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+ McGraw Foundation Provides $100,000 Grant to ACI
+ Knox College Team to Create, Display Unique Digital Art Project at Chicago’s 150 Media Stream
McGraw Foundation Provides $100,000 Grant to ACI
Funds are distributed to ACI students with emergency needs

Aug. 5, 2022

The McGraw Foundation, a longtime contributor to ACI, is based in Dundee, Illinois.

The McGraw Foundation, based in Dundee, Illinois, awarded $100,000 to ACI for distribution this coming academic year to member colleges and universities to assist students with financial emergencies. McGraw Foundation Student Emergency Assistance Fund grants can be awarded by financial aid officers throughout the year, whenever students present unanticipated financial hardships, including emergency medical expenses, loss of housing or sudden loss of a job.

The McGraw Foundation is a longtime partner with ACI, according to Mick Weltman, ACI executive director. The foundation has awarded nearly $2.5 million to ACI since 1974, all of which has been distributed to members, and then to students, he added. $5,000 more was awarded this year than in previous years.

The McGraw Foundation is a private foundation “whose mission is to provide financial assistance for educational and charitable purposes in furtherance of the public good and promoting the well-being of all humanity,” according to its website. Established in 1948, and funded by contributions from Max McGraw and several family members and friends, McGraw Foundation has supported a variety of educational and charitable activities for 75 years. The foundation provides grants to several nonprofit causes, with a primary emphasis on education at all levels.

Knox College Team to Create, Display Unique Digital Art Project at Chicago’s 150 Media Stream
Knox repeats as winner of 150 Media Stream/ACI Digital Arts Contest

Aug. 5, 2022

A team of three students from Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois, submitted a successful proposal in the second 150 Media Stream/ACI Digital Arts Contest. The Knox College team entry focuses on digital relationships and human connectivity. Their digital art project is expected to debut in May 2023 at the 150 Media Stream video wall in Chicago, according to Yuge Zhou, 150 Media Stream curator.

Knox College’s 2020 winning entry was “Shrouded in Smoke.”

The Knox College team members are James Adamson, Elk Ridge, Utah, a sophomore majoring in computer science and studio art; Tristan Blus, North Barrington, Illinois, a senior majoring in computer science; and Ingrid Wasmer, Chicago, a senior majoring in studio art and psychology. Tim Stedman, Knox College assistant professor of art, professor of practice, will serve as faculty advisor. 150 Media Stream will provide contest cash awards of $1,500 each to the students and faculty advisor.

The Knox College proposal was the lone entry in this year’s contest, open to student teams at all 26 ACI-member colleges and universities. In 2020, a Knox College team of Patrick Steppan and Odessa Sagli, with Stedman as faculty advisor, submitted the winning entry, “Shrouded in Smoke,” left image. It debuted at 150 Media Stream in October 2020.

Located at 150 N. Riverside, Chicago, 150 Media Stream is the only structure of its kind dedicated to showcasing local artists alongside renowned and emerging artists from around the world. The digital art structure consists of 89 LED blades that stretch 150 feet long and rise 22 feet high, igniting into light, color and movement. The contest’s purpose was to stimulate students’ interest in digital media, to practice their skills in creating digital art, to acquire experience in producing art in public spaces and to provide a prestige platform to showcase their work.

In their entry this year, the students wrote that their concept is about relationships. “With recent limits on in-person physical contact, the internet has been our main source of facilitating connection with each other,” they wrote. “In a time when the world is opening back up to more face-to-face interaction, we wonder how virtual spaces have influenced our relationships with each other and with ourselves.”

“We demonstrate this relationship between humans and these virtual spaces by applying physicality to a digital medium,” they continued. “We are using physical animation altered in a digital space in tandem with a rooting algorithm symbolizing the growth of these spaces. The movements that reach across the gaps between the 89 blades exemplify our desire to connect despite physical separation. Sporadic movements, confined to smaller areas of the composition, highlight the limits of this virtual connection. Ultimately, these visualizations explore how the internet has expanded human connectivity, as well as the needs that can’t be fulfilled through digital connection.”

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