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Kickstarter-Funded Performances to Watch at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe

Jul 31 2018
Performers at the Fringe. Photo: David Monteith Hodge
Performers at the Fringe. Photo: David Monteith Hodge

Edinburgh Fringe is nearly upon us. The 2018 installment of one of the world’s most well-known and best-loved performing arts festivals begins August 3, and 25 Kickstarter alumni will bring work to the fest this year.

To date, over 300 creators have brought Kickstarter-funded performances to Edinburgh Fringe, with the support of over 22,000 backers—a testament to the vital role that community funding can play in helping performers create and mount ambitious new works of dance, performance art, and theater.

Kickstarter’s Senior Performance Lead, Jessica Massart, is headed to Edinburgh to check out this year’s lineup and meet with members of the Kickstarter community. And on Saturday, August 11, she’ll give a free talk at Fringe Central discussing the ins and outs of running a Kickstarter campaign, including setting sustainable goals, effectively telling your story, creating manageable rewards, and building your community. Head here for more information and to RSVP.

If you’re at the Fringe this year, use the hashtag #KickstarterEdFringe to let us know what you’re up to. And check out a few of the Kickstarter-funded performances that will be on view:

Galiana and Nikolchev: The Last One
Galiana and Nikolchev: The Last One
 

Galiana and Nikolchev: The Last One

Gema Galiana and Anthony Nikolchev's performance group, The Useless Room, recently wrapped up a Kickstarter campaign to bring their latest work of dance, physical theater, and circus performance to the Fringe. The Last One “investigates the physical toll of a progressively graying existence” through the narrative of the last Kauaʻi ʻōʻō in existence on the eve of its extinction.

90 backers pledged $6,425 to help bring this project to life.

Crossbow Collective: My Name Is Dorothy
Crossbow Collective: My Name Is Dorothy

Crossbow Collective: My Name Is Dorothy

Crossbow Collective’s second successful Kickstarter campaign tells the (possibly) true story of Dorothy Lawrence, a British journalist who disguised herself as a soldier and spent three weeks on the Western front in France during WWI. Through an innovative use of shadow and light and a black-and-white aesthetic, the performance allows a cast of two to portray the many characters and forces that shaped Dorothy’s world.

44 backers pledged £6,010 to help bring this project to life.

Joana Nastari: F*ck You Pay Me
Joana Nastari: F*ck You Pay Me

Joana Nastari: F*ck You Pay Me

Following a critically lauded performance at the VAULT Festival earlier this year, Joana Nastari is bringing her award-winning theater show to the Fringe. Nastari describes F*ck You Pay Me as “a love letter to strippers—a no-holds-barred, surreal collision of comedy, poetry, and storytelling, a storm of pink banknotes and Brazilian favela funk, [and] a bona fide battle cry exploring the complexities and frivolities of life as a stripper in London.”

221 backers pledged £6,702 to help bring this project to life.

Jolie Booth: Sisterhood
Jolie Booth: Sisterhood

Jolie Booth: Sisterhood

Acclaimed theater maker Jolie Booth, award-winning artistic director Andrea Brooks, and costume maker Caragh Kelson-Bailey have teamed up to tell the story of three women, aged 20, 40, and 60, as they unpick and examine “with fresh and furious eyes” powerful themes of gender, fertility, sexual assault, feminism, and sisterhood today.

48 backers pledged £4,563 to help bring this project to life.



Explore the full list of creators who have brought work to Edinburgh Fringe.

The Quickstarter Manifesto

Jun 18 2018
Oscar Lhermitte's Quickstarter #1: Tape ✂️ Stickers
Oscar Lhermitte's Quickstarter #1: Tape ✂️ Stickers

Quickstarter: it's OK to think small

Today we're announcing Quickstarter. It's an invitation to create small projects—the kind you do mostly for fun. London-based designer Oscar Lhermitte came up with the idea for Quickstarter. He’s no stranger to big projects (like the time he literally promised people the Moon). But he also loves doing small ones “that are inherently beautiful because they are simple and manageable.” He launched the first Quickstarter project earlier this year as an experiment to see what he could create with a small budget and a limited timeframe. When he offered to come up with a way to help other people create small projects, we were quick to say, "Yes!"

Read Oscar's Quickstarter Manifesto below and start thinking about what you’d like to create.

 

As a product designer, creative consultant, and backer, I’ve been involved with many Kickstarter campaigns—some for my own projects and some for other peoples’. This includes large projects that got support from thousands of backers and required a lot of pre-production work, a full support team, and a large budget to come to life. But it also includes small projects—done mostly for fun—that are inherently beautiful because they are simple and manageable.

As exciting as big projects can be, I’ve learned just as much from doing the little ones. Kickstarter is a great tool to test out experimental ideas—things that don’t follow traditional models—and working on a small scale can give you the freedom to experiment and explore new things without putting too much on the line.

This is true for young designers and artists looking to launch their first public project, who might not have the budget to hire a videographer, spend months doing PR, or figure out a complex manufacturing process. But it’s also true for seasoned professionals who are looking to shake things up and try something new. So, I’m collaborating with the folks at Kickstarter to launch Quickstarter: a creative prompt aimed at inspiring small campaigns, just for the fun of challenging yourself creatively. Here’s what I have in mind:

Quickstarter is fun. 
Quickstarter is DIY. 
Quickstarter won’t take over your life. 
Quickstarter is not a job. 
Quickstarter is no big deal. 
Quickstarter is about thinking small.

Here are some rules that I’ve come up with to help you get started. Feel free to adapt them to your own needs.

Rules for launching a Quickstarter campaign:
1. The development process—from sketching an idea to launching it on Kickstarter—should take no more than three months. 
2. Keep the campaign under 20 days. 
3. The funding goal should be below $1,000 (or thereabouts in your local currency). 
4. The main reward should be under $50. 
5. The video should be shot over one day with whatever camera you have (smartphone highly recommended). 
6. Don’t do any PR and media outreach (unless you get contacted). 
7. Don’t run any paid ads on social media. 
8. No stretch goals. 
9. Include “Quickstarter” in your campaign name.

Hopefully this has you thinking about some fun, small projects you’d like to create. But don’t think about it too long—go ahead and Quickstart it!

Discover Quickstarter projects
Discover Quickstarter projects

Feeling inspired? Head here to discover Quickstarter projects. Then, start one of your own.

How are today’s visual artists making a living?

Jun 12 2018

Announcing a new study on the financial stability of visual artists by The Creative Independent.

Back in 2016, Kickstarter launched The Creative Independent as a resource of emotional and practical guidance for all kinds of creative people. Since then, we’ve published interviews, how-to guides, and essays from more than 430 working artists—including writers, filmmakers, dancers, designers, musicians, poets, and more. We’ve used each conversation as an opportunity to learn about the issues faced by independent creators today, and to gather wisdom on dealing with things like creative anxiety, burnout, and sharing your work.

One thing that has come up again and again in our work is the question of how to make a living. For visual artists today, the path to financial stability is neither straight nor predictable. When faced with the question of whether to seek out gallery representation, attempt to sell art on their own, or keep a day job while hustling to make art on the side, many emerging visual artists have no firm guide posts to look to on their journey.

Because The Creative Independent's aim is to be a resource for creative people, we decided to try and create something that could openly document how today’s artists are managing to make a living. This morning we've released a study on the financial state of visual artists today. In it, you’ll find information collected from 1,016 anonymous respondents reflecting their financial status, business practices, and overall experiences working within the art world.

The findings from the report are nuanced. For example, while about 60% of responding artists said they were earning less than half as much as the average American household, about half of respondents felt optimistic that they’d be able to become financially stable down the road. The data also demonstrates that for most artists, it’s not realistic to expect to make a significant amount of money through art sales (nearly two-thirds of artists are supporting themselves through freelance work, while only 12% listed gallery sales as an important means of support). Additionally, three-quarters of artists said they’d been learning to become financially stable through trial-and-error, compared to just 6% who’d taken a financial planning class or worked with a financial advisor. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In addition to the survey report, this week all of The Creative Independent's interviews and guides will focus on how to make a living as a creative person. You can explore everything we’ve published on the theme so far here. We hope the information will be useful if you’re working to forge your own path as a visual artist which, while not easy, is definitely possible.

Learn more and see the full report here.

—Willa Köerner, Creative Content Director at The Creative Independent

Voici Bold Type, un éloge de la typographie française

Jun 5 2018
Photo by Lauren Renner
Photo by Lauren Renner

Scroll down to read this post in English.

Avis à tous les créateurs de caractères : Kickstarter et étapes: s’associent à l’occasion de Bold Type, un éloge de la typographie française.

Que vous soyez artiste, graphiste ou amateur de polices de caractères, si vous êtes basé en France, vous êtes invité à participer avec un projet Kickstarter sur le thème de la typographie lancé entre le 1er septembre et le 31 octobre. Nouveautés, témoignages de créateurs et travaux typographiques seront mis en avant dans nos communautés du monde entier.

La France se passionne pour la typographie et la création graphique. De nouveaux studios voient le jour et les cours et ateliers de conception se multiplient. Pourtant, ce domaine en pleine expansion n’est pas sans obstacles pour les spécialistes.

« Dans un paysage aussi riche en termes d’offre et d’acteurs, il peut sembler difficile de se faire entendre et de diffuser son travail à l’international », affirme Matthieu Salvaggio, créateur de caractères, fondateur et PDG de Blaze Type.

« Les typographes français n’ont rien à envier à leurs collègues anglo-saxons quant à la qualité de leurs créations – c’est juste qu’on a plus de mal à se vendre », ajoute Yannick Mathey, qui a financé Prototypo, un éditeur de police de caractères en ligne, sur Kickstarter en 2014. Ces jours-ci, il prépare sa prochaine campagne.

La mission de Kickstarter est d’aider les créateurs à donner vie à leurs idées. C’est ici que des projets comme Hermetica (l’Helvetica des symboles occultes et ésotériques) ou Bacterium Typographica ont trouvé leurs premiers fans. The Type Writer, une revue expérimentale au carrefour entre la typographie et la poésie, a vu le jour chez nous. Tout comme une police de caractères inédite inspirée de l’écriture d’Albert Einstein, signée Harald Geisler.

Depuis 1994, étapes:, revue et plateforme référence sur les thèmes du graphisme et de la culture visuelle, s’engage à soutenir les créatifs et à rendre visible le travail des artistes émergents. Ensemble, nous souhaitons donner aux typographes français la possibilité de mettre leur travail sur une plateforme mondiale et entre les mains d’un public international.

Plusieurs designers de renom et créateurs Kickstarter récidivistes prévoient de lancer des projets dans le cadre de l’initiative Bold Type, notamment Prototypo, Benjamin Dumond et Lucas Descroix, Arman Mohtadji, Matthieu Salvaggio, Camille Boileau et Tassiana Nunez Costa et Cássia D'Elia, Bureau Brut et Guillaume Guilpart. Nous espérons que vous vous joindrez à vous et nous avons hâte de découvrir vos créations.

Rendez-vous ici pour en savoir plus sur Bold Type et démarrer votre projet

Des questions ? Envoyez-nous un mot à l’adresse typographie@kickstarter.com.

Photo by Lauren Renner
Photo by Lauren Renner

Announcing Bold Type, a Celebration of French Typography

Type designers, get out your tools! Kickstarter and étapes: are teaming up to present Bold Type, a celebration of French typography.

If you’re an artist, graphic designer, or type enthusiast based in France, you’re invited to participate by launching a typography project on Kickstarter between September 1 and October 31. We’ll be highlighting new projects, telling creators’ stories, and sharing your work with our communities across the globe.

Typography and graphic design in France are thriving. New studios are steadily emerging, and design classes and workshops are bustling. But this rapidly growing field can present new challenges for designers.

“In such a diverse field with so much to offer and so many people, it can be difficult to leave your mark and to share your work internationally,” says typeface designer Matthieu Salvaggio, founder and CEO of Blaze Type.

“When it comes to quality, French typographers have no cause to be envious of their Anglo-Saxon colleagues—they are just having a hard time marketing themselves,” adds Yannick Mathey, who launched his online typeface editor Prototypo on Kickstarter in 2014 and is now planning his next campaign.

Our mission at Kickstarter is to help bring creative projects to life. It’s here that projects like Hermetica—Helvetica, but for occult and esoteric symbols—and Bacterium Typographica found their first fans. It’s where The Type Writer, an experimental magazine at the intersection of typography and poetry, was founded. And it’s where Harald Geisler created a brand-new font based on Albert Einstein’s handwriting.

Since 1994, the graphic design and visual culture magazine and platform étapes: has been committed to supporting creatives and shining a spotlight on emerging talent. Together, we want to help French typographers find a global platform and an international audience for their work.

Several notable graphic designers as well as past Kickstarter creators plan to launch projects as part of Bold Type, including Prototypo, Benjamin Dumond and Lucas Descroix, Armand Mohtadji, Matthieu Salvaggio, Camille Boileau, Tassiana Nunez Costa and Cássia D'Elia, Bureau Brut and Guillaume Guilpart... We hope you’ll join them—and we can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

Head here to learn more about Bold Type and start your project.

Have questions? Get in touch with us at typographie@kickstarter.com.

FOR FREEDOMS and Kickstarter Launch a Campaign for the Largest Creative Collaboration in U.S. History

Jun 4 2018
For Freedoms co-founders Eric Gottesman and Hank Willis Thomas
For Freedoms co-founders Eric Gottesman and Hank Willis Thomas

Seven months ago, the artist Hank Willis Thomas came to Kickstarter and shared an idea with me. It seemed extraordinary—even unbelievable. He and his team at For Freedoms wanted to create one of the largest-ever creative collaborations in United States history: a call for cultural and civic action that would take place in every single state. Communities would choose their mode of participation—a billboard, town hall meeting, or special exhibition—but their goal would be singular: to create art across the country that would spark honest dialogue and reflection about issues that affect them.

Today, on Kickstarter, For Freedoms seeks support for the billboard portion of this initiative. Fifty-two projects will be launched, simultaneously, across 50 states (as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico), to commission artists and secure the reproduction of their work on 52 billboards. Individual communities will make these billboards come to life through local programming and discussion, but because the projects also have a home on Kickstarter, their reach—and their success—rely on people across the globe.

"With Democracy in the Balance There Is Only One Choice" by artist Carrie Mae Weems in Columbus, Ohio. For Freedoms, 2016
"With Democracy in the Balance There Is Only One Choice" by artist Carrie Mae Weems in Columbus, Ohio. For Freedoms, 2016
 

Billboards have deep roots not only within daily culture but also within contemporary art—notable artists like the Guerilla Girls, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Barbara Kruger, John Baldessari, and Jenny Holzer have all experimented with them. They provide a way to convey visual information, sometimes subversively, to thousands of viewers on a daily basis. What better way to democratize access to culture than with such a public and accessible format?

Known as the first artist-run Super PAC, For Freedoms was founded in 2016 by Thomas with fellow artist Eric Gottesman. They’ve both spent much of their artistic careers dedicated to building community and representing those without the power or platform to have a voice. Those of us who have devoted our lives to the creation, support, and admiration of art know that artists are able to see and speak to a community in a way that is direct and often ahead of its time. For Freedoms, like Kickstarter, believes that art is a necessity in any productive society.

Join us in creating a massive community of arts supporters to ensure our collective future and highlight the connections between us all.

Learn more and support the For Freedoms 50 State initiative here.

Welcoming Camilla Zhang to Kickstarter’s Publishing & Comics Team

May 16 2018

Today we’re excited to announce that Camilla Zhang has joined Kickstarter as Comics Outreach Lead. As a creator herself, Camilla’s work has been published by Top Cow, Reading with Pictures, and Crossed Genres. She’s also worked with Marvel, Mad Cave, Reading with Pictures, and DC Comics, where she helped edit the entire Before Watchmen series, Batman: Black & White Vol. 4, Batman: Death by Design, and Batman: Noël. And last year, she was selected to be in Marjorie Liu’s Genre Fiction workshop at VONA, an organization for writers of color.

 

With over 6,300 zines, webcomics, community events, graphic novels, and more funded since our launch in 2009, the Comics category on Kickstarter is vibrant and diverse. Camilla’s breadth of experience in the comics world makes her an excellent addition to the team. And her passion for promoting empathy, inclusion, and equality through storytelling make her a great person to support, educate, and celebrate the wide range of creators bringing projects to life here.

Check out the Q&A below to get to know Camilla.

What drew you to comics as a storytelling medium?

I cut my teeth on Archie and the newspaper funnies. My mom used to co-run a deli and any unsold newspapers were mine to keep, so I clipped my favorite strips and saved them in a binder. As a kid, I loved how clever they could be in just a few panels. Each was a story beat. What’s more, only comics could achieve the exaggerated facial expressions and body language that really make sense for kids. They made me laugh and characterization was more immediate and accessible.

Later, I got into manga and Batman, the Animated Series, which opened me up to mainstream comics like Birds of Prey. I became obsessed with Cassandra Cain’s run as Batgirl. It was my first time since seeing Trini in Power Rangers (which is its own can of worms) that an Asian-American woman like me was represented as a hero. Reading about her struggles and triumphs felt incredibly validating. And the way Damion Scott drew action sequences and facial expressions (this was hard since Cass’s mask covered her entire face!) was awe-inspiring.

My tastes eventually leaned toward Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and more indie titles like Joe Sacco’s Palestine. It was amazing to see how comics could be stretched to tell all kinds of stories, from the dark and fantastical to the journalistic and slice of life. And finally, through Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, I saw how comics could be poetic and metaphorical, not just as a whole, but down to a single panel.

On a cultural level, what inspires me most about the medium is that it gives independent creators — especially those who have been marginalized — the power to foster a more empathetic society, one that celebrates multiplicity: diversity within diversity, if you will. For example, while Asian-Americans share similar experiences, each is still different. It’s the multiplicity of people’s stories that is beautiful. And it is multiplicity that dissolves stereotypes.

The comics medium pushes and leads the cultural zeitgeist, which spills into mainstream media like TV and film, thereby encouraging a larger audience to recognize nuance and empathize with those who seem different from them. Comics trends have shown that fans are hungry for inclusive stories by diverse creators and not just for diversity’s sake. I think they recognize that it’s bigger than sales and buzzwords. It’s holistic. It’s about changing the world.

What are a few of your favorite Kickstarter funded comics?

The ELEMENTS: Fire, and Boy, I Love You anthologies are some of my favorite Kickstarter-funded comics to date. Made by creators of color, the former is a fire-themed comics collection that includes stories about hot sauce that transforms you into a dragon and spells that burn away bad memories. The latter is a shorter Yaoi-inspired anthology, featuring both slice-of-life boy love stories and space mecha romance. The artists and writers in these books are so talented and their stories are truly unique, ranging from heartwarming to heart-wrenching (in a good way!). They’re really aligned with the whole “multiplicity” idea I mentioned.

What are you excited about doing with the Comics community on Kickstarter?

I am STOKED to raise up the comics community, especially marginalized creators. As a queer woman of color, it’s a very personal mission of mine to highlight LGBTQIA and PoC comics writers and artists. But specifically, I want to nurture those who may not be confident when it comes to self-promotion. There are so many talented people out there who deserve a larger audience. I think that, often, artists and writers can be shy and unsure about how to market themselves. I’d love to use my experience and new role to help with that.

What’s one great comic you recommend?

Mis(h)adra by Iasmin Omar Ata. The graphic novel is about an Arab-American college student who struggles with epilepsy. The book has a very illustrative quality where ideas about fear and illness take on symbolic forms. The story beats are expertly timed, sometimes with black pages and palette changes. I actually read this while I was going through a bout of depression and it resonated deeply with me. It made me think a lot about self care, self love, and how it’s important to let those who care about us actually care for us. We aren’t weak for accepting or asking for help.

Join us for Kickstarter’s Summer of Poetry

May 16 2018
Photo by Lauren Renner
Photo by Lauren Renner

Take part in a season-long celebration featuring new poetry projects, live readings, and more.

Poetry, one of the world’s oldest art forms, is thriving online. With so many options for how to share work and engage with new audiences, it seems like there has never been a more exciting time to be a poet.

Kickstarter is a place that connects poets and poetry publishers with readers who care deeply about their work. Since 2009, more than five hundred poetry projects have come to life with the help of the readers and poetry lovers on Kickstarter. We’ve seen chapbooks like No Experiences, anthologies like Anchored in Deep Water, translations such as Then Come Back (the lost poems of Pablo Neruda), a live performance series from Button Poetry, and even a poetic tarot deck.

In June, we’re launching our first-ever Summer of Poetry, a season-long celebration featuring amazing new projects and poets for you to discover, poetry readings on Kickstarter Live, and events at our Brooklyn HQ. We want to spark conversations about what poetry is, who gets to write and publish it, how poetry sustains us, and how we can expand the world of poets and poetry.

Photo by Lauren Renner
Photo by Lauren Renner

“Poetry surprises and deepens our sense of the ordinary. Poetry tells us that the world is full of wonder, revelation, consolation, and meaning.” —Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate

We invite you to participate in these conversations with us by launching your own project sometime between June 1 and August 30. (Check out our video about how to raise funds and build community around your poetry project on Kickstarter.)

Learn more about Kickstarter’s Summer of Poetry here, and be sure to send your project links, treatises, explorations, readings, videos, events, raw material in all its rawness, and any other ways you are celebrating poetry to poetry@kickstarter.com.

We can’t wait to hear your voice.

Ready to launch a project? Head here.

Summer of Poetry Kickstarter Live Readings Schedule

June 15th

Fran Wilde [2-3 PM Eastern Time]

With an MFA in poetry and a masters degree' in interaction design, Fran Wilde genre-hops between poetry, programming, and speculative fiction. Fran's poetry and fiction has appeared in Who Will Speak For America, Uncanny Magazine, The Marlboro Review, Poetry Baltimore, Tor.com and Nature Magazine, and has been a finalist for multiple Hugo and Nebula awards. She recently completed Clock Star Rose Spine, a new poetry collection.

June 22nd

Saul Williams, Neptune Frost [4-5 PM Eastern Time] 

Saul Williams is a musician, poet, and actor. He has released five books of poetry and five albums. He co-wrote and starred in his first feature Slam which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Camera D'Or at Cannes (1998). Saul's journals and archives are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. MartyrLoserKing, his first graphic novel, is slated for a 2019 release (:01 First Second Books).

June 29th

Elayna Mae Darcy, Unraveling Light [3-4 PM Eastern Time]

Elayna is a writer and filmmaker from Philadelphia, who spends her spare time professionally fangirling as a podcaster and former MuggleNet.com staff member. She also serves as a Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month, a November writing challenge that she has participated in since she was 14.

Ken Waldman, Trump Sonnets Vol. 3 [4-5 PM Eastern Time]

Ken Waldman combines original poetry, Appalachian-style string-band music, and Alaska-set storytelling for a performance uniquely his. He has ten books (including eight poetry collections), nine CDs, and has appeared at some of North America's leading performing arts centers, concert series, festivals, and colleges, including featured sets at the Dodge Poetry Festival and The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Grace Cavalieri of the Washington Independent Review of Books has called his series of poems about Donald Trump, "Funny and smart."

Tavern Books, The 40th Anniversary Reprint of Ai's Killing Floor [5-6 PM Eastern TIme]

Tomás Q. Morin and Natalie Diaz will be reading Ai’s groundbreaking poetry and talking about her lasting influence. Tavern Books exists to print, promote, and preserve works of literary vision, to foster a climate of cultural preservation, and to disseminate books in a way that benefits the reading public.

June 30th (Saturday)

Dis(s)ent: A Panel Discussion with 5 Women Writers [7-9 PM Eastern Time]

Dis(s)ent is a collection of poetry, prose and art that curates difficult knowledge around our post-truth, fake news moment. Co-editors George Elliott Clarke, Canada’s 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate, and award-winning writer, Sanita Fejzić, were motivated by the question: how do capitalism, consumerism and colonialism distort our perceptions of "reality" and confuse our relationships to each other—as citizens, as relatives, as participants in collectives, and/or as "free" individuals? This panel will feature five of the contributors to this collection.

July 13th

Saul Williams, Neptune Frost [6-7 PM Eastern Time]

Saul Williams is a musician, poet, and actor. He has released five books of poetry and five albums. He co-wrote and starred in his first feature Slam which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Camera D'Or at Cannes (1998). Saul's journals and archives are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. MartyrLoserKing, his first graphic novel, is slated for a 2019 release (:01 First Second Books).

July 20th

Mark Vigeant and Sam Reece, Leaves of Grass I Trimmed With My Mower [2-3 PM Eastern Time]

Leaves of Grass I Trimmed With My Mower is a collection of humorous Dad Poems kickstarted in 2015 by Mark Vigeant and Sam Reece. Mark is a technologically-inclined actor, writer, and comedian from New York City who loves Dads. Sam is comedy writer, actor, and dedicated cat mom based in Brooklyn, NY and to answer your question, yes she can sing!!!

Beth Krumholz, Marquee Poetry [5-6 PM Eastern Time]

Beth Krumholz is an artist and a poet on a mission to bring both into the world through unexpected and poignant outlets such as her Marquee Poetry initiative where she curates poems and puts them up on marquees in designated communities. She will be reading from her fascicle titled Lie Back as well as bits and pieces of more recent work. Her work has been published in the Library of Congress Anthology of Young Poets, ELK Zine, and the Bay Area Writer’s Journal.

July 27th

Radix Media, Aftermath [3-4 PM Eastern Time]

Join authors Jennifer L. Freed, Samara Golabuk, and Babo Kamel as they read poems from Radix Media's anthology, Aftermath: Explorations of Loss & Grief. Radix Media is a worker-owned, union print shop and publisher based in New York City.

Janelle Schmidt, Awaken the Wildness Within [4-5 PM Eastern Time]

Janelle Schmidt will read from her beautiful collection of poetry, prose, and raw photography that speaks to the wildness within every soul.

August 3rd

Uncanny Magazine [2-3 PM Eastern Time]

The Uncanny Magazine team brings us readings from a series of poets who have been featured in the magazine. 

New: Watch for the Hardware Studio Badge on Projects

May 15 2018

Last year we announced Hardware Studio, an initiative from Kickstarter, Avnet, and Dragon Innovation that helps hardware creators get ready for manufacturing. A major part of that effort is Hardware Studio Connection, which allows qualified creators to get one-on-one advice from the electronics and manufacturing experts at Avnet and Dragon.

The Connection program has been a bit under the radar since then, but that’s about to change. After spending months developing their projects with help from the experts, four participants in the program are launching on Kickstarter today.

These projects will stand out in two ways. All participants in Connection will have a “Hardware Studio” badge under their project video:

And elsewhere on the project page you’ll see one of four insignia awarded by Avnet and Dragon experts. The first is Engaged, which indicates that a project has been accepted into the Connection program. Then there are Ready 1, 2, and 3, which are awarded based on the experts’ assessment of the project’s stage of development, with Ready 3 being the most advanced.

These insignia are meant to help backers gauge the readiness of a creator to fulfill the promises of their Kickstarter project. You can learn more about the insignia system on the Hardware Studio site.

Our mission at Kickstarter is to help bring creative projects to life. We teamed up with Avnet and Dragon on Hardware Studio because we saw that manufacturing problems were tripping up hardware creators after they were funded. That was frustrating for them and, of course, for their backers.

The best way to improve creators’ chances of success, we decided, was to equip them with information and expertise before they launched on Kickstarter. We’re so happy that we now have a system in place that can make this happen, and that Kickstarter creators can benefit from Avnet and Dragon’s deep knowledge and experience.

You can see all Connection projects on this page. And be sure to check out the projects that are launching today. We asked their creators how Hardware Studio Connection had helped them prepare:

RaceYa by Abigail Edgecliffe-Johnson: Customizable radio-controlled cars that teach kids about engineering.

“The Connection team really helped us control our bill of materials and ensure we’d thought of all the individual product (and project!) details before we launched. We have a distributed team, so we’ve also found Dragon's Product Planner tool extremely useful for keeping everyone on the same page when it comes to the details of the car’s design.”

Syphon by Daniel Fukuba: Wine dispenser and preserver using argon capsules to protect wine from air.

"The Hardware Studio Connection team helped identify issues we would face as we scaled our designs. This led us to develop automated test fixtures that could simulate years of product use. Their experts also helped analyze our bill of materials so we could appropriately set our campaign funding goal."

MagneTag by Adam Cohen: Wearable electronic scoring system for playing tag, using magnets and foam swords.

"Our first Kickstarter for MagneTag didn't fund, and that was actually a blessing in disguise. When we started building that initial design it became clear that our plan wasn't fully thought out and we would have probably run out of money. The Connection program really helped us understand what drove our costs and revealed potential challenges we might not have seen until it was too late."

RF-1 by J. Kevin Crowell: Cycling computer powered by Android, with dual lights and a video camera.

“Hardware Studio has been extremely helpful in making sure you’re as prepared as you hope you are. By evaluating your project they help you solidify your plans for the next phase, whether that be budgeting, timelines, technology, or engineering."

If you’re working on a hardware project, we hope you’ll consider applying for the Connection program. And if your project is just in the idea stage, remember that our Hardware Studio site is a growing source of practical information that can help with your planning.