Helping an older generation plug into the Internet to leave behind a legacy has led to success for Lillian Lee (MFA 2011 Design). The SVA alumnus was recently announced as one of 22 winners of the 2011 Sappi Ideas that Matter grant program for her project, The Grand Assembly, which will become a curated online community allowing creative professionals 60 years of age or older to showcase their work and share their knowledge with a new generation. It strives to empower these individuals to become entrepreneurs through the sale of the work displayed and will allow them to find opportunities to be commissioned or teach workshops.
Lee’s $40,000 grant will go toward further establishing and developing The Grand Assembly, including the creation of video profiles to record the lives of these creatives, as well as organizing a physical exhibition of their work. The Grand Assembly is working in partnership with the Carter Burden Center for the Aging, which according to its Web site “promotes the well-being of individuals 60 and older through a broad array of direct social services and volunteer programs.”
“Society tends to focus on the endeavors of the younger generations, while not engaging the generations that came before,” Lee said of her underlying motivation. “We are in a longevity revolution with people living longer lives. It is necessary to create social relevance for older generations since it impacts both the social and economic well-being of society.”
The Ideas that Matter program was initiated more than 10 years ago through Sappi Fine Paper North America, a branch of global pulp and paper company group Sappi Limited. It is open to designers, design firms, agencies, in-house design departments, instructors, design students and student groups. Submissions must benefit a nonprofit organization and winners are awarded a grant of $5,000 to $50,000 by an independent committee of established design professionals. To date, Ideas that Matter has provided funding of approximately $12 million to more than 500 projects.
Image: Logo for The Grand Assembly. Courtesy of Lillian Lee.