NUTSHELL: We want to make a batch of prints, t-shirts and totes featuring the lovely artwork of Carson Ellis, that we will then sell and use the proceeds to support all the purposey but not profity things we do -- like host dozens of free events for unknown and emerging authors and artists, dedicate ample space to free and local literature, and donate time and resources to kindred causes. We've also got a cheap and neat membership program that only costs $25 and gets you an assortment of discounts and perks. If you play your cards right you will get more than $25 back in benefits over the course of a year. We've got stuff you want, we do things you like, we support causes you care about, we feed you snacks and free beer on a regular basis. Let's make this happen.
TRUTH & CONSEQUENCES: If we don't raise the $5000 to produce these goods, we will not be able to make them. We also will no longer be able to justify the time, money and space we put towards our mission based efforts. This means fewer and safer events and perhaps cover charges. Less space for free and local literature. No more free snacks. Diminished amazingness in general. The beer is safe for the time being.
LOCAL SCHMOCAL: Is this a project that will only appeal to our local patrons? I hope not. You can still enjoy the neat stuff we'll be producing and use your membership online. But more importantly, supporting the efforts of one little shop in Portland, Oregon can have a ripple effect on writers, artists, publishers, culture and community that extends well beyond our city limits. As you will see in some of our testimonials, Reading Frenzy is a place where art careers have been launched, projects have been inspired, lives have been inadvertently changed for the better just because of their collision with our tiny shop. We can't take credit for what other people do with these opportunities but take Reading Frenzy out of the equation and they very well may never have happened.
DISCLAIMER: No, I'm not on sedatives in this video. It was made at the end of a very long day and I turn into a robot when a camera is pointed at me.
Still need convincing? Keep reading...
Reading Frenzy is a small, specialty bookshop founded in 1994 and located in Portland, Oregon. Our mission is to support and promote independent publishers and artists, with a special focus on zines, mini comics, alternative and d.i.y. culture, progressive politics, rebels, renegades and full on freaks.
We invest a lot of our resources in supporting a broad community of authors, publishers and artists. We devote space to a community bulletin board and free area, have an open door consignment policy for all local authors and publishers, organize dozens of free literary events a year and host monthly art shows. We also donate a lot of time, materials and support to other projects we love. All of this has been made possible by a mix of devoted part-time paid and volunteer staff and me, your faithful proprietress. Unfortunately, since we are a for-profit business we receive little support or acknowledgment for our efforts from arts funding organizations, initiatives or other powers that be. The prevailing opinion being that tax status is somehow an indicator of cultural relevance and community service.
I don't know about you, but my most pivotal cultural experiences growing up didn't happen at the art museum, the ballet or the symphony. They happened at small businesses -- cafes, record shops, bookstores, galleries, all-ages music venues, etc. -- run by creative people who didn't go into business to make bank but to pursue and share their passions. I like to call them out-of-pocket philanthropists, individuals who don't have trust funds or investment portfolios, who may be barely staying afloat, but feel compelled to dedicate much of their scant resources to shaping our cultural landscape in really meaningful ways.
So we’ve devised a couple creative, easy and cheap ways for our patrons to support our mission: buy our goods and/or join 500 Friends of Reading Frenzy! 500 Friends is a membership program which provides you with discounts and perks and helps us expand our mission! We've set a modest goal of $5,000, but we’re offering rewards totaling well over $10,000. Ultimately we really would like to have 500 full-fledged friends committed to supporting our mission -- we know they're out there and we hope you are one of them!
Check out these testimonials from some of our loyal patrons if you still need some poking and prodding: http://www.youtube.com/user/readingfrenzy
Here’s a breakdown of how the funds will be used:
1) If we reach our minimum goal of $5000 we will be able to produce 200 artist's prints, 100 t-shirts and 100 totes, ship out the rewards, and pay our project fees.
2) Any funds generated above $5000 will go towards supporting a year’s worth of events programming and community outreach, including 30+ free literary events and workshops, and 12 monthly art shows.
3) If we enlist 500 Friends at the basic level for a total of $12,500 we'll produce a Reading Frenzy annual that will feature interviews with and contributions from many of the authors and artists who have crossed our threshold, plus staff picks, top ten lists, and amusing stories from behind the counter. This publication will be available at a 50% discount to our 500 Friends Members.
ABOUT THE REWARDS: Your print, tote and/or t-shirt will feature the beautiful “Reading Frenzy!” illustration created for us by Carson Ellis. This artwork is extra special to us as it features her kid surrounded by some of his favorite books, many of which came from Reading Frenzy! All of these rewards are currently exclusively available through our Kickstarter project (the t-shirt, tote, and cards will only be produced if our project is successful). Depending on the number of backers there may be some available after the project is successfully funded, but there may not. So if you really want one, you should make a pledge!
• PRINT: Reading Frenzy! by Carson Ellis, limited edition of 250, signed and numbered, digital archival pigment on 100% cotton rag paper.
• TOTE: 100% cotton canvas tote with Reading Frenzy! image by Carson Ellis (limited to 250)
• T-SHIRT: 100% cotton t-shirt with Reading Frenzy! image by Carson Ellis (limited to 250). We’ll probably do men’s and women’s styles.
• CARDS: Offset printed card with Reading Frenzy! image by Carson Ellis
• BUTTON: 500 Friends commemorative button
• 500 Friends Basic Membership: You will receive a 10% in store or online discount good for one year, a thank you card and a commemorative button. You will also receive a 25% discount on Reading Frenzy ‘private label’ merchandise (such as future prints, t-shirts, etc.), a 50% discount on the Reading Frenzy Annual, and half-price admission to any of our rare but always spectacular ticketed events (this excludes events where book purchase is part of the ticket cost -- you will receive 10% book and 50% balance of admission)! It's quite possible that in the course of a year you will receive more than $25 back in discount and perks!
Reading Frenzy wants to thank Karl Lind of In The Can Productions who generously made the videos that will be featured during our project and our loyal patrons who braved the unblinking eye of the video camera to share their love!
- (22 days)