Imagine More Grant Winners
SILVERMAN founded Andco in October of 2016 with the mission to cultivate social and cultural enterprise in the center of downtown Jersey City.
This year, we introduced the Imagine More Grant to uplift Andco members who displayed distinct value to our community with the use of imagination and innovation.
We broke down the prizes into 5 categories, Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Every submission was carefully reviewed and considered before making our final selections. A sincere thank you to everyone who participated!
With no further ado, we’re proud to introduce the winners of the 2021 Imagine More Grant
Our Gold Winner is Anna Gilchrist of Sandfish Publishing!
Sandfish Publishing LLC is an independent media company focused on creating children and Young Adult literature from diverse storytellers and illustrators. She hopes to give authors from multicultural backgrounds the support and a platform to share their stories – often not shared by big publishing houses – so more young people can read books that truly represent our world.
Our SIlver award winner is Mamta Singh of JC Families.
Since 2010, JCFamilies has been dedicated to serving and supporting families in Jersey City and surrounding areas. JCFamilies provide critical resources to families and its rapidly growing community of savvy and socially connected local parents from diverse backgrounds.
Our second Silver award winner is Sherry Singh of The Whole Spectrum Foundation.
The Whole Spectrum Autism Foundation is dedicated to raising public awareness, promoting acceptance, and encouraging the inclusion of all individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
Introducing our first of three Bronze award winners, Mouna of StartupWoman.
The mission of Startup Woman is to create pathways for women and non-binary folks into entrepreneurship and to provide the support that they need to succeed.
Our second Bronze winner is Anne-Gail Moreland, who is a Full-stack developer and founder of the ARQ Collective.
ARQ is a collective of multidisciplinary artists focused on Art, Activism, and Resources for the Queer communities of Jersey City & New York City.
Our final winner is Jenna Toulantis Leggio of the JC Women’s Collaborative, who works to provide a safe space and valuable resource to women in Hudson County (specifically Jersey City) with workshops, food drives, community building, and meetups that encourage a strong network of women within our community.
Deep Space Gallery
Deep Space Gallery was founded in the summer of 2016 with the idea of creating a cultural space where creatives could come together to incubate and celebrate their artistic inspirations. In a community filled with so many talented individuals, the gallery serves as a launching pad for emerging artists of all genres to pursue their vision with the support and energy of a capable and passionate curatorial team.
Deep Space offers a place to network and experiment with ideas for not only visual but also performing artists from Jersey City and beyond. The goal is to help under-recognized artists find their value and get the recognition their talents deserve.
In addition to supporting their ongoing monthly exhibition and event schedule, the funds from the Imagine More grant will enable Deep Space to purchase materials to build out studio spaces for artists who need an affordable place to work. Deep Space also plans to use the funds to expand their off site exhibition program in multiple neighborhoods to help showcase the arts in communities throughout Jersey City.
If all goes according to plan, Deep Space will have more of a presence in other parts of Jersey City, hopefully with some more recognition from the downtown hub of activity as well as more activity in our surrounding neighborhoods.
Deep Space would also love to get more involved in collaborating with other local small businesses — believing that our creative community is stronger together and that together our small businesses will not merely survive, but thrive.
The Music Dept
The Music Dept is an entertainment company specializing in live performers for private events. We coordinate, curate, and produce performances on behalf of our clients. Our eclectic body of work ranges from a jazz quartet performing at a wedding cocktail hour to a marching band supporting a non-profit organization in a community action.
The Music Dept can trace its lineage back to founder Adam Lomeo’s “Rum Runners Jazz Trio.” Rum Runners Jazz would perform for private events in NYC and NJ. The namesake owner wanted to transition toward retirement and Adam acquired this business in 2016.
Adam’s goal is to engage with new direct clients so as to operate at a better margin, have smoother communication, and have larger budgets for the performers. The Music Dept has been extremely successful in serving wedding clients, but so far that segment of the business has been less consistent than the corporate, not-for-profit, or business to business clients.
They’re currently working with a consultant on a social media marketing plan. This momentum will allow Music Dept to explore the next phase of investment and growth. That might look like hiring an employee to help with the office work or expansion to another geographic area.
[email protected] is Jersey City’s premier classical theatre, telling epic stories in intimate and unique spaces, with a focus on international and cross-cultural exchange. Our mission is to revitalize the performance, education, and audience for Shakespeare and classic drama. We produce diverse, large-cast productions, bringing the foremost International, Broadway, and Hollywood talent to Jersey City to share the stage with the best of our New Jersey and Jersey City artists.
Our inaugural production of Hamlet was a star-studded production, featuring Jonathan Forbes, star of Amazon’s hit show, Catastrophe and the BBC series, Dublin Murders; Eden Brolin, star of Paramount Network’s Yosemite and the upcoming feature film, Arkansas; and Aria Shahghasemi, star of the CW show Legacies, and Andrew Sellon, star of Fox’s Gotham. Hamlet garnered rave reviews, being called “theatrical perfection” and a “sensational gift” and sold out over half of it’s run.
In Spring of 2020, [email protected] will return with an expanded two-show season and more international and star-studded productions.
Makers Meals is a supper series that brings together local makers + creatives to host one night only experiences centered around the table. The goal is simple: Enjoy delicious food. Connect our community. And, highlight the work of everyone involved!
Makers Meals began as a way to bring people together around a beautiful table with delicious food to think critically about the ways we can creatively engage our city and the intrepid makers, movers, and shakers that make it such an incredible place to live and work. More importantly, it’s become a wonderful touch point for us to both build with and learn from our communities in the spaces of food, art, diversity and beyond.
Content Creators Academy
CCAJC is a nonprofit that provides mentorship and free classes to disadvantaged youth in Jersey City interested in media, marketing, arts, and entrepreneurship. We work with local professionals to offer career mentorship to our students and help them build a portfolio of work they can use in college and job applications. We opened in 2017, because we saw a lack of opportunities for youth in the community to learn the career potential in content creation. So we combine creative learning in digital media (photography, videography, graphic design, and writing) with career training from volunteer mentors that come from a wide range of professions.
During the school year, we host free after school workshops twice a week at Andco. These workshops have grown each year, and one of our biggest struggles is providing sufficient classroom technology for our students to learn on.
This means that students have to share computers, cameras, and other equipment—and that they have fewer opportunities to develop the skills they are learning. This grant will enable us to purchase an additional laptop and licenses for design software (Adobe Creative Suite), and allows us to continue to increase the number of youth we accept into the program.
CANVS is an interactive platform that connects people and cities through the power of street art. One of the ways we do this is through our app that helps people locate street art in different cities. CANVS was founded in Jersey City, the hometown of co-founder Ralph André who observed first-hand how street art helped drove the cultural and creative vibrancy of the city. This inspired the creation of CANVS and the mission to transform the way people experience and interact with street art in cities worldwide.
Jersey City Writers
Jersey City Writers (JCW) is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a community where local writers can develop their skills, connect with like-minded individuals, and share their work publicly.
JCW started as a Meetup group in the early 2000s. In its infancy, the group was just a handful of writers meeting at a local café once a week to share their work and offer moral support. As more writers joined, the group branched out, first offering two meeting nights a week, and then gradually adding skill development and public performance components to the in-person writing and critiquing that was already happening.
Today, JCW hosts dozens of events each month for writers of all genres, with weekly workshops specifically dedicated to fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, respectively. We also provide a unique monthly forum to support novelists and other long-form authors, and produce a variety of author readings, expert panels, and other skill-development events that are open to the public throughout the year.
Whether you’re a best-selling author or have just started writing for the first time in a decade, we encourage you to join us!
Wabo is a high-quality stainless steel water bottle focused on the environment.
Wabo started as a social impact campaign. The original concept was to get people to take a picture of their reusable water bottle in places all over the country and around the world and post it on their social media account with the hashtag #mywabo. Once the social impact campaign gained a following we began to focus more on Wabo as a brand. We realized that if we wanted to grow the Wabo brand and make an impact on the world, we needed to sell a tangible product. That product became The Wabo Water Bottle.
We noticed that people love making the product their own. They enjoy claiming ownership over laptops, cell phones, water bottles, etc by placing stickers on them that express who they are, what they like, and what they do. This idea became what would eventually make Wabo so unique. Every bottle comes engraved with the text [place stickers here] as encouragement for everyone who purchases to make the bottle their own. The wabo stickers are made from a material called Terraskin.