Thursday night at 6 p.m., five awesome ideas will be presented at the Tuk Tuk Tap Room but only one will receive the $1,000 Awesome SA grant this month – winners are simply asked to go forth and be awesome.

Please note that this venue is an indoor/outdoor venue, it’s expected to be chilly enough for a jacket or coat and there is a slight chance of rain in the evening.

The 13 Awesome SA trustees selected finalists from an unusually large pile of 30 applications this month. As word spreads of the easy application and selection process, more and more San Antonians are submitting their awesome ideas. Applicants can re-apply for the grant as many times as they like – which has proven effective for several finalists, including December 2013’s winner, Robert Trevino of Little Italy San Antonio.

Awesome SA started in October of 2012 and is a local chapter of the Boston-based Awesome Foundation, some established chapters around the world receive more than 100 applications a month.

Below are the finalist applications selected for January in no particular order as submitted to the Awesome SA trustees. Minor grammatical and style edits have been applied.

Which idea would you like to see funded Thursday night?

Face Off Against Kids Cancer – Christina Smith

The Little Fighter Foundation, has teamed up with the San Antonio Rampage Hockey team's Face Off Against Kids Cancer Program. Photo courtesy of Rampage San Antonio.
The Little Fighter Foundation, has teamed up with the San Antonio Rampage Hockey team’s Face Off Against Kids Cancer Program. Photo courtesy of Rampage San Antonio.

A little about me:

I’m a wife and the mother of three amazing kids, one of which is a cancer survivor. At two years old my only son, Reid, was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer. He went through months of chemo, weeks of radiation and numerous surgeries at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. At the age of four, my son showed cancer who’s boss. He has now been in remission for three years. What got us through this difficult time was the support of friends, family and the community.

Here’s my idea:

The Little Fighter Foundation, has teamed up with the San Antonio Rampage Hockey team’s Face Off Against Kids Cancer Program. The team initiated this special program last season that pairs Rampage players with children from the Centers for Oncology and Blood Disorders at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, who are currently in either early stages of treatment for pediatric cancer or in remission. Through a series of social events that included a pizza and board game party at the hospital, an ice cream social after a Rampage game, a visit to SeaWorld and the San Antonio Rodeo, the program helped Rampage players forge lasting relationships with their respective buddies over the course of last season and hope to perpetuate those bonds this season. We, the Little Fighter Foundation, are the sponsor of the 2013-2014 program.

How I will use the money:

We will be using this money to provide the kids priceless memories with a collection of pictures with their buddies at each event. We would also like to get each child a jersey like hockey buddies with their name on the back. Some of the children in years past have lost their battle. Some of their last memories outside of the hospital are ones created by the Face Off Against Kids Cancer Program. We want to build on this program and make the experience that much more AWESOME.

How will this make the San Antonio community more awesome?

This will make San Antonio AWESOME because we are providing encouragement and hope to the kids of SA fighting the horrible beast we know as cancer. No kid should have to fight alone!

Art-A-GO-GO! – Alisha Pierce

Photo courtesy of ArtistiKIDS.
Photo courtesy of ArtistiKIDS.

A little about me:

Alisha a.k.a. “Ohso” was born and raised in New Orleans, LA and is a graduate of John F. Kennedy Sr. High. She attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and studied fine art at Delgado Community College but is considered self taught. Ohso received her degree in Computer Graphic Design from Southeast College of Technology in 1998 and has 14 years teaching experience. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home in 2005 her family relocated to Texas. For more about Ohso visit:

Here’s my idea:

Ohso Faboolus Art Studio respectfully submits its proposal to the Awesome Foundation for $1,000 in support of ArtistiKIDS! art program for talented youth!

ArtistiKIDS! began in March 2005 but was displaced from New Orleans, LA after six months of operation due to Hurricane Katrina. In July 2006 ArtistiKIDS! was re-established in San Antonio, Texas. Art-A-GO-GO! is a new mobile, outreach program created by ArtistiKIDS! Art-A-GO-GO! is a pilot, visual arts program designed to deliver high-quality, hands-on art lessons and workshops to schools, shelters, housing projects, and community centers that lack visually creative experiences for under-served, inner city youth, “at risk” and homeless children throughout San Antonio. We welcome invitations to bring our program to all children regardless of experience, gender, race or physical ability.

During our 2014 pilot year, Art-A-GO-GO! will plan, develop and execute workshops for a host facility ( Once a week for eight weeks), which will culminate in an installation of student art to be permanently displayed in the host site to help enhance public space, generate funds for social causes and increase public awareness of the activities being implemented in urban and inner city areas.

Our project will be entitled “Home is where the heART is” and our goal is to present an art program that integrates the public art into the building, making sure the art is at the fingertips of the children who use the facility creating a stimulating and secure environment. Based on Texas state arts standards, participants will learn to place their ideas in aesthetic contexts and collaborate to design, mount, and staff an exhibition of their art works meant to be touched and experienced. The aim is to make the art accessible for children to interact with it on a daily basis, helping them develop an appreciation for the arts. Our hope is for ALL children to feel free to imagine, create, and welcome the arts into their lives.

How I will use the money:

I am requesting funding from Awesome Foundation to purchase materials and to cover teaching stipends. Art-A-GO-GO! seeks to service one site every two months. Each site will be visited for 2 hours, once a week during the two month project. The funds from Awesome Foundation will be used as program support for one site as described:

  • $500 for Facilitating Artist Instruction $225 for Teen Apprentice Artist Stipend $275 for Art Supplies ( $125.00 for 30 pounds of Celluclay, $150 for Acrylic Paints)

How will this make the San Antonio community more awesome?

The benefits of Art-A-GO-GO in the San Antonio community are as follows:

  1. Art-A-GO-GO! art workshops foster innovation and artistic excellence.
  2. Art-A-GO-GO! helps fill the void in arts education cuts in local schools.
  3. Art-A-GO-GO! provides opportunities for students to interact with peers while immersing themselves in the visual arts.
  4. Art-A-GO-GO! Increases availability of one-on-one or small group art instruction.
  5. Art-A-GO-GO! Provides access to age appropriate art materials.
  6. Art-A-GO-GO! Outreach aids in the formation of strong community bonds between ArtistiKIDS!, local schools, centers and shelters.
  7. The implementation of partnerships will aid ArtistiKIDS! in providing programs that beautify the community, specifically to urban areas.
  8. Art-A-GO-GO! will provide paid internship opportunities for local teens.
  9. Art-A-GO-GO! will help create a community of artists/educators that provide networking opportunities and enrichment.

CineFestival 2014 – Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

guadalupe cultural arts center
A little about me:

Through Latino arts and culture, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center revolutionizes how we imagine the world. Located in the heart of San Antonio’s historic Westside since 1980, the Guadalupe is the largest community-based, multidisciplinary arts organization in the U.S. Year- round educational events, exhibitions and festivals showcase excellence in arts and cultural presentation, developing interest and talent in the areas of dance, media arts, music, literature, theater arts and visual arts.

Here’s my idea:

Each spring, the best in contemporary U.S. and international Latino films screen at the historic Guadalupe Theater in San Antonio. The eight-day CineFestival boasts world, regional and U.S. premieres, culminating with the Premio Mesquite Awards night, honoring stand-out entries in documentary and narrative filmmaking.

cenefestival en san antonio logo 2014

The nation’s original and longest-running Latino film festival will celebrate its 36th anniversary Feb. 22-March 1, 2014. Initiated in the fervent days of the Chicano Movement, this festival gathers a unique mix of filmmakers, audiences, activists and artists from New York to Los Angeles to Mexico City. Here, on the Westside of San Antonio, they commune in the city’s historic center (100+ years) for Latino culture, art and social life.

In 2014, CineFestival will host its second Latino Screenwriting Project, a 3-day writing conference organized with support from Sundance Institute. Emerging U.S-based Latino screenwriters and filmmakers, working on independent narrative feature screenplays, are paired with established and renowned directors and producers. Among those participating, one new artist will be selected to participate in the 2014 Sundance Screenwriters Laboratory.

Other highlights of CineFestival include:

  • Master classes – theme-based workshops that encourage discussion and critique of contemporary and historical issues in film.
  • Q&A sessions, panel and informal discussions – Numerous filmmakers travel to San Antonio for their film screenings, then participate in pre- and post-screening receptions, Q&A discussions and special party events that are open to the public. Casual and relaxed, these events encourage patron dialogue with the artists.
  • Sunday Family Day – an afternoon of films and special screenings, programs and activities for the entire family
  • Youth programming – screenings for students from the area and featuring work produced by local young people and those from across the country.

How I will use the money:

Awesome Foundation funding will provide travel stipends for those filmmakers requiring this assistance to participate in CineFestival. Two or three artists will be fully supported through this awesome contribution!

How will this make the San Antonio community more awesome?

CineFestival plays a significant role in the international presentation and appreciation of Latino filmmakers, and this infusion of Latino film and media intelligencia builds creative energy for the whole city.

In 2014, CineFestival will involve more than 150 artists – including 30+ local filmmakers and writers. The festival also exposes Latino film to new and growing audiences every year. An estimated 3,000 San Antonio residents (unduplicated count) – including more than 200 students – will participate in the forthcoming CineFestival, which is among the Guadalupe’s most popular annual happenings.

Puro Pinche Mobile Website – Stephanie Guerra

A little about me:

Hi, I am a 30-year old single mother born and raised right here in San Antonio. My heart belongs to the city which inspires me daily to do my part in supporting the vision of our “city on the rise.” I am an avid music aficionado and am currently a part of one-of-a-kind creative community of Geekdom. My dream is to bring world class events and musical acts to San Antonio as well as to be able to live, work and play downtown. I have the work and play part down like a pro.

Here’s my idea:

Around three years ago, I set out to put a stop to the age old mentality that “there is nothing to do in San Antonio.” I created the website,, which then was just a Tumblr page and began listing flyers of local concerts and other events. Within a short amount of time, I began developing a large following and social media prescience and was no longer able to go out in public with out being recognized. “Are you Puro Pinche?” is something I hear on a daily basis. It seems there is a real need in SA for people to find out what is going on and for there to be one centralized place to access this information.

An incredible buzz has been created that has allowed me some wonderful opportunities such as being hired to produce the 2013 Maverick Music Festival at La Villita. I have also been blessed enough to win accolades in our local publications like the SA Current’s 2013 Best of San Antonio Awards where I was named best local blog and in San Antonio Magazine in which I won the Reader’s Choice for best blogger. I have also been featured several times in The Express News for various events I have produced as well as being named “Top Tweeter” in SA.

Puro Pinche’s recognition has made me the “go to” person for who, what, when and where events are happening in the San Antonio. My website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page constantly aggregate and share need-to-know information about shows and events happening around town to an audience of 20,000+

2013 was a great year and I know 2014 will be even better. I now have a small but strong team, made up of my partner, Andrew Gonzales and a few interns who are all committed to making San Antonio a more vibrant, interactive and awesome place.

How I will use the money:

On the 1st of this year, we launched the new and improved Here you will not only be able to find every thing that is happening in SA, but you will also be able to watch our videos, read our blogs, see our photos as well as interact all in one neat package. Through analyzing the traffic on the site, we have noticed that 2/3 of all visitors are viewing on their mobile devices. We would like to use the money to build a site that is customized for the mobile viewing experience.

How will this make the San Antonio community more awesome?

This project will make San Antonio more awesome because it will continue to bring more people to events in and around town. There will be more interaction among fans and eventually this will lead to bigger events coming to our community. Having all our interactive media in a mobile space allows a viewer better access to see more of what is happening in our great city.

Song Creation / The Artist Outreach – Joseph Vincelli

the artist outreach logo
A little about me:

The Artist Outreach provides two different program service formats. One is a cross-curricular program combining STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and other core studies with the use of creative arts and literature.

Our second program service format is designed specifically for at-risk youth and emotionally damaged adults, which we call “Inspired Living.”

Our mission is to change the educational futures of those we serve through the use of the creative arts.

Here’s my idea:

Our largest program is our music program as it is so much fun. The students create their own song within an hour! We take students’ birth dates, turn them into musical notation, use whatever math equations they are currently learning and build songs from them. They become personalized as they are their own songs.

We do not use templates or libraries. We literally start the songs from scratch and design the song based on what the students want to do and what the math equations create numerically. Our website has several videos and testimonials on our efforts. We have grown 1,200% in our first year as we see that we are filling a need in the educational community and various other communities.

In 2013, we served over 7,000 students. With up to $1,000 (from your foundation), we can serve as many as 200 students. Anytime we receive additional funds, we are able to reach out to various communities in Texas and Kansas to build their creative thought process.

We encourage you to peruse our website and its links to learn more at which includes our 2013 accomplishments video, testimonials and partner list.

How I will use the money:

The money will go directly toward workshop programs where as many as 100 students will attend. $1,000 will allow us two of these types of programs.

How will this make the San Antonio community more awesome?

Teaching them how to tap into their creativity to build innovative ideas for the future.

The Rivard Report is a founding sponsor of Awesome SA.

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San Antonio Report Staff

This article was assembled by various members of the San Antonio Report staff.