Photo of worker adjusting a wireless access point.

Worker adjusting the wireless access point outside my window.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008
2008 Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Request for Proposals
The Minneapolis Foundation has released the 2008 Digital Inclusion Fund Request for Proposals. (I am a member of the Digital Inclusion Fund Committee.) Before I get into details, here are the links.

Read the proposal online. I translated it to a Google Doc so it may lose a bit of formatting but the info is there.

Download the RFP and grant application. Right in the middle of the page.

Deadline for Submission: Friday, September 5, 2008

The grants are available to nonprofit (501 (c)(3) ) organizations. There is a total of $200,000 to be given away, same as last year. Grant amounts vary between $5,000 and $30,000.

The purpose of the fund is to:
The Digital Inclusion Fund supports efforts to bridge the digital divide in Minneapolis by providing qualified organizations with financial resources to promote technology access and literacy for low-income people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees, displaced workers, seniors, and other new users of technology.
and we are interested in funding projects that address:
  1. Affordable internet access;
  2. Technology literacy;
  3. Local, relevant and accessible content;
  4. Adequate, affordable hardware and software tools.

Past grantees can apply but must provide a progress report with specific quantified outcome measures.

US Internet, who is building the Minneapolis Wi-Fi system, gave the money for the Digital Inclusion Fund as part of their contract with the City of Minneapolis.

Send me an email if you have questions: pfhyper AT gmail DOT com.

Further readings:
2007 announcement with some ideas for projects
List of 2007 grant recipients

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Thursday, July 10, 2008
Red Bull and our bridge: Followup
Update: I just found a couple of other stories on the exhibit that are worth linking. Corporate Babysitter has a somewhat cynical view of the event and raises some interesting questions like who's paying for the electricity. And there's a review over here that sees it as interesting art and I suppose worth the blocking of a major bike artery. (Includes a link to some photos.)

The show begins tomorrow with the giant photo cubes sitting on the Stone Arch Bridge. The Park Board got back to me (read my email here):

Thank you for your email regarding your concern for the Red Bull Illume exhibit on the Stone Arch Bridge. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's (MPRB) involvement with the art exhibit is limited to the permit that has already been issued for the exhibit. The MPRB event permit office receives a variety of requests for permits each year for events to be held within the parks, and they carefully review and consider each one. I believe the Illume art cubes will be placed down the center of the bridge deck, to provide pedestrian traffic on either side. I've copied our event permit coordinator on this email so that he is aware of your concerns.
Looks like they considered pedestrian traffic but forgot that this is a major bike route. It's hard to understand this lack of awareness given that City Hall is shouting from the rooftops what a bike-friendly town we have here.

Besides the whole bike thing, there's also the issue of promoting Red Bull on park property. The Minneapolis Park Board has also been accepting some other advertising money and some city residents don't think it's proper. The Downtown Journal has a story on the issue.

Maybe this will work out OK and the bikes will have enough room to safely cross the bridge. If the cubes are up, I'll see them tomorrow when my morning run takes me across the Stone Arch Bridge. Also watch for a story on the exhibit in the Minnesota Daily. (I'll post the link when it's available.)

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