IMPORTANT UPDATE: Thank you all SO MUCH for helping us reach our initial $4000 goal! As most of you know, the $4000 goal was the first milestone that we had to reach in order for the project to definitely happen! We now have enough money to build TWO MARIMBAS! Yea!!!
I also got word that there is a strong chance we will receive a $1500 grant to put towards the project.
So here we are: The total cost to build ALL FIVE of the marimbas for the school is $10,400. Kickstarter and the credit card company take 10% so that adds $1000. So the total cost we are hoping to raise is $11,400. We received $2000 from the school, and with the $1500 grant that means that to completely fund this project, we need the kickstarter total to be: $7900.
Can you help us reach the goal of $7900 by the end of this campaign?
My name is Joel Laviolette. I live in Austin, TX, and I play traditional Zimbabwean music. I lead a Zimbabwean style marimba band called Rattletree Marimba.
I also build all of our own marimbas, and the instruments for many of my students.
Jane Rundquist (the woman in the picture) is the music teacher for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI). She saw us at a local show and immediately felt that the the marimbas would be perfect for her students.
As you all know, funding for schools has really been tough these days, so they weren't able to get the funds together for a new set, but they did get the money together to buy a used Bass Marimba and Baritone Marimba.
Last fall, I delivered the used Bass Marimba and Baritone marimba to the school. It was a really exciting day! Once the marimbas were set up, I started playing on the bass, and kids started coming in drawn to the sound.
I didn't know this, but at TSBVI, there are a number of both deaf and blind students. One girl in particular came in and she was deaf and blind. She had an assistant with her that would communicate with her by doing hand gestures as they were holding each others hands.
She could feel the vibrations of the Bass Marimba as I played. She had a huge smile on her face, and whenever I stopped, she'd gesture that she wanted me to keep playing. It was a really humbling experience to see the power of music.
When I experienced that moment, I saw how important this is for these kids. Just because they are blind (and some are deaf as well) the power of the music still is able to uplift them and excite them!
The Zimbabwean style marimba bands usually consist of seven marimbas-the Bass and Baritone that they already have,and also two tenor marimbas and three soprano marimbas. Right now, two kids can play at once. With a full set, a whole class of 11 kids can play at once together.
Because the school does not have the funds for a complete set, I decided to go to you-the community. With your support, I can buy the materials and take the time involved to build these marimbas. It will take me about 3 months of solid work, so other than materials, you are just paying for me to be able to focus on this work and still feed my kids :)
Thanks for considering it!
I am setting the project limit very low. $4000 is enough for me to build 2 marimbas, but to build the full set is quite a bit more (about $8000). Since Kickstarter only gives you the funds if you meet your goal, I figured it is better to set the goal low. If you can afford to pay more, every bit will go towards the next marimbas.
Thanks you so much for your support! Even if you can't afford to financially support this project, please help by spreading the word! Thanks!
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