From Community Innovation grantees & Bush Fellows

Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts
2014 Bush Fellow

Operate from abundance. Scarcity doesn’t feed you. Figure out what you can offer, maybe it’s money, or time, or space, or partnership or creative thinking and then offer it. Say yes to everything for a while until you learn more about what you should say yes to. Even then, make sure your “reckless yeses” outweigh your “prudent nos.” Share what you’ve learned as freely as you can.

Imam of Masjid in North Minneapolis
2014 Bush Fellow

One of my main focuses for my fellowship is to create new narratives of what it means to be a Muslim American. This endeavor can only be achieved with the proper infrastructure and supports. I’ve come to the realization that we must work to develop the support for the vision. This has shifted my focus and has been made a priority for our short-term work. Strategic partnerships are going to be critical to our success.

2014 Community Innovation Grant Recipient

If you could go back to the start of your grant period and give yourself one piece of advice or learning, what would it be? Why would this have been important?
Calm down, things will move much more slowly than you’d like, but it will be better and stronger because of it. Take the time to create more visual learning and communication tools and talk to consumers experiencing homelessness in a formal manner from day one. Had we known this from the start we would have avoided a lot of personal stress and some interpersonal conflict.

2013 Community Innovation Grant Recipient

What are the next steps or plans, if any, for continuing this project?
The impact of our work has evidently put so many possibilities within our reach in ways that were never imaginable a few years ago. Our next step, then, is to build on our successes and breakthroughs, facilitate a broader and deeper community ownership, and respond more effectively to overcome our identified blind spots.