Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99


Entertainment Movies

Actor Kevin Bacon promoting social good at College Park

How many degrees of separation are there between actor Kevin Bacon and the University of Maryland?

Come April, just one.

As part of a "Do Good" challenge, Bacon is asking College Park students to design projects aimed at promoting positive social change. Bacon and a panel of yet-to-be-named celebrity judges will pick the best projects from among six finalists during what is being billed as an "American Idol"-style competition April 18, with prizes going to the winners.

"It's a small world, and it's easier to do good than you think," Bacon says in a recruitment video unveiled over the weekend at a Terps basketball game. "I want to see how you can use your creativity to encourage social change." In the video, Bacon can be seen sporting a "Fear the Turtle" T-shirt.

The challenge is part of Bacon's fundraising organization, sixdegrees.org, which so far has collected some $4 million. The site's name refers to the popular parlor game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," in which players connect the actor to other actors through related film work.

To participate in the challenge, "all you gotta do is start a fundraiser at sixdegrees.org, or post a petition link on your Facebook page, or host an awareness event — anything that furthers your cause is allowed," Bacon says in the video. Prizes include $5,000 for the winner's cause, Bacon-related items and a private jet to Atlanta for court-side seats at a Hawks basketball game.

Students can find out more about the contest and register to participate at publicpolicy.umd.edu/dogood. Written impact statements on each project's effectiveness are due March 26.

The challenge is being run by UM's Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Program, based in the School of Public Policy.

"This challenge is part of creating a new culture of philanthropy on campus," says UM professor Robert Grimm, project director and head of the university's philanthropy program. "Our entire program is about harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of young people and developing innovative and effective citizens and future leaders committed to improving our world."

  • Text NIGHTLIFE to 70701 to sign up for Baltimore Sun nightlife and music text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • 'Diner' -- Where are they now? [Pictures]
      'Diner' -- Where are they now? [Pictures]

      What have the stars of "Diner" been doing since they came to Baltimore to make Barry Levinson's landmark ode to passing adolescence? Also see: 'Diner' pictures

    • Barry Levinson's 'Diner' [Pictures]
      Barry Levinson's 'Diner' [Pictures]

      Plans are afoot for Barry Levinson's 1982 film "Diner," a coming-of-age classic about five Baltimore guys on the cusp of adulthood, to be made into a stage musical. Producers hope to open the play on Broadway in 2012, although it's unknown when (or if) the play might come to Levinson's Charm City...

    • 'Diner' 30th anniversary celebration [Pictures]
      'Diner' 30th anniversary celebration [Pictures]

      See photos of cast members and writer/director Barry Levinson from the film's tribute night at Johns Hopkins University.

    • 'Diner' cast members join Barry Levinson at anniversary celebration
      'Diner' cast members join Barry Levinson at anniversary celebration

      Ellen Barkin, Daniel Stern, Michael Tucker pay tribute to director/writer and film at Hopkins

    • Review: 'Clouds of Sils Maria'
      Review: 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

      Now 60, and always more of a wry classicist than a maverick, the writer-director Olivier Assayas is one of the steadiest and most reliable filmmakers in contemporary cinema. I like his latest, "Clouds of Sils Maria," a great deal; it's beautifully acted and has a few wise (if familiar) things to...

    • Review: 'The Salt of the Earth'
      Review: 'The Salt of the Earth'

      Watching "The Salt of the Earth," the compelling new documentary about photographer Sebastiao Salgado, it becomes clear early on just how odd it is to experience Salgado's work on someone else's timetable. With an exhibition or a book of photographs, you set your own clock, spending as much time...

    • Review: 'Monkey Kingdom'
      Review: 'Monkey Kingdom'

      Compile all the sufferings and adversities heaped upon all the vulnerable protagonists in the complete works of Charles Dickens, from "Little Dorrit" to "Oliver Twist," and you'd still fall short of the 81 minutes of hardship endured by Maya, the simian heroine of Disneynature's new nature documentary...

    • Review: 'True Story'
      Review: 'True Story'

      "True Story" is a case of a well-crafted film, made by a first-time feature director with an impressive theatrical pedigree, that nonetheless struggles to locate the reasons for telling its story.