want to start a dialogue but we also want to move away from making trans a plot point and instead exploring these characters in their full dimensionality.

The Macktez stipend would be of great help for us to cross the finish line on a project we worked very hard on and believe so deeply in. Thank You.

Click here for additional materials

Sylvia Ryerson

Project: Restorative Radio: Public Airwaves Through Prison Walls

Goal: I am working to complete Restorative Radio NY, a radio series of “audio postcards” co-created with family members of people incarcerated in upstate New York. The postcards will be broadcast over public airwaves, reaching both prisoners and a general listening audience, transcending prison walls and changing public perceptions of who is behind them.

Description: Restorative Radio NY is an original audio art project. I am working with family members of those incarcerated in upstate NY to create a series of 5-15 minute length “audio postcards”. Each postcard will be broadcast over public airwaves to reach their loved ones in prison and a general listening audience. While our criminal justice system disproportionately affects People of Color in cities, since the 1980s, the majority of new prisons have been built in rural America. Thousands of prisoners find themselves culturally and geographically isolated, while the struggles their families endure go largely unrecognized – phone calls and travel are expensive, and visitation time is limited. Given these obstacles, it can become virtually impossible for many families to find the time and resources it takes to stay in touch with relatives in prison – and yet studies across the board show that maintaining connections with the outside world is a primary factor in successful reentry upon release.

From 2011-2014, I led the production of WMMT-FM’s nationally recognized “Calls from Home” program, which broadcasts phone messages from families to their relatives incarcerated in rural Appalachia. In 2015 I started Restorative Radio, determined to use the medium of sound to collaboratively create “audio postcards” that can express more than a voice message, and impact a broader audience in doing so. The goal: to work with prisoners’ families to capture the everyday sounds of their lives – a walk through their neighborhood, family gatherings, a child being put to bed – and then weave these soundscapes together with music and family voices speaking their personal hopes, dreams and memories, so that each postcard becomes a meditation on home and freedom. The project transcends prison walls and changes public perceptions of who is behind them.

I worked with nine families across the state of Virginia to complete a successful pilot series that aired on WMMT-FM and was met with critical acclaim. I am now expanding this project to New York State. I am partnering with the Osborne Association to work with families in New York City that have relatives incarcerated in upstate NY, many hours from home. I am also partnering with two public radio stations in rural NY (WGXC-FM and WJFF-FM) that collectively reach seven upstate prisons. This stipend would be used to complete the production of the Restorative Radio NY series, and to create a project website.

Click here for additional materials

Floating Museum

Project: Floating Museum presents Summer on the River

Goal: Floating Museum is a collaborative arts organization that creates temporary, site-responsive museum spaces to activate sites of cultural potential throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods. We engage local artists, historians, and organizations in events that challenge traditional museum thinking and generate community engagement and conversation.

This August, Floating Museum will bring the Chicago River alive robust, free, interactive public arts and culture programming. Celebrating the River’s industrial past, Floating Museum will transform a barge into an aesthetically striking mobile gallery inspired by “cabinets of curiosities”. A historic predecessor to museums, “cabinets of curiosity” often showcased a variety of unique objects from various collections to draw connections between art, history, nature, science, and fantasy. In this spirit, Floating Museum invites audiences to draw connections between curated artworks, performances, and cultural activities and the rich histories of the Chicago neighborhoods in which they were developed. Each partner engaged through our exhibit, be they an established cultural institution, individual artist, or young student, are in conversation with each other, allowing the display on the barge to become an aggregated expression of our city.

Description: Floating Museum will transform a barge into an aesthetically striking mobile gallery filled with art crates displaying work created by local artists and our collaborators. The barge will feature a towering pyramid-like structure comprised of wooden crates hand-crafted by Terry Dowd. Complementing the structure will be a 10ft reproduction of the bust of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, honoring the founder of our city. Affixed to the front of the barge, a 9’ x 12’ LED screen will display video art, photography slides, and film screenings. Artists and partnering organizations have been invited to interpret the crates either as a display case for artwork they create or curate, or as a physical canvas to manipulate. Some of these crates will spill over onto the shoreline for viewers to encounter up close, where live performances and interactive programs will help complete the vibrant and joyful expression of our culturally diverse city.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Miguel Aguilar, Marcus Alleyne, Kris Casey, Louis DeMarco, Bill Douglas, Assaf Evron, Krista Franklin, Maria Gaspar, Adam Hines, Yashua Klos, Pope L., Mary Mattingly, Cecil McDonald Jr., Jesse McLean, Derek Moore, Dan Peterman, Cheryl Pope, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Fernando Ramirez, Cauleen Smith, Sheila Smith, Edra Soto, Lan Tuazon, JGV/WAR (Curator), Maria Villareal, Roman Villareal, Amanda Williams, and Avery R. Young and De Deacon Board

PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS: DuSable Heritage Association, DuSable Museum of African American History, Graffiti Institute, Hyde Park Art Center, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Project Onward, SkyArt, Southeast Chicago Historical Society, South Side Projections, T.R.A.C.E, West Pullman Park Special Rec. Program

Offering audiences a chance for a new kind of participation, each site the barge will be docked at becomes a gallery, with a collection of art and performance that knits together to tell a story of our city that is as soulful, energetic, and creative as the people that keep this city moving. Each location will host programs and events around the arrival of the barge, and are mirrored from site to site so that visitors become part of shared experience across the city. Wednesdays will feature a Song Circle, led by renowned poet and vocalist Avery R. Young, offering a rare glimpse into the creative process of some of this city’s most remarkable blues and gospel voices. Thursdays will feature Breaking Bread sessions, with a panel of community stakeholders that will lead an informal group discussion. We will talk as neighbors, as Chicagoans, and as family, over food, about topics related to each individual site we are at. Fridays the Floating Museum will sponsor a live music event at a local establishment to support neighborhood talent and camaraderie. Saturdays will feature our collaborative building exercise Sticks and Tape. This interactive, guided process provides an accessible way for people of all ages to create a temporary (and often expansive) art structure out of the humble materials of sticks and tape.

Programming for the Summer on the River will begin the first week of August at SkyART in South Chicago, then the barge will dock at Park 571 Eleanor Boathouse for a week, make it’s way up to the Riverwalk for a two week duration, and then the crates will be unloaded into the Polk Bros Park on Navy Pier and be on view through the fall.

Wandering through this unique free, outdoor gallery visitors will encounter work created by world-class, Chicago-based artists, as well as displays highlighting the hidden gems of our City’s culturally rich neighborhoods. Our summer programming schedule will balance the rare peace that the riverfront offers amid the city with insightful discussions, joyful dance sessions, and rare joint performances from some of our city’s most talented musicians and singers.

This summer, we invite everyone to join us on the River, and discover Chicago anew.

Click here for additional materials

07-25-2017 | Stipend

Summer Stipend 2017 applications are now closed

Thank you to everyone who applied.

Finalists for the 2017 Stipend will be posted right here on July 26, 2017.

07-23-2017 | Stipend

We’ll show you ours if you show us yours

Summer project, that is.

Applications for the Macktez Summer Stipend — our annual development grant of $1,000 — are now being accepted. For 12 years we’ve been encouraging the creative people we work with to pursue and complete the side project they wish they had more time for.

We know what it’s like to be drawn to an idea that feels so right but requires more time, attention, and funding than is practical. And it occurred to us this year that we shouldn’t ask you to reveal your summer project to us without letting you see what’s captured our imagination at Macktez.

Digital Safe Space

We have been building over the past few months, with great help from a former member of the Team, a new workshop on computer and internet security. Two important trends moved us to take up this work.

First, the threat from hackers is rising. More friends, clients, and presidential campaigns than ever are fending off attempts to break into their digital lives. Many of these attacks are not from sophisticated sci-fi bots that can be defeated by mass computing power, they are personal intrusions called “phishing” that require a combination of digital tools and individual awareness.

Second, the way hacks are often reported is super-scary. Sensational headlines focus on an ongoing threat that feels impossible to deflect. That’s not surprising. Say what you will about the merits of a vibrant free press in our democracy, these are still the same journalists who whip us into a periodic frenzy with horror stories of Africanized Killer Bees (first Texas, next: YOU!).

These hacks and the public response to them trigger a specific Macktez nerve. We spend our days encouraging the use of technology to solve problems. We want clients to be in control of these tools, know their limits, and use them with confidence. In contrast, the public presentation of these phishing scams leaves people feeling vaguely afraid, out of control, and diminished.

Macktez is eager to be part of a more personal conversation about using digital tools safely and securely. Our project is called Digital Safe Space.

Our first workshop is aimed at individuals, especially activists in the LGBTQ movement who are stepping up protest activity after the recent transfer of power in Washington. We review specific security tools that are now readily available, like 2-step authentication and encrypted messaging, so that users understand how to protect themselves. We review legal challenges to mobile phone privacy for protesters. Most important, we make sure that users hone their own situational awareness and skepticism, the same personal tools they use in a crowded public space, and that they don’t react to suspicious emails by panicking.

Our second workshop, in development this summer, moves to the organizational level, and addresses many of the issues we often discuss with clients: developing and enforcing policies that keep an organization’s proprietary digital information and communication safe from hackers, surveillance, bad actors, and error. Again, it’s important that organizations have deliberate security protocols that protect them not just from hacks but also from anxiety about hacks. In a politically-charged environment, activist groups may be a particular target, and they need to have clarity about which digital tools to choose and how to use them.

Summer Stipend 2017

If you are working on a project that’s just as personal for you, and you think $1,000 would help you cross the finish line, we want to hear about it.

The application for our Summer Stipend is pretty simple, and, following the model we use at Macktez, we’ve shared this step-by-step project plan, including recommended deadlines, specific actionable tasks, and time estimates. Applications are due July 22.

We evaluate applications on three simple criteria: originality, relevance, and conviction. Look below for examples of the various projects that have received the Macktez Summer Stipend in years past.

Summer Stipend Application

The deadline is July 22. Use this application worksheet to make sure you prepare your proposal thoughtfully and on time.

If our panelists are moved by the originality and relevance of your application, you’ll receive $1,000 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 2017 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.

06-16-2017 | Stipend

Summer Stipend 2017 Application Worksheet

It’s helpful to prepare properly for an application like this, both to make sure you submit your best proposal on time, and also to give you the chance to think about project in a clear, directed way.

Timeline

Don’t procrastinate. Set yourself a clear schedule between now and the deadline on July 25 to make sure you submit the best application possible.

Monday 6/19/2017 (0.25 hour)
– Read through the whole application at mackez.com/stipend so you know what’s expected.
– Print out this page. (Or save it somewhere you can find it easily on 6/26.)
– Review your calendar and make schedule a couple of hours on or before 6/26 for the first set of tasks.

Monday 6/26/2017 (2 hours)
– Choose a comfortable space where you won’t be interrupted and have a pen, this worksheet, and your calendar handy.
– Enforce quiet time. (Put your cell phone in airplane mode or turn it off, close your email, close Facebook, close Pinterest … close everything.)
– Gather whatever materials you have for your project work to date.
– Make sketches of what needs to be done to complete your project. (We have our own favorite paper products we use for this process, available at store.macktez.com, but any will do.)
– Review the dates and tasks that follow and add an event to your calendar on or before each deadline.
– Choose a colleague you respect to ask for input and invite them to chat next week.

Wednesday 7/5/2017 (1 hour)
– Take a friend or colleague out for coffee to talk about your project. (Talking about your creative work out loud helps you to refine and improve how it sounds to other people.)
– Bring whatever materials you have for your project work to date and a pen and paper. (A yellow notebook, perhaps!)
– Pause to take notes while you talk.

Saturday 7/8/2017 (1 hour)
– Outline the schedule and budget for your project.
– Outline your project description. (Review your notes.)
– List the possible images you could submit with your application. (Note which ones already exist digitally, and which ones you would need to take or create.)

Sunday 7/9/2017 (0.25 hour)
– Choose at least one friend or colleague to review, edit, and proofread your application on July 20 and reach out out to them to ask their help. (Make sure they know you’ll have a tight deadline right after that and need their comments back the next day.)

Tuesday 7/12/2016 (1 hour)
– Write a first draft of answers to all the questions on the application. (Write this up in a text editor or on paper. Don’t get too caught up in any one answer, and don’t try to edit yourself right away. Make sure you write something for each question.)

Thursday 7/13/2017 (1 hour)
– Revise your answers for a second draft. (This is where you can let yourself choose words more carefully and constructively.)

Saturday 7/15/2017 (1-2 hours)
– Take the picture or grab the image you will submit with your application.
– Upload it somewhere with a shareable link. (This can be your personal website, Flickr, Facebook, Picasa/Google Plus. To make sure it’s accessible to us make sure to log out of whatever service you are using and paste the site address in a new browser window. If you can see the image that way, we can also.)

Monday 7/17/2017 (0.5 hour)
– Send your draft application to the person who agreed to be your editor. (Remind them that you’re on a tight deadline and need their comments back by the following day.)
– Make sure you include the link to your application image. (So your editor can confirm that your image is accessible.)

Wednesday 7/19/2017 (0.5 hour)
– Follow-up with your editor and review their feedback closely. (Don’t include edits unless you’re convinced they make your application better. This is your project, not your editor’s.)

Thursday 7/20/2017 (1 hour)
– Choose a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted and revise your application. (This is nearly your final edit so take your time.)
– Many people find it easier to do final edits on paper, so if you don’t have a printer, allow time to go somewhere with one and generate a hard copy to review.

Your application is not due until 7/23, but you don’t really want to wait until the very last day, do you?

Friday 7/21/2017 (1 hour)
– Set yourself up in a space with internet access where you won’t be rushed and won’t be interrupted.
– Make one final proofread of your application and answers. (Double-check all spelling.)
– Pull up macktez.com/stipend and copy and paste your answers into the application fields.
– Double-check your email address. (If you get this wrong, we’ll never be able to tell you that you won!)
– Take a deep breath and review your application one last time.
– Click “Submit.”

Wednesday 7/26/2017 (0.25 hour)
– Check back at our website, like us on Facebook, follow our Twitter feed, or subscribe to our RSS feed to see if you’re one of the finalists.

Food for Thought

Creative work can be difficult to express in clear language, yet that’s exactly what this application asks you to do. Some of the more specific questions below may help you work out what about your project you would like to tell others to get them as excited about it as you are.

Goal
– What are you trying to accomplish?
– What problem are you looking to solve or question do you want to answer?
– Has anything like this ever been done before?
– If not, why are you the first to think of it?
– If yes, why are you compelled to do it yourself?

Budget
– How much have you spent so far on this project? (List the things you’ve paid for.)
– How much more will it cost to complete? (List what you need with cost estimates.)
– How would you fund this project without the Macktez Summer Stipend?

Timeline
– How long have you been thinking about this project?
– How long have you been working on this project?
– When do you expect to be finished?

Audience
– Is the finished project meant just for yourself or to be shared publicly?
– (Does that matter to you?)
– Is there anyone in particular you are hoping will see the finished project? Any venue that would be particularly appropriate?

Inspiration
– Do you remember the first time the idea for this project occurred to you?
– Has anyone else’s work inspired this project? If yes, who?
– Who or what motivates you to keep working on this project?

Process
– Do you work alone or collaboratively with others?
– Do you work at home or elsewhere?
– Do you work on this project every day, or in fits and starts?
– Do you work linearly or roundabout?

| Stipend

2017 Summer Stipend Panelists Announced

The 2017 Summer Stipend application opens soon.

On June 16, check macktez.com/stipend for your chance to receive $1000 to finish your summer project.

We are delighted to have the following colleagues, clients, and friends participating in the selection of our 2017 Summer Stipend recipient:

Melissa Cicetti is principal of Studio Cicetti Architect. Previously, she was a Project Manager at Gluckman Mayner Architects, where she was lead architect on all retail projects for fashion designer Helmut Lang.

Catherine Gund, the founder and director of Aubin Pictures, is an Emmy-nominated producer, director, writer, and activist. Her media work focuses on strategic and sustainable social transformation, arts and culture, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health, and the environment.

Stuart Harvey Lee is the founder and creative director of Prime Studio, a design consultancy for some of the world’s leading brands.

Matthew Pontefract is founder and chief technologist at ReThought, a technology consultancy specializing in scalable internet architectures, high performance computing, data and API management, new media, e-commerce, and finance.

Douglas Smith is chief financial officer of Bank Robber Music, a music licensing company that helps bands get their music placed in film, TV, and advertising.

Sharon Ullman is acting executive director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, dedicated to the legacy of Rauschenberg’s life, work, and philosophy that art can change the world.

06-15-2017 | Stipend

Macktez Summer Stipend application opens June 16

Our annual stipend provides $1000 for your summer project.

Every summer, Macktez invites clients, friends, and complete strangers to tell us how $1000 would help them carry their personal projects across the finish line. Our panelists evaluate applications on three basic criteria — originality, relevance, and conviction — and in August we announce one Stipend recipient.

On June 16 applications open — bookmark macktez.com/stipend. Entries will be due the next month, on July 22. Finalists will be announced a week later, and our recipient will be selected just a few weeks after that.

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.

If you’d like to get reminders and updates from us as we hit each of the Stipend milestones, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or follow our Tumblr.

You can also review our previous recipients and their projects below.

05-25-2017 | Stipend

Quick zip for tidying up

Just think of all the cables your digital life requires that are tangled behind your couch, hanging from your TV, lurking next to your computer, and stuffed into your backpack 00ynqlv. You can’t avoid them — but you can tame them.

How can you maintain a distraction-free workspace if the wires that power and connect you are on the loose? Here’s a simple tool that will help you tidy up for the new year.

Of course you know all about the amazing hook-and-loop zipperless zipper. Velcro has been admired by everyone from Buzz Aldren to David Letterman for its strong, reusable fastening. But the particular design of this strap neatly solves an additional challenge: how to not lose it.

Wrap the fat end of the strap around your cable and feed the tapered tail through the slot. Now your velcro stays attached even when not used for wrapping — and won’t get lost.

Clutch your cables together with one hand and, with the other, wrap the velcro tightly around the bundle, cinching nice and snug.

You can use just one to wrap a power cord to toss in your bag, or, for a long stretch of cables, use one every nine inches to keep the cables baled.

When you need to add an additional cable, of course, Velcro can unwrap and then tie everything back up hundreds of times before its grip diminishes.

Introducing M Network, a new division of Macktez

Sometimes just one loop of Velcro won’t do, and you need your cables professionally managed. That’s why we’ve spun off a new division of Macktez called M Network.

M Network specialists can help design and plan your new office build-out or tidy-up the mess under your desks. We can run one new cable or one hundred, install server room racks, security cameras, wireless access points, and phone systems. We can professionally diagnose, repair, and maintain existing networks or start from scratch in a new space.

You may know we are picky about organized project plans, detailed checklists, well-labeled equipment, and coordinated communication. We’ve worked with many cabling vendors over the years, and we saw an opportunity to integrate these sprawling jobs within our own team of consultants.

Now we can apply the Macktez approach to infrastructure and network projects. You get the same careful planning and the same daily reports you’ve come to expect, so you know exactly where your project stands. We’ll label all jacks and panels, so your network won’t be a mystery. And we’ll test every connection and provide you with documentation of the final results.

We’re excited to add M Network to the services we provide. Visit mnet.work for more information, to schedule a site visit, or to get a free estimate.

Congratulations to Nelly Bonilla, our 2016 Summer Stipend Recipient

Nelly created the Great Divide, shown as part of Amnesty International’s Art for Amnesty showcase in Miami this past summer.

Her project was designed as a statement on the treatment of refugees — a 15-foot structure constructed from torn law books and broken glass to create a vortex only some people are allowed to enter, while others are left on the outside looking in. A gatekeeper decides who is permitted to experience the journey of the winding space. If you are not chosen, you can only watch, and wonder. Read more about her work at macktez.com/stipend.

– The Team at Macktez

01-27-2017 | Happy New Year

Congratulations to Nelly Bonilla, our 2016 Summer Stipend Recipient

The Great Divide is being shown as part of Amnesty International’s Art for Amnesty showcase in Miami.

Nelly Bonilla works as part of a Home Eleven creating designs out of common materials like paper, PVC pipe, and string. The Great Divide is constructed from torn law books and broken glass to create a vortex only some people are allowed to enter, while others are left on the outside looking in. A gatekeeper decides who is permitted to experience the journey of the winding space. If you are not chosen, you can only watch, and wonder.

Nelly’s description of the project in her Summer Stipend Application made clear the social intent of this work: “The treatment of refugees has always been filled with complex issues and laws that seem to fog the instinctual nature of helping those in need. To highlight this ever-growing problem we envision a large 15-foot vortex-like structure made of overlapping pages from law books.”

Here are some of the nice things our panelists had to say:

“High five for engaging with the complicated and broad situation that is the refuge experience, and distilling a part of it into something so visceral with this installation.”

“I think her work is visually compelling and is addressing important subjects. I appreciate the way she uses spectacle to engender an empathic response in the participants.”

“It would be great to think of ways that people could experience this project past its physical installation.”

Nelly will use the $1000 Stipend to help offset costs of installation, for interior lighting, and to compensate the person playing the gatekeeper.

08-10-2016 | Stipend