Hello! My name is Laura Hall and I am a graduate student in the Museology Graduate Program at the University of Washington in Seattle. I am lucky enough to be putting on an exhibit for my thesis project, and was even luckier that the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park was able to give me a venue to host my exhibit! The working title is "Cops and Robbers: Risky Business, Women, and Whiskey" and has its grand opening on May 2nd, 2013 (a First Thursday in the Pioneer Square and Seattle area, meaning that a lot of businesses will be open late). The grand opening will be available to everyone!
Seattle really came into her own as a city when gold was discovered up in the Klondike area of Canada and Alaska. Thousands of men (and more than a few women!) came through Seattle on their way north, hoping to strike it rich. The boom in industry and commerce caused crime to skyrocket, and the police had to keep up. But being a cop in the Emerald City wasn't easy - low pay, bad hours, no breaks. Sometimes it was easier to accept some extra cash to look the other way. And when the cops weren't around, the criminals could take justice into their own hands.
I do have a small budget that was given to me from the Klondike Gold Rush Historical National Park (because the exhibit is going there, and I have to abide by their expectations, they gave me funding!) but putting on an exhibit isn't cheap. With the extra money, I hope to do two main things.
The first is develop a totally unique, one of a kind photo currently stored as a negative in the Klondike's collection. (Sorry it's not in the right direction.) This photo is of a group of miner's in the Chillkoot Pass (one of the main thoroughfares leading to the gold fields) dispensing justice to a man. I don't know what he did - was he a thief? A murderer? The pictures shows a moment that isn't captured anywhere else. This is one of those rare photos that will make an already good exhibit skyrocket into a great exhibit.
I also want to put transparent window clings in the gallery windows of the Klondike's exhibition space.
The mug shots in the windows (courtesy of the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum) are all from Seattle area criminals from the early 1900's.
I don't have a large budget for the rewards, but I've got several special items exclusive for Kickstarter backers.
- Anyone who donates starting at the $10 level will get their name printed on the "Thank You Kickstarter Backers" banner that will be up at the opening night event.
- At $20, you'll get a signed Thank You card for donating and a special, Kickstarter exclusive large button with the finalized logo of the exhibit.
- With a pledge of $50, you'll get all the previous funding levels. AND you'll get a head shot (of you or someone else!) on an 11 x 17" WANTED poster. You can also choose your crime (limitations do apply).
- At $75 dollars, you'll get limited edition pencils and stickers. I won't be able to get them finalized until AFTER the exhibit opens on May 2nd, so expect delivery in June of 2013! You'll also receive an exhibit poster and all previous funding levels.
- LIMITED EDITION! At $80 there are 5 available spots. Not only will you get all above reward levels, but you will also get 1 dozen cupcakes or 1 cake, flavor of your choosing, homemade by me. I have some baking experience, don't worry, but I also have help from professionally trained bakers. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free varieties also available. Because shipping those types of things is difficult, I will only be able to deliver the items to places I go within the year: anyone in the Seattle area (including Bellingham!), Portland, Oregon, and South Eastern Washington state (Yakima, Sunnyside, Grandridge, the Tri-Cities, Prosser, etc.).
- At the ultra $100 level, I'll make you a special, totally unique "Cops and Robbers" coffee mug. Delivery will come after the exhibit opens, estimated June 2013.
Absolutely. If I raise $1000, I'll be putting together a short video to play in the exhibit, and will get a copy of the Ken Burn's DVD "Prohibition" to play in the Klondike's theater.
If by some miracle I get $1500, then I'll be installing a movable and rotating panel detailing famous individuals like Sir Sam Steele and the conman Soapy Smith (both will be in the exhibit anyway, but this will be a unique, rotating turntable style activity). All funding levels $10 and over will also receive an 11x17" poster of the exhibit.
If the sky falls down, and I raise $2000, I don't actually know what I'll do. It's too wild to think about. Maybe T-shirts.
Risks and challenges
The challenges in a creating an exhibit by myself are legion. Most exhibits are a team effort, and while many many people have helped me make this the best thesis I can do, it's still an awful lot of work for one person. The portfolio for the exhibit will be over 200 pages when I'm done, and that's not even the written part of my thesis.
There's also the risk that I'll completely miss the opening night, which is May 2nd, 2013. This is something I can't think about, because I will be advertising the exhibit on several different websites and in a few online newspapers. If I don't get this exhibit open, I don't get my Master's degree, which is something I've been working towards for several years.
No matter what, thank you so much for taking the time to read this! If there are questions, don't hesitate to contact me!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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