We’re pleased to announce an exciting new employee grant program designed to advance innovation within our practice. The Athletics Innovation Grant encourages ambitious members of the Athletics team to pursue a creative or technical project beyond their day-to-day client work — armed with a handsome budget of $10,000 to make it happen. The grant is awarded to the individual or group within our studio with the most compelling proposal for pushing the boundaries of our studio practice, as selected by our partners at the start of each year.
The inaugural grantees, announced in the spring of 2021, are Triana Thompson (Designer) and Ellen Voorheis (Designer). Their project, titled “Merch for Mutual Aid,” is a community screen printing event and gallery installation benefitting the mutual aid group Bed-Stuy Strong. All event proceeds, including any remaining grant budget, will be donated to Bed-Stuy Strong to directly benefit the community. The event will take place on August 21st, 2021 from 1pm to 6pm at The Living Gallery (1094 Broadway in Bed-Stuy). All are invited! More info here.
Innovation too often feels like a luxury: something reserved for those rare moments when time and budget permits. It’s an expression that appears constantly in contemporary creative conversations, but its meaning is elusive, and fast-fading from oversaturation. Athletics believes in the true spirit of innovation, which is why we want to bring it back to its roots: a scrappy spirit of curiosity and determination to do things better than before, delivered with a healthy dose of attitude. The truest innovation starts with a spark, but yields something enduring and important, creating lasting impact on our everyday lives and work. As an organization, we want to incentivize innovation to catalyze radical new ways of seeing, original modes of working and interacting, and fresh ideas that set our sights higher. Tree and Ellen’s project exemplifies all of these qualities.
We believe innovation should be built into the way we work and organize as a studio: a natural reflex for improvement that activates every time we encounter something broken in our world. By launching the Athletics Innovation Grant program, we set out to commit that reflex to practice and make it a core component of our employee experience. We look forward to seeing you all at the Merch for Mutual Aid event on August 21st, and sharing the ideas that lie ahead as we continue to cultivate our team’s innovation!