Announcing the inaugural Margarita Kuchma Project Award

Image credit Margarita Kuchma, 2019

In honor of Margarita, a student who was passionate about confronting injustice head-on, this annual award supports a real-world, student-led project that addresses fundamental issues of equality, freedom, social justice, civil rights, and human rights.

Students are invited to identify a pressing issue and propose a project that meaningfully and concretely responds to it. The model of “problems” and “solutions” is not necessarily the preferred one here. There are many modes of response to injustice, and we encourage projects that take risks, undertake experiments, create new modes of engagement. They can be innovative and speculative, but they must take place in the real world of politics and society, and work directly with people to affect their lives. Projects can take whatever form is relevant and appropriate, from art to organizing to science and medicine to policy and business and beyond. The mode of engagement should correspond to the nature of the issue and the proposal’s analysis of how to address it.

Special priority will be given to projects focusing on anti-police brutality, anti-gun violence, anti-colonial movements, or criminal justice reform.

WHO CAN APPLY? Currently enrolled students, and alumni/ae from the the class of 2020 and 2021 are invited to apply.

Still from Margarita Kuchma’s music video In Order To Be Here (2019)

The award will be decided by a multi-step process:

OPEN CALL: Students (individuals or teams) submit a roughly 500-word concept paper that outlines an issue or a situation and proposes an intervention to engage with it. This project can be new or an extension and development of an existing community engagement. The emphasis should be on the nature of the injustice, its site(s) and the people affected, and the practical means of challenging it. What is wrong, who is involved, how, and what can be done about it – concretely? Applicants should submit their ideas using this simple google form. Proposals due March 1st.

STAGE 1  $1,000: Five projects will be selected to advance to a second round, and will each be given an award of $1,000 and another month to conduct research and identify partners and material needed to realize the project. Revised proposals are due May 1st .

STAGE 2  $5,000: Two finalists will be selected from the five detailed proposals. Each will be awarded a further $5,000 to create a detailed project activation blueprint and timeline. Again, the emphasis is on achievable direct impact. Final proposals are due May 27th.

STAGE 3  $10,000: A final winner will be selected on May 30th and awarded a $10,000 grant to realize the project over the proposed timeline. The results of the project will be presented to the Bard community in a public presentation sometime during the Fall 2022 semester.

If you have questions about the application process or about the eligibility of your project idea, please reach out to us at [email protected]

Student Opportunities

Image Announcing the Margarita Kuchma Project Award

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