Apply for Support for a New Festival
The Science Festival Alliance (SFA) is currently seeking applications from new science festival initiatives in US communities with a relatively small resource base interested in receiving matching funding, mentoring, and travel support. The support is available thanks to the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Each science festival will begin as and remain an independently organized initiative. Up to 12 awards are available through this solicitation.
The Science Festival Alliance supports new festival initiatives in a number of ways through a membership system (currently free). New science festival initiatives completing this application but not selected as an award recipient may still choose to become members of the Science Festival Alliance and benefit from the support the SFA provides to all new members. It may be best to think of this application process as an opportunity to motivate you and your collaborators to begin planning for a new science festival initiative serving your region whether or not you are among those selected as awardees.
New science festivals planned for regions with a relatively large resource base will not receive awards through this specific program, but the SFA may have other resources available for such initiatives. Please contact the SFA directly if you are considering or planning a science festival initiative that does not appear to qualify for this specific program.
The Science Festival Alliance is joined in this program by four lead science festival initiatives. Each of these originally started on a budget of $60,000 or less, and has committed to serving as mentors to award recipients. Every science festival initiative represents a unique approach to serving a distinct community, but it may be helpful to consider these four lead festivals as potential models for activity in your region.
Please do not contact these festivals directly about this opportunity at this time, please direct any inquiries to the Science Festival Alliance instead.
Wisconsin Science Festival: Led by staff at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Fund, the inaugural 2011 celebration featured a four-day schedule with scores of events throughout Madison, Wisconsin, and its environs. The festival held an expanded celebration in the fall of 2012. The festival represents a model of working closely with a research university campus—in this case the University of Wisconsin, Madison—to initiate enough momentum for a massively collaborative festival with diverse public offerings held in a wide range of venues. For more information about this science festival, please visit online at www.wisconsinsciencefest.org.
St. Petersburg Science Festival: Led by staff at the Pier Aquarium, the inaugural celebration in 2011 culminated in two-days of well-attended public events in St. Petersburg, Florida. The festival held a second celebration in fall of 2012. The festival represents a model for initiating a festival by combining multiple existing STEM events run by separate entities to create something much larger than the sum of its parts. For more information, please visit online at www.stpetescifest.org.
Colorado Springs Science Festival: Run by a consortium of four different non-profits, and led by staff at the Colorado Springs Science Center Project (a group working to build a science center in Colorado Springs), this festival completed its third annual full celebration in 2012. The 2012 festival was the result of collaboration with over 130 organizations across the region that collectively presented almost 100 events over 9 days. The festival represents a model for initiating a festival by taking an existing small-scale, volunteer-driven public event and building collaborations that expand the event to cover a full week of activity in many venues. For more information, please visit online at www.csscp.org/csfestival2012.
SCOPE Science and Technology Days: Led by staff at SCOPE (Science and Citizens Organized for Purpose and Education), this festival initiative recently completed its fifth year of organizing Science and Technology Days at the Missouri State Fair. Science and Technology Days establishes a themed pavilion—with dozens of collaborators presenting interactive activities—to serve the large, mostly rural audience drawn to the State Fair. SCOPE also runs a robust set of events in both rural and urban communities, many of which connect to the State Fair. This festival initiative represents a model for inserting significant science and technology activity into a large non-science event to serve rural communities that are so dispersed that they are unlikely to support a freestanding science festival. For more information, please visit online at http://www.scopenational.org/#!Home1/cqdp.
For additional information about starting a science festival, please see the “Organize a Festival” section of this site.
This program of the Science Festival Alliance is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The following national collaborators are assisting in this initiative: