The goal of the “I am an Ada Artist” kickstarter is to catalyze a collective art project that invites 6,000 women to redefine themselves as artists—adding their stories, wisdom, and artistry to the pages of an existing novel as they work toward transforming their bodies and health—and to participate in a culminating public art performance at the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, Alabama, on March 3, 2013.
Your contributions will be used to purchase and ship art supplies and 3,000 copies of the novel, Ada’s Rules, to start book clubs at African-American churches and beauty salons—places where conversations about beauty, health, identity, and self-expression are already taking place. As women engage with Ada's Rules, they will be asked to step into the role of artist—perhaps for the first time—by adding
sketches, personal artifacts, recipes, inspiring images, prayers, playlists to the books, reinterpreting and adding layers and depth to the original text of the
story. After 8 weeks, these book clubs will then pass the books onto another church or beauty salon in their region. That’s 6,000 women who will have the opportunity to imagine and express themselves as one of Ada's Artists—each of whose story and artistry will be added to one of those 3,000 books.
In early March, the books—now mixed media art works (and multi-authored palimpsests)—will be summoned to Selma for the culminating aspect of this creative project. Artists will bring books from their region to Selma, where they will be carried in the arms of Ada's Artists for the annual Selma bridge crossing. Led by Alice Randall, author of the original text, Ada’s Artists will carry the stories of all the women benefitting from this "I Am an Ada Artist” kickstarter. The entire creative project will be documented through photography.
We hope you will help us fund this multi-layered project, a partnership between the Curb Scholars in Creative Enterprise and Public Leadership at Vanderbilt; Elizabeth Long Lingo, Director of the Curb Scholars program; and Alice Randall, author of Ada’s Rules.
Why Ada’s Rules?
• With her permission, we take inspiration from New York Times best-selling author and Vanderbilt professor, Alice Randall, whose personal writing aesthetic involves "palimpsest"—re-imagining a text by offering an alternative point of view or interpretation. Ada’s Rules is the fictional story of one woman’s effort to reimagine and reinterpret her own life story and sense of self.
Does the author make a profit on this kickstarter?
• No. Books will be purchased at author’s cost—which means no royalties accrue to Alice. All funds go to support the collective art project.
Who gets the books and how will they use them?
• We’ve identified 75 African-American churches and beauty salons that have expressed interest in launching book clubs around Ada’s Rules.
• More specifically, we’ve identified churches and salons in 'book deserts' in the South and the Eastern seaboard--places where it is difficult or impossible to find literature within the surrounding locale.
Who We Are: The Curb Scholars at Vanderbilt
The Curb Scholars Program in Creative Enterprise and Public Leadership at Vanderbilt is the nation’s first four-year scholarship program focused on creativity and the public good. The program is for students who place creativity and innovation at the center of their lives and who seek to harness their creativity, passion, and disciplinary knowledge to solve problems and become innovators in their communities and chosen fields. Scholars begin each academic year with a two-day opening creative practice workshop designed to hone their creative chops.
This year, Director of the Curb Scholars program Elizabeth Long Lingo partnered with Alice Randall to challenge our 23 Scholars to design and implement a kickstarter campaign to support a collective, creative art project. This challenge is not only an important educational experience for the Scholars, but also is an exciting experiment in higher education where students are given the unique opportunity to apply their own passion and talents to help realize the creative potential of others.
The Curb Scholars Program is a signature program of the Curb Creative Campus Initiative at Vanderbilt University, and is housed and led by the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt.