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An annual social action info fair, bringing together diverse activist organizations, topical art installations, and public programs.
An annual social action info fair, bringing together diverse activist organizations, topical art installations, and public programs.
95 backers pledged $8,368 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Forward Union Fair is an annual social action info fair that celebrates diverse activist organizations, topical art installations, and public programming. The NGOs, nonprofits, and community organizations at Forward Union work to lift up and protect the people, places, and values under threat.

This free, public event will take place December 2 & 3 at 714 Broadway, a vacant storefront space in the heart of Manhattan.

In 2016, Forward Union Fair brought together 1,500 members of the public, 44 progressive organizations, 37 artists, and 8 hours of non-stop public programming. All fair attendees had the opportunity to meet, network, and take action. This December 2nd and 3rd, we will do it all over again while expanding our programming, art installations, and conversations, which is why we need you to join us today. 

Performance Still of "Dream For Fresh Air" by Chin Chih Yang. Image courtesy Jake Sigal.
Performance Still of "Dream For Fresh Air" by Chin Chih Yang. Image courtesy Jake Sigal.

 Why is this important?

Over the last 10 months, we have experienced a roller coaster of emotions: the largest single day of nationwide rallies for the Women’s March; a lack of government response to damage caused by multiple natural disasters; four unsuccessful attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act; the Muslim Ban and the subsequent airport sit-ins; the rejection of the Paris Climate Accords; and the rise of Indivisible Groups, just to name a few. What results is outrage fatigue, which makes it difficult to decide how to get involved and assess where your skills and resources should be employed.

Forward Union Fair provides practical, action-based resources to help concerned individuals get involved in their communities. Every participating organization will be given table space to convey information about their mission and how individuals can get involved. During the Fair, artists and curatorial collectives will present new projects and installations that express and reflect the topics being discussed at the tables and public programming.

The upcoming December Fair will feature two full days of public programming including talks, performances, round tables, and more. Past programming included performances by Christopher K. Ho, Chin Chih Yang, Tamar Ettun, a participatory round table on Protest hosted by Critical Practices Inc, discussing topics from immigration rights and sexual violence to respectability politics and Black Lives Matter.

Critical Practices Inc. hosting a LaTableRonde on the subject of protest at Forward Union Fair 2016. Image courtesy Chris Butterick.
Critical Practices Inc. hosting a LaTableRonde on the subject of protest at Forward Union Fair 2016. Image courtesy Chris Butterick.

About Forward Union

Forward Union was founded in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election by five art workers (Julia Clark, Lauren Jones, Jennie Lamensdorf, Rachel Nackman, and Holly Shen) who, while commiserating the outcome, realized there was a lack of any website or platform that allowed individuals to learn about various causes in one central place. Taking inspiration from the structure and process of an art fair, wherein each organization gets a space to promote their ideas and mission, the first Forward Union Fair invited organizations including The Climate Mobilization, Hudson Valley Riverkeeper, International Refugee Assistant Project, Lady Parts Justice, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, NYC Shut It Down, Peoples Power Assemblies, the Trevor Project, and many more, to come together under one roof to connect motivated individuals seeking an outlet with the hard-working groups that need their participation and support.

What will your contribution support?

Contributions to our Kickstarter will help us produce the second annual Forward Union Fair and expand it to two days. Our hard costs include furniture and equipment rentals; artist support for pop up installations; and printed materials for visitors and organizations.

Representatives from We Make America at Forward Union Fair 2016
Representatives from We Make America at Forward Union Fair 2016

Why Kickstarter?

The Forward Union Fair is all about creating a community of action-orientated, like-minded individuals. Forward Union Fair believes we can amplify our power by showing up for each other and the Fair serves as a platform to support cross-disciplinary and intersectional conversations and collaborations. That’s why a Kickstarter makes sense: it’s a place where we can put out a call to action for support.

Representative of Peoples Power Assemblies at Forward Union 2016
Representative of Peoples Power Assemblies at Forward Union 2016

Rewards

For $20 we will send an artist-designed postcard to the elected official of your choice with a hand-written, custom message!
For $20 we will send an artist-designed postcard to the elected official of your choice with a hand-written, custom message!

Thank you so much for your support! Below is some additional information about our rewards that we are excited to share with you in thanks for your support. A special shout out is due to Andrea Arrubla, Merit Myers, and B. Thom Stevenson for supporting us with with artworks. Rupert Manderstam, Lauren M. Jones, Merit Myers, and Geoffrey Stevens all helped produce our video. It takes a village! Thank you!

Merit Myers

2"x2" custom die cut sticker based on FUF16 "Lady FU" Mural by artist Merit Myers
2"x2" custom die cut sticker based on FUF16 "Lady FU" Mural by artist Merit Myers

 

B. Thom Stevenson

B. Thom Stevenson, HELP BUILD PEACE, 2017, screenprint on Paper, 20 x 16 inches, edition of 30
B. Thom Stevenson, HELP BUILD PEACE, 2017, screenprint on Paper, 20 x 16 inches, edition of 30

Forward Union Tote

Forward Union Tote
Forward Union Tote

Andrea Arrubla

Andrea Arrubla, Un Social para Forward Union, 2017, acrylic, pen, color pencil, and marker on cardboard, 13 x 10.5 inches, 3 unique variations, with custom-built shelf
Andrea Arrubla, Un Social para Forward Union, 2017, acrylic, pen, color pencil, and marker on cardboard, 13 x 10.5 inches, 3 unique variations, with custom-built shelf

 

Risks and challenges

There are always risks when using vacant retail space in NYC. We are committed to the pop-up approach as it gives us more flexibility and we fully understand the resulting complexities. For example, up to two weeks before the opening of the Fair there is a slim chance the landlord may rent out 712 Broadway and ask us to find another space. We also have to negotiate with the upstairs neighbors, who were very concerned about noise for the 2016 iteration of the Fair. We’re better prepared this year and will have the neighbors well prepped with contingencies planned.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Digital Thank You

    Your name on our website in thanks for your support!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Lady of Forward Union Sticker

    Brooklyn-based artist Merit Myers designed the Lady of Forward Union as a monumental mural ushering the public into the Forward Union space in 2016. Now she's in sticker form! Plus, we'll put your name on our website in thanks.

    Includes:
    • Digital Thank You
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Artist-Designed Postcard

    For $20 we will send an artist-designed postcard to the elected official of your choice with a hand-written, custom message.

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    • Digital Thank You
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    3 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Thank You Wall

    See your name in print on the wall at Forward Union (714 Broadway) on December 2-3, 2017! Plus, your name on our website in thanks.

    Includes:
    • Digital Thank You
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    11 backers
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Forward Union Tote

    Everyone loves a tote! Plus, your name on our wall and our website in thanks.

    Includes:
    • Digital Thank You
    • Thank You Wall
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    FIVE Artist-Designed Postcards

    For $50 we will send FIVE artist-designed postcards to the elected official of your choice with a hand-written, custom message.

    Includes:
    • Thank You Wall
    • Digital Thank You
    • Lady of Forward Union Sticker
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    4 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Lady of Forward Union Limited Edition

    Limited Edition Print by Merit Myers of the Lady of Forward Union. Full-color 8.5 x 11 print in a limited edition of 50. Plus, your name on our wall and our website in thanks!

    Includes:
    • Digital Thank You
    • Thank You Wall
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    Limited 6 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    B. Thom Stevenson Limited Edition Print

    HELP BUILD PEACE, 2017
    Screen Print on Paper
    20 x 16 inches
    edition of 30

    Limited Edition Print by B. Thom Stevenson. Plus, your name on our wall and our website in thanks!

    Includes:
    • Digital Thank You
    • Thank You Wall
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    Limited 12 backers
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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Andrea Arrubla painting

    Un Social para Forward Union, 2017
    (3 Unique Versions)
    Acrylic, pen, color pencil, and marker on cardboard
    Card size: 13”x10.5”
    Will come with a custom-built shelf

    Andrea Arrubla is a Colombian interdisciplinary artist living in Brooklyn, NY. Her artwork revolves around issues of personal histories, institutional critique, and language through accessible mediums that confront professionalized methods of art making. Arrubla completed an 8 hour performance painting social security cards at Forward Union Fair in 2016, she will return to continue this work in 2017. Plus, your name on our wall and our website in thanks!

    Includes:
    • Digital Thank You
    • Thank You Wall
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Sponsor a Table at Forward Union Fair

    All participation in the Fair is FREE, so your supports allows us to create the physical Fair infrastructure. Plus, a Lady of Forward Union sicker and your name on our wall and our website in thanks!

    Includes:
    • Digital Thank You
    • Thank You Wall
    • Lady of Forward Union Sticker
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Sponsor a Public Program

    Forward Union Fair will present 2 full days of public programming including talks, lectures, performances, and round tables. Help us to create a platform for a diverse array of subjects and voices by underwriting a public program. Detailed information about the programs will be released as the Fair approaches and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss the specifics of your sponsorship. Reserved seating for all talks is included. Plus, a Lady of Forward Union Sticker, Forward Union Tote, and your name on our wall and our website in thanks!

    Includes:
    • Digital Thank You
    • Thank You Wall
    • Lady of Forward Union Sticker
    • Forward Union Tote
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Curated Tour of Forward Union Fair

    Experience the Fair with a curated, personalized tour from one of the Forward Union Co-Founders catering to your interests. Meet the people representing your favorite organizations and get reserved seating for all of the talks. Plus, a Lady of Forward Union Sticker, Forward Union Tote, Lady of Forward Union Limited Edition Print, and your name on our wall and our website in thanks!

    Includes:
    • Digital Thank You
    • Thank You Wall
    • Lady of Forward Union Sticker
    • Forward Union Tote
    • Lady of Forward Union Limited Edition Print
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)