Sleepy July, best time to apply.

Oh, the lazy days of summer in Portland. Lemonade, sunshine, and the occasional 90+ degree day that sends us scurrying for any available air conditioned space (except for the hard core cyclists – they’ll stop at NOTHING).

With all this gorgeous distraction, our July grant applications are predictably sleepy. But for the enterprising awesomer, July is the best time to apply! You’ll never have a better chance of walking away with the $1000 check than in July.

So get to it! Grant applications are due by midnight, July 8th.

Street Books wins our May grant

The regular-sized check (where do you order those giant checks, anyway?) for a cool $1K went to Laura Moulton with Ben Hodgson for Street Books, a bicycle-powered library catering to those who live outdoors. Laura started Street Books with a short term grant and the “audacious assumption that people who slept on cardboard would want a paperback book.” And they did! Street Books operates with volunteers and a shoestring budget. The grant will go towards expanding the book selection and offering compensation to longtime library patrons like Ben for their work for the project.

The $100 People’s Choice award went to Amanda Rain Brazel of Speaking the Unspeakable, whose infectious energy really wowed us. Amanda wants to use that energy to encourage the silent to speak their truth and claim their worth.

Big thank yous to all our finalists and their awesome ideas:

• Giant Ball league: a forgotten sport with a 6 ft ball - Kevin Fiske
• An amateur choir with anything but amateur intentions - Jesse Mejía
• A space for local makers to sell repurposed, useful items - Lauren Gross

More thanks to our amazing musicians, Robin Bacior with Dan Bindschedler, and to gracious hosts Dig A Pony.

We’ve Got May Grant Finalists!

Resurrecting a forgotten sport: Two teams roll a 6 ft diameter ball towards a goal while avoiding getting crushed by same. What could possibly go wrong?

Repurposaurus: A pop-up shop showcasing old stuff cleverly repurposed into new and useful stuff by local makers

Singers from Chud Alley: Amateur musicians take on challenging works by contemporary composers – and triumph!

Speaking the Unspeakable, Soapbox Style: A portable PA system hits the road to help people find their voice on a metaphorical soapbox

Street Books: A bicycle-powered mobile library serving people who live outside is ready to expand to a second library-bike

Hear them in person next Tuesday, May 27th at Dig A Pony!

Awesome Day is coming to Portland on Saturday

One of our Awesome Trustees, Adam, spoke with KATU about tomorrow’s Awesome Day.

Awesome is whatever you want it to be,” Zucker said. “Anything that makes you put a smile on people’s faces or just makes Portland a better place is awesome in my mind.
Take a picture of yourself doing something awesome for Portland and send it to us! Our winner will receive $75 and the opportunity to pick next month’s funded project at our Grant Party!

Awesome Portland Trustees talk on

Two of our Awesome Portland trustees appeared on Jefferson Smith’s show “Thank You, Democracy” on (who themselves were our seventh project funded back in May 2013).

Megan and Adam discussed a variety of topics, including Megan’s own Awesome Project Piano Push Play, dangerous pianos, the work of the Awesome Foundation, and making Portland a better—and more awesome—place.

If you missed it, you can catch them on the archived show on Soundcloud. Our thanks to Jefferson Smith and for having us on!

Awesome Day 2014

Participate in Awesome Day

In 2012, Mayor Sam Adams declared April 26 to be Awesome Day. This year we’ve decided to celebrate all the awesome things that we do here in Portland.

To participate, share with a picture of an awesome thing you did on Awesome Day to be in the running for some, um, awesome prizes! You can share a picture by posting it to our wall on our Facebook Page or by tweeting it to us at @awesomepdx. We’ll judge the best entries and announce a winner at our May 27 grant party at Dig a Pony, starting at 7PM.

Win Awesome Prizes!

The winner of our first Awesome Day prize will join the rest of our trustees as we vote for the winner of the $1,000 May Awesome Grant. They will also receive a cash prize of $75.

Obey Strict Rules

To be eligible, you need to:
  • Share with us a picture something awesome you did or saw
  • Attend the grant party on May 27
  • Be Awesome!

Awesome Foundation

Funding awesome ideas $1,000 at a time.

We are an ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe. Created in the long hot summer days of 2009 in Boston, the Foundation distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is pooled together from the coffers of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees” and given upfront in cash, check, or gold doubloons. The chapters are autonomous and organized by the trustees around geographic areas or topics of interest.

Congratulations to our March Winner

Amidst a torrential downpour (that’s March for you—comes in AND goes out like a lion), we had our March Awesome bash at Velo Cult.

The $1,000 check went to Travis Feldman for Shrink Circuits Nomad Labs, a transportable workshop spreading the joy of DIY electrical circuit design using shrink plastic as a substrate. Travis has put on workshops at Maker Faires and MakerSpaces and is expanding to community centers and schools. The grant will supply up the mobile lab with electronics, shrink plastic, and other supplies needed to empower even more budding electronics designers.


The $100 People’s Choice award went to Bianca Youngers of binks bar on Alberta. The crew at binks are installing a fancy Globaltap system on the side of the building to provide free, filtered water to anyone, anytime. Even cooler: the binks community is creating a grassroots art installation to highlight the area and entice thirsty passers-by over.Huge thanks go to all our amazing, awesome finalists:

  • IF Festival, an October event celebrating improvisation in all its artistic forms
  • Sing A Song of Portland, local walking tours that aim to get 40 people to stand on a street corner and belt out tunes with significance in Portland music history
  • Kids Art Gallery Soiree, by the fantastic folks at Art ala Carte

More thanks to the progressive folk trio Wildish, who provided us with lovely tunes, and to the Taco Pedaler for braving the downpour in a custom built taco trike to provide us with tasty, tasty tacos.

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