Birmingham FEAST Puts a New Spin on Microgrants

There’s a new team supporting dreamers on a quest to launch innovative projects, and it’s called Birmingham FEAST. Teams or individuals get together to pitch their project ideas, and then a group gathers at the FEAST supper to vote on the ideas presented. Whichever project is chosen that night gets a $5,000 grant to make it happen.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about funding these days. I’ve raised money in the traditional way (business plan, investors, etc.) to open my shop, Church Street Coffee & Books, and I’ve recently reached my Kickstarter goal to publish a book I’ve been writing. It’s pretty exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) to live at a time when the path to getting the resources we need for our dream projects is so open and accessible.

There’s a new team supporting dreamers like me in our quest to launch innovative projects, and it’s called Birmingham FEAST. This is a really cool idea: Essentially, teams or individuals get together to pitch their project ideas, and then a group gathers at the FEAST supper to vote on the ideas presented. Whichever project is chosen that night gets a $5,000 grant to make it happen.

FEAST (which stands for Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics) is different from other grant organizations in a few ways, but one of the big differences is its timeline. Projects are chosen and funded quickly, so they can begin without waiting through a long selection process. The FEAST concept started in Brooklyn, and this will be Birmingham’s first FEAST presented through Design Week Birmingham.

Have an idea you’d like considered? Check out the Birmingham FEAST guidelines. They’re looking for design-based solutions to community problems in Birmingham’s metro area, and they like “concepts existing outside of a typical practice — from urban gardens to mobile party vans, public sculpture to performances.”

We have a team from Infomedia planning on submitting an idea (I’m not part of the team, so I’m impartial … right?), partly because we love coming up with ideas, and partly because we want to support this fantastic idea. The deadline’s coming up soon (October 5), so it’s time to put on that thinking cap. Or, you know, submit a design for one. Click here to submit an idea to Birmingham FEAST.

woman laughs while looking off camera for Infomedia

Carrie has been copyediting and writing for fifteen years. Her skills were forged in the newsroom at The Birmingham Post-Herald and she’s a huge book nerd (she moonlights as Southern Living’s book reviewer), but a love of paper and ink hasn’t stopped her from mastering the digital world as well: She’s had a blog pretty much since they existed, and she’s run social media for companies big and small. Carrie’s always ready to take on a new communication challenge, lecture us about the proper use of semicolons, or defend the fact that her Instagram account is filled with selfies.


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