Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 6, 2013.

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Musician Rosa del Duca and writer Nicholas Leither are out to play free music and gather responses to their American Happiness Project.

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!

The tour starts in San Fransisco! Rosa and Nick will travel through California, Oregon, Seattle, and Idaho until they reach Missoula, MT. There, Leila will join them on their adventure!
The tour starts in San Fransisco! Rosa and Nick will travel through California, Oregon, Seattle, and Idaho until they reach Missoula, MT. There, Leila will join them on their adventure!
Hi, Leila!
Hi, Leila!
The trio will then perform across Montana. At Red Lodge, Leila will leave the group and return to Missoula while Rosa and Nick trek on!
The trio will then perform across Montana. At Red Lodge, Leila will leave the group and return to Missoula while Rosa and Nick trek on!
Rosa and Nick will leave Montana, traveling though North Dakota, then to their final destination of Minnesota.
Rosa and Nick will leave Montana, traveling though North Dakota, then to their final destination of Minnesota.

Some images of THE PERKS:

The Sisters t-shirt design
The Sisters t-shirt design
The Guitar t-shirt design
The Guitar t-shirt design
An example of some of Nick's beautiful rustic furniture!
An example of some of Nick's beautiful rustic furniture!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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!

FAQ

33
Backers
$2,610
pledged of $2,500 goal
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  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    Your very own digital download of our first American Happiness Project book, due out in 2015.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
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    2 backers

    A download of Eye of the Storm, Rosa's first solo album, or "White Lies," the debut EP Rosa's band put out in the fall. Hip music bloggers have said stuff like this about the EP: "It'll be your best friend on your next big road trip." and "They have a warm, open arms, sweet tea, hot southern soup sound that will make you feel at home wherever you are, no matter where you’re from."

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    11 backers

    A signed, physical CD, or a signed first edition of the American Happiness Project book, mailed to you. White Lies is pretty enough to hang on your wall!

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $25 or more
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    6 backers

    A hand-silk-screened shirt or tank top designed by artist and musician Leila del Duca, who will be joining Rosa for several of the tour's performances. Choose from a guitar design, or a design of Rosa and Leila as cartoons.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    5 backers

    The ultimate goodie bag. A digital download of the book, an album of your choice, and a hand-made shirt or tank. We'll also thank you by name in the acknowledgements section of the book.

    Estimated delivery:
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  • Pledge $125 or more
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    3 backers

    We're coming over! That's right, if you live within 20 miles of the tour route, I'll stop by for a private concert on our way to the next gig. Invite as many or as few people as you like. I'll croon for 45 minutes. (This one takes some coordination. Please check to make sure we'll be in your area on a day that works for you.)

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    I'll learn any song you like, belt it out on film, and send you the video! You also get an album download and shirt of your choice, as well as thanks in the Happiness Project book, which you'll be able to download for free once it comes out.

    Estimated delivery:
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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    I will write and record an original song for you. You choose the subject. If you want, you can write the lyrics! While the recording won't be "professional" it will be edited, mixed and mastered by me with Pro Tools. We'll also throw in a book and album download, as well as thanks in the acknowledgements.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    A handmade American Rustic chair designed and crafted by Nicholas from his "California Series." These are colorful, unique, one-of-a kind chairs. Nicholas goes tramping in the woods for weeks, gathering willow. Then he pounds and saws and paints away in the garage for days. Then the chair needs to dry for a few months before the finishing touches are made. Nick's chairs have been featured in galleries. You can find examples of them through his website. This pledge amount also guarantees a book, album and shirt. For pictures of Nick's chairs, visit his website: www.NicholasLeither.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
Funding period

- (33 days)