4x4x4 in 2024

Key Questions

How do we increase excitement* in civic participation?


How do we increase access to civic participation?

How do we increase safety in civic participation?

(A reminder that the Center for Artistic Activism is a 501c3 nonprofit and we’re asking and experimenting with answering these questions in a nonpartisan way only.)

Key Dates

  • Kickoff: February 13, 12-1pm ET
  • Applications accepted: February 13-19
  • Pitch event: February 23, 12-1pm ET
  • Experiments chosen: February 27
  • Funding distributed: March 13
  • Experiments run: March 13 – April 10
  • Closing public share and celebration: April 19, 12-1pm ET

Why Experiment?

For a corporate perspective (whose takeaways we can certainly apply to our own work):

“If testing is so valuable, why don’t companies do it more? After examining this question for several years, I can tell you that the central reason is culture. As companies try to scale up their online experimentation capacity, they often find that the obstacles are not tools and technology but shared behaviors, beliefs, and values. For every experiment that succeeds, nearly 10 don’t—and in the eyes of many organizations that emphasize efficiency, predictability, and “winning,” those failures are wasteful.

“To successfully innovate, companies need to make experimentation an integral part of everyday life—even when budgets are tight. That means creating an environment where employees’ curiosity is nurtured, data trumps opinion, anyone (not just people in R&D) can conduct or commission a test, all experiments are done ethically, and managers embrace a new model of leadership.” Read more here.

For a human rights perspective (that reclaims innovation from the private sector):

“There is near-consensus among human rights practitioners that the field faces, if not a crisis, a daunting array of complex challenges. For the majority of the world that lacks significant economic and political power, there is an urgent need to diversify our tools and increase our capacity to innovate as quickly as the powerful do. To meet this need, some human rights advocates have embraced design thinking and the innovation lab model as a way to shake free of old patterns and identify promising, if sometimes crazy, ideas.” Read more here.

What do we mean by “experiment”?

Here are some examples created by the Unstoppable Voters team — we know you’ll come up with better ones.

How do we increase excitement in civic participation?

The issue(s) you’re investigating

New Yorkers vote at alarmingly low rates (in 2023, we hit just 18%). In such a blue state, people often think their vote doesn’t matter and feel no incentive to do it.

Your hypothesis

If potential NY voters feel the way voting can improve their day to day lives, and feel substantially rewarded for their civic participation, they will turn out.

Your experiment

The Voting Facial Pop Up, geared towards aging millennial Brooklynites who want to feel as youthful as the Gen Zers taking over the streets, and as detoxified as richer Gen Xers who have the $$$ to get regular fancy skincare. An initial individual consultation lasts 30 minutes and is conducted by a dynamic duo of a trained aesthetician and a local voting expert. The former provides insight into a facial treatment that could help the potential voter; the latter gets to know what the voter cares about and what races will affect them and how. The potential voter leaves with a skin care plan that includes treatment information, all the information needed to vote, and an appointment for after Election Day.

At the post-Election Day appointment, the potential voter gets a free 30 minute facial and follow-up by the local voting expert. Follow up includes an evaluation of the project and if it really made a difference. (The person does not need to have voted — if they don’t that is equally vital information for experimentation purposes).

Your budget

Aesthetician materials and stipend: $2000

Local voting materials and stipend: $2000

Note: Aesthetician Faci Ale and local voting expert provided through The Best Brooklyn Voting Non-Profit are already signed on and have agreed to the plan and this payment. This will be run out of Faci Ale’s existing spa location and so there are no spa setup costs.

How do we increase access to civic participation?

The issue(s) you’re investigating

Measures are being put in place in Florida to limit the access to vote, like new, strict vote-by-mail requirements. These measures are confusing and intimidating, causing voters to feel unsupported, defeated, a lack of trust in the system, and the inability to vote the way that is best for them — further leading to some Floridians not voting at all.

Your hypothesis

Instead of trying to change the laws during such a big election year, it’s better to focus on keeping voters updated on the ever-changing voting requirements, aka their specific access to voting. If clear information/instruction on how to civically participate — in ways that meet the needs of each individual voter — is widely disseminated in fun, Florida-themed ways, more people will vote and feel supported while doing so, no matter the accessibility barriers in place.

Your experiment

Every Ballot is a Beach Ballot (a play on “Every Body is a Beach Body”) is a voter education beach party across the Sunshine State’s beaches. Voting organizations (local to whatever area the beach party is at) will set up in true beach fashion (instead of their normal table set up, they’ll be under a beach umbrella, have beach chairs and towels laid out, sunglasses and bathing suits on, etc.) with music playing, games (frisbee, beach ball, etc.), and free beach items (sunglasses, sunscreen, hand fans, etc.). “Voterguards” (instead of Lifeguards) will provide relevant information about how to vote, giving individual guidance to ensure that each voter receives the info they need on the voting method that meets their personal needs. This will be digitally provided with the option to receive more info via mail to protect the Florida beaches from potential trash. “Personal Voting Trainers” will also be present to make sure everyone is Beach Ballot Ready (a play on “Beach Body Ready”), disseminating pledge to vote cards in the form of wrappers on ice cream cones provided by the very loved Florida-native business, Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Within a week after Election Day, voters are invited to reach out to the Personal Voting Trainers to share whether or not they did vote (in the method that met their needs or not). In exchange, the voter will receive a coupon for another free cone from Kelly’s.

Your budget

Beach supplies: $1000

Graphic design for “I Pledge to Vote” ice cream cone wrappers: $200

Printing wrappers, voting info a voter may ask to be mailed to them, miscellaneous supplies: $800

Kelly’s payment: $2000


This is, essentially, a back-of-the-napkin sketch: short and to-the-point. Your application should fit in the space provided — if it can’t, your idea may be too big for this experiment. Think ambitiously and honestly about what you can achieve in four weeks and with $4,000.

We know you haven’t had a lot of time to put this together: in keeping with the spirit of experimentation, we encourage you to embrace imperfection in what you write below.

Deadline: February 19, 11:59pm ET. (If you need more time to complete the application, then it means what you’re planning likely isn’t simple, fast, or frugal enough! Remember: it’s a quick doodle, not a full project proposal in any way.)

We can’t wait to read what you’ve come up with.

If you have any issues with the form, reach out.

The deadline for submissions to 4x4x4 in 2024 has passed. Thank you for all who submitted proposals!