Mark Your Calendars: 16 Kickstarter-Funded Performances to Watch in NYC This Fall

Davalois Fearon performing at The Met Breuer. Photo by Andrew Imaging.
Davalois Fearon performing at The Met Breuer. Photo by Andrew Imaging.

Every fall, the performance world experiences its own back-to-school moment as artists prepare to premiere and tour their works. Starting this September, dozens of Kickstarter-funded shows will be hitting stages across the country.

In New York City alone, 16 Kickstarter-funded productions will premiere in the coming months. The creators of these works represent some of the most exciting voices in performance today, and each is helping to forge a new vision of how performance can tell important stories and engage audiences.

Here are a few of the performances I’m especially looking forward to:

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2 Million People Have Pledged $100M to Art on Kickstarter

Today, I’m thrilled to share an exciting milestone: over 2 million people have pledged more than $100 million to creative projects within Kickstarter's Art category. That support has helped bring more than 12,800 works to life—from paintings and performance art to sculpture, installations, and conceptual works.

Some interesting themes arise from looking at these works. Here are a few that stand out:

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Announcing NFTS Platform!, a New Initiative to Support the Next Generation of Filmmakers

NFTS students on set
NFTS students on set

Today, we’re excited to team up with one of the world's leading film, games, and television schools, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in the UK, to launch NFTS Platform!, a new initiative to support the next generation of filmmakers.

As part of NFTS Platform!, students will launch Kickstarter campaigns for ambitious short film projects outside of the school curriculum. They will receive mentorship from the Kickstarter Film team, learning fundraising and community-building skills that will help them tell important and timely stories and find dedicated audiences eager to support their projects. In addition to the funds raised through the Kickstarter campaigns, NFTS will make a financial contribution to each project.

The initiative is a response to the challenges of funding independent films, and recognizes the important role that community funding can play in the success of short film projects.

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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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