Local Ideas Festivals

Mobilizing Schools and Communities 

Bezos Scholars return home from the Aspen Ideas Festival with the inspiration, tools and resources to launch their own community change projects. Scholars work as Student and Educator Pairs to create sustainable Local Ideas Festivals that catalyze response to issues of relevance in their communities. To support their work, they participate in webinars and apply for a $1,000 seed grant to design and implement their Local Ideas Festival.

The Ripple Effect

The Bezos Family Foundation provides an opportunity for schools to apply for funding to continue their festival for three consecutive years. Schools have continued to spearhead their festivals—three, four and even seven years after their incipience!

To date, the Bezos Family Foundation has awarded 190 grants for Local Ideas Festivals since the first festivals launched in 2006. This includes festivals in 37 states across the country and in South Africa. Scholars from the African Leadership Academy have represented 13 countries to date - often taking their strong leadership skills and innovative thinking back to their home countries to create programs for community progress. 

Click here to see the past 7 years of Local Ideas Festivals.