Kickstarter-Funded Games Sweep Gen Con Awards

The Games team brings glad tidings from Indianapolis! We’ve just recovered from Gen Con, the largest gathering of the tabletop games community in North America. This year’s event was extra special for us because two Kickstarted games took home top honors at two different award shows at the conference. We’d like to give a quick shout out to these games and every Kickstarter-funded game that was nominated and honored at Gen Con. If you were looking for an excuse to feel good for a little while, we give you permission to celebrate with us.

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Kickstarter Teams up with shesaid.so to Support Women and Nonbinary Folks in the Music Industry

The shesaid.so team
The shesaid.so team

This October, Kickstarter is teaming up with shesaid.so, a global community of women in the music industry, to offer funding to five Europe-based women, trans, and nonbinary folks interested in attending MEETSSS, their inaugural conference. Taking place October 3–6, 2019, in Portimão, Portugal, MEETSSS will feature workshops, discussions, panels, and more for music executives, artists, and others working in entertainment. The conference is open to people of all genders.

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Product Upgrades: Project Quotes in Comments, and More

Here’s a quick overview of some recent improvements to Kickstarter that we’re excited to tell you about.

First up is a feature we’re calling quoted comments. It’s designed to make it easier for backers to start a public conversation with creators.

Backers often want to ask questions about a specific element of a project. They may be seeking clarification about something, or they may want the creator to substantiate a claim. These interactions are a core part of supporting projects on Kickstarter, and quoted comments are a great way to kick them off.

To use this feature, you simply highlight a line of text in the project’s description, up to 300 characters. A box then pops up giving you the option to quote this text. Clicking “Start a comment” will take you to the project’s comments section, where the selected text will appear as a quote. You can write your comment or question beneath the quote.

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Kickstarter-Funded Performances to Watch at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Way back in 2009 when Kickstarter was first launched, one of our first projects was a piece from Cynthia Hopkins trying to get to the Edinburgh Fringe. A decade later, hundreds of artists have raised more than $1.5 million from over 20,000 backers as part of their journey to this legendary performance festival. 

This year over 50 Kickstarted productions will be headed to the Fringe, demonstrating the vital role that Kickstarter continues to play as a means of alternative funding for artists hoping to bring their shows to the festival.

Are you an artist in the festival? Be on the lookout for a program of events focused on health and wellbeing at Fringe Central as part of our partnership. I, along with our Comedy Outreach Lead, Taylor Moore, will also host office hours on August 6, 2019 from 11am to 3pm for any creators considering crowdfunding.

As we get ready to dive into the festival, here are a few of the Kickstarted pieces we’re looking forward to:

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

The Spring 2019 Creators-in-Residence
The Spring 2019 Creators-in-Residence

We’re excited to announce the open call for Kickstarter’s Fall 2019 Creators-in-Residence program.

Whether you’re a first-time creator seeking one-on-one mentorship 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.

Launched in 2017, our Creators-in-Residence program invites NYC-based creators in the process of planning, launching, or about to fulfill a Kickstarter campaign to join us at our Brooklyn HQ for a three-month residency. Past residents have included product designer Krystal Persaud, games designer Jordan Draper, artist Nicholas O’Brien, author Ytasha L. Womack, and choreographer Raja Feather Kelly.

The Fall 2019 session will run from Tuesday, September 10, through Friday, December 13.

During the residency, each creator will pair with a staff mentor who specializes in their area of interest and will offer guidance on how to manage a Kickstarter campaign. Residents receive access to a dedicated workspace, as well as our theater, recording studio, library, meeting rooms, and kitchen. They also have opportunities to be featured in Kickstarter-produced editorial content, and are invited to attend regular workshops, talks, and performances that put them in conversation with other creators and Kickstarter staff.

Apply here for the upcoming season by Wednesday July 31, 2019. Creators will be notified on Thursday August 15 if they’ve been selected for the program.

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Kickstarter and Social Art Network Team Up to Support UK Artists

The program will mentor 10 social practice artists in the UK as they prepare to launch projects this fall.

Filmmaker Ian Nesbitt's 'Taking The Michael'
Filmmaker Ian Nesbitt's 'Taking The Michael'

Kickstarter has always been a place where artists can share projects that engage with politics and society—projects that affect communities and environments, create dialogue around key societal issues, and enable social and political change. These ideas resonate with Kickstarter backers who value the platform as a place to support projects that break down political barriers and invite others to move towards change.

On Kickstarter in the UK, we’ve noticed a rise in social practice projects addressing urgent concerns about how we live now: the climate emergency, Brexit and our relationship with continental Europe, the refugee crisis, our ageing population, and the effect of government austerity policies on marginalised communities.

To continue to support this work, Kickstarter has partnered with the collective Social Art Network (SAN) to mentor 10 artists as they prepare to launch social practice projects this fall. “What better way to help our sector grow and be resilient than to use Kickstarter’s expertise to help drive community-driven projects towards collective and collaborative financial success,” says artist and SAN’s co-founder R.M. Sánchez-Camus. “This program only begins with these 10 artists as a pilot. We are aiming for long-term strategies that can help artists working in this field be resilient and self-sufficient. To have their efforts supported and to shine.”

For social practice artists in the wider Kickstarter community, we’ll also run a public webinar and share additional resources for creators.

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Guidance on Crafting an Honest and Clearly Presented Project

Please make sure the objects on your project page actually exist, unlike these compasses.
Please make sure the objects on your project page actually exist, unlike these compasses.

The second rule on our Rules page reads: “Projects must be honest and clearly presented.” But what do we mean by that? To provide some context for this rule, we’re releasing a new page today, “Honest and Clear Project Presentation,” and an accompanying feature for creators starting new projects.

Essentially our rule about honest presentation means that projects can’t mislead people or misrepresent facts. It also means that creators need to be candid with backers about what they plan to accomplish. For projects that plan to manufacture and distribute something complex, like hardware or gadgets, we require working prototypes and don’t allow misleading imagery.

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Kickstarter Teams Up with the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie to Highlight 5 Projects from Emerging Photographers

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Throughout the month of June, Kickstarter and the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie (ENSP) will be spotlighting the work of five emerging photographers in France.

Our goal is threefold: help these talented photographers realize a project they’re passionate about, share their work with an international audience, and help them build a community around their practice.

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