How 15 Million Backers Have Supported Creative Ideas on Kickstarter

At the end of July, Michelle Vance backed her first Kickstarter project. When she did, she became the 15 millionth member of a community that's brought nearly 150,000 projects to life.

“It was just a couple of years ago that I saw the lead singer of Moda Spira, Latifah Alattas, perform live. I found myself drawn to her music and storytelling,” Vance told us. “I heard about her new album project in an email update from her friends at Humble Beast Records. There were only three days left in the campaign, so once I read the description of her project and saw how close it was from the goal, I wanted to support it. I wanted to hear more storytelling from Latifah. She is a rare gem in the world of musical artists, and I hope to hear her creative works for years, even decades, to come.”

Like the 14,999,999 backers before her, Vance is helping to bring new creative work—work that might not fit into traditional commercial models—into the world. Just this year, Kickstarter’s backer community has supported a soaring mechanical sculpture in France, a book about autism from the Sesame Street Yellow Feather Fund, a slew of local journalism initiatives around the U.S., and much more.

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Kickstarter at World Design Capital Mexico City 2018

Versión en español a continuación. Scroll down for Spanish.

Kickstarter has been open to creators in Mexico for nearly two years, and in that time, we’ve seen many Mexico-based designers use Kickstarter to create work with a strong social consciousness. We’re celebrating those creators with an exhibition at WDC Mexico City 2018 called Designing Together for a Sustainable Mexico, showcasing six projects that illustrate the convergence of creativity and social responsibility through sustainable local design.

World Design Capital (WDC) is an international organization that promotes and celebrates industrial design as a tool for building a better environment and society. They’ve selected Mexico City to be this year’s World Design Capital, the first city in the Americas to hold the title. The designation involves a year-long slate of programming that will explore design and creative production as an engine for social, economic, and cultural change.

“Due to its immense creative capital, Mexico shows great potential to make design a true factor for change in society,” says Andrea Cesarman, director of Design Week Mexico, who partnered with the local government to achieve the World Design Capital 2018 designation for Mexico City.

If you’re in Mexico City, we invite you to visit the exhibition at Espacio CDMX for free through September 30, 2018. Learn more about the projects that will be featured in the exhibition below:

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Bon Voyage to Our Spring/Summer 2018 Creators-in-Residence

This spring, we welcomed sixteen creators to our Brooklyn HQ as part of our Creators-in-Residence program. The residents settled into their desks in May, and immediately got to work. They participated in weekly peer-to-peer roundtables and workshops focused on best practices for promoting projects, engaging with Drip subscribers, and using Kickstarter Live. They also launched campaigns and created work with guidance from Kickstarter staff.

Here's a look at what they got up to during their three-month stay:

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What’s the Environmental Impact of Your Music Project?

As part of Kickstarter’s PBC Charter, we state that we will provide “recommendations and resources that help creators make environmentally conscious decisions on tasks, like shipping and packaging, that are common to the use of its services.”

Music is one category where there's a lot of potential.

This summer, Alexandra Criscuolo, Kickstarter’s Sustainability Fellow through the EDF Climate Corps, and Kickstarter’s Director of Music Meredith Graves sat down to discuss the environmental impact of fulfilling music projects. They found that, while there is definitely discussion about sustainability in the music space, there’s not a one-stop, convenient resource outlining the environmental impact of various music formats—specifically vinyl, cassette, CD, and digital.

“While in a long-term sense, we may find our most sustainable option something akin to the infamous Soviet X-Ray records (at least that’s what I’m hoping for) or cassette casings 3D-printed with recyclable material, those solutions are unlikely to come about so long as we avoid discussing the pros and cons of existing formats,” Graves says. “If we’re looking to music as an avenue to make a better world, we should always start with the planet itself!”

Together, they collaborated on an illustrated resource for music creators on Kickstarter and beyond. While they stress that it’s not a comprehensive guide, it is an introduction to learning about and discussing the environmental impact of your music fulfillment—and the beginning of a larger conversation Kickstarter is working to continue around sustainability.

“It is important to consider the entire lifecycle of your music fulfillment to determine the most sustainable option,” says Alexandra Criscuolo. Click here to download the PDF.

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Kickstarter-Funded Performances to Watch at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe

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:

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The Quickstarter Manifesto

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.

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How are today’s visual artists making a living?

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.

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Voici Bold Type, un éloge de la typographie française

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.

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