Ideas Into Plans: Our London Workshop for Women and Nonbinary Creators of Color

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Photos by Adrianne McKenzie
Photos by Adrianne McKenzie

Kickstarter and gal-dem teamed up to host a workshop for women and nonbinary people of color where artists shared inspiring stories, practical skills, and tips for bringing creative projects to life. 

Ideas flourish when they’re shared with others. At Kickstarter, one of the most powerful ways we support artists is by offering dedicated time and space to develop projects alongside fellow creators.

To mark Kickstarter’s 10th birthday on April 30, our UK team partnered with the magazine gal-dem to host an event for women and nonbinary people of color. With drinks and pizza in hand we welcomed our guests to Second Home London Fields, a venue dedicated to creative collaboration, for an evening of presentations, discussion, and lively workshop sessions with gal-dem founder Liv Little, The Literary Consultancy director Aki Schilz, Pakistan for Women creator Maliha Abidi, and Granby Workshop operations manager and artist Sumuyya Khader.

gal-dem founder Liv Little
gal-dem founder Liv Little

gal-dem’s success story wows the crowd, and a Kickstarter primer kicks things off 

Liv Little kicked off the evening. The story of how she turned the site, launched to address inequality in the media industry, into a sustainable company captivated the room. And our UK Outreach Lead, Gemma Seltzer, offered thoughts on how to successfully bring ideas to the Kickstarter community, and discussed how the platform empowers and supports independent creators, particularly those who are underrepresented in their fields.

“Even though not all of our [participants’] projects are the same, there is so much benefit from having women of color and nonbinary people of color in a room to share experiences,” said Little. “Transparency and openness is key.”

The Literary Consultancy director Aki Schilz
The Literary Consultancy director Aki Schilz

Storytellers learn to hone their creative vision with a few choice questions 

“Stories connect us,” said Aki Schilz, who presented on the theme of storytelling. But finding the words to share your story can be the hardest creative task. She offered three touchstones any artist can use to refine their creative vision: Why me? Why now? Why this story?

Pakistan for Women creator Maliha Abidi
Pakistan for Women creator Maliha Abidi

The creator of an inspiring book of empowering stories shares her motivation 

Maliha Abidi shared the ideas behind her Kickstarter campaign, a book of 50 true stories of Pakistani women who achieved extraordinary things. She was motivated, she said, by a desire to take action—to tell the stories she hadn’t seen told elsewhere.

“I picked up a pencil, bought a new notebook, and made a list of all the women I found inspirational in Pakistan,” she said. “I didn’t just want to make a list. I wanted to do something with the list.”

Granby Workshop operations manager and artist Sumuyya Khader
Granby Workshop operations manager and artist Sumuyya Khader

The value of open, transparent communication strikes a chord 

Finally, Sumuyya Khader talked about developing and sustaining a community around a project. She emphasized the importance of engaging with others honestly and genuinely—a sentiment that resonated with everyone in the room.

“Our machines broke down—we told people. We had a contaminated batch of plates—we lost 400 plates and it was a nightmare—we told people,” she said. “Whatever it was, we told people, so no one felt we had forgotten them.”

The group, together with Kickstarter's Heather Corcoran and Gemma Seltzer
The group, together with Kickstarter's Heather Corcoran and Gemma Seltzer

We’re all out to answer the big questions about creativity—together 

There were a few key themes we kept returning to over the course of the evening: confidence, trust, and building community. Deciding how and when to share your creative vision with others can be both exciting and challenging. Is an idea ever ready? What are the best strategies for communicating it? How can you incorporate feedback into your work while remaining true to your original plan and vision?

These are the big questions creators in all disciplines face, and we’re excited to work alongside you to find the answers—for the next 10 years, and beyond.

    1. Florida Freedivers on

      It's a great idea and i think all countries should have this kind of ideas for women. Experience shared by females here are also force me to think about this ideas. Best of luck for this.

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    3. Joan Patterson on

      Fascinating! I love it when talented people have been recognized, noticed and got the validation they deserve! I think essay contests are important and all participants need to work hard in order to win. In such cases, there is no shame to ask for professional help, like this one: just to make sure your essay is perfect. Even if you are sure in your writing, there still can be a lot of issues that the professional will be able to notice.

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      peter on

      thanks for the fantastic idea.