Our July Awesome Newcastle took place last Thursday in the alluring Reserve Wine Bar. Nestled together in a booth with wine in hand, our board members once again gathered to hand out a no-strings attached bag of cash to an awesome person.
New to the list of permanent board members is Chris Joannou, legendary Silverchair bass player and owner of one of our favourite bars in Newcastle, The Edwards.
The lucky finalists included Stephen Fewson presenting his concept ‘Survival Candle’, Mardi Ryan from Micro Theatre Festival and Angela Laurette & Michelle Harman from Heartland Children’s Publishing Home.
First up was Mardi Ryan from Micro Theatre Festival, which began last year. Short plays are held within coffee shops and galleries, and run from 5-20 minutes. The 2016 festival hosts include The Press Coffee House, Vinyl Café and Curve Gallery. Ryan explained the $1000 would be used as prize money for the writer of ‘Best New Script’, director of ‘Best Production’, ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Improvisation’, which will also help to attract participants to the competition.
Second to speak was Stephen Fewson who presented the ‘Survival Candle’, a recycled source of heat and light made from cans, cardboard and wax. Originally the survival candle was a great camping solution however Fewson recently discovered their use for homeless people. The candles produce enough heat to act as a heater as well as a small stove. As an ex-army man himself, Fewson has a long history of helping others. He is a father of four daughters, works in disability support, and volunteers for the SES. Fewson explained that the money would go towards purchasing wax for the upcycled candles so he can continue to make and refill them.
Lastly Angela Laurette & Michelle Harman presented Heartland Children’s Publishing Home, which aims to establish a publishing home for children to write, illustrate and create books. Laurette and Harman explained that the concept would be an opportunity to capture and nurture the most pure voices and imaginative moments of children. The Awesome Newcastle grant would be used to launch their website and assist in the purchase of illustrative programs to further develop the books.
After much deliberation, guest board member Ty Brennock was pleased to present the bag of cash to Survival Candle maker, Stephen Fewson.
Congratulations to all our finalists for the July event. Remember that your applications never expire, so you’re always in the running.