We reviewed everything that happened in the Kickstarter universe last year and we narrowed it down to 83 stand-out events. Take a deep breath, and let's dig in!
Five Kickstarter-funded films premiere at Sundance. Pop-up restaurant What Happens When opens to raves. A Vivian Maier exhibit breaks attendance records. Daniel Johnston makes a comic and Putty Hill premieres to enthusiastic reviews. Protei takes on the oil spill. Sundance, Pitchfork, and RISD launch Curated Pages. A designer turns the New York Times paywall into a project. Frank Chimero launches the notecard video meme. Trade School hosts classes at the Whitney Museum. The Glif Guys explain DIY manufacturing and launch a game theory experiment. Jon Heder starts a project and a Minecraft doc gets huge. Sub-categories go live. The last space shuttle gets documented.
Kickstarter turns two and announces $50 million in pledges; Russia sends an unforgettable birthday card. Matthew Modine launches a project from our office, Ai Weiwei director Alison Klayman appears on Colbert, the TikTok hits the Apple Store, and Kickstarter makes CNN. A photographer commemorates Chernobyl’s 25-year anniversary while technologists try to save Japan. Coffee Joulies save a factory. Freakers USA unveils a project vid for the ages. The Duplass brothers fund Kevin and Black Rock. Girl Walk gets escorted out of Yankee Stadium. The max project length is shortened to 60 days. Cards Against Humanity is the #1 selling game on Amazon. Robert Gupta plays a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin. Tom Hanks tweets about son Colin's project. Kickstarters learn to lucid dream and the +Pool becomes the talk of New York. The Eephus resurrects the baseball scorebook for Opening Day.
The New York Times names Kickstarter "the people’s NEA." Funny or Die shares Obama’s Kickstarter to Solve the Debt. The second Kickstarter Film Festival screens on a rooftop. Citizen becomes the 10,000th successful project. EyeWriter and Hip-Hop Word Count are shown in the Museum of Modern Art. James Franco talks about his non-visible art project on Jimmy Kimmel. Ira Glass arm-wrestles at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. Time names Kickstarter one of the 50 Best Websites of 2011. The PadPivot lands in Best Buy. The project pie chart debuts. The Tiny New Yorker melts our hearts. Hundreds strip for Spencer Tunick's Naked Sea. Urbanized premieres at Toronto. National Geographic hunts for a lost Da Vinci. Molly Crabapple survives a week in hell. Kickstarter invades Comic Con NYC and a comic anthology raises $100,000. We catch a first glimpse of Rabbit Island. The most meta project ever successfully ends unsuccessfully.
Kickstarter announces one million backers and $100 million in pledges. Fourteen Kickstarter-funded films are accepted to Sundance. Pariah opens in theaters. Cthulhu sells 100,000 copies. The Occupy Wall Street Journal hits the streets. The Coffee Joulies guys chill at the White House. Cleveland gets a Harvey Pekar statue. Swoon’s musical house gets a New York Times rave, Our Nixon directs a New York Times op-ed, and PBS profiles Safecast. Hal Hartley launches a feature, Spock launches a short, Denis Leary launches a doc, and Winger launches a ballet. Kickstarter alums Allison Weiss and Scott Wilson do it again. The DOT hits the Apple Store, Kickstarter rewards hit Times Square, and Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman go on tour. The Jay Demerit Story premieres in theaters and The Classical publishes its first piece. Printrbot becomes the second-most funded project ever. The creator dashboard and project preview launch. A thousand people dance to Girl Walk // All Day. Pitchfork names Marissa Nadler one of the best albums of the year and Spin names Indie Cred Test one of the best books. Kickstarter makes its primetime debut.
What were your favorite moments of 2011? Please share in the comments!