Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kickstart This!

So many great projects on Kickstarter! I've highlighted a few that I think deserve extra attention.

I'm fascinated by The Bonsai Babes by Lora Nakamura:
The Bonsai Babes: A Love Story is a tale of two little girls, the challenges they face, and the magical outcome they experience as they allow love to enter their lives. Luna is a Mexican American girl from Los Angeles who dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. Nana is a Japanese American girl from the San Gabriel Valley who dreams of realizing her psychic potential. They grew up worlds apart, but their chance encounter leaves them forever changed…
I have always been drawn to these kinds of cross-cultural stories. I love seeing the intersection between people who are very much the same and yet also very much different.
Lora Nakamura is a first time author and illustrator with a background in education and social work. She received her B.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of California, San Diego and her Masters in Social Work from Cal State Long Beach. She is drawn to creative projects dealing with the topics of love, loss, and interpersonal connection, which are main themes in her book, The Bonsai Babes: A Love Story.

Art therapist Penny Hood's Portraits of Courage project promises to be a source of inspiration for not just those who have been directly affected by violence, but for everyone who is weary from the hatred and hopelessness that surrounds us.
Healing requires us to look at how we shift from one way of being to another. This collaborative project examines how that happens. We start with the Questions: How do survivors of violence find the courage to walk toward help? How do advocates find the strength to keep going in the face of daunting odds? The following participants have offered their voices, their courage, to celebrate the small and large successes, on the tangled road to recovery. Portraits of Courageallows each of us to look in the mirror and ask: “Where does my strength reside?”

A steampunk version of The Nutcracker? Yes, please.
Promising to be a unique holiday experience for the whole family, we have a costume designer, choreographers and cast. What we lack is the the funding to pay for costumes, costume designers, choreographers, venue, lighting and sets.

I think we can all agree that the American food system is broken. Which is why groups like Civil Eats is so important in the fight for change. Until now, the writers and staff for Civil Eats have been working on a volunteer basis, providing their insightful analysis for free. And while it's good to do what you love, it's also important to be paid for your work.
We are seeking funding to shift Civil Eats from an all-volunteer effort to a professional enterprise in 2014 in order to produce more in-depth, original reporting and visually engaging content by paying our writers and editors a fair wage. This campaign will specifically help us create content over the next year.

In the last year or so, as part of my university studies in Environmentalism, I've read quite a bit about the Spanish and Native American history in the American Southwest and West. It's a complex and intriguing history, and one that has largely been ignored by many in academia. Without a Tribe: The Genizaro Experience is trying to change that.
An untold story, the Genizaro experience has been a neglected history until its unearthing by modern scholars. Like an old folk song, the story is expressed as a deep root of Native New Mexicans -- through tradition of story telling, culturally blended indigenous songs and the drum -- through: healing herbs known as 'remedios'; the growing of traditional herbs and crops, and the oral histories Indian Grandmothers and Grandfathers -- the story sings the blues of poverty and oppression held together by love of family, land and water. It is Pueblo, Apache and Navajo cousins and relations, during peace and through warring times. We are reaching into the deeper story of what it means to be "Native New Mexican." Without A Tribe is a Native American story whose time has come.

I don't know about you, but when I think of Flameno the first things that I think of are the Gypsy Kings and the film Flamenco Flamenco. Both are fabulous, but male-dominated. The artists of Flamenca will bring together many of the female stars of Flamenco in one amazing show.
Flamenca is a celebration of the feminine spirit through the intensely poetic music and dance of Flamenco. The dynamic vocals of Gypsy Flamenco singer Kina Mendez weave with the Latin melodies of the harp, the soaring flute and soulful violin. With deep rhythm, powerful staccato footwork and sensuous arms the dancers create portraits of the iconic ‘Flamenca.’ Featuring an all female cast with singer Kina Mendez, dancer Melissa Cruz and dancer/Artistic Director Kerensa DeMars with Amelia Romano (harp, viola), Katja Cooper (percussion), Rebecca Kleinmann (flute), and Pamela Nicolas (palmas, violin).

These projects are already funded, but are still worth checking out.

ERA: Ibuki is the story of a young woman fighting against all the world. It's the work of the ever-awesome Irene Lee, and the prequel to her previous Kickstarter project, ERA: Convergence. I love her illustrations, and love that she's blown past her original fund-raising goal and then killed SIX stretch goals! I'm not mentioning this here because she needs the money, I'm letting you know that you probably want to get in on this project so you can get this awesome Manga!

Another project that has already surpassed its goal is Equal Means Equal. You may have seen this video featured on UpWorthy. And it truly is up-worthy. Growing up in a feminist household in the '70s, I was keenly aware of the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment), and devastated when it did not pass. Now, 40 years later, many young women don't even know what the ERA was/is, and that it was ever a possibility. Kamala Lopez of Heroica Films wants to find out why.
Equal Means Equal will be a creative blend of original interviews, archival footage, motion graphics, visual arts and storytelling as only Kamala Lopez and Heroica Films can bring it. The interviews will cover four generations of American women grappling with the status of their rights, the issues they face and how these have impacted our society.
This project has already been fully funded. And by a lot. But just think what even more funding could do? If nothing else, your $15 will get you a copy of the final film.


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