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Button Poetry is launching a live show series to further the art of performance poetry, with help from the Knight Arts Challenge Grant.
Button Poetry is launching a live show series to further the art of performance poetry, with help from the Knight Arts Challenge Grant.
455 backers pledged $18,216 to help bring this project to life.

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$18,216

455

END GOAL: $20K STILL NEEDED!

We still need your support to reach the entire $20K in order to make Button Poetry Live sustainable.

IF WE REACH $20K WE HAVE A SPECIAL SURPRISE! LET'S GET THERE!

REMINDER: KNIGHT FOUNDATION WILL MATCH UP TO $40K

FIRST STRETCH GOAL ACHIEVED!

ALL BACKERS WILL GET TO VOTE FOR A FEATURED POET AT BUTTON POETRY LIVE!

STRETCH GOAL #1 - $15,000 (GOAL MET!)

We still need to hit $20K to fund the entire show.

However, If we reach our stretch goal of $15,000, ALL OF OUR BACKERS will have the opportunity to vote for one of the featured artists at Button Poetry Live!

Button staff will review the votes and select the most popular* (*who is also appropriate, qualified, and available for a feature). Help bring your favorite poet to our stage!

INITIAL GOAL FUNDED!

BUTTON POETRY LIVE WILL OPEN ON TIME!

HOWEVER, WE STILL NEED SUPPORT TO FULFILL THE BUDGET TO PRODUCE THE BEST SHOW POSSIBLE!

ALL DONATIONS WILL BE MATCHED UP TO $40K BY KNIGHT FOUNDATION!

Follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram!

Button Poetry is launching a live performance series, empowering the best and brightest poets to broadcast their work and provide free workshops to the community.

Once a month, Button Poetry Live will feature a performance by a nationally renowned spoken word artist, along with a poetry slam in which the participants compete for substantial cash prizes.

Each event will be filmed in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota by the Button Poetry camera crew, and videos will be uploaded to YouTube so fans across the country and globe can follow the action!

Since 2011, Button Poetry has been dedicated to creating an effective distribution platform for poetry. Thanks to our 500K+ loyal subscribers, our work has been featured in media outlets such as:

The question is: how can Button continue to consistently provide these audiences with the highest quality content?

In 2014, Button Poetry won a matching arts challenge grant up to $40,000 from the Knight Foundation.  

Button Poetry earned this grant to produce a live show that features the most important and innovative spoken word poets from across the country in order to create a sustainable organization while giving back to the community.

Knight Foundation Arts Challenge 2014 - knightarts.org
Knight Foundation Arts Challenge 2014 - knightarts.org

Currently, community-based events like the Soap Boxing Poetry Slam can't compete with the going rate from colleges, universities and booking agents to feature full-time touring poets. Some of the most talented writers and performers in the country do not perform at poetry slams, as the combined honorarium and merchandise sales rarely cover even travel costs.

This grant will change that.

By offering significant prize money, we will entice poets to compete regularly, improve their craft, and consistently write new poems, which in turn provides better content for online and live audiences.

Button Poetry is run by a small part-time staff and a host of volunteers. A dedicated team flies all over the country to capture and edit some of America’s best poetry. The costs involved with equipment upkeep, transportation, filming, editing, and mastering add up quickly.

Your support, combined with our matching grant from Knight Foundation, will help defer those costs, and bringing poets and performers to our venue in St. Paul will help us re-route more money and resources to the artists and workers who make all of this possible.

What’s even better than filming these amazing artists? Capturing professional audio of them as well. Button’s plan is to record live albums for each of our features and host them on our website. Now, not only will you be able to watch the videos but also download full features of your favorite poets!

Of course, this all costs money, but half the work is already done! The Knight Arts Challenge Grant is matching us to the tune of $40K.

We’ve worked it out so that we can cover every cost it will take to run the show and every dollar you give goes straight to the artists.

This Kickstarter is just the beginning, but we need your help to get us started!

We believe in making our organization sustainable, and we believe our subscribers want to see us succeed in order to continue our mission.


Thanks so much for your time, attention, and support. We hope to see you at Button Poetry Live!

DIGITAL AUDIO DOWNLOADS
DIGITAL AUDIO DOWNLOADS
POETRY BOOKS
POETRY BOOKS
LIMITED EDITION "OCD" POSTER, by artist, Luke Vetter
LIMITED EDITION "OCD" POSTER, by artist, Luke Vetter

Risks and challenges

As we launch Button Poetry Live, we’ll encounter a series of obstacles. For example, our booking will rely on touring artists’ schedules and availabilities, we’ll need to keep our audio and video equipment functioning and up-to-date, and we’ll have to work hard to promote the shows and workshops to audiences both local and global. Luckily, we’ve been doing much of this work already, and we have a dedicated team resolved to troubleshooting any problems and navigating the challenges we’re sure to face.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    WALL OF FAME!

    Help us open the show and we'll happily list your name on our website for the first year of Button Poetry Live!

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    SPECIAL THANK YOU #1!

    UNRELEASED EBOOK COPIES OF BOTH:

    me Aunt Jemima and the nail gun (Aziza Barnes)
    *Winner of the 2012 Button Poetry Prize

    AND

    Highway or Belief (J. Scott Brownlee)
    *Winner of the 2013 Button Poetry Prize

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    Pledge US$ 2 or more About US$ 2.00

    SPECIAL THANK YOU #2!

    UNRELEASED EBOOK COPIES OF BOTH:

    me Aunt Jemima and the nail gun (Aziza Barnes)
    *Winner of the 2012 Button Poetry Prize

    AND

    Highway or Belief (J. Scott Brownlee)
    *Winner of the 2013 Button Poetry Prize

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    Pledge US$ 3 or more About US$ 3

    BUTTON UP!

    Choose (1) of the following:

    BUTTON POETRY VOLUME 1:
    Digital download of our first ever audio recording of artists such as: Sierra DeMulder, Shane Hawley, Khary Jackson, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Michael Lee and more!

    --OR--

    NOW THAT'S GOOD NEWS:
    Digital download of The Good News Poetry Tour’s self-titled album featuring work by Neil Hilborn, Hieu Nguyen and Dylan Garity!

    --OR--

    COOK/LEE EP:
    Digital download of Sam Cook (Button Poetry’s Executive Director) and Michael Lee’s EP.

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    NORTHBOUND! YOU'VE GONE VIRAL!

    Choose (1) of the following:

    NORTHBOUND:
    Digital download of the debut album, Northbound, from the author of the most-viewed slam poem on the Internet!

    --OR--

    VIRAL:
    Digital copy of our popular eBook, Viral. Poems and essays by seven of Button’s most viral poets in 2013: Neil Hilborn, Lily Myers, Javon Johnson, Rachel Rostad, Dylan Garity, Guante and Pages Matam.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    OLD SCHOOL!

    Choose (1) book from the following list!

    1. Mill, Railway and General Casting (Sam Cook)
    2. Blueprints (Dylan Garity)
    3. Clatter (Neil Hilborn)

    *Free Shipping to U.S.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    LOOKIN' FRESH!

    Rock out in your new Button Poetry T-Shirt!

    Already have a shirt? No Problem!

    Choose (1) of the following books!

    1. Highway or Belief (J. Scott Brownlee)
    2. Black Movie (Danez Smith)
    3. We Slept Here (Sierra DeMulder)
    4. Blood Percussion (Nate Marshall)
    5. me Aunt Jemima and the nail gun (Aziza Barnes)
    6. A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters (Sam Sax)
    7. Smudge (Mahogany L. Browne)
    8. Our Numbered Days (Neil Hilborn)

    *Free Shipping to U.S.

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    SHOUT OUT / DIGITAL PACKAGE

    We will give you a shout out on Twitter and/or Instagram.

    + THE COMPLETE DIGITAL BUNDLE!

    Enjoy all-digital downloads of:

    Button Poetry Volume 1, The Good News Poetry Tour, Michael Lee & Sam Cook Untitled EP, Viral eBook and Neil Hilborn's album Northbound AND eBook Clatter!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    MEAL COMBO

    Button Poetry T-Shirt + Choice of any Button Poetry Chapbook.

    Choose (1) book from either the OLD SCHOOL or LOOKIN' FRESH rewards!

    *Free Shipping to U.S.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    LIMITED EDITION POSTER!

    Limited Edition "Neil Hilborn OCD" 18 x 24 poster prints.

    Hand-drawn lyrical mosaic poster print of OCD, the most-viewed slam poem on YouTube, creating an image of the performing poet, Neil Hilborn. Original done by artist, Luke Vetter

    + THE COMPLETE DIGITAL BUNDLE!

    *Free Shipping to U.S.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    DELUXE MEAL COMBO

    Button Poetry T-Shirt + AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ANY BOOK PUBLISHED BY BUTTON POETRY!

    + THE COMPLETE DIGITAL BUNDLE!

    *Free Shipping to U.S.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    LIMITED EDITION HANCOCK EDITION!

    Limited Edition "Neil Hilborn OCD" 18 x 24 poster prints -- SIGNED by Neil Hilborn.

    Hand-drawn lyrical mosaic poster print of OCD, the most-viewed slam poem on YouTube, creating an image of the performing poet, Neil Hilborn. Original done by artist, Luke Vetter

    + THE COMPLETE DIGITAL BUNDLE!

    *Free Shipping to U.S.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    BEST SEATS IN THE HOUSE!

    One-Year Admission (with a +1) to Button Poetry Live! in St. Paul, MN.

    *Button Poetry Live will run once a month. This reward is for two tickets for each of the 12 shows during the course of the 2015-2016 poetry slam season.

    + THE COMPLETE DIGITAL BUNDLE!

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    HELP US HELP YOU!

    We will feature your name and a link on our website to your project, business, art, etc. for the first year of Button Poetry Live! (October 2015 - September 2016)

    (Please contact us for more details)

    + THE COMPLETE DIGITAL BUNDLE!

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    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    CHIEF OF STAFF!

    Have your poetry manuscript edited with notes by Button Poetry's Editor-in-Chief and National Poetry Slam Champion, Michael Mlekoday.

    + THE COMPLETE DIGITAL BUNDLE!

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    CHIEF OF STAFF SECOND DRAFT!

    The early bird specials have SOLD OUT! Here's a second chance to have your poetry manuscript edited with notes by Button Poetry's Editor-in-Chief and National Poetry Slam Champion, Michael Mlekoday.

    + THE COMPLETE DIGITAL BUNDLE!

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    UP CLOSE & PERSONAL!

    1-hour phone or video chat session with Neil Hilborn! Q&A, poet mentoring or just hang out!

    + THE COMPLETE DIGITAL BUNDLE!

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    ALL IN THE FAMILY!

    SPONSORSHIPS! We love working with others to broaden your reach!

    We can expose hundreds of thousands to your logo/brand, talk about you glowingly at our live show, and promote you on social media!

    (Please contact us for more details)

    + THE COMPLETE DIGITAL BUNDLE!

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    WHATEVER YOU WANT!

    ALL REWARDS.
    ALL ACCESS.
    ALL THE LOVE.

    We'll fly you to Minneapolis to have dinner with the Button Team. Free admission to every Button Poetry Live show. Tour of the Button Poetry office and get an in-depth look at how we do what we do. Get every reward offered, including the entire Button Poetry Publishing Catalog through 2015. If there isn't something you see on this list, we can probably work something out!

    We'll of course mention you at Button Poetry Live, include your name, link to project, business, etc. on a special donor list on our website, as well as signal boost on social media.

    (Please contact us for more details)

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Funding period

- (30 days)