Notes To A Friend: The Experience project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$29,440 pledged of $50,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Yuri Angela Chung
$29,440 pledged of $50,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Hey everyone!

My name is Yuri Angela Chung and I'm a freelance graphic designer living & working in LA.

I was 25 years old in 2010 when I was first diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Right before entering my fifth year in remission, the cancer came back in the form of Stage 4 breast cancer—which had metastasized to my lungs, bones, and brain. Today, I am 32 and living with metastatic breast cancer.

 

What is Notes To A Friend?

Notes To A Friend is a collection of writings that describe my personal experiences with cancer.

Nowadays, there isn't a person you meet who hasn't been affected by cancer in one way or another. But at the same time, it's still a taboo subject in our culture. Unless you have been there yourself, most people have a naive understanding of what "cancer" entails: chemo, hair loss, death. But what about everything in between?

Every cancer is different. And every cancer has a person behind it who has a story. Notes To A Friend is mine.

 

Press play below to see the entire prototype video with Embeth's voice!
Press play below to see the entire prototype video with Embeth's voice!

 

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

 

Origins of Notes To A Friend

A few months prior to my diagnosis, I was working on a personal project with a friend that focused on my growth as a young designer after cancer. During this time, I sent him “notes” that I wrote while remembering certain moments I considered important in my story. Then shortly after, almost like a scene out of a movie, I found out that my cancer came back. And the narrative we were building together suddenly became irrelevant. When the recurrence happened, I was scared but also inspired. I needed to continue my story, and I needed to continue to create. The notes I sent to my friend were intimate thoughts that I had never shared with anyone—and now, I felt the urgency of a purpose that I needed to share. And that’s how I started Notes To A Friend.

I decided to post one "note" a day for ten days on my Instagram account. These first ten notes were reflections from the first time cancer entered my life; and the following eight were my most current reflections of everything I was feeling and going through at that moment.

When I started posting Notes To A Friend, the emotional response was immediate. Friends and strangers were sending me support, love and gratitude. I realized that writing and sharing these notes were not only a remedy to my own trauma—but also supporting others and giving an honest insight into a subject that most people don't want to talk about.

Every once in a while, a stranger will find his or her way to Notes To A Friend; and every once in a while, that stranger will send me a beautiful message about how my notes have helped them in some way. These connections are what Notes To A Friend is about.

 

 

What Your Funds Will Do

Our current goal is $50,000. This will enable us to turn Notes To A Friend into an experience in New York that anybody can visit and share. This will allow us to rent space for a month, letterpress the notes and secure the technology needed to activate the notes—projectors, computers, speakers and the like. 

We're planning for this to happen in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We thought this would be the perfect time to elevate awareness about cancer and help to normalize the conversations around it. The installation will be up and running throughout the month for anybody to come visit. We're also planning to use the space to host events throughout the month. Cancer is a lot of things, but one thing it is not is easy to talk about. 

 

The Details

The Notes

There are currently 21 notes that I've written, all of which you can read here. They will be letterpressed as 18” x 24” posters and mounted on the walls in the space. The idea is that they’ll be blind debossed, which means the words will be pressed onto the paper without ink. While they will still be able to be read, the idea is they’re not really “activated” until the actual note is being read by Embeth in the space. The audio of her voice triggers the projection mapping, which fills the words with light, a form of digital “ink.” This is where technology comes in. 

The Ink

There will be around eight to ten projectors mounted in the space, possibly less depending on the quality of projectors we’re able to secure. These projectors will be part of a system that synchronizes the playback of the audio and video throughout the space. In order to achieve this, the budget will include multiple networked computers capable of handling multi-output high resolution playback. Alternative options come with tradeoffs: higher costs, lower quality of execution, etc. We’re ultimately striving for the most cost effective way to execute this project without compromising the quality of experience we’re trying to create. And if you happen to know someone who’s willing to let us borrow some serious equipment for a month, all the better :) 

The Voice

We are planning for a surround sound system if one doesn’t already exist in the space. We considered individual speakers tied to each note, but given the complexities already tied to other parts of this installation, we thought it would be best to keep this part simple, yet impactful. A surround sound system will allow Embeth’s voice to envelop the people within the space, creating an immersive experience that maximizes the impact of the notes.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

 

The Space

We’re confident we’ll be able to find a place SOMEWHERE in New York, and the question becomes more about exactly WHERE in New York. Our ideal space would be somewhere with lots of foot traffic that’s easily accessible—we’re hoping the installation will attract not only the person who’s heard about it, but also the passerby who happens to chance upon it. It would also be great if it was a gallery-type space that's 1,000+ square feet. A neutral space with white walls will really allow for the notes to be front and center.

 

The People  

Embeth Davidtz

Embeth Davidtz is an actress whose screen roles have included movies such as Schindler's List, Matilda, Junebug and The Amazing Spider-Man. Also a breast cancer survivor, Embeth has spoken publicly about her personal experience and has made it her mission to help educate women about the different resources available to them.

SPACE CRAFT

SPACE CRAFT is a design squad consisting of Mike Degen and Jason Tucker that focuses on URL + IRL experiences. In addition to Notes To A Friend, other recent projects include establishing the identity for y-combinator startup Wright Electric and collaborating to produce a video for Eco Share Space.

Jackie Park

Jackie Park is an architect who is passionate about designing both processes and physical spaces. She is currently based in New York and works at Architizer

Message me!

If you would like to participate or contribute in an alternative way, please reach out! Our goal is for this to reach as broad of an audience as possible and we are open to partnerships.
 

Thank You!

We’ve created a number of rewards in return for helping us reach our goals. More than anything, your help in spreading the word would mean so much. If you’re not in a position to give, a post, tweet or simply telling somebody you know who might be interested is priceless.

Thanks, again.
Love, Yuri.

REWARDS:

View the LETTERMENT garments here and A Happy Talent's art print here

Credits

SHOUT OUT TO PJ! 
Thanks for all the hours you put into our amazing video.

Video: Priscilla Jimenez

Audio: Priscilla Jimenez and James Ellington of Wrkshop 

Song: “Can’t Knock Me Down” by Anna Mae

#NotesToAFriend

#NotesOnCancer 

 

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges associated with a project like this is not so much about whether or not we can pull it off (we can), but whether or not we can pull it off at the level we envision (and we all tend to be OCD perfectionists, or at least that applies to Jackie, Jason and Mike).

Like we mentioned in The Details section above, it really comes down to striking a balance between executing things in a really (cost) effective way without sacrificing the quality of execution. We’ve budgeted for what we feel like is a healthy balance, and if push comes to shove, we’re a pretty resourceful group. Jason and Mike know how much to make anything happen if it involves a computer and/or power tools, and Jackie’s background in architecture has taught her how to do more with less.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    ONLINE SHOUT-OUT

    We'll post your name on a special thank you section of our website, notestoafriend.com!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    POSTCARD

    A Notes To A Friend postcard of your choice. The front displays the title of the note (i.e. #truth), and the back of each postcard displays a quote from the note. (Please add $5 for international shipping.)

    + Everything above!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    19 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    PRINTED POSTER

    A limited-edition printed poster of the Extraordinary note. Dimensions are 18” x 24” and ships folded. (Please add $10 for international shipping.)

    + Everything above!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    29 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    BOOKLET

    A Notes To A Friend booklet, with all of the notes printed inside, black and white printing. (Please add $10 for international shipping.)

    + Everything above!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    35 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    TOTEBAG

    A Notes To A Friend tote bag made out of durable canvas. (Please add $20 for shipping to Canada or Mexico, $30 for other international places.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    YOUR NAME ON THE WALL

    Your name on the wall in our special Friends section at the installation.

    + Everything above!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    60 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    BOOK

    A limited-edition hard cover Notes To A Friend book, with all of the notes printed inside, color printing and a handwritten thank you from Yuri. U.S. shipping is included. (Please add $20 for shipping to Canada or Mexico, $30 for other international places.)

    + Everything above!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    24 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A HAPPY TALENT ART PRINT

    A limited-edition letterpress poster of A Happy Talent’s "boobs" print. Dimensions are 11” x 14”. (Please add $20 for shipping to Canada or Mexico, $45 for other international places.)

    + Everything above!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

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

    LETTERPRESS POSTER

    A limited-edition letterpress poster of the Extraordinary note. This will be printed from the same run as the show, blind deboss on archival quality paper. Dimensions are 18” x 24”. (Please add $20 for shipping to Canada or Mexico, $45 for other international places.)

    + Everything above!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    LETTERMENT GARMENT

    A one of a kind garment from Letterment, a collection inspired by Notes To a Friend. Please specify which garment (Look1-5) you would like in the comments section. Also, please note that this is a limited collection, only 5 pieces are available. (Please add $40 for shipping to Canada or Mexico, $60 for other international places.)

    + Everything above!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (5 left of 5) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    SPONSOR

    Your name in our special “Sponsor” section at the show and on our website.

    + Everything above!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.