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12/11/13 - Grants for New York Teens to Design Wired Fashion, Write Code, and Hack Teddy Bears

Nine grants totaling $848,000 announced from the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust teach technology

David Marcus, (212) 889-3963,
Nicole Hensley, (212) 686-0010 x250,

New York, (Dec. 11, 2013) - To help teenage digital media consumers become creators, grants from The New York Community Trust’s Hive Digital Media Learning Fund will start and expand nine after-school programs in all five boroughs. The programs encourage creative thinking as well as collaboration with mentors from the City’s technology sector.

“The test-taking culture in school has weakened a child’s curiosity,” said Kerry McCarthy, The Trust’s program officer for arts and historic preservation. “Digital media is a powerful antidote that can encourage creativity and learning.

Whether they’re coding apps to raise awareness about climate change or designing wearable game controllers, Hive programs enable teens to shape the world around them by becoming inventors, scientists, storytellers and designers.

"They’re solving real-world problems with skills like critical thinking and civic participation,” said Leah Gilliam, director of Hive NYC Learning Network.

The Hive NYC Network is made up of more than 50 organizations, such as New York Public Library, DreamYard, and the New York Hall of Science. They work together to share technical resources and expertise, and design programs that get teenagers immersed in hands-on learning.

The following grants for programs throughout New York City were recently approved by The Trust:

  • Teens will combine technology, gaming and fashion as they design their own video games with clothing and accessories that serve as game controllers with a $98,000 grant to Eyebeam for Playable Fashion. (Citywide)
  • Global Action Project will help youth build an interactive timeline that includes their personal reflections about media history with a $75,000 grant. (Citywide)
  • A $150,000 grant to Global Kids to expand NYC Haunts, a history game that teens design and play using mobile technology to hunt ghosts that lurk in their neighborhoods. (Citywide)
  • With a $75,000 grant, The LAMP (Learning About Multimedia Project) will bring teens and senior citizens together to critique and “remix” portrayals of both age groups in media messages, and then create a multimedia ageism awareness campaign. (Citywide) 
  • MOUSE will develop original content including learning resources and recommendations to help educators teach students how to read, write and participate on the web with a $25,000 grant. (Citywide)
  • New York Hall of Science will teach girls from low-income families how to code and encourage them to explore computer science with a $50,000 grant to create the “Girls First Digital Studio.” (Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens)
  • A $150,000 grant to Parsons, The New School for Design, to expand on gadgITERATION, a program that teaches computer engineering and design-thinking as students refurbish and add electronic components to found objects like teddy bears. (Citywide)
  • New York City teens will engage in creative activism by using digital tools to explore and create solutions around urban ecology and climate change with a $75,000 grant to the Wildlife Conservation Society. (Citywide)
  • A grant of $150,000 will expand a program at the YMCA of Greater New York that uses digital media and games to teach teens about health and fitness, and that encourages exercise and recognizes achievements with badges. (Citywide) 
For more information visit the MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla Foundation and the Hive NYC Learning Network, and follow @HiveLearningNYC.

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The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust was started by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The New York Community Trust in 2010. Additional donors include: Mozilla Foundation, Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, David Rockefeller Fund, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and most recently the Altman Foundation.


Since 1924, The New York Community Trust has been the home of charitable New Yorkers who share a passion for the City and its suburbs—and who are committed to improving them. The Trust supports an array of effective nonprofits that help make the City, Westchester, and Long Island vital and secure places to live and work, while building permanent resources for the future. The New York Community Trust ended 2012 with assets of $2.1 billion in more than 2,000 charitable funds, and made grants totaling $136 million. The Trust welcomes new donors. For more information, visit The New York Community Trust or follow @NYCommTrust.


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