About Slumber Mag
Hi, our names are Abbie Jones & Amy Garlesky! Before Slumber Mag, we were both long-time active writers for the small Brooklyn-based blog, “The Le Sigh" —or "TLS", which was a not-for-profit publication focused on highlighting non-binary, gender non-conforming and female-identifying musicians and visual artists. For over five years, TLS was not only a source for new and emerging musicians online but also organized zines, tape compilations, and art shows around the city. During their run, they featured and released early music from Clairo, Crumb, Sneaks, interviewed influential musicians like Alice Bag, and even had conversations with larger pop musicians like Aly & AJ.
Unfortunately, the publication had to close its doors this past fall, and its closure has been difficult for writers like us who looked to the blog as an outlet to share the music we were passionate about. Similar to the closing of venues such as Shea Stadium, the closing of TLS left what felt like a real hole in the East Coast independent music scene where musicians, writers, and fans could only find large for-profit sites in which to write or read about new music. However, with many of these sites being so large, a lot of new and smaller do-it-yourself artists have been getting left by the wayside.
In speaking with Diana Cirullo, the founder and editor in chief of TLS, we decided to look into funding a reboot of sorts for The Le Sigh—kind of like TLS: Next Generation. In this, we could start a new publication but with all the love, care, and support of the Diana and TLS’ old connections right behind us. It’s not starting from scratch, but rather, picking up where TLS left off and moving towards an expansion of its online site and many community projects—mainly in Philadelphia, PA. We want this new publication to be both an online magazine and a community outreach organization, putting on DIY all-ages shows/exhibitions, workshops, and college panels for musicians, artists, and fans, in Philly and along the eastern seaboard in NYC and Washington, DC.
We want Slumber Mag to not solely be a place for online album reviews, but one where musicians and artists can interact with the site and create their own content and programs for readers. We want it to bridge that gap between writers, artists, and fans so that all three groups can interact, connect, and support each other through their love for music and art. In doing so, we want Slumber Mag to, at its core, be a website and community program dedicated to the exposure and empowerment of systemically silenced and marginalized voices. We want to help center the music community - in the most intersectional, inclusive, and creative way possible.
There are a few important reasons for this fundraising effort:
First, we need to create the actual physical website! We have Dana Kim, an incredible Brooklyn-based web developer and designer donating her time and expertise to crafting a website that is both functional and conducive to sharing the art and music we hope to cover.
Second, we want to be able to put on free & inclusive community events.
Renting out spaces, putting on panels, and paying musicians and artists takes time--but also funding. We want to be able to pay those who dedicate their time to helping put on programming such as songwriting workshops or all-ages shows. To expand slumber mag offline we need the funds it takes to be able to book and reserve the places to hold such events and those hosting and sharing their expertise and art. We are hoping with this Kickstarter to be able to quickly move into planning events so that slumber mag can be both a significant online and offline presence.
Lastly, we want to be able to pay those contributing to the site!
Music and art should be accessible and writing about it should be too. We do not want Slumber Mag to be website where only those who can afford to give up their free time are being featured on the site or helping with events. We understand that is, in itself, a privilege. Therefore, we hope that our fundraising efforts can allow us to quickly get to a place where we can pay those writing for the website and helping with events.
What else have we been up to?
October Fundraiser at Baby's All Right
In addition to our Kickstarter, we have been taking additional initiatives over the past six months to help Slumber Mag become a reality. In October of 2018, we hosted a fundraising concert at the long-established Brooklyn venue Baby's All Right where five amazing non-binary/female musicians (Clara Joy, Anna Altman, Susie Derkins, Emily Yacina, and Lexie (Greta Kline) donated their time and talent to help raise initial funds so Slumber Mag could begin our web development/design, and content creation. With ticket sales and TLS merchandise sales, we made a little over $700 dollars -- but with the costs needed to develop and launch a full website we knew we needed to branch out with new projects, and hence, we decided to move forward with this Kickstarter. However, along with this campaign, we still have some other exciting things in the works.
Slumber Mag Vol. I : A Community-driven Compilation
As one of the rewards of this Kickstarter, we put together a compilation tape of 20 talented non-binary and female-identifying artists voices from all over the country (featuring: Free Cake for Every Creature, Amy O, Sidney Gish, Florry, and many more). We are releasing the tape as a reward during the Kickstarter in collaboration with our good friends of Citrus City Records and will only be selling leftovers at our planned fundraising shows this spring (TBA) in Philadelphia and Burlington, Vermont. Along with this Kickstarter we are actively searching for and planning new ways to raise funds to get Slumber Mag off the ground.
SO thank you again for reading this and considering helping create Slumber Mag! It has been a dream come true to work on developing this platform and the work is only beginning. We hope that through this Kickstarter to only expand our team and outreach so that non-binary and female-identifying musicians, visual artists, writers, and fans have a place to connect, and collaborate. Thank you again!~*
Risks and challenges
Sustainability is the most pressing challenge of this project, both in recruitment and fundraising. We see the main hurdle as being able to keep a full staff for both online and in-person programming. This is especially challenging with our goal of having our programming to be run by on-the-ground and native community organizers. We do not want just anyone handling events in different communities—it should be those who know the people living there and can bring programming to their community in a holistic way. We want to make art and music accessible to everyone but we do not want our efforts to be intrusive.
Second, financial stability and longevity is our top concern. There have been some significant online journalistic outlets who have unfortunately shut their doors lately such as 'Mic', or most recently, 'Rookie'—which was another website focused on highlighting young non-binary and female voices. We understand that financial sustainability is difficult; however, with one of our founders currently attaining a Master's in non-profit management and working in organization development and fundraising outside of class, we hope that we can create a long-term strategy that helps reduce this risk. It must be said, however, that public art funding is difficult and variable.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)