It is now the last couple of days to raise the money I need to do this project.
I am taking a few moments to write about the status of this project and what is going to happen next. Below are some questions I think need to be answered and some additional updates.
How is the fundraising going?
At only 2.5 days left to go, the money pledged so far is only about 17% of the needed amount.
Was $22,000 too much to ask for?
No, it is an absolutely necessary amount to accomplish the in depth coverage that is needed. When other projects on Kickstarter.com are bringing far more than 100% of their goals - reaching into the 100K range and even up to $10 million, $22,000 in comparison is really nothing.
Why do you think fundraising has been so low?
I think, the majority of my backers are people I know personally or have met over time thought my photography background. Everyone who has supported this project financially has been very generous and understanding. They know I will do what is necessary and I will do it well. Others have been supportive by linking to this project and telling other to support it financially.
I have done what I could to get the word out about this project as well, It has been featured on a number of other sites and tweeted about often. It was talked about in the local paper, and on an art magazine called Lost At E Minor. What seems to be missing however among the general public is a common interest and recognition that this topic is very important to document and that POVERTY is a very real problem in this country. ESPECIALLY IN THIS COUNTRY!
Every singe dollar pledged helps me continue and ultimately complete this project. As it states in the FAQs on the main page, this money is what I need to travel for 6 months. The U.S. is a VERY big place and poverty affects a very large number of people. Time and travel were some of the biggest factors to consider in the budgeting process because it will take a lot of time to find the right people and families to document and show the right aspects. With less money, less extensive coverage could be achieved, focusing only on specific cities and places - places that are already known to have poverty - and nothing new would be discovered. Less coverage would only perpetuate the already accepted ideas and beliefs about poverty in this country.
What happens if the goal is not reached?
In 2.5 days, if the minimal goal of $22,150 is not met, no money will be collected and no pledges will fund this project. That is the way Kickstarter works, the minimum amount needs to be met to have any funding at all. I am working on submitting to grants and seeking other sources because I am very dedicated, and I will document this significant time in U.S. and World History. Poverty, whether it's recognized or not, is harmful to everyone. It hurts those in poverty the most - because any ideas, dreams, hopes and plans they have will always remain elusive and unattainable.
I have spoke to a number of individuals during the past couple of weeks and some opportunities have arisen: I may be working on a book about poverty that focuses on poverty in the Los Angeles area that looks at the poverty there as a metaphor and representational of poverty nationally.
When I do begin my nation-wide coverage of poverty, an online magazine is interested in being the first to publish the images I produce. At this time I cannot be more specific about either opportunity.
What is happening with Seeds of Hope?
To recap, Seeds of Hope is an ongoing local project that focuses on poverty. In this instance of the project, area children were given cameras and they documented poverty as they saw and understood it.
Seeds of Hope will be a part of a larger exhibition at the Neville Public Museum called "Museum PLACE" that runs June 23 2012 - Nov 2013.
The opening for the show is June 22, from 6 - 8pm at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, WI If you're interested in attending please call or email the following contact before JUNE 18.
Contact: Jenny Seim:
My involvement with the project has produced a series of portraits of the individuals involved, and a brief 8-minute video of commentary I recorded from a small number of the children involved. The portraits will be on display as well as the video during the opening and throughout the show period.
Below are some samples of my portraits for Seeds of Hope.
Thank you for supporting my effort,
By now, you must have heard the news. The U.S. Ranks as the 2nd highest in child poverty among developed nations, behind Romania. UNICEF released this finding in a recent document called "Measuring Child Poverty". This link will take you to that document.
UNICEF also found that the U.S. ranks in at number 1 for highest population poverty rate and poverty gap out of all developed countries.
This is a staggering finding and a definite blow to the pride of many Americans.
Again that link is: http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/rc10_eng.pdf
Another recent finding is a disease known as Chagas. It disproportionately targets those in poverty because of their living conditions. Experts say the disease is spreading quietly and virtually unnoticed as HIV did in its early years. It's caused by an insect that lives in walls and thatched roofs in the tropics, at night it drops down and bites a person near the mouth. This behavior earned it the name "Kissing Bug" experts say. This bug is of tropical origin but has found it's way as far north as Seattle, WA; Bismark, ND; Minneapolis/St Paul, MN; and into parts of Maine.
It's believed about 1 million people live with the disease and more than 3 million are at risk. By the way, 3 million is the same number of children in the U.S. living in extreme poverty.
Poverty Now was featured under New Trends on Lost At E Minor - and online art magazine http://www.lostateminor.com/2012/05/26/poverty-now-jason-houge-explores-poverty-in-the-us/.
Jeffery Colin, writing for the Huffington Post, recently criticized the media and policial disinterest for the rapidly growing U.S. Poverty, one of the largest problems ever faced by the U.S. especially during an election year.
I think this is especially evident when reviewing the lack of support for Poverty Now to date. More people seem to think it's a better idea to turn the eyes away and hope this ugly blemish disappears instead of being proactive about it and taking action to face this new reality. Perhaps because people are so worried about their own security, they're not looking for a way to help others out.
Did you know?
I didn't until I read this - In Mississippi, disabled and impoverished students have been shackled to their desks.
And you thought nuns were bad when you were a kid!
Please help me spread the word about this project. I have 20 days and almost $19,000 left to raise for the project to be funded and so I may continue my work.
pledged of $22,150 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on June 16, 2012.
May 11, 2012 - Jun 16, 2012
Pledge $1 or more
Access to backer's only updates and blogEstimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $10 or more
A thank you email, backers' only updates and I will give you a big thank you via Twitter and Facebook.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $25 or more
The above PLUS I will personally snail-mail you a hand-printed silver-gelatin postcard with an image from the project.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $50 or more
The above PLUS you will also receive a second surprise postcard with a new image sent sometime, from somewhere, while I'm travelling.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $100 or more
The above, PLUS 1 handmade silver-gelatin work prints from the project.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $250 or more
The above PLUS 1 signed 8x10 archival silver-gelatin print from the project - your choice from 5 images. - International orders please include an additional $15 for shipping.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $500 or more
The above PLUS your name as a sponsor in the resulting book, multi-media piece, and on a banner at any shows. - International orders please include an additional $15 for shipping.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
The above PLUS 1 signed 11x14 archival silver-gelatin print (your choice from 10 images). - International orders please include an additional $15 for shipping.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $1,500 or more
Your name as a sponsor, and 1 signed and FRAMED 8x10 archival silver-gelatin printEstimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $1,500 or more
0 backers Limited (2 of 2 left)
Experience the problem first-hand, travel with me for a week.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $2,500 or more
A post card PLUS 1 framed and signed 11x14 archival silver-gelatin print (your choice from 10 images), and your organization's logo as a sponsor in the resulting book, multi-media piece, and on a banner at any shows. - International orders please include an additional $35 for shipping.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $4,000 or more
0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
The above PLUS a silver-gelatin hand-bound portfolio from phase 1.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
0 backers Limited (1 of 1 left)
One time only first publishing rights (Media Only)Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $6,000 or more
0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
The above (with the exception of the portfolio) PLUS Personal Appearance within the U.S.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $10,000 or more
0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
The above PLUS the portfolio.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012