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


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.

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We Got You Something for Our Birthday

Ten years ago this week, Kickstarter landed on the World Wide Web, and our whole office erupted in cheers. Except there was no office, just some folks working out of their New York City apartments. The office came in 2010. A few other things have changed since then. For example, 16 million of you have backed a Kickstarter project!

We’re kicking off our big tenth birthday celebration today with a few things you might enjoy:

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Kickstarter Partners with Kodansha to Support Creators in Japan

(日本語は下にあります)

Today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Kodansha, one of Japan’s leading publishers, to support creators in Japan across all categories.

Connecting creators in Japan with the rest of the world

Through the partnership, Kickstarter will provide Kodansha’s team with the tools, knowledge, and resources to help creators in Japan bring projects to life on our global platform. With these insights and tools in hand, Kodansha will advise creators on how to effectively tell their stories and find supportive audiences on Kickstarter.

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$1 Billion (and Counting) Pledged to Games

Meredith Graves, our director of music, and Luke Crane, our head of games, wielded frightful powers at the Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands last week. Our friend Christophe Szpajdel made this logo and now we have to get tattoos.
Meredith Graves, our director of music, and Luke Crane, our head of games, wielded frightful powers at the Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands last week. Our friend Christophe Szpajdel made this logo and now we have to get tattoos.

It’s a great time to love games. We are stoked-and-a-half to report that backers have now pledged more than $1 BILLION to Games projects on Kickstarter. And we’re just getting started!

Since launching in 2009, the Games category has grown steadily, helping titles like The Banner Saga, Exploding Kittens, Darkest Dungeon, Kingdom Death, Shovel Knight, and many more get the funding they needed.

Backers like you have funded nearly 17,000 Games projects, bringing to life the beautiful, bold, and unexpected visions of creators from across the globe. We’ve seen projects that made us laugh, cry, shoot lasers at bad guys, and think about games in totally new ways.

And as we’ve grown, we’ve continued to look for ways to support our creator community and get our backers the latest info. Whether it’s through our weekly emails, Projects We Love, or our creator-focused podcast, we want to give our more than 3.2 million Games backers the latest from the bleeding edge of independent games projects.

With $1 billion in pledges under our belt, we can’t wait to continue to grow Kickstarter Games and bring you more of the irresistible projects you never knew you needed.

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Shape the Future of Publishing with Kickstarter’s First-Ever Digital Conference

On May 11, join a daylong conversation about fostering a more inclusive, fair, and vibrant publishing landscape

The world of publishing has changed dramatically in the last decade. Amazon has become a dominant channel for book sales (and almost everything else). Viral tweets can lead to bestsellers. Local journalism outlets like Gothamist have shuttered—and been reborn. Writers are struggling more now than ever before. But in other ways, it hasn’t: Publishing still isn’t representative of the world we live in, which leaves important stories untold.

And yet, passionate independent writers and publishers have developed innovative ways to connect with audiences and create economic opportunities in an uncertain time. While the conversation about the future of writers and publishers is a complicated one, it’s one I’m hopeful about nonetheless.

On May 11, 2019, I invite you to join this conversation with The Next Page: Creating the Future of Publishing, a digital conference hosted by Kickstarter. From 9 am to 5 pm ET, we’ll host discussions with some of the leading thinkers in the current magazine, book, web, and comic publishing landscape from the Kickstarter community and beyond.

Together, we’ll contemplate the big questions—around topics like the intersection of publishing and tech, how to bring about a dramatically more diverse publishing industry, creating economic sustainability, and cultivating strong communities—and begin to consider what the next decade of publishing could look like. I’m hopeful that these conversations will help us begin to build a more inclusive, fair, and vibrant publishing landscape.

Register to attend for free and preview the conference agenda.

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New Beginnings

To the Kickstarter team, creators, backers, and friends: 

I’ve decided to step away from the CEO position at Kickstarter to focus on high-level and long-term company needs in my role as chairman of the board. 

We’re just about a month shy of Kickstarter’s 10th birthday. Ten years ago, I took a leap with Yancey and Charles to create a platform with a simple mission: bring people together to help bring creative projects to life. And in doing so, Kickstarter came to life in ways I never could have imagined. In just ten years, we have accomplished so much together, with over $4.2 billion pledged to projects and nearly 160,000 projects from all over the world being successfully funded. 

When I returned as CEO in 2017, I initially intended to spend about six months working to set up a long-term foundation to ensure Kickstarter remained aligned with its mission, and to set the next leader up for success. Those months quickly became two years dedicated to developing a better way to deliver on the core aspects of our service through a robust operating system, a strong product, and the team we have assembled at Kickstarter today. 

I feel confident in what we’ve been able to accomplish, and even more confident in the next generation of leaders. And as a part of this decision, I’m happy to announce that Aziz Hasan, the head of Kickstarter’s Design & Product teams, will be stepping into the role of running day-to-day operations as interim CEO—with the Kickstarter PBC board working with Aziz over the next weeks and months to make this role permanent. 

Aziz is an experienced leader who joined the Kickstarter team early last year. He is deeply committed to the work, mission, and staff, and I cannot imagine Kickstarter in better hands. 

It’s been a true honor to serve as CEO for the first five years of this company and again for the last two. As we’ve been saying around here ahead of our milestone birthday, 10 is just the beginning. And I cannot wait to see what the next 10 years of Kickstarter will bring.

Kickstarter Music Promises to Keep It Weird at SXSW

Your favorite weirdos, Meredith & Russell
Your favorite weirdos, Meredith & Russell

Like everybody else who loves music and…[squints at list]...huge untamed crowds and walking through piles of unsorted recycling, we’re off to SXSW Music!

For the next week, my cohort Russell Elliot (of Kickstarter’s People Team, but also a brilliantly successful Kickstarter Music creator and oh my god have you heard this song??) and yours truly will be kicking dust all over South Congress, sneaking into your shows, eating all the tacos, trying on all the most psychedelic vintage, getting selfies with our heroes, and most importantly—

—seeing you, your band, your friends’ bands, and your friends’ band’s bands, and talking to you about music.

We wanna have all of the good, bad, inevitably weird ‘I didn’t think people were supposed to talk about that’ kinds of conversations, whether it’s gender disparity in festival lineups, adding morality clauses to label contracts, how to book shows if your town doesn’t have any shows, what the scene is like (or what you want it to be like) where you’re from, being the queer weirdo outlier in a macho genre, being a better ally in this industry, conquering stage fright and performance anxiety, and, of course, how to run a successful Kickstarter Music campaign.

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