Need Help?

CCA Logo


Last updated on Apr 09, 2021

The Center for the Arts and Public Life has hosted the Impact Awards each year giving the students an opportunity to win funding and mentorship for their impact project.

2021 Impact Award Theme : Creativity In Crisis

Today we are facing a series of crises; politically, socially, environmentally, and ethically. How can we as artists and designers address these crises in our work with hope, determination, and solutions to effect change in our community.


The Community Impact winner will receive $5,000.

The Exceptional Innovator award will receive $2,500.

The Outstanding Startup will receive $1,000.

Applications accepted Monday, March 22, 2021 to March 31, 2021

Requirements for Applications

Presentation of project through 10 min recorded video presentation.

3 to 5 photographs of work or work in progress.

250 words on the project, its purpose, and its impact.

Student Competition

This year we would like to see more student led initiatives.

The Impact Award recognizes the diversity of mind, medium, and talent. Students in all media are invited to submit proposals.

The Impact Award is an opportunity for the student activist to plant a seed in the community.

Jurors for the 2021 Impact Awards

Purvi Shah

Purvi Shah is the Founder and CEO of Kids & Art Foundation. She founded Kids & Art in 2008 after her son Amaey was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2005. To create some order and meaning in her suddenly overturned world, she sought a way to make a difference for her own child and the thousands more like him. Purvi is the winner of the 2017 CBS KPIX5 Jefferson Award and ABC7’s Stars Among Us.
Before Kids & Art, Purvi Shah was Creative Director in multimedia firms and is formerly trained as a graphic designer with a Masters from Pratt Institute in New York. Currently Purvi mentors’ nonprofit leaders, hosts workshops on design thinking and branding for nonprofits, is the host of Art + Health + Innovation conference and she is also an Adjunct Faculty in the Interaction Design Department at California College of the Arts.

Marc O'Brien

Marc O’Brien is the co-founder of The Determined, a creative studio for a climate-resilient world. He is also the co-founder of Climate Designers, a hub for designers and creative professionals from all industries, committed to using their creative skills to take climate action. When not running his studio, you can find him teaching at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA as an adjunct faculty. Marc is also the co-author of the First Things First 2020 manifesto. 

Allison Yasukawa

Allison Yasukawa is an interdisciplinary maker and deep language nerd. As both an artist and educator, decoloniality, sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis, translation, and Asian American Studies circulate in her work. She is invested in what communication scholar Joanne Gilbert calls "heckling the status quo." In her studio practice, Allison examines asymmetries of power in interactions. She addresses the unintended consequences and (mis)interpretations of social exchange focusing on relationships between aggression, belonging, exclusion, and fear. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at spaces including the American University Museum (Washington D.C.), High Desert Test Sites (Joshua Tree, CA) and Dak'Art OFF (Saint-Louis, Senegal). Allison's academic work focuses on communicative overlaps between art/design learning and language learning framed from critical art education and language justice perspectives.  She has presented on art-language overlaps in critique instruction, community engagement, failure and student autonomy, and inclusive teaching practices at conferences including TESOL International Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education (FATE), and College Art Association (CAA).  She is currently working on a book on multilingual student art/design education in US that calls into question the racialization of creative practice and meaning-making priorities that continue to be reinscribed in many of these educational contexts.  

The 2021 Impact Award Finalists

Play, Seed, and Unite by Nivedita Rajendra

Exit Wound by Rachel Parish

Living Gallery by Chinasa Porter and Carissa Lillian Clark

Storytelling as a Space for Mediation by Carlos Medellín S

Exploring Experimental Animation by Amy Zheng

Winners of the 2021 Impact Awards

The Outstanding Startup Award Winner of $1,000 Living Gallery Chinasa Porter and Carissa Clark

The Exceptional Innovator Award Winner of $2,500 Exit Wounds Rachel Parish

The Community Impact Award Winner of $5,000 Play, Seed, and Unite Nivedita Rajendra

Remember the key word is Impact. If you have a project or artwork you believe is perfect but would like help growing you Impact Please reach out to for advice and guidance.

Past Winners