1985 The Podcast
A podcast that explores a buried family secret from the 1980s daycare hysteria.
1985 The Podcast
A podcast that explores a buried family secret from the 1980s daycare hysteria.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, November 30 2019 1:27 PM UTC +00:00.
In early 1985, 20/20 aired the episode ‘Why the Silence?’ It centered on the McMartin preschool case, a school in Manhattan Beach, California, where the founder, Virginia McMartin, and three members of her family and three teachers were indicted on 208 counts of child abuse. Suddenly daycare operators were arrested across the country in a wave of sexual and satanic ritual abuse charges.
The hysteria spread like fire from California to Texas to the east coast. Which testimonies were true—and which were fiction? My own family has its story of daycare hysteria in 1985, one I discovered after 30 years of silence. Join me in untangling the sticky webs of my family’s long-buried secret, interview experts on the cultural, political, and religious influence of the 1980s that shaped our lives—and the moment of tragedy that resulted in a state supreme court case finding my grandparents guilty.
Listen to this 1-minute story. (Click on the link below or copy and paste the link into a new tab if you do not want to leave Kickstarter. You do not need a Soundcloud account to listen. Make sure your volume is turned on.)
Why a Podcast?
Why a Podcast? Why not a memoir? I intended to turn the story of 1985 into a book. But there are too many sides to the story: my perspective is only one. I know listeners will have important questions for key folks: Why? How did this happen? What historical, political, and religious factors influenced the mid-1980s, particularly?
Podcast Launch and Format:
1985 The Podcast Episode #1 will release December 2019. Each episode will be 1 (one) hour in length, featuring interviews with my family members and topic experts.
About the Creator and Producer: Cheri Ellefson
Cheri Ellefson has taught gender studies courses online since 2012. Her experience with educational technology and e-learning inspired her to incorporate and craft engaging podcasts into the curriculum for online learners. She earned a Fulbright-Hays Award in 2018 to create an educational podcast on the genesis of the Black Protest Movement in Poland via interviews with activists. Cheri is currently taking a hiatus from teaching to pursue a career in instructional design and launch multiple creative projects, including her own online courses, podcasts, and other writing endeavors. She offers diversity and inclusion trainings to corporations, universities, and community organizations. You can find her at thetravelingprofessor.org.
About the Designer: Sydney Teare
Sydney Teare created the illustration for 1985 The Podcast based on real photos of the home daycare at the center of the podcast story. She is a student at Ball State University, where she is studying drawing. Sydney is inspired by fantasy and horror, and loves to experiment with different mediums. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
$1: A digital Thank You for backing us!
Don't have a lot to give but want to stay updated on our campaign, watch us reach our goal, and share the Kickstarter link with friends? Give just $1! Every little bit helps, we promise. A $1 pledge earns a personalized thank you email from our team: Cheri Ellefson, the producer and creator, Morgan Roddy, my partner on editing and everything-else-that-needs-done, and the artist, Sydney Teare.
$5: 1985 The Podcast 2x3 Sticker! Great for laptops, phones, suitcases, and sewing cases. Just $5 (plus $5 shipping in the U.S.). The sticker will feature the 1985 The Podcast illustration.***Every purchase that includes a shipped item gets a sticker!
$10: 1985 The Podcast Backer Benefits: Access episodes before the general public with a private link in the monthly newsletter. Get BONUS episodes first.
$20: Limited Edition 1985 The Podcast Poster + $10 Rewards + Sticker. The Limited Edition 1985 The Podcast Poster is 16 in X 20 in or 40.6 cm x 50.8 cm and features the illustration from the Kickstarter Campaign. This is not a digital file! We ship you the poster.
$25: 1985 The Podcast Mug + $10 Rewards + Sticker. The 1985 The Podcast Mug features the illustration from the Kickstarter Campaign.
$30: A box of four high-quality, 61% Venezuelan dark chocolate variety truffles from the Queer Chocolatier chocolate shop + $10 Rewards + Sticker. Variety flavors include: Burnt Caramel with Sea Salt; Bittersweet; Bourbon Pecan; and Dirty Chai. All truffles are made fresh in small batches and are vegan and gluten free.
$45: Limited Edition 1985 The Podcast Poster + Mug + $10 Rewards + Sticker. The Limited Edition 1985 The Podcast Poster is 16 in X 20 in or 40.6 cm x 50.8 cm and features the illustration from the Kickstarter Campaign. This is not a digital file! We ship you the poster. The 1985 The Podcast Mug features the illustration from the Kickstarter Campaign.
$85: Limited Edition 1985 The Podcast Signed & Framed Poster + $10 Rewards + Sticker. The Limited Edition 1985 The Podcast Poster is 16 in X 20 in or 40.6 cm x 50.8 cm and features the illustration from the Kickstarter Campaign. This is not a digital file! We ship you the poster in the frame!
$130: THREE (3) boxes of gourmet chocolate truffles, TWO (2) 1985 The Podcast mugs, ONE (1) 2X3 1985 The Podcast Sticker, and ONE (1) printed 1985 The Podcast poster + Everything at the $10 level + Sticker. This set makes an excellent gift, or share with friends and colleagues!
$200: Promotion of your Kickstarter campaign in the 1985 The Podcast Monthly Newsletter with an originally designed ad + $10 Rewards. Only 5 (five) Available. Choose one 1985 The Podcast Newsletter from: December 2019 - January 2020 - February 2020 - March 2020 - April 2020.
$500: 20-Second On-Air Advertisement: only 8 (eight) available! I will read the ad myself, or you can prepare an ad for air. One ad per episode (8 episodes total, not counting bonus episodes). Opportunity to purchase all 8 spots: $4,000 + $10 Rewards.
$1,000: Exclusively Co-Host with Creator and Producer Cheri Ellefson, The 1985 The Podcast Epilogue Episode. Only 1 (One) Reward Available! + $10 Rewards
Kickstarter funding will cover necessary travel for myself and family members, limited recording studio rental fees, original music, production editing, artist compensation, and updated/additional recording equipment.
My family is spread out geographically throughout the U.S., and travel will be required to conduct interviews in-person, individually, according to their availability. I will return to important site locations (my childhood home, for example) to examine and dig into past events, which also require travel and accommodations. I also anticipate traveling to topic experts for interviews, rather than conduct over-the-phone or other communication that is not in-person. I have completed preliminary, in-person historical record searches, and the fees to access this research is minimal, though travel to/from historical centers is necessary.
Studio Fees and Equipment
A few of the planned interviews require a recording studio, though most will not. For example, in one interview session, I will record five (5) subjects at once, and a studio setting is more appropriate for this type of interview. Equipment to purchase: back-up/additional microphones, insulation for home recording studio.
Approximately 15% of the $8500.00 budget is earmarked for professional musicians to record original episodic and intro/outro music for 1985 The Podcast.
I will act as lead producer of the podcast, but I will connect and work with a professional podcast editor/company that I can build a sustainable relationship with for consulting services throughout the duration of the series.
Funding would be utilized to hire our current artist to create a poster featuring her 1985 The Podcast design, and edit the illustration for merchandise (coffee mug), or hire a second artist to collaborate on the merchandise products.
What I Do Have:
Podcast software and skills/expertise to edit audio with GarageBand. A laptop. A Zoom Hn1 2018 Handy Recorder with lapel mics that I find to be ideal for recording both in my recording studio at home and while traveling.
What if I raise more than $8500? What are my 'big' dreams for the podcast?
A research assistant and an updated laptop. Additional editing assistance, both with the audio and the written episodes. Strategic advertising for the podcast. Live events or a podcast tour across the United States. Conference registration and travel fees for continued learning and connections in the podcasting community. Development of a second podcast series in the works.
Morgan and I were successful in crowdsourcing over $12,000 in capital funding to start our brick and mortar business, Queer Chocolatier. We are confident in our ability to create quality products with love and transparency, working hard to remain accountable to our loyal customers.
Risks and challenges
This podcast is both scripted and spontaneous. I cannot predict how interviewees will answer challenging, personal questions, particularly regarding abuse. I will overcome this risk by continuing to encourage subjects to be as honest and vulnerable as they can considering the sensitive nature of the topics. If one subject, for example, is emotionally able to contribute to one limited conversation/brief dialogue, I will adapt and pivot to asking different questions, interviewing other subjects, and/or add more expert interview to the episode.
As events occurred over 35 years ago, not every detail or story will be clear, remembered exactly as it was, or even accurate. I plan to overcome this challenge by allowing those interviewed to tell what they do remember, and verify specifics in other ways, through other family members, photos, and records. Memory will become part of the story itself.
A planned expert interview could fall through or an expert may not answer key questions as briefed. I will have back-up experts for all topics. A microphone or other equipment could fail during a pivotal, personal interview. I will have back-up equipment and back-up times/dates for interviews in the event of such a challenge.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter