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An interactive app that tells the stories of the Civil Rights Movement in the places where they happened.

50 Years, 50 Stories
2013 marks the 50th anniversary of many pivotal events in the Civil Rights Movement, a cause that has become synonymous with the city of Birmingham. The events of that year made an incredible impact on the Civil Rights Movement on a national level, while resonating on a global scale. The story of Birmingham has been told in a number of ways over the years, but our team seeks to move the story into the 21st century to engage with a younger, tech-savvy generation who has grown up with innovations that are transforming the way media is digested. Through this plan, we aim to reach our audience through a cross-platform strategy, including mobile devices, social media, a dedicated website, as well as personal interactions, all while making it a community effort. We recognize that Birmingham’s history isn’t told by one voice, which is why we have developed the idea of “50 Years, 50 Stories,” offering the opportunity to tell a cohesive story through many.

Mobile App

The function of the mobile app will be to bring stories to the places where they occurred, allowing the user to experience a greater connection to the city’s past, a museum in the streets. By hearing oral histories previously recorded by civil rights historians paired with original audio design and historic images, users gain a better understanding of the historical landscape.

Phase 1 of the app deployment will include 10 high-profile stories specific to Birmingham’s city-center. This will include key spots such as the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham City Jail, Birmingham City Hall, the 4th Avenue Black Business District, the Birmingham Courthouse, and the Birmingham Business District.

Users will be guided by a map system, which will show the points of specific historical interest. When the user reaches that geo-location, they will be prompted to unlock the corresponding video. The videos can only be unlocked in these tagged locations, but once unlocked, the user gains future access to them anywhere as the app records their progress. This incentive system encourages the user to visit all spots to collect the videos, and once achieved, the user will collect a digital prize for finishing that track and will have the opportunity to share their progress with their social networks.

If our minimum goal is reached, the initial phase will only include the iphone platform. However, if we raise additional funding, it will allow us to expand our app onto the android platform as well.  It will also allow future app add-ons with additional tour stops in the surrounding areas along with their corresponding stories. The more money we raise, the more accessible the project becomes, the more stories we can include, and the more helping hands we’ll source to complete the project.

Website
The “50 Years, 50 Stories” website will be the hub for the story experience. It will direct people to download the app, will identify the names of the donors who made the project possible, and it will also become a place for community involvement. This will be the place where people have the opportunity to add to the story by contributing their own relevant audio or video for us to connect to if approved.

Social Media
Social media will play a large role in engaging with the community on a more personal level. People can share their favorite stories or tell us what they’d like to see in the app or on the website. Once the app is launched, social media will allow app users to share their progress, encouraging others to try it for themselves.

Community Involvement
As part of our community outreach plan, we will teach seminars on preserving and sharing community stories after the app launch. As part of the reward system, donors can also specify certain schools or organizations that will receive copies of the digital downloads and DVDs.

The Team

Our team consists of a talented group of young professionals, each contributing an important set of skills necessary to make the project a reality.

Amanda Shirelle Azoroh:  Amanda has a passion to make an impact on her community. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a concentration in Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). As an undergraduate, she produced the Three Doctors’ Event at UAB and served in many leadership capacities.  After graduating, she became a media professional at her alma mater. She is dedicated to reaching out to the community through service, various speaking engagements, and her motivational blog- Panda’s Cocoa Corner. Because of her sincere dedication and service, she has been recognized for her achievements thus receiving the following awards: the UAB President’s Diversity Award, Student of the Year, UAB Excellence Awards for Emerging Leader, and the UAB Impact, to name a few. Ultimately, she plans to expand her vision and passion for change to a global arena.

The Franks Brothers

Alan Franks: An award-winning filmmaker and Fulbright Scholar whose films have screened around the world, Alan’s film experience extends to virtually all genres. With a repertoire that includes everything from quirky animations voiced by five-year-olds to poetic documentaries about memory, Alan’s style is continually evolving as he strives to raise the bar with every production he crafts. His work has taken him across the US, and he has filmed in four countries outside the Americas, from the Australian Outback to the mountains of Malawi.  Most recently, he has worked alongside an internationally award-winning team on the TV series “America the Wild,” a broadcast program from National Geographic that is also available as a ground-breaking interactive program on Xbox 360 Kinect.  Alan co-owns Franks Global Media with his brothers and teaches university film courses part-time in Birmingham.

Doug Franks:  Doug's two main interests are technology and film. Utilizing his degree in Electrical Engineering, he strives to find new ways to use emerging technologies as a medium for capturing and delivering people's stories.  Through his work with the finest Birmingham filmmakers and sound designers, he has honed his skills in video editing, sound recording, producing, and storytelling.  With these talents and his involvement in Franks Global Media, Doug aims to reach the world through a wide array of interactive media, combining meaningful content with entertaining applications.

Kevin Franks: Kevin is an engineering student minoring in film at UAB. He's the youngest of the six Franks brothers, and his enthusiasm for Birmingham is hard to overlook. As a junior, he's already spent countless hours teaching digital media at Arrington Middle School. He won first place at the National Collegiate Honors Conference poster competition for his presentation on the Arrington Middle School project.  He and his classmates in the UAB Honors Program also conducted in-depth research and composed a proposal to preserve the history of Norwood, a historic neighborhood in Birmingham.

Wade Sweatt:  Wade is a full-time media creative and graduate Electrical Engineer. He has spent the last five years learning to apply his creative nature to the software development field. During this time, his work has been concentrated primarily on mobile solutions, web and native. His work can be found both for sale publicly on the Apple App Store and on the web. Wade is known for his determination and the pride he takes in having the best product possible.

Andrew Williams:   Andrew is a graphic designer who currently attends the University of Alabama at Birmingham in pursuit of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. With his design practice, he focuses on trying to develop a clear, concise, and minimal approach to much of his work, but still aims to suggest emotion and detail. For Andrew, the easier it is to comprehend an image, the more room there is to leave a viewer with an everlasting impact.

Where the money will go

We have done a tremendous amount of prep work over the past year, and we now need the funds to make it possible for us to launch the app in 2013. 

Approximately 10% of the funds will go to Kickstarter in the form of fees.  Another percentage will cover the costs of fulfilling the rewards.  The remaining funds will be used for the finishing costs of the app, including supplies, equipment, licensing, and labor.  This takes into account music composition and recording (we plan to hire local jazz legends to create musical tracks), project management, editing, graphics work, app coding, and community outreach.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This project holds the same risks as any other development project. There is always the chance of delay due to unforeseen circumstances, but given the vast and diverse experience of our development team in addition to our project mentors and advisors, we are quite confident that we will deliver the project according to schedule.

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    Public "Thank You" on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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    Sneak-Peek of the first story from the app, before it is released + Exclusive Blog Access + the above reward.

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    Early Bird Special! Digital Download of the first set of stories from the app + the same as the $10 reward. (Digital Download exclusively available through Kickstarter). We will also donate a copy of the Digital Download to a school or organization of your choice.

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    Digital Download of the first set of stories from the app + the same as the $10 reward. (Digital Download exclusively available through Kickstarter). We will also donate a copy of the Digital Download to a school or organization of your choice.

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    Early Bird Special! We will include your name on the official sponsors page of the project website + the same as the $25 reward.

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    We will include your name on the official sponsors page of the project website + the same as the $25 reward.

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    Limited Edition DVD containing the first set of stories from the app + the same as the $50 level reward. (DVD exclusively available through Kickstarter). We will also donate a copy of the DVD to a school or institution of your choice.

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    Become a beta tester of the app and provide feedback before its official launch (must be in Birmingham during testing phase; travel not included) + the same as the $250 level reward.

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    We will conduct a seminar for your group in relation to the project (within the Birmingham metro area) + the same as the $250 level reward.

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    Our team will bring professional video equipment and spend a day filming up to three members of your family to help preserve your own family heritage + the same as the $250 level reward. (Does not include travel costs to your location if outside the Birmingham metro area).

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    We will produce a short portrait video about a Civil Rights figure of your choice, featuring your name and/or logo at the beginning and end of the video. (i.e. ‘Your Name’ Presents: “Title of Video” at the beginning. And "This video was made possible by the generous support of Your Name"at the end). This video will be housed on the project website, and you can share the video on your own website and social media outlets. This level of donation will also include a prominent position on the top tier of the donor page with your name and/or logo, as well as a credit in the app “About” page. You will also get the same reward as the $250 level.

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Funding period

- (30 days)