Friday 19 October 2018

Drawn Together: Maser Launches Art Project with Coca-Cola Thank You Fund

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund aims to improve communities through the support of worthy causes. This year they have a massive €100,000 to donate. Here we take a look at how one of their ambassadors, Maser is collaborating with young people from Clay Youth Project

What is the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund?

For more than a century Coca-Cola has been at the very heart of fun times, laughter and shared moments. This popular position within the marketplace has given Coca-Cola the leverage to do good – transforming the lives of communities around the world. The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is both an expression of gratitude and an inspiring reminder to be grateful for what we have and to help those without. Set up in 2011 to mark the 125th anniversary of the Coca-Cola company, the Fund aims to support causes that can make a real difference to ordinary lives.

Since its inception in Ireland, the Fund has inspired young people with autism through a mentorship programme, promoted societal integration through sailing and equipped young people with the skills necessary to achieve their dream of working with horses. In total, a massive €855,000 has been awarded to 70 non-profit organisations across Ireland.

Funding is allocated in €5,000, €10,000 or €30,000 grants depending on the specific requirements of the organisation. There are people all around Ireland with philanthropic mindsets and big plans. Coca-Cola simply helps to put these plans into action and this year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund ambassador, Maser is calling on all youth-oriented non-profit and community groups to think outside the box, get creative with project ideas and apply for funding.

Maser and the role of art in communities

Street artist Maser is not one to shy away from big issues. His work, which has appeared in pivotal locations in Dublin as well as around the world, confronts the ugly problems facing society head on. Bold colours and simplistic yet thought-provoking phrases force the viewer to really address their own opinions on the subject. Maser’s vibrant murals are a sort of guerrilla-style activism, proving that the spray-can is mightier than the sword.

Just like Coca-Cola, Maser has been a tangible presence in our communities, a back-drop to our everyday lives and a rallying call for change. Maser is getting actively involved in causes and making a difference. In Maser’s role as Coca-Cola Thank You Fund ambassador, the single-monikered artist will be responsible for raising awareness of the Fund through his collaboration with Crumlin based youth group, Clay Youth Project.

The Clay Youth Project in Crumlin

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Coca-Cola Thank You Fund Ambassador, Maser pictured with young people from Clay Youth Project in Crumlin

Traditionally, Crumlin is one of the poorest and most disadvantaged areas in Dublin. Unemployment remains stubbornly high, household income is low, and many inhabitants find themselves slipping into a life of drug use or crime. As in all cases of urban marginalisation, it is undoubtedly the children who are most at risk. And not just at risk from pernicious factors such as drugs and gangs but also from the apathy and malcontent that strangles ambition.

How do you reach young people? How do you foster their potential and keep the spark of their dreams burning bright? Art has long been proven to be a valuable tool for engaging people and drawing out talent.

Maser is teaming up with young people from Clay Youth Project in Crumlin to demonstrate the importance and impact of youth initiatives.  The Clay Youth Project offers a range of activities – from gardening and filmmaking to art and drug awareness – to keep the young people of the community inspired, educated and switched on.

Over a series of workshops, Maser will work closely with the young people to create a bespoke artwork together embodying the theme of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, which is to inspire and support young people, empowering them to become confident leaders of the future. 

What’s happening in 2018?

Every year, the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund selects a theme and seeks to give a platform to relevant causes. There is €100,000 up for grabs, divided between various deserving projects – and yours could be one of them! The Thank You Fund judging panel is looking for non-profit organisations that have exciting ideas and fresh new initiatives surrounding the theme ‘Working with communities in Ireland and Northern Ireland to inspire and support young people.’ Within this theme, the Fund is seeking applications which fall under one or more of the following four categories:

• Bridging the divide between education and the workplace

• Fostering diversity and inclusion among young people

• Empowering young people aged 16 to 25 to become the leaders of the future

• Youths taking an innovative approach to sustainability in local communities

How to apply

If you’ve got a worthy cause that needs funding, make sure to get your application in before before midnight on Friday July 13th 2018. Don’t forget to specify what size of grant (€5,000, €10,000, €30,000) would be most suitable for realising your project.

Apply at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou with a 60-second video outlining why your cause deserves to win. The shortlisted videos will be hosted on the Coca-Cola website and put to a public vote – with a chance of securing a further €10,000 in funding.

To find out more go to  Thank You Fund FAQs.

Sponsored by: CocaCola

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