Dear Kickstarter friends and allies,
My wonderful students at Champlain College and I could use your help--right now.
We are deep into yet another important and urgent endangered alphabets/languages project. We are working to publish the first-ever endangered-language classroom materials for indigenous children in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. We've done readers, we've created the first coloring books they've ever seen, we've made alphabet stamps. This alone will transform their education, in a system where 35% don't finish second grade, 65% don't finish fifth grade, and only 2% graduate high school.
Now we're hoping to publish writing journals, stickers and an anthology of folk tales. These stories were collected by indigenous children, re-told to their classmates, recorded, transcribed, translated, and are even now being laid out in book format using a special kid-friendly font designed by the latest member of our team, Irina Wang. This anthology is to be a fundraiser for the three schools where indigenous children can be educated in their own mother tongues.
But OUR KICKSTARTER IS WAY BEHIND SCHEDULE. WE NEED $300+ a day for the next 5 DAYS.
In thanks for your donations, I am offering to carve “Thanks!” in the glorious fluid Balinese script at one level and one of the proverbs in the beautiful bubbly Marma script at another. Both these carvings were among the most popular items when the Endangered Alphabets were displayed at the Smithsonian.
For full details, please go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/663870893/education-in-the-chittagong-hill-tracts.
As always, if you can’t afford to support our campaign—which we totally understand!—please pass the link on to friends and colleagues.
The Suggestion: Happy New Year cards in Mongolian calligraphy. Just beautiful. Check them out at http://society6.com/product/happy-new-year-cards-in-mongolian-calligraphy_cards#16=71.
The Request: I would love to take the Alphabets to the West Coast, preferably California. Anyone got any suggestions about colleges, universities, libraries or galleries that might be interested?
All the best to all of you!
I'm sorry to join the avalanche of incoming mail trying to get you to buy holiday gifts, but this is one of the most important ways to support the Endangered Alphabets Project and its continuing work. Please check out http://society6.com/endangeredalphabets to find prints, mugs, wall clocks, iPhone cases, throw pillows and all kinds of other Alphabet merchandise. Let's face it, nobody on your gift list will have seen anything quite like them!
Thanks so much, and best wishes,
Dear Kickstarter friends,
The good news is that the Kickstarter campaign to fund an interactive Balinese-Indonesian-English wiki-based dictionary was successful, not only meeting but exceeding its goal. Thanks to all of you who supported it or passed along the word to others!
Just as an extra expression of gratitude and excitement, I thought I'd share with you two photographs by the excellent Tom Way of a couple of my most recent carvings.
One, a commission, is on live-edge walnut and features a Mongolian proverb supplied to me by Chris Hoffmeister: "Work until finished. Salt until dissolved."
The other, a sale piece, is on an amazing piece of paduak and features a blessing in Tibetan by the wonderful calligrapher Tashi Mannox that reads "May all living beings be happy."