Annual prize will award $200,000 to five “trailblazing individuals” who contribute to the social, environmental, economic, and cultural fabric of the city.
An award to support people with extraordinary ideas, projects, or plans that endeavour to make New York City a better place for all New Yorkers has been announced.
Named in honour of Brooklyn placemaker, David Walentas, the $1m David Prize is open to any individual working in NYC’s five boroughs.
The annual prize will award $200,000 to five “trailblazing individuals” who contribute to the social, environmental, economic, and cultural fabric of the city.
Winners will be risk-takers, think long term about the impact of their ideas, and have a track-record that showcases their ability to get the job done, said the Walentas Family Foundation which launched the award.
“New York has always been home to dreamers and doers. This prize is designed to ignite the imagination of New York’s most curious minds who believe no challenge is too large to overcome,” said David Walentas.
“With deep philanthropic roots in New York, our family hopes this prize will express and perpetuate our passion for this city for generations to come.”
Spearheading the effort to identify talented individuals with ambitious ideas will be a group of influential advisory members that represent a range of sectors throughout the city.
“This prize is designed to ignite the imagination of New York’s most curious minds who believe no challenge is too large to overcome”
To ensure the David Prize awards innovative and diverse ideas, the advisory group members are dedicated to finding talented individuals who can thrive, even when faced with obstacles, political pressures or economic risks, and overcome them with skill and grace, the foundation notes.
Applicants’ work will likely not fit neatly into single industries or sectors, but instead, challenge the status quo and seek creative solutions across disciplines.
“The work we do at Harlem Capital Partners paired with the mission of the David Prize is exactly the type of partnership that helps marginalised voices pursue and achieve innovative ideas,” added John Henry of Harlem Capital Partners, and advisory group member.
“I know what it’s like to have big dreams and not have the resources available to achieve them. I’m looking forward to being a part of the David Prize team, which will provide opportunities for those who far too often don’t have the access to funding due to cumbersome parameters and restrictions.”
Each of the five $200,000 awards will be granted over the course of two years to an individual whose work will benefit from this specific support, with no strings attached.
The David Prize will accept both third-party nominations and self-submitted applications. The vetting process will include an online application, site visits, in-person interviews, referrals, and presentations. Winners will be announced Spring 2020.
Applications for the David Prize opened 3 September 2019 and will close 1 December 2019. For full details, go to the David Prize.
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