Pitch Party Awards Three Community Projects

NEWBURGH – At the inaugural Pitch Party, the Awesome Newburgh Foundation awarded not one but a surprise of three projects a total of $1,000 each. The newly formed micro-granting foundation raised $3,000 from the public in the room and on GoFundMe to fund three of the fifteen projects: Girls to Ladies (1st place), Rural & Migrant Ministry’s Youth Arts Group (2nd place) and Newburgh Repair Cafe (3rd place).

Girls to Ladies, a young teen girl empowerment group received support to produce a teen initiated, teen-led anti-violence project called Making Piece. This will be the installation of a cooperatively created quilt that will be toured in multiple venues followed by performance component. Youth Arts Group, a youth collective as part of the Rural & Migrant Ministry that empowers youth to make a difference in the community, received support for a workshop on empowerment of youth through art, justice and the disenfranchised. Newburgh Repair Cafe, fashioned after HV Repair Cafe, received support to create meeting places for repairing things (together) with experts, tools and materials to help make any repairs you need.

Two surprise announcements included Orange County Arts Council would match Awesome Newburgh $1,000 grant in April and August and lastly, an anonymous donor who donated $100 to each applicant who presented but did not win. A call for Trustees resulted in two additional trustees joining the Awesome Newburgh Foundation.

The Pitch Party took place on St. Patrick’s Day at Thornwillow Institute’s Carriage House and was free and open to the public. State Senator James Skoufis attended and applauded the positive energy that is emblematic of Newburgh that is not covered in the media. Applicants had three-minutes to pitch their project to a live audience consisting of friends, community members, trustees and past grantees. Over 180 guests voted on their favorite project that had the potential to inspire, engage and celebrate community in Newburgh. Trustees are looking forward to continuing their regular monthly micro-grants. Next deadline is April 1, 2019.

Maria Martinez of Youth Arts Group (YAG) says, “the funds will help cover the cost for their three youth-led committees: Farmworkers’ Rights, Separation of Families and Domestic Violence. YAG continues to social justice leaders and empower the City of Newburgh and its youth through public speaking, advocacy actions, and more. “ Kevindaryan Lujo of Newburgh Repair Cafe says “This award will allow the Repair Café to continue supporting community members by fixing their broken household items, in turn reducing waste in our landfills.”

Corporate sponsors included: Bliss Kitchen, Cold Spring Cheese Shop, Newburgh Flour Shop, Newburgh Restoration, More Good Beacon, Newburgh Brewing Company, Palate Wines & Spirits, & Seven Sons by Adrian Quinn.

Since ten trustees launched Awesome Newburgh Foundation in June 2018, it has been supporting artists, activists, businesses, and creatives, one grant at a time. The Foundation awards monthly micro-grants to creative projects that seek to promote Newburgh’s strengths and to catalyze more community projects that bring us together.

The foundation has already supported a variety of projects, including:

* Together We Can, a TimeBanking Newburgh Chapter created by Damian DePauw

* Scholarships for college-bound Newburgh Free Academy students provided by McLymore Foundation

* Weave & Write Textile Workshops by Artist Michelle Batho

* Youth Culinary Workshop mentored by Lodger restaurant owner, Leon Johnson

Newburgh is a proud, culturally-rich and resilient city. Awesome Newburgh Foundation seeks to promote the city’s strengths and to catalyze more community projects that engage and bring us together. Each month, a group of ten trustees review applications and award one project a $1,000 micro-grant. We welcome all project ideas, and especially favor those that are open to the public and those that forge new collaborations or partnerships.

The Awesome Foundation is a global community advancing the interest of awesome in the universe, $1000 at a time. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1000 or the local equivalent, come out of pockets of the chapter’s “trustees” and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.

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