Photo of last year's Focus 2020 CAG Awardees with Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Tim Nation FOCUS 2020 COMMUNITY ACTION GRANTS We are very excited to announce our 2014 Focus 2020 Community Action Grant recipients! We recently awarded $24,954 in grants to 8 local community activists to support projects designed to create a more welcoming and engaged greater Indianapolis community. 2014 Focus 2020 Community Action Grant Awardees: - David Durica: #bereconciled - $5,000 grant Dialogue will be facilitated within diverse groups, featuring a storytelling presentation teaching reconciliation. Participants will be invited to identify/photograph their "Claim to Change" to contribute to the art installation, a collage. - Michelle Winkelman: Beyond Perceptions: Immigration - $3,805 Youth artists and foreign-born adults will be paired to exchange stories and thoughts on the topic of immigration and will create art based on that exchange. The project will culminate in an exhibit at the Indianapolis Art Center. - Stephanie Putt: Children's International Folk Dance Festival - $900 Will provide scholarships to allow Indiana children to learn and perform international folk dances. - Vanessa Gibbs: GGMBC Summer Youth Academy - $1,410 grant In partnership with Indy Parks, will englighten, engage, instruct and transform youth on the aspect of how much bigger communal life is than we are as individuals. - Karen Harper: Indy Sun Circle Initiative - $2,700 grant Will create a weekly circle experience with a group of local participants so each 1)
Most people associate gift exchanges with the season of giving, but one Indianapolis resident found that her community was open to sharing their gifts and talents all year round. Danicia Malone, Capacity Building Specialist at the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center, dreamed of bringing people together and encouraging them to their own skills and gifts to those around them. Danicia used her Focus 2020 grant to create a series of events that connected individuals to the larger community by not only providing them with skills to take away, but by inviting them to give something of themselves in exchange. Danicia shared, “In the world that I lived in, it was very easy for people to not share their skills with each other, especially not share their talents. Indianapolis is a funny beast sometimes, people get very attached to what they have so we were looking for opportunities to authentically share their gifts and talents with each other and gain something new from someone else.” The first event was a public debate about gentrification in which teams from Butler and IUPUI engaged in a debate and then opened up the floor to questions from observers. The topic sparked a variety of opinions from the community and provided a platform for the issue to be discussed in a constructive manner. The second part of the project was a cultural night of the Gift Exchange where over 30 people set up booths to share
The Indianapolis International Festival offers the public an opportunity to experience different cultures and learn more about various ethnic traditions. This past November, the Indianapolis Art Center invited those who attended the festival to see the world through an artistic lens. After being a judge at the International Festival, Kat Toebes recognized not only a need to meet and serve diverse communities, but also for these communities to have access to free art activities while at the festival. With support from a Focus 2020 grant, an Indianapolis Art Center booth was created to offer 3 different activities for children of all ages. The first activity featured cultural paper dolls where kids were welcome to dress artists in international clothing and learn a little bit about the culture as they rearranged the magnetic outfits. Another side of the booth went along with the “Heroes and Heroines” theme of the festival and featured inspirational people from around the world such as Malala and the Dalai Lama. Each hero or heroine was then printed as half of a portrait so that children could finish drawing the other half and read more about that person’s life on the back of the page. The final and most successful part of the booth was the art of making paper cranes. The festival also had a focus this year on Asia so the kids were very excited to learn more about the story of Sadako and her paper
Do you have an idea about how to help Greater Indy become a more peaceful, welcoming, and engaged community? Need money to make your vision a reality? Click here to visit the Focus 2020 Community Action Grant website and download the application to complete on your computer today! We've extended the application deadline to September 26, 2014 and will allow individuals who have not yet completed all of the Focus 2020 graduation requirements (attending at least 4 workshops - click here to see a list of scheduled workshops) to apply. However, grant funds will only be awarded once all requirements have been met and Focus 2020 workshops will no longer be offered after December 2014. We've scheduled two Community Action Grant information sessions to help answer any questions you might have. (Click on one of the sessions below to register to attend.) Tuesday, Aug. 19 from 12-1 pm at Peace Learning Center Wednesday, Aug. 20 from 5:30-6:30 pm at Peace Learning Center Attending one of these sessions is not required, though, it is highly recommended! We will post Q&A's from these sessions online within 48 hours after each workshop for those who are unable to attend.
Focus 2020 Workshop: Creating a Culture of Peace Description: Participants will learn and practice advanced techniques of conflict de-escalation, dialogue, and communication skills and how to use those skills to build a more peaceful community. Participants will design strategies for applying these skills in their homes, workplaces, and communities. The workshop is free to attend, but registration is required. Please click here to register. Or, to see a list of other upcoming Focus 2020 workshops and learn more about the initiative, visit www.infocus2020.org/home/workshops/