The American West Happiness Tour combines two things: music, and the search for deeper meaning to the term "happiness" through the American Happiness Project. Rosa is a singer songwriter, and frontwoman of the band Hunters. She's been working hard as her band's leader, manager, and promoter to gain exposure and a few fans in the Bay Area after releasing an EP in the fall. Now she wants to work hard on the road, sharing her music with potential fans in a series of free shows or shows with a very small cover. Playing music is her passion. It's what makes her "happy."
Speaking of "happiness," this idea is often reduced to smiley faces and cliches. American culture screams that something is wrong with us if we are not constantly happy. It screams that happiness is achieved through money and designer homes and perfect relationships and super-successful children. Rosa and Nicholas Leither (writer and rustic furniture builder) are setting out to collect diverse points of view on what happiness is, what it sounds and looks like, and how to achieve and keep it. They plan to leave envelopes with short questionnaires inside, across the American West. The best responses will be published in a book in 2015.
The tour route will be determined by gigs Rosa sets up in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota.
The goal of this kickstarter is to pay for a rental car, gas, envelopes and stamps--perhaps some campsites and cheap motel rooms too. We're not looking for a free lunch, literally or figuratively! Just transportation, lodging, and materials to back this project. Thanks for listening!
Here are some visuals to better illustrate the trip route!
Some images of THE PERKS:
Risks and challenges
There are a few potential obstacles to the tour. First, it's hard as hell to book gigs without professional-looking music videos and a manager and a name people recognize. Even small-time bars are often obsessed with how many bodies you can bring into their business. Rosa tried to book a free gig in Park City this winter for weeks. Even the coffee shops ignored her, despite having a well-received album out in the world, and despite being a very sane person, more than eager to please.
What else. Any tour faces the potential of car breakdowns, stolen equipment, scheduling snafus, storms, road work, detours, and zombies.
Here's what we plan to do to meet these challenges:
Start early. Rosa has a map and calendar, and has already started hunting down venues. If she's turned down by all available venues in one city, she'll start over with the next town over.
We'll sign up for AAA, lock the car, and carry zombie mace. We are ambitious, passionate people. Full steam ahead!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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