The 2016 SXSW Community Grant recipients are listed below. SXSW arrived at these recipients through an application process and selections were made by an outside selection committee working in conjunction with SXSW.
One $10,000 grant with a focus on music goes to Swan Songs, an Austin, Texas based nonprofit that fulfills musical wishes at the end of life by organizing private concerts for individuals with terminal illnesses. These concerts allow patients, family and friends to focus beyond the illness and come together for comfort and inspiration through music. Recognizing that the talent and expertise of local musicians are an invaluable part of their success, Swan Songs offers an honorarium that can be donated back to the organization, as the musician chooses. Swan Songs has employed over 200 Austin area musicians and with this grant will increase the pool of musicians by 20% and free concerts for the terminally ill by 33% in 2016.
Skillpoint Alliance’s POWERUp Velocity Prep
One $10,000 grant with a focus on technology will go to Skillpoint Alliance’s POWERUp Velocity Prep program. This high school internship program was developed in response to industry and education leaders’ desire to see students gain hands-on work experience for high-demand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers in Central Texas. POWERUp will focus on an energy solution for the Community First! Village, a 27-acre master planned community that will provide housing for the chronically homeless. Students will enrich their learning with CAD, coding, energy science, entrepreneurship, engineering, marketing and public speaking to support their solution. Serving a 65% low income, 15% Black and 46% Latino population, this program focuses on guided learning applied through action.
One $10,000 grant with a focus on film will go to Reel Grrls, a nonprofit with a mission to cultivate voice and leadership in girls by training them to produce films about issues important to them. Reel Grrls engages girls 9-22 to think critically and creatively about digital media in order to create positive social change. Reel Grrls provides media literacy training to help girls interpret and respond to the flood of gendered images and messages in the media. This grant supports a mobile program designed to surmount the significant transportation barrier for low-income and rural youth. Reel Grrls serves girls of all economic means, with 70% of students receiving Reel Grrls scholarships, including children of migrant working families and youth of color attending CLC schools.
The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
One $10,000 grant with a focus on ecology and sustainability, will go to The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA), a nonprofit whose mission is to promote effective broad based grassroots advocacy for aquifer protection throughout the 21 county Edwards region. GEAA‘s program will develop Community Rain Gardens that engage residents in designing and installing Low Impact Development projects such as swales, rain gardens and employing drought tolerant plants that will enhance filtration of stormwater before it enters the aquifer. This project seeks to build pride and commitment to aquifer protection and water conservation through volunteerism and education. Through a partnership with San Antonio schools, this program will serve a 40% economically disadvantaged, 9.3% Black and 48.6% Latino community.
The Miracle Foundation
One $10,000 grant with a focus on education will go to The Miracle Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission to empower orphans to reach their full potential. The Miracle Foundation recognizes that every child is born with 12 rights, including the right to a quality education and to a stable, loving, and nurturing environment. They currently partner with 13 orphanages in rural India. Through pilot programs, the Foundation seeks to teach valuable computer and English language skills as well provide tutor training in innovative ways to engage with children in the classroom. This grant will completely fund all of the Foundation’s education initiatives in an 80-child home for one year.