Creative spaces and independent businesses: Use Kickstarter to keep the lights on.
Creative spaces and independent businesses: Use Kickstarter to keep the lights on.
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Kickstarter-Funded ‘Hair Love’ Wins Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film

Matthew Cherry
Matthew Cherry

Tonight the Kickstarter-funded short Hair Love won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Hair Love is the third Kickstarted film to take home an Oscar, and 2020 marks the tenth consecutive year that a Kickstarter-funded project has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Hair Love publicly began its journey in the summer of 2017 as a Kickstarter campaign by director and former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry, who had previously used Kickstarter to fund his feature films 9 Rides (2016) and The Last Fall (2012). The inspirational short follows an African-American father’s first attempt to do his daughter’s hair. The idea for the project came from Matthew’s desire to promote hair love among young people of color, and to push back against the absent black father stereotype and the lack of black representation in mainstream animated films.

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Hair Love gana el Óscar al mejor cortometraje animado

Traducido al español por Karina Kupferberg

“Hair Love”, un proyecto financiado en Kickstarter, gana el premio Óscar al mejor cortometraje de animación.

Matthew Cherry
Matthew Cherry

Esta noche, el corto financiado en Kickstarter, Hair Love, ganó el premio Óscar al mejor cortometraje de animación. Hair Love es la tercera película que cobra vida en Kickstarter y se lleva a casa un Óscar. Además, el 2020 marca el décimo año consecutivo en el que un proyecto financiado en Kickstarter es nominado a un Premio de la Academia. 

La iniciativa de Hair Love surgió en el verano de 2017 como una campaña de Kickstarter a cargo del director y ex receptor abierto de la NFL, Matthew A. Cherry. Anteriormente, él ya había recurrido a Kickstarter para financiar sus largometrajes 9 Rides (2016) y The Last Fall (2012). El inspirador corto trata sobre un padre afroamericano que intenta peinar a su hija por primera vez. La idea del proyecto surgió del deseo de Matthew de promover el amor por el cabello entre los jóvenes de color, y de oponerse al estereotipo del padre afroamericano ausente y a la falta de representación afroamericana en las películas de animación tradicionales. 

El proyecto captó una gran atención en todo el país. Al final de la campaña, en agosto de 2017, 4981 patrocinadores habían contribuido 284.058 dólares para financiar con éxito la película. Esto prácticamente cuadruplicaba el objetivo original de Matthew de obtener 75.000 dólares y rompía el récord de los cortos de animación de Kickstarter. 

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'Hair Love' and 10 Years of Kickstarter-Funded Oscar Nominees

Each and every year for the last decade, at least one Kickstarter-funded film has been nominated for an Oscar. Two of those films, Inocente and Period. End of Sentence, have taken home awards. This year, all of us at Kickstarter are rooting for Hair Love, an animated short film by Matthew Cherry about an African-American father trying to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.

Matthew had already used Kickstarter twice to help fund his feature films. In 2017 he returned to Kickstarter and launched a campaign for Hair Love that raised $284,058, a Kickstarter record for an animated short. His 4,981 backers were from as far afield as Japan and New Zealand. Last August, Hair Love premiered nationally in front of screenings of Angry Birds 2. It’s not often an animated short gets extensive press write-ups, but his film has been covered by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Teen Vogue, and so many other places. Matthew also turned the story into a children’s book, which became a New York Times bestseller.

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Open Call: Apply to Become a Kickstarter Creator-in-Residence

Creator-in-Residence René Kladzyk
Creator-in-Residence René Kladzyk

We’re excited to announce the open call for Kickstarter’s Spring 2020 Creators-in-Residence program.

Whether you’re a first-time creator building your community or a repeat creator looking to fulfill your rewards, our Creators-in-Residence program can give you the time and space to move your project forward.

Started in 2017, our Creators-in-Residence program invites NYC-based creators in the process of planning, launching, or fulfilling Kickstarter campaigns to join us at our HQ in Greenpoint, Brooklyn for a three-month residency.

Apply here

The Spring 2020 session will run from Tuesday, April 7, through Friday, July 3.

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Introducing Kickstarter’s Creative Coding Club

Distributed Web of Care workshop inspired by Taeyoon Choi
Distributed Web of Care workshop inspired by Taeyoon Choi

Most people who work at Kickstarter have some kind of creative practice. Our user interface designer makes furniture, our marketing manager curates museum exhibitions, our trust and safety analyst directs plays, and our games outreach lead is in a post-apocalyptic disco-punk brass band, to name a few. And many of our engineers are artists who make creative coding projects.

Early last year, a group of designers, engineers, data scientists, and marketers here came up with the idea of starting a regular meetup focused on our mutual interest in creative coding. We host reading groups, workshops, screenings, and studio visits, and we go on field trips to exhibitions and conferences. We call it Creative Coding Club.

Creative Coding Club is an opportunity to further our understanding and appreciation of code as a creative–and often, political–practice. We held a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon to increase diversity and representation of minorities in articles about creative coding, led workshops on three.js, p5.js, and codesandbox, and have regular reading groups exploring topics such as cyberfeminism, racial justice, design justice, and the ethical implications of artificial intelligence. We also hosted our first Creative Coding Project Jam to gather like-minded creators and get inspired by new ideas and technologies.

For our first event this year, we're inviting Taeyoon Choi—an artist, writer, organizer, and cofounder of the School for Poetic Computation—to give a keynote presentation on the environmental impact of code and host a workshop focused on decentralized protocols. Taeyoon will talk about ways of thinking about distributed, peer-to-peer learning, which he also unpacked in an interview with Laurel Schwulst for The Creative Independent.

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Kickstarter to Host Bluestockings Comics Fest for Queer and Trans Creators

Illustration by Iasmin Omar Ata
Illustration by Iasmin Omar Ata

It’s no secret I’m an advocate for queer and trans creators. Regardless of my identity as a queer Chinese American cis woman, it’s 2020 and it’s an empathetic and ethical stance to take. What are we here for if not to make this world more compassionate? Sometimes you have to start small to prove to others that such a world can exist. That is exactly what I was thinking when I partnered with Joan Dark of Bluestockings Bookstore to host the 2020 Bluestockings Comics Fest, which will be held at Kickstarter’s Brooklyn headquarters on Saturday, July 18.

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How Can We Fix the Broken Music Industry?

Announcing a future-focused report on the music industry by The Creative Independent and Kickstarter Creator-in-Residence René Kladzyk.

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 featuring the wisdom of well over 800 working artists—including writers, filmmakers, designers, musicians, visual artists, and more. We view everything we publish as an opportunity to better understand how independent artists can survive and thrive despite the challenges so many of us struggle with—from feeling healthy, to making a living, to finding balance while trying to do it all.

Through this work, we’ve seen how hard it can be to sustain a creative life, particularly in the music industry. For today’s musicians and industry professionals, there seem to be few tried-and-true paths to “success,” and even fewer indications of what “success” actually means.

The Creative Independent aspires to offer emerging artists resources that can help them make sense of the dizzying creative industries in which they operate. That’s why we launched a report on how visual artists are supporting themselves back in 2018, and it’s why today, we’re releasing a new report surveying the challenges that must be overcome to build a better future music industry.

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