via press release…

A3C is proud to relaunch its continued partnership with Atlanta’s Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) for A3C Action.  A3C Action is a national competition to find, support, and invest in new, innovative ideas that use art, music and hip-hop culture as a vehicle to advance social justice and civic engagement.  A3C Action invites organizations from around the country to submit ideas, and 5 finalists will be selected to participate in a pitch competition at the 12th annual A3C Festival & Conference in Atlanta from October 5-9.

Applications will open for A3C Action on May 17 at A3C Action seeks creative projects that address systemic social justice challenges and opportunities for civic engagement. This includes, but is not limited to, ideas that work to empower citizens, increase access to essential rights like a great education or fair treatment in the criminal justice system, and address issues of economic opportunity, income inequality and ownership. All projects must include use of art, music, and/or hip-hop culture as a driver. A3C Action aims to increase new, diverse audiences of creatives and artists at the public problem solving table.

“A3C Action is our most exciting initiative,” says Mike Walbert, Executive Director of A3C. “It’s inspiring to meet and work with entrepreneurs using hip-hop culture to help underserved communities.  We launched A3C Action last year and were overwhelmed by the response from the community.  I really looking forward to working with a new group of activists, and growing the impact of A3C Action.”

The top five finalists will pitch at the A3C Festival & Conference and will be competing for over $10,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. In addition to the pitch competition, finalists will be given opportunities to host public workshops with festival attendees. All finalists will go through two days of intensive business training and pitch preparation with the Center for Civic Innovation.

In 2015, A3C & CCI kicked off the first year of A3C Action. The two winners of A3C Action were Atlanta’s own Chop Art, which runs a yearly summer camp for 100 homeless teens in Atlanta, and Media in Neighborhoods Group (MING) from Philadelphia, PA, who use the power of film to bring together formerly incarcerated people with law enforcement officials to make short films about one another.

“If you look back at almost any social movement in this country’s history, it’s impossible to tell that movement’s complete story without the role of art, music and culture.” Says Rohit Malhorta, Executive Director of Center for Civic Innovation. “In a time where wealth is growing at the same pace of inequality, we need to find outside-the-box approaches to tackle the challenges that communities are facing across the United States. There is no better nor more impressive gathering of conscious, art-loving people than the A3C Festival & Conference, making it the perfect platform for an initiative like A3C Action.”

During the event, a number of individuals stood up to commit support for the ventures beyond the $10,000 financial investment from A3C and CCI. This includes Theia Washington, director of the City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, who made a surprise contribution of $5,000, on behalf of the City of Atlanta, to be evenly distributed among the five ventures. Additionally, Nzinga Shaw, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club, awarded the winning teams with tickets to an Atlanta Hawks game. Jay Tribby, Chief of Staff to Council member Kwanza Hall, committed sponsorship support for ventures that worked with youth in Atlanta’s District 2. As icing on the cake, Grammy Award-winning producer Henny tha Bizness committed his support for ventures that want to expose young people into the music industry.