Next 300 Challenge award recipients presented with checks from city

NEW ORLEANS -- The Next 300 challenge has come to an end! The mayor presented checks in the theater inside Gallier Hall to 12 lucky winners, whittled down from a list of nearly 160 applicants.

If you aren’t familiar with the Next 300 challenge, it was an ideas competition. The award money ranges in amount, with some groups getting up to $75,000.

Roughly $500,000 will be given out in total.

The challenge was designed by the Mayor’s office and the 2018 NOLA  commission. They asked the public for solutions to some of the city’s systemic challenges, looking for projects that would have a positive impact on the city.

The central mission: “What is your big idea to keep the future of New Orleans strong and vibrant – for the next 300 years?”

When the Challenge was launched, the 2018 NOLA Foundation received 157 letters of intent.  112 organizations were invited to submit initial applications.  From the initial applications, Jade Brown Russell and Curry Smith, Co-Chairs of the 2018 NOLA Foundation Community Engagement Committee, narrowed it down to 19 finalists and hosted an innovation boot camp to help those finalists hone their final applications.

The 12 winners and their prizes are below:

  • Navigate NOLA (New Orleans Infant Mental Health Project)- $75,000
  • Health and Education Alliance of LA (Coordinated Care for the Whole Child program)- $50,000
  • Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (Focused on resilience for the next generation [5th to 12th grade students] in 12 schools in Orleans Parish)- $20,000
  • Camelback Ventures (A Good Job's Initiative focused on industries with high growth opportunity) - $50,000
  • 1881 Institute (Creates the N.O. Center for Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing) - $50,000
  • Fund 17 (A Community Business Incubator focused on the 7th Ward of New Orleans) - $50,000
  • NOLA Mardi Gras Indian Cultural Campus (History Dance Trail and living recognition of Mardi Gras Indians) - $50,000
  • New Orleans Museum of Art (Helps develop an additional six acres in City Park Sculpture Garden) - $50,000
  • United Negro College Fund (Building Better Narratives in Education and empowering African Americans on reform and changes in education) - $30,000
  • The First 72 (Innovative training and certificate program for formerly incarcerated men and women) - $25,000
  • Louisiana Green Corps (Provides 100 youth with opportunity to participate in stormwater management training) - $25,000
  • Recirculating Farms (Growing Local NOLA on the Greaux with fresh and affordable food into underserved areas) - $25,000