Community Festival established the grants program in the spirit of giving back to our community. Each year, ComFest invites grant applications to support and sustain programming consistent with ComFest’s principles which are rooted in community, social justice, and progressive activism. Since 2006, ComFest has awarded over $330,000 in grants to local organizations.
This year, six organizations doing essential work in Central Ohio received ComFest grants:
Simply Living - People’s Solar Project
The People’s Solar Project will create a demonstration community solar and microgrid project that will generate 5 MW of solar energy to power 80 homes, five churches, and two city schools in a 300-acre area on Cooke Road. Eventually, the Cooke Road Solarhood, as the project is called, will include a resilience hub with energy storage, an attractive solar park, and an Energy Academy.
The grant will allow Simply Living to purchase the materials needed to create the prototype “SolPole,” or solar tree that holds 10 solar panels. SolPoles will provide the bulk of the energy generated in the Solarhood.
Project contact: Art Yoho, People’s Solar Project Director, email@example.com
MBUBE Institute - Bronzeville Active Wellness Day
MBUBE Institute is a wellness organization which creates culturally competent resilience strategies across the life cycle. Bronzeville Active seeks to implement mind and body wellness in the form of active resistance to stress, preventable diseases and sedentary lifestyles plaguing the Bronzeville neighborhood and surrounding communities.
The grant will provide funding for Summer Monthly Sunset Yoga and Wellness Engagement. The series will include a live band for sunset yoga and speakers enriching community residents with information about mental health, plant-based food, preventive health and community activism.
Project Contact: Malik A. Willoughby, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kind Meals - Personal Hygiene Giveaway
Kind Meals serves homeless and low-income individuals in the Southside/Merion Village communities by offering nutritious vegan food at monthly events. Kind Meals also operates a free community store providing new and used clothing and household goods.
The Personal Hygiene Giveaway Project will provide packages of vegan personal hygiene items to homeless members of the community as well as to others in need. The grant will purchase 100 pre-packaged bags of vegan hygiene items and additional items to personalize their bags. Kind Meals will distribute the kits during one of their monthly events this summer.
Project Contact: Lydia Stone, email@example.com
Columbus Free Clinic - Ongoing Medical Services
The Columbus Free Clinic is an interprofessional, student-run free clinic that provides quality medical care and social services to low-income, uninsured, and incompletely insured people with health care needs while promoting valuable educational opportunities for volunteers.
The grant will enable the Columbus Free Clinic to provide ongoing medical services at 2231 North High Street every Thursday evening.
Columbus Free Clinic has been a longstanding presence at ComFest and raises funds each year during the festival. The grant will make up for some of the lost revenue due to ComFest being virtual in 2020 and 2021.
Project Contact: Peter Howison, firstname.lastname@example.org
Clintonville/Beechwold Community Resources Center - Bus passes
The Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center (CRC) is a community-based social services agency that brings people together to help individuals and families build upon their strengths. Through programs for children and youth, families, and seniors, the CRC delivers responsive services, cultivates partnerships, and promotes opportunities to foster a healthier community. The grant from ComFest will provide funds for the purchase of COTA bus passes to be provided to clients who do not have reliable transportation.
Persons experiencing homelessness in the community are the primary users of these bus passes. They will be distributed at CRC’s food pantry in Clintonville, but the recipients may use them to travel to various parts of the city in order to get to a job interview, shelter, to access benefits, or obtain medical care. Those in need of bus passes would be eligible to receive them up to twice a month.
Project Contact: Stephanie Baker, email@example.com
At Home by High - Social Engagement
Formed in 2017, At Home by High (AHBH) is a grassroots organization created for neighbors, by neighbors serving adults ages 50+ to age-in community by providing services, engagement, and connection. At Home by High provides support, connectedness, and enables independence by organizing events and activities to connect older adults and reduce social isolation.
The grant will provide funding for AHBH’s social engagement project and partnership with the North Market. Participants will attend AHBH educational and socialization events at the North Market for social interaction and opportunities for learning about new vendors, products, and foods they may not have access to otherwise.
Project Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
2021 ComFest Grants Committee members:
Kate Curry-Da-Souza, Loyce Theesfeld, Julialynne Walker, Kitty Horan, Ann Kemble, Marty Stutz, Ben Hanning, Jera Oliver, Regina Alhassan, Anna Dandridge, Sandra Lopez, Liz Gordon-Calas
— Marty Stutz