Grant Competition to Provide $150,000 for Summer Youth Programs
May 9, 2013 | Press release | Digital Media & Learning, Digital Media & Learning Competition

Museums, Libraries, Nonprofits Encouraged to Launch Programs as Part of 5th Digital Media and Learning Competition to Improve the Online Experience for Young People

A new grant competition will award $150,000 to libraries, museums, and other nonprofit institutions to provide hands-on learning opportunities this summer for youth across the country.

The Project:Connect Summer Youth Programming Competition is part of the 5th annual Digital Media and Learning Competition that kicked off today with a daylong hackathon in New York City supported by Facebook, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), the MacArthur Foundation, and Mozilla. This year's Digital Media and Learning Competition will encourage the development of apps, badges, curricula, and other tools to enhance learning through making the online experience for young people more civil, safe, and empowering. It includes today's hackathon, the Summer Youth Programming Competition, and a $1.2 million open competition that will launch in the fall.

Museums, libraries, and other nonprofit organizations that provide hands-on learning opportunities for youth may apply for grants of up to $10,000 each to support single or multi-day summer programs. These programs should be based on the principles of  "connected learning," an educational approach designed to help prepare young people for a world that is highly networked, technology-enabled, and producing new knowledge at a pace not known to previous generations.

Grants will support a series of local hands-on events from July through September where young people collaborate and compete to build a better web through activities such as hackathons, maker spaces, digital journalism and communications labs, and mentoring workshops. Applications are due June 10. More information can be found on the Digital Media and Learning Competition website.

"The goal of the Project Connect Competition is to harness the creativity and energy of youth and adults alike to make the web a safe and engaging place for the kind of learning that young need to thrive in the workforce of tomorrow," said Connie Yowell, Director of Education at the MacArthur Foundation. "We live in a Digital Age. Connected learning leverages the best of the web to help young people become the makers, producers, communicators, and lifelong learners our connected world demands."

Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) has been a supporter of digital media and learning and partnered with MacArthur's YOUMedia program to bring the experience to youth at its Born Brave Bus event. The Born Brave Bus is designed to connect youth with their communities and engage them in interactive experiences encouraging kindness and safety by and for youth in their connected worlds. BTWF looks forward to working with organizations that receive a Project:Connect Summer Youth Programming grant to supplement proposed activities.

"Born This Way Foundation is excited to be part of the Project Connect Competition and is committed to creating programs that provide and promote safe environments for our youth" said Cynthia Germanotta, President and Co-Founder of Born This Way Foundation. "The MacArthur Foundation understands the critical importance of using digital media wisely and productively at a time when there is such misuse of social tools."

The Project:Connect Summer Youth Programming Competition and all digital media and learning competitions are administered by the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), through grants from the MacArthur Foundation to the University of California, Irvine.

Since 2004, MacArthur has invested more than $100 million in research, design, and practice to better understand how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life, and what that means for learning and the institutions that support it. More information is at

About the MacArthur Foundation
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places and understand how technology is affecting children and society.

About the Born This Way Foundation
Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, the Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2011 to foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.

HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) is an international network of educators and digital visionaries committed to the creative development and critical understanding of new technologies in life, learning, and society. HASTAC is committed to innovative design, participatory learning, and critical thinking.

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