Design and ISSLP Students Win 'Ideas That Matter' Grant

Author: Dept. Staff

Collaboration between the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History and Design, and Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns has resulted in a $40,000 Sappi Ideas That Matter grant for 2015. This is the third Sappi Ideas That Matter grant awarded as a result of collaboration among these units.  The 2015 grant was awarded for the Enza Project, a community-based crafting initiative dedicated to enhancing the lives of women across South Africa.

As an extension of the Visual Communication Design course, Design for Social Good, a group of students traveled to Johannesburg during their 2015 spring break—accompanied by their instructor Marie Bourgeois and Jimena Holguin from the Center for Social Concerns—to test the design projects that emerged from Bourgeois’ class. As a result of this first visit, the students began exploring ways that craft skills could help local women pull themselves out of poverty and further their own education. Design student Abbey Dankoff was key to helping put the grant together and is continuing to put forth a great deal of effort toward furthering this project and fulfilling the grant responsibilities.

During the summer 2015, as part of the International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) of the Center for Social Concerns, the students Abbey Dankoff and Hannah Chiarella, with guidance from Bourgeois and the support of the ISSLP’s Johannesburg community partner, the Kgosi Neighborhood Foundation (KNF), drafted a project to create a series of instructional booklets aimed at improving job opportunities for women in South Africa by helping them develop marketable skills, such as sewing and ceramics, through simple craft projects that serve a community need.

Sappi Ideas That Matter is a grant program that recognizes and supports designers who use their skills and expertise to solve communications problems for a wide range of community based and social justice related projects. 

Sappi North America Announces Recipients of the 16th Ideas that Matter Grant, Adds People’s Voice Award

(most of story excerpted from PR Newswire)
BOSTON, Sept. 17, 2015

Originally published by Dept. Staff at on January 12, 2016.