About this project
Have you ever seen, felt, or done something that educated your emotions and expanded your world?
The Humanist Experience is a uniquely intimate journalistic experiment.
Our podcast hosts dive compassionately, curiously, and bravely into obscured lifestyles across America—and into themselves.
We don't just report on the story: we live it, and bring you perspectives on life in a different pair of shoes.
Our podcast follows the cross-country voyage of Evan and Seráh: two inquisitive, award-winning activists, journalists, and Humanists—as they are placed in a variety of situations where they report on cultural ugliness, strange beauty, and their own personal fears.
This last year:
- We funded and released our successful first season
- We became the official podcast of nonprofit Foundation Beyond Belief
- We recorded material for the first four episodes of our second year. You will help us finish these episodes and get a jump start on monthly releases the rest of 2017!
Past episodes include:
Helping Women Access Abortion: our hosts volunteer as patient escorts at an abortion clinic, helping women avoid harassment by protesters.
Our Naked Bodies: Evan and Seráh—platonic friends and business associates—shed their clothing together during their first-ever visit to a nudist resort. They confront anxieties about their own bodies and look for ways to align their emotions with their values around body positivity.
Disaster, Resilience, and Art: we visit a small town in California where hundreds of residents lost their homes in a recent fire. We explore the role art is playing in this community’s recovery, economic growth, and sustainability.
Episodes nearing completion for 2017 include:
Democracy Inaccessible: you hear our hosts—including wheelchair user Seráh—explore hidden challenges faced by people with disabilities who to participate in the democratic system. You'll hear from a Congressional candidate who happens to be blind and a gun violence survivor who withdrew her Democratic Party registration over the lack of political accessibility.
Atheists in Foxholes: you'll follow the hosts to Lackland Air Force Base, home of the nation's only Atheist "religious" service available to enlistees in Basic Training. Our session takes place during the 2015 Paris terrorist attack, granting us a singular opportunity to explore how our openly secular service members deal with feelings of fear and confusion over global instability.
The Tinder Experience: a frank discussion about the ethics, norms, and spirituality of short-term sex and romance. You'll hear the hosts and their intimate partners make themselves vulnerable on air as they discuss the realities of "hooking up" on the road and the norms of modern dating.
T-R-U-M-P: recorded during the 2016 Presidential Primary election, you experience life with us on both sides of the protest line at a Donald Trump rally. The result exposes surprisingly similar fears and resentments each faction of the culture war holds against the other.
And that's not all...
Your tax-deductible donation will help us finance these next expeditions:
- Living in a remote Florida community built exclusively for sex offenders
- Living with volunteers on a mission to Ghana
- Living in Porterville, CA: the town that ran out of water.
- A food desert challenge!
- Living in an economically depressed blue-collar town.
- Checking our privileges: our hosts revisit their childhood homes—a trailer community and a wealthy New England suburb— and explore their radically contrasting upbringings.
As an Experience Enabler, you will help us fund:
- The on-schedule launch of our 2017 season in January! Our goal will cover production and overhead costs to complete the first 1/4 of our 2017 season already recorded, and help guarantee on-time monthly releases for the next four episodes.
- Our next season of travelling! Anything we raise beyond our goal will help us get a head-start on funding our next Experiences, including fuel, lodging, meals, and event costs. (The approximate cost of an Experience is about $2,000.)
- Professional equipment upgrades, including much-needed lapel microphones, field mics, and a DSLR HD camera to expand our project's video component.
- Professional field support. When necessary, we may enlist the help of paid videographers and recording studios while away from our base of operations.
- Full-time staff including production experts, fundraisers, marketers, and office help.
Who are we?
Evan and Seráh are humanist entrepreneurs who took a $5,000 crowdfunding campaign in 2012 and used it to found Spectrum Experience LLC, a successful Humanist communications firm. Combined, they share 23 years experience in nonprofit advocacy and leading community groups for social change. Evan is currently chair of the Secular Student Alliance. Seráh is a registered Arizona lobbyist fighting for humanist social justice causes.
We hope to make this their fourth successful crowdfunding endeavor, having previously funded the above-mentioned Spectrum Experience, and a combined $8,000 on YouCaring for two separate medical charities.
Risks and challenges
Our risks involve the unknowns of life on the road creating our show... but that's also partly what makes it so exciting!
Our hosts attempt to do their traveling in a renovated 1981 Chevy RV and their shared personal car. So we have to anticipate those little hiccups that might happen as we tour the country. Blown tires, mechanical surprises, and unexpected delays.
However, sometimes these surprises are more of an opportunity than a setback. We often find ourselves with more content than we expected as our podcast has the ability to turn every tiny moment we find into and an opportunity for a new Humanist Experience!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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