Resources & Funding
To support free and open source creative tools, COSA assists many different communities of artists and developers with grants and other types of support.
Supporting Projects in the Digital Arts
COSA provides small grants and/or temporary working space to projects that add value to the digital arts field, particularly tools made by or for underrepresented creative communities without other types of institutional support. The grants are best suited to support tools that are still growing and have smaller numbers of developers and users.
Reports from grant recipients are collected and promoted via COSA's website. Another unique opportunity for some project leaders is a residency at DU in the EDP spaces. During the residency, recipients act as a visiting scholar, with several days dedicated to research, collaboration and student engagement.
Small grants are also available for DU students and faculty conducting research and writing theses that involve and contribute to open-source creative tools.
Neta Bomani and Bomani McClendon
Out of the Black Box (OBB) is an ongoing workshop series developed by Neta Bomani and Bomani McClendon, and aimed at the introduction of electronic circuit making to school-aged children. The program teaches students about the logic of computation through artmaking. Projects include making sculptures with conductive clay, drawing with robots and printing letters with voice-recording modules. OBB introduces elementary school children to STEAM topics in a fun, accessible and collaborative environment with an added emphasis on engaging Black and Latinx students.
In September 2019, Luca Damasco and Zachary Rispoli spent a week in Denver as COSA Contributors in Residence. Their 9-day visit was twofold, involving work on their creative tool and engaging students of all ages. They are the creators of Wick Editor, an easy to use, open source web based interactive animation tool. It is focused on bringing many of the basic features of a tool like Flash back into the hands of everyone, including K-12 students.
With COSA's support, they provided free workshops to 6th–9th graders at Denver School of the Arts, 1st–8th graders at Aurora Frontier P-8, and college level students at University of Colorado at Denver and at the University of Denver as well. In total, they taught about the uses of Wick Editor and covered other open source tools to over 300 artists! Not only was it an educational opportunity for the students, but it also provided valuable feedback on features and processes that will help Wick Editor improve in future versions.
Char Stiles and Chirag Davé
Char Stiles and Chirag Davé were awarded a COSA micro-grant for their work on their live-coding environment called Code Augmented Reality Live (CARL). CARL was designed for “algoraves” where users can participate in a live coding event to experience, in augmented reality, the very 3D environments they are creating in real time. This type of mobile AR technology is often proprietary, and Stiles and Davé seek to open this up to a wider set of participants by making their software open source. With their grant, Stiles and Davé have worked on increasing CARL’s usability, as well as the creation of more comprehensive documentation that can be shared with the public.