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Great professors, bunk beds, communal meals, movie nights, & dances. We're transforming a home + barn into sleepaway school for adults.
Great professors, bunk beds, communal meals, movie nights, & dances. We're transforming a home + barn into sleepaway school for adults.
167 backers pledged $13,030 to help bring this project to life.

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$13,030

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Last 24 Hours – Stretch Goal!

$15,000 Goal | Interdisciplinary Artist Residency

This winter we’ll have a painter-in-residence (in partnership with Chinatown Soup), a musician-in-residence, and a professor-in-residence at OlioHouse to work on individual projects. These residencies will culminate in a salon-style dinner party and a presentation of their works in NYC. 

$12,500 Goal | Scholarship Seats + Living Room Olios

This will give us the funds needed to kick off the winter months of 2019 with weekly, intimate Olios in NYC living rooms. Imagine 10-15 awesome people, a little wine, a cozy living room, and an Olio professor to lead a great conversation. 

These funds will also allow us to work with partner organizations to offer a scholarship seat at each Olio for those who don’t have the disposable income for non-accredited learning.

$50 Reward | 5 Olios + 5 Scholarships - 5 Olios for you and 5 Scholarships seats for only $50. Join us for 5 Olios in NYC and we will work with partner organizations to offer free seats for those without the disposable income to afford Olios.  (Valid for the entire calendar year of 2019.)

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Think Olio

Think Olio is a collective of lifelong learners. It was born out of the belief that learning with great professors shouldn’t be confined to the university. 

An Olio is a pop-up class with a professor in an unlikely venue. The first one took place in 2015, in a Brooklyn living room with a handful of people and a passionate teacher. We (Chris Zumtobel and David Kurfirst) founded Think Olio as undergrad students at CUNY. As we tell it in a recent profile piece: “We kind of predicted our nostalgia for the classroom before we graduated.”  

The Strand Bookstore in the moments before a Friday night Olio begins. Captured by Alex Bruno.
The Strand Bookstore in the moments before a Friday night Olio begins. Captured by Alex Bruno.
David & Chris introducing the evening's professor. Captured by Bruno.
David & Chris introducing the evening's professor. Captured by Bruno.

In four years we have held over 500 Olios and fostered a unique community around social, lifelong learning in one of the most stimulating, but loneliest cities in the world.

Think Olio has reached over 15,000 New Yorkers who are seeking a more thoughtful way to spend their evenings, engaging in critical and accessible dialogue around big ideas. After years of bouncing around from venue to venue, our community is ready to grow roots with a place of our own. OlioHouse will be a haven for lifelong learners and we cannot wait for you to experience it with us. 

Why OlioHouse?

OlioHouse will be a home for people who see the importance of a lifelong education in the humanities and a dedicated space for critical dialogue and contemplation. 

The lovely home and barn that we know as OlioHouse.
The lovely home and barn that we know as OlioHouse.
Living room of OlioHouse.
Living room of OlioHouse.

Watching our collective grow and flourish over the years has been a pleasure and listening to the feedback that they offer us has been essential to what we’ve built. One thing we continue to hear from our community is that people would love more time and space to reflect, converse, absorb, and process after an Olio, especially with topics ranging from The Myth of Progress to Art and The Mystic Experience

With OlioHouse, we’re not just talking about extending the duration of classes, we're talking about creating a completely immersive experience, spending the weekend surrounded by a dedicated learning community. 

Mingling on the porch of OlioHouse during the Eros weekend event.
Mingling on the porch of OlioHouse during the Eros weekend event.

Professor Jamie Warren on her experience teaching at OlioHouse: 

We’ll invite a professor to come up a few days in advance of their seminar so that they can take time to gather their ideas, work on their research, and relax outside of the city. Then once people arrive, we’ll have all of Saturday and Sunday to take classes, read, hike, enjoy the library and generally allow the good ideas and questions to flow.

During our OlioHouse launch, we learned about Eros & Longing, and we have upcoming seminars on Understanding David Lynch, Witches & Capitalism, the Music of Kubrick's Films, Rape Culture, Street Art & Human Rights, Afrofuturism, Herbalism and plenty more. Olio means a 'miscellaneous collection' and we stay true to our name.

Professors talking about their upcoming seminars at OlioHouse: 

We love our professors. They come from all different schools and fields of study and share their passions with us on a regular basis. Check them out here.

If this is already happening then why Kickstarter?

Put simply, this is a 200-year-old family home that is full of character but still needs a ton of work to become the kind of community space we imagine it being.

Turning a home into our dream event space (and bed & breakfast) is expensive. The majority of the money we raise will go towards maintenance and utilities, fresh coats of paint, bunk beds, sheet and blankets, seating for events, kitchen goods for communal meals, art supplies, and eventually a garden (in a geodesic dome!).

The deck and woods behind our barn.
The deck and woods behind our barn.
The firepit that we built in our backyard on the first weekend.
The firepit that we built in our backyard on the first weekend.

Our Blank Canvas

A huge project will be transforming our spacious attic into a gorgeous library and residency space. We imagine this as a place where people can go to unwind during a weekend of intensive learning and friend making. If you want some alone time, climb the attic stairs and step into the bliss of a book and a hammock to recharge. We will also invite professors who are doing radical research and working on experimental teaching methods to stay for short-term residencies with a private room and space to work.

Right now there's just a desk and some great light, but the rug really ties the room together.
Right now there's just a desk and some great light, but the rug really ties the room together.

If we reach our goal then we dance.

This campaign will help us make OlioHouse into a true home for learning and living. What better way to celebrate than with the inaugural OlioHouse Homecoming Dance?!

After holding our first event at OlioHouse, the feeling of coming together with a bunch of strangers and then leaving the next day as best friends – along with the activities, fresh air, mountains, and bunk beds – left us feeling like kids again.

This is why we've decided to make everyone as nostalgic as possible with a homecoming dance and 90's karaoke. And of course we will have an Olio on 'The Pitfalls of Nostalgia' where we will interrogate where this feeling is coming from with Historian Jamie Warren:

"In this Olio we will lay our nostalgia bare, and try to reckon with this powerful, political emotion. From “Lost Cause” white supremacy to “Making America Great Again,” to 1950s themed baby showers, it is clear that nostalgia functions as false historical memory. We will interrogate our own sentimental yearnings, pick apart our favorite musical montages, and expose the hidden violence masked by our Bob Ross paintings."

Here's the plan for Homecoming 2018:

  • Arrive at OlioHouse for a communal lunch 
  • Receive your Shirts and Totes 
  • Tour of OlioHouse 
  • Olio on The Perils of Nostalgia
  • Pre-dance drinks + 90’s Karaoke
  • Time to explore Wassaic and make your way to the party
  • Homecoming Dance at the Lantern Inn

Rewards

We are taking a risk in making this move and if you love the idea like we do, we ask that you show support however you can. 

Pledge $1 or more

Every dollar matters. We promise a big hug next time we see you at an Olio.

Pledge $20 or more

Surprise Sticker Pack + 1 Free Olio in NYC

A surprise pack of Think Olio stickers! They're cool, we swear. Dave likes them. Pick them up at your free Olio.

Pledge $25 or more

Get our limited edition white on black OlioTote. Sleek and nerdy at the same time! 

Pledge $50 or more

Limited Edition Pocket Tee and Tote

Support OlioHouse with a pledge of $50 and you’ll be rocking our limited edition, ridiculously soft, pocket tee. Or maybe you’d like to carry around our striking black tote bag to show people you are intelligent, yet mysterious. Get both at this level!

Pledge $75 or more

Ticket for Homecoming Day Trip + Tote or Pocket Tee

This homecoming is for all of us. The ones trying to recapture a bit of those high school glory days, the punks who protested the first time around, and those of you who have no idea what the hell a homecoming dance is (we are in NYC after all).

This is our night to live, to dream... to dance. Snag a ticket and we'll see you at the punch bowl.

Pledge $100 or more

1 Year Think Olio Membership + Scenius Crewneck + 1 Ticket for Homecoming Day Trip

This is a crazy deal. Get a one-year membership to Think Olio in 2019. As a member you will get access to one Olio a month in the city and 25% off all OlioHouse events. You also get a ticket to Homecoming and oh yeah, it’s the only way to get your hands on an exclusive ‘Scenius 2019’ crewneck sweater!

Backing this campaign is the only way to get your hands on our exclusive 'Scenius Member 2019' crewnecks.
Backing this campaign is the only way to get your hands on our exclusive 'Scenius Member 2019' crewnecks.

Pledge $125 or more

Dorm Room at a Future OlioHouse Weekend

You saw all of the great seminars we have coming up! Snag a bed at a discounted rate and we'll see you at the weekend of your choice. (Subject to availability)

Pledge $150 or more

Dorm Room + Ticket for Homecoming Weekend

Dig into the nostalgia feels and stay the night in a bunk bed with other campers, I mean lifelong learners for Homecoming Weekend. Of course, you also get a tee or tote. Includes lunch on Saturday and breakfast Sunday on morning.

Pledge $300 or more

Private Room + 2 Tickets for Homecoming Weekend

Stay in your own private room in the OlioHouse and unwind after dancing at Homecoming all night! You'll get a +1 to the big dance and of course, you'll also get a shirt or tote. Includes lunch on Saturday and breakfast Sunday morning.

Pledge $500 or more

Name a Room in OlioHouse

Name a room and not only will you be forever be remembered as a pillar of OlioHouse, you'll be directly upgrading a space for our community! You will always be remembered as part of the foundation of this space and we will put a plaque above the door with your name (or whatever name you choose) above it. You'll also get a free ticket to an OlioHouse event of your choice to see how the room you named has transformed. And of course, you get 2 tickets to Homecoming Weekend.

Pledge $500 or more

5-Day Residency at OlioHouse

Come stay up here with us and make art for a week. You get the whole damn attic to yourself. You can write, paint, draw, dance, whatever you want. There is a ton of space up there, a bed, and a hammock. You can cook in the kitchen whenever you like, but we will also cook for you a lot of the time. You'll also have a +1 to the Homecoming Dance.

Pledge $2000 or more

OlioHouse Takeover!

Rent out the full house for a weekend. All of OlioHouse can be yours for yoga retreats, book clubs, anniversary parties, weddings, anything at all!

Pledge $5000 or more

The Lifelong Learner

Everything you see above!! And a lifelong Think Olio Membership. Plus our eternal love and gratitude. 

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About Wassaic  

Not only were we attracted to this beautiful home, it was equally about the community or as we like to think of it, the campus, that we were about to join. The small hamlet of Wassaic is home to one of the most fascinating art residencies we’ve ever seen. Housed in a 7-story grain mill, The Wassaic Project attracts a rotating group of artists from all over for short term residencies giving way to beautiful installations. We feel very aligned with their ethos and have already started collaborating with teaching artists to offer a hands-on element to some of our seminars. 

The Wassaic Project
The Wassaic Project

See you in Wassaic!

These guys had an OlioHouse weekend a long ass time ago. They got a lot of complaints from the neighbors.
These guys had an OlioHouse weekend a long ass time ago. They got a lot of complaints from the neighbors.
The amazing group from our first weekend up at OlioHouse.
The amazing group from our first weekend up at OlioHouse.

OlioHouse is a place to be in the company of people who seek to actively question and intentionally affect the world around them in positive ways. 

We are taking a risk in making this move and we thank you so much for the all the support!

-Chris & David

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Our special thanks goes out to Dylan, Nina, Pri, Carter, Bianca, Christiana, Bruno, Tom & Cec, Beth & Jon, the amazing scenius, and all of our wonderful professors for making OlioHouse a reality. Thank you so so much for everything.

Risks and challenges

This is a new world for us. We know how to curate great events and we love to host people, but now we are basically running a Bed & Breakfast. There is a lot we are going to learn and we will have to learn it quickly. Luckily we have the support of our members, liaisons, and friends, not to mention our amazing professors, and we know that we can handle this new challenge. We promise to communicate clearly throughout and own up to any mistakes we make, but mainly we promise to always handle everything in good humor and put the experience of our guests above all else.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank You.

    We promise a big hug next time we see you at an Olio.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Sticker Pack + 1 Free Olio in NYC

    A surprise pack of Think Olio stickers! They're cool, we swear. No, really, they are. Dave says so. Pick them up at your free Olio!

    Includes:
    • Rethink Your Evening Sticker Pack
    • Ticket to any Olio in NYC
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    *Early Bird* Limited Edition OlioTote

    This is your best chance to get the OlioTote! Half price for our first 25 supporters! Our own Dylan Smith designed the beautiful white on black seal and we are really happy with the way they turned out. You can see a photo of Dave holding his in the copy to the left if you scroll way down. He has never looked that cool, trust me. You're going to love it!

    Includes:
    • Limited Edition OlioTote
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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Limited Edition Pocket Tee OR Tote

    Support OlioHouse with a pledge of $50 and you’ll be rocking our limited edition, ridiculously soft, pocket tee. Or maybe you’d like to carry around our striking black tote bag to show people you are intelligent, yet mysterious.

    Includes:
    • Pocket Tee OR Tote
    • Ticket for you and a guest to any Olio in NYC
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    Reward no longer available 18 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    5 Olios + 5 Scholarships

    5 Olios for you and 5 Scholarships seats for only $50. Join us for 5 Olios in NYC and we will work with partner organizations to offer free seats for those without the disposable income to afford Olios. (Valid for the entire calendar year of 2019.)

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Ticket to Homecoming + Tee OR Tote

    This is for all of us. The ones trying to recapture a bit of those high school glory days, the punks who protested the first time around, and those of you who have no idea what the hell a homecoming dance is (we are in NYC after all).

    This is our night to live, to dream... to dance.  Snag a ticket and we'll see you at the punch bowl.

    Includes:
    • 1 Ticket to the Homecoming Dance
    • Pocket Tee OR Tote
    Less
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    Reward no longer available 8 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    1 Year Membership + Scenius Crewneck

    This is a crazy deal. Get a one-year membership to Think Olio in 2019. As a member you will get access to one Olio a month in the city and 25% off all OlioHouse events. You also get a ticket to Homecoming and oh yeah, it’s the only way to get your hands on an exclusive ‘Scenius 2019’ crewneck sweaters! (If you're already a member we will adjust your membership subscription accordingly for 2019.)

    Includes:
    • 1 Ticket to the Homecoming Dance
    • 1 Year Membership to Think Olio
    • Exclusive 2019 Scenius Crewneck
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    1 Year Membership + Scenius Crewneck

    This is a crazy deal. Get a one-year membership to Think Olio in 2019. As a member you will get access to one Olio a month in the city and 25% off all OlioHouse events. You also get a ticket to Homecoming and oh yeah, it’s the only way to get your hands on an exclusive ‘Scenius 2019’ crewneck sweaters! (If you're already a member we will adjust your membership subscription accordingly for 2019.)

    Includes:
    • 1 Ticket to the Homecoming Dance
    • 1 Year Membership to Think Olio
    • Exclusive 2019 Scenius Crewneck
    Less
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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    1 Year Membership + Scenius Crewneck

    This is a crazy deal. Get a one-year membership to Think Olio in 2019. As a member you will get access to one Olio a month in the city and 25% off all OlioHouse events. It’s also the only way to get your hands on an exclusive ‘Scenius 2019’ crewneck sweaters! (If you're already a member we will adjust your membership subscription accordingly for 2019.)

    Includes:
    • 1 Year Membership to Think Olio
    • Exclusive 2019 Scenius Crewneck
    Less
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    Limited 3 backers
    $
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 120 or more About US$ 120

    1 Year Membership + Scenius Crewneck

    This is still a crazy deal. Get a one-year membership to Think Olio in 2019. As a member you will get access to one Olio a month in the city and 25% off all OlioHouse events. You also get a ticket to Homecoming and oh yeah, it’s the only way to get your hands on an exclusive ‘Scenius 2019’ crewneck sweaters! (If you're already a member we will adjust your membership subscription accordingly for 2019.)

    Includes:
    • 1 Ticket to the Homecoming Dance
    • 1 Year Membership to Think Olio
    • Exclusive 2019 Scenius Crewneck
    Less
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    Limited 10 backers
    $
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Dorm Room at a Future OlioHouse Weekend

    You saw all of the great seminars we have coming up! Snag a bed at a discounted rate and we'll see you at the weekend of your choice. (Subject to availability)

    Less
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    2 backers
    $
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  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Dorm Room for Homecoming Weekend

    Dig into the nostalgia feels and stay the night in a bunk bed with with other lifelong learners for Homecoming Weekend. Of course, you also get a tee or tote. Includes lunch on Saturday and breakfast Sunday on morning.

    Includes:
    • Pocket Tee OR Tote
    • 1 Ticket to the Homecoming Dance
    • 1 bed in shared room for the night of the Homecoming Dance
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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Private Room for the Homecoming Weekend

    Stay in your own private room in the OlioHouse and unwind after dancing at Homecoming all night! You'll get a +1 to the big dance and of course, you'll also get a tee or tote. Includes lunch on Saturday and breakfast Sunday morning.

    Includes:
    • Pocket Tee OR Tote
    • 2 tickets to Homecoming Dance
    • A private bedroom for the night in OlioHouse
    Less
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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Name a Room in OlioHouse

    Name a room and not only will you be forever be remembered as a pillar of OlioHouse, you'll be directly upgrading a space for our community! You will always be remembered as part of the foundation of this space and we will put a plaque above the door with your name (or whatever name you choose) above it. You'll also get a free ticket to an OlioHouse event of your choice to see how the room you named has transformed.

    Includes:
    • 2 tickets to Homecoming Dance
    • Pocket Tee OR Tote
    • Rethink Your Evening Sticker Pack
    • 1 Year Membership to Think Olio
    • One ticket to an upcoming OlioHouse event
    Less
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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Sponsor a Residency at OlioHouse

    We are opening our home up to residencies of all kinds for people to have the time and space to work on creative projects of their own. By choosing this prize you will be sponsoring a residency and we will keep you updated on its progress. We've already had a librarian-in-residence and this winter we’ll have a painter-in-residence (in partnership with Chinatown Soup), a musician-in-residence, and a professor-in-residence at OlioHouse.

    Includes:
    • Pocket Tee OR Tote
    • 2 tickets to Homecoming Dance
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    Limited 0 backers
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    OlioHouse Takeover!

    Rent out the OlioHouse for a weekend. The entire space can be yours for yoga retreats, book clubs, anniversary parties, weddings, anything at all!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    The Lifelong Learner

    Everything you see above!! And a lifelong Think Olio Membership. Plus our eternal love and gratitude.

    Includes:
    • LIfetime membership to Think Olio
    • 2 tickets to Homecoming Dance
    • Exclusive 2019 Scenius Crewneck
    • A private bedroom in for one event at OlioHouse
    • Pocket Tee And Tote
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Funding period

- (31 days)