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Interactive performance art that reclaims your civil rights--for LGBTQ & EVERYONE. Be a part of the work @ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI.
Interactive performance art that reclaims your civil rights--for LGBTQ & EVERYONE. Be a part of the work @ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI.
184 backers pledged $10,770 to help bring this project to life.

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Do your civil rights feel under threat? Do you feel protected and supported by your government's laws? Do you want to be a part of the solution?

Artist Stacey L. Kirby offers the site-specific installation and performance "The Bureau of Personal Belonging" as a setting for dialogue about community, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and belonging in the United States. "The Bureau of Personal Belonging" is traveling from Durham, NC and will be installed at ArtPrize Eight in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Sept. 21 - Oct. 9th, 2016) 

VALIDnation at NAACP Mass Sit-in in response to North Carolina's House Bill 2
VALIDnation at NAACP Mass Sit-in in response to North Carolina's House Bill 2

 WHO AM I? WHAT DO I DO? 

Stacey L. Kirby is a performance and installation artist based in Durham, NC. Over the past 9 years, 115 performances, 500 hours, and 4000 participants, Kirby has shared a series of what she has dubbed “performative interactions” -– performances set within installations that are activated by viewer participation. These installations occur in a variety of spaces -- traditional and non-traditional art spaces, in the street, in P.O.D.S. containers, at protests, in bathrooms, etc. Kirby’s works evolve with the physical and historical setting, political climate, and audience involvement at each location. At the core of Kirby’s work are the topics of identity, community, and belonging. This body of work developed intuitively alongside her experiences as an artist, activist, and queer woman raised and living in North Carolina. Through altered environments and personal engagement, Kirby challenges the familiar social codes of sterile bureaucratic contexts and makes way for a new conversation in which every individual is heard. Video and images of the work can be found at www.stacey-kirby.com 

The Declaration Project:    Durham Storefront Project and CAM Raleigh
The Declaration Project: Durham Storefront Project and CAM Raleigh

 

WHAT IS THE BUREAU OF PERSONAL BELONGING? 

"The Bureau" is an opportunity to participate in the public conversation about our rights as well as the laws affecting our freedoms and voices. "The Bureau of Personal Belonging" is a site-specific installation comprised of three ongoing works, "The Declaration Project," "VALIDnation," and her newest work about gender identity, "I AM." Visitors participate in this work by interacting with Kirby and other performers in an office setting. Visitors write and talk about their rights and the laws affecting their freedoms. After performances, their voices are shared through a mass-mailing of handwritten postcards to their legislators. Currently, over 3000 postcards have been sent through this work. Kirby critically examines governmental process and policy while imploring us to trust in the validity of our own voices and our power to make an impact on our governing bodies. 

The Declaration Project: Artspace, Raleigh, NC
The Declaration Project: Artspace, Raleigh, NC

 

Participants taking part in The Declaration Project
Participants taking part in The Declaration Project

 

The Declaration Project as part of The Bureau of Personal Belonging at  CAM Raleigh, NC
The Declaration Project as part of The Bureau of Personal Belonging at CAM Raleigh, NC

 

VALIDnation at NAACP Mass Sit-in in response to House Bill 2
VALIDnation at NAACP Mass Sit-in in response to House Bill 2

 

       
VALIDnation Cards
VALIDnation Cards

 

I AM at The Carrack Modern, Durham, NC
I AM at The Carrack Modern, Durham, NC

 WHY IS THE BUREAU HEADING TO GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN? 

Kirby is the recipient of one of four national ArtPrize Pitch Night Grants awarded throughout the United States to partially fund her work at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over 400,000 people visit ArtPrize over its 18 days. Kirby will transform offices at 50 Monroe Avenue NW in Grand Rapids, MI into "The Bureau of Personal Belonging" from September 21 to October 9th. Over 10,000 people are estimated to participate in Kirby's performances. Kirby will collaborate with volunteers from the Grand Rapids LGBT community to perform her work during ArtPrize. 

Location of The Bureau of Personal Belonging at ArtPrize - 900 sq ft.
Location of The Bureau of Personal Belonging at ArtPrize - 900 sq ft.

In March 2016, North Carolina legislators passed controversial legislation House Bill 2, which restricts rights for the LGBT community. A wave of response throughout North Carolina and the rest of the country created a larger dialogue about discriminatory laws and civil rights in the United States. Unfortunately, Michigan has its own version of HB2 currently circulating through the legislature – Senate Bill 993 and House Bill 5717. 

“I am bringing The Bureau to ArtPrize to connect with the Grand Rapids' LGBTQ community and their allies,” Kirby says. “I offer my support and opportunity to validate one another as we fight this discriminatory legislation together on a national level. As a queer woman in NC, I understand the impact of such hatred on the hearts, minds, and souls of entire communities. We'll potentially engage with 10,000 visitors to ArtPrize, documenting their voices and using this event as a significant platform for change.” 

Additionally, ArtPrize offers an opportunity for financial awards based on public and panelists’ votes. Artists receive various awards totaling to $500,000. "The Bureau of Personal Belonging" taking place in Grand Rapids could result in Kirby receiving up to $200,000 for funding for future performances and a donation of 25% to Equality NC to support their work securing protections for the LGBTQ community in North Carolina. 

 HOW YOUR DONATION HELPS 

My performative interactions are funded by commissions, grants, fellowships and donations from supporters like YOU. Your donations to this Kickstarter campaign will fund the following expenses for "The Bureau" to travel to Grand Rapids: 

  • Printing costs for 30,000 cards & stickers
  • Rental & gas expenses for a U-HAUL to and from Durham, NC and Grand Rapids, MI
  • Postage for 30,000 postcards
  • Office furniture – desks, tables, chairs, filing cabinets 
  • Office equipment and materials - COFFEEMAKER!
  • Flights to and from Grand Rapids
  • Installation assistance
  • Videographers 
  • Photographers
  • Wardrobe 
  • Artist fees

GRATITUDE!

Many thanks to everyone who donates AND those who have already helped along my journey with this work!!! I couldn't do any of this work without my family and community! [I wish I could list all of your names here!] This Kickstarter campaign would not have been possible without the magic of Alex Maness and Andrew Synowiez. Thank you to Raleigh Rubber Stamps and Glover Printing for rewards.

Risks and challenges

Performance art is a tenuous and vulnerable space in which to work. The unexpected always occurs and shifts the ground on which we stand. The connections and expansiveness that result from engaging with one another face-to-face and body-to-body in this internet-obsessed society are extremely transformative. I am confident that continuing to respectfully celebrate each other’s voices unifies us around a common love for one another’s differences.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Stickers, Buttons and a SHOUT OUT!!!

    You will receive an assortment of stickers and buttons from The Declaration Project VALIDnation, and I AM projects. Plus, I will give you a SHOUT OUT on FB!

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Bureau Employment Certificate & Stickers

    You will receive an official employment certificate for the Bureau of Personal Belonging personalized with your name signed by the Bureau Chief Stacey L. Kirby. Included will also be 3 project stickers AND a SHOUT OUT on FB!!

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    Pledge US$ 65 or more About US$ 65

    Bureau Rubber Ink Stamp & SHOUT OUT

    You will receive a limited edition Bureau Identity Stamp (a.k.a. rubber stamp with wood handle). The design of your stamp will be based on stamps used for performances such as: VALID or HUMAN. You will also get a SHOUT OUT on FB!!

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    YOUR NAME will be IN THE ART!

    Your name will appear on the vintage magnetic IN/OUT board in the Bureau of Personal Belonging in Grand Rapids! I will post a photo of this on FB during the performance. You will also receive an email with the digital image of the installation in your inbox!

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Private Dinner + Donor Wall

    You will receive an invitation to a private dinner in Durham, NC after the event! We will celebrate your donation and the completion of the project with a delicious meal cooked by Durham culinary geniuses. I will share images, stories and read handwritten responses from participants of the Bureau of Personal Belonging while in Grand Rapids, MI. Your name will also appear on the donor wall in the Bureau during the performance.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Custom coffee mug IN THE ART + Dinner

    You will choose a phrase, logo or image for a personalized coffee mug featured on one of the four desks in the Bureau during the performances. You will also receive one of your mugs for your personal collection and a digital image of your mug in action in the performance. Your mug will be a permanent part of the work for future exhibitions. You will also receive an invitation to the private dinner in Durham, NC. [Artist must approve coffee mug design.]

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Funding period

- (22 days)