At 2016 A3C Festival & Conference, seven civic ventures from around the US took the stage for A3C Action, a pitch competition searching for the best ideas nationally using hiphop culture and art to address social justice challenges. Seven finalists were selected out of over 140 applications.
The Village of Arts and Humanities from Philadelphia won first place - and $7,500. They offer paid internships and a media-centered makerspace that positions youth as experts on issues impacting them while providing a platform to process and amplify their narratives, experiences, and voices.
Second place - and $2,500 - went to Shooting Without Bullets, a revolutionary youth advocacy and fine arts education program that focuses on identity development in black teens in Cleveland through photovoice, expressive arts healing, and open dialogue.
The winner of the Audience Choice Award went to Girls Make Beats, a Florida-based organization that teaches young girls music production, DJing, and audio engineering through an after school program at a state of the art recording studio.
"A3C Action Pitch Night was an absolute highlight this year. The room was captivated by the seven A3C Action finalists. Their passion and commitment to social justice and community was contagious and everyone was inspired and lifted. It's very easy to be pessimistic about the future, but with folks like these fighting for their community it because clear there are brighter days ahead. As one A3C Action finalist said, "I believe this room is the real silent majority.” says Mike Walbert, Executive Director of A3C Festival & Conference.
“A3C Action gives a unique spotlight to organizations that are grinding day in, day out in their communities. These are individuals that show us what the world could and should look like if we engaged creatives in addressing systemic social justice challenges.” says Rohit Malhotra, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Civic Innovation.
Judges of the A3C Action pitch competition included Alissa Black of the Omidyar Network, James Cuthbert of Sprite, J Carter of One Musicfest, David Lee of the Atlanta Hawks Foundation, and Terrilyn Simmons of ChooseATL.
ChooseATL, the Consul General of Canada in Atlanta and Mailchimp sponsored A3C Action 2016.
Additionally, Mayor Patricia de Lille of Cape Town, South Africa was in attendance.