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Where culture and economic development meet. Long-form journalism and commentary. For Cleveland and around the rust belt.
Where culture and economic development meet. Long-form journalism and commentary. For Cleveland and around the rust belt.
183 backers pledged $8,615 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$8,615

183

OUR NEW GOAL IS $10,000!!! 

"Belt" will build on the astonishing success of Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology, which proved there is a need for thoughtful, in-depth reporting and commentary on culture and economic development in Cleveland and other industrial cities. The book was produced, start-to-finish, in three months. It drew volunteer submissions from more than 80 writers, was profitable within weeks of publication and is onto its second printing.  "Belt" will continue the momentum.  

One comment we keep hearing about the success of Rust Belt Chic is that It puts words and images to what people are feeling in the city. Cleveland has few journalistic outlets producing meaningful culture or economic journalism and its only daily newspaper will soon lay off a third of its staff.  There is a need for the kind of storytelling Belt can produce.

We have run a beta-version of this magazine over at rustbeltchic.com for a year. We post a mixture of commentary, blog posts and guest contributions. We are ready to start running longer, commissioned articles and essays, and we have a staff in place ready to edit and write. 

But first we need a full-fledged website,  one that can showcase writing, images and videos, and allow visitors to search for and contribute to the topics we cover. This will cost us about 2/3 of our funding goal. Another 1/3 will go towards our first commissioned pieces. Anything more will go to writers and editors. Your support will help us fund our first issue. If we reach $10,000, your support will fund our first 2 issues. 

Belt will be produced by Clevelanders, and the city will be our primary audience. But what is happening in Cleveland is pertinent to people in other Rust Belt cities--and what is happening in the Rust Belt is pertinent to anyone following the revitalization of post-industrial cities. So those interested in urbanism and cities will find us interesting. So too will anyone who values narrative journalism with a strong voice. Our writers and  columnists are experienced professionals with national publications under their, um, belts. We will run original, quality writing that does not shy away from controversy. We will belt.

Risks and challenges

We have planned the new site and have the staff to put it in place. We have sustained a blog and published a book. We have a good track record of getting things done. We are asking you to help us with the seed costs to get Belt up and going, and we are working with investors and subscription models to ensure the magazine's sustainability.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Join us. We'll list you as a backer on our website

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    Read us. A copy of Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology and a thank you on our website.

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    Show off your rusty cred. Get a Rust Belt Chic t-shirt. Plus a thank you on our website

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    Party with us. A ticket to our launch party to be held August 23 at St. John's Parish Hall in Ohio City, which will be hosting one of its first events ever in their renovated church. Plus a thank you on our website.

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    Get all our swag. A book *and* a t-shirt. And we'll thank you on our website, of course.

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    Party with us (and a friend). Two tickets to our launch party to be held August 23 at St. John's Parish Hall in Ohio City, which will be hosting one of its first events ever in their renovated church. Plus a thank you on our website.

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    A book, a t-shirt, a ticket to the launch party, and a thank you on our website. Whoa.

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    Limited, signed 16x20 print of Bob Perkoski's cover art for Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Join in the writing game. This reward gets you a spot in Anne Trubek's online "How To Pitch and Submit" course for freelance writers (July 22-August 2).

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    Go an a Rust Belt Chic tour with WCPN's David C. Barnett and Richey Piiparinen. Described as "getting drunk in various establishments and walking around in desolation," this evening will include two rounds of drinks for up to 5 people. Not for the faint hearted! Date and time to be arranged.

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    Know how the New York Times always writes obituaries for famous people before they die? Well, for this reward, Laura Putre write your obituary--you can frame it, save it to use when you die, bring it out to impress a date, send it to the NY Times, etc. Laura will even interview a friend to get some pithy quotes about you. Could be quite a gift, too.

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    Found us. We'll list you or your business as a founder on our website and, if you'd like, give you free advertising for the first three months after we launch. Plus any of the above rewards you'd like.

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    We'll list you or your business as a founder and give you free advertising, if you'd like, for the first six months after we launch. Plus any of the above rewards you'd like.

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Funding period

- (30 days)