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$1,214 pledged of $40,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Mike Rios
$1,214 pledged of $40,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Art and creative culture are important! We want to use the College of the Creatives Cabinet to rally our fellow American's support to help us protect imperiled federal initiatives that fund the arts and humanities in America. We will do this by building and sending a limited edition of the College of the Creatives micro arcade cabinets to a select group of thoughtful, socially conscientious, influential, and nerdy recipients; and need your help funding our cabinet edition! This project is our bid to enlist these cultural influencers with the goal of starting a movement that:

  • Engages the communities we self-identify with and belong to (specifically the nerdy and creative communities)
  • Creates a national dialogue that underscores the importance, value, and benefits art and creative culture bring to a democracy like ours
  • Plans a defense of imperiled federal initiatives that fund the arts and creative culture in America (eg the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
  • Resurrects the College of the Creatives
The Next Wave!
The Next Wave!

Also, If we’re being perfectly honest, we're big dorks and children of the 80s. As creatives that have grown old, but not up we can remember a time when groups with names like the A-Team, the Rebel Alliance, and the Super Friends regularly came together to fight shared threats. We like to think that we live in a world where the "College of the Creatives" can be brought back to life by a select group of contemporary influential creatives to form a new kind of super team with the intention of defeating looming threats to art and creative culture in America.

What was the "College of the Creatives", what did it do, and why try to bring it back now?

The College's Founders in front of the White House
The College's Founders in front of the White House

The College of the Creatives is a disbanded secret society founded in 1934 over tea at the White House by Gertrude Stein and Eleanor Roosevelt because of the threat to creative culture Stein felt the Nazis’ sudden rise to power in Europe posed. Since its founding the College’s Members have secretly helped preserve and protect humanity's ongoing cultural heritage. In the decades following its founding the College's membership numbers swelled and receded with the level of threat to the arts, with the most recent surge in membership coming from the Los Angeles Science Fiction Chapter of the College which primarily fought Red Scare era threats to art & popular culture until the College's untimely dissolution caused by federal threats to it in 1956.

After learning about the College we couldn't help but see parallels between the historic moments surrounding the founding of the College, our current state of political unrest, and the attack on critical thought that art and creative culture help foster. We want to combine the arcade cabinet's mysterious design and the powerful ideas behind the College with our call-to-action to make a platform we can use to galvanize Americans into action.

What is the College of the Creatives Cabinet, and how will it be used?

Current V.9 MDF Prototype of the College of the Creatives Cabinet and Crate (the final version of the cabinet will be made out of hardwood and plastic)
Current V.9 MDF Prototype of the College of the Creatives Cabinet and Crate (the final version of the cabinet will be made out of hardwood and plastic)

A limited edition of micro arcade cabinets based on a secret design originally created to indoctrinate recipients—a select group of thoughtful and socially conscientious creatives—into a disbanded secret society called the "College of the Creatives". The design for the cabinet was created by the last surviving member of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Chapter of the College, and divulged to us in a deathbed plea to restart the College. We would like to produce a limited edition of 20 cabinets with the intention of sending them to a select group of 10 resourceful, thoughtful, socially conscientious, and nerdy creatives in an effort to civically engage and mobilize them on the behalf of art and creative culture in America.

Project milestones and achievements made to date

DesignLab Entrance
DesignLab Entrance

We're proud to say we were admitted into the SupplyFrame DesignLab Residency Program in Pasadena California on March 1st to help make this project a reality! Since starting at the DesignLab we have developed the cabinet to the point that we've made multiple prototypes! You can view all of our progress on this project to date at the project's Hackaday page!

Sample of Cabinet Prototypes produced in the DesignLab
Sample of Cabinet Prototypes produced in the DesignLab

Several experienced and prominent Makers have also agreed to mentor and advise us on this project. The MotherFather team is/will continue to tap them as needed as the project continues to develop!

We're concurrently approaching several individuals, groups, corporations, and foundations regarding various kinds of support for this project. To date we've managed to confirm Pimoroni, NTC, Sparkfun, Epilog, the ArtCenter College of Design (we're Alums) and SupplyFrame as project partners. We've also just started extensive partnership communications with two prominent foundations focused on social action/good, and it's sounding like they might help us with this project!

Who is Mike Rios and what is MotherFather Design?

Mike holding laser cut MDF remnants from cutting out the V.5 MDF prototype
Mike holding laser cut MDF remnants from cutting out the V.5 MDF prototype

Mike Rios is a big nerd, professional cat corraler, serial elephant eater, multidisciplinary designer, and social entrepreneur with over 8 years of experience researching, strategizing, developing, designing, coordinating, managing, and executing impactful creative solutions imbued with the human touch for brands, web, print, packaging, retail, apparel, exhibition, experiential, event, gallery, game, animation, and film.

In late 2015 Mike Rios and his wife Maggie Jensen decided to strike out on their own, forming a small change-driven design studio/artist collective, called MotherFather. Their collective is comprised of socially conscientious designers, artists, and makers obsessed with helping make the world a better place. MotherFather is focused on the belief that there is world changing power in thoughtful, empathetic, and communally engaging stories told from the heart that combine design, culture, and technology to create wonder and intrigue in the name of bringing people together to do some good. MotherFather is committed to establishing itself as a design studio that specializes in telling stories that matter and are worth sharing, and sincerely feels that making passion projects like the "College of the Creatives Cabinet" is the best way to reach that goal.

Why you should help, and what your contribution supports

Face front, true believers! We now need your help moving onto the creation of the final design we will be sending to a select group of cultural influencers. We sincerely believe that if we build these touchstones, and send them out into the world, then recipients will come and answer our call-to-action! If nothing else, we sincerely hope this project helps make America feel a little more like a place you'd like to call home, a place that continues to benefit from federally funded art and creative culture! EXCELSIOR!

Full funding allows us to move from our current MDF prototype to a final design made out of hardwood and plastic. Funding will be used to pay for the parts/supplies, cabinet specific collateral, external lab/makerspace fees, 3rd party manufacturing/technician fees, design/engineering fees, artist/contributor honorariums, shipping, Kickstarter perks, and taxes associated with the production and fulfillment of the 20 cabinet limited edition run proposed in this campaign! 

Thank you for your time and consideration, with your help we look forward to creating a movement that protects federally funded art and creative culture in America!

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk to this project is our lack of funding. To wit we've spent the last month and a half applying for grants and approaching a mix of corporations and foundations for funding. We have a contingency plan with a mixed funding strategy in place with this project to make sure we hit our funding goal (you're looking at a part of it)!

Beyond funding, our next biggest challenge is our ability to create the 20 cabinets we've challenged ourselves with through this project. While we can currently work in the DesignLab, our residency ends on June 30th. It's with this in mind that we are continuing to reach out to our network, trying to find backup locations with the equipment we need to complete our limited edition cabinet run before a final federal budget is presented by the current administration this December.

The fabrication of the cabinet's themselves represent a huge challenge. Making sure we are on schedule and are able to make consistently beautiful cabinets across the edition are a major concern. We also have concerns related to safety. We need to ensure all of the electronic components in the cabinets are in safe working order before shipping them to our intended group of influential recipients.

Finally, the team is comprised of working designers, artists, and makers with obligations outside of MotherFather. Many of our team members have regular jobs, freelance gigs that pop-up from time to time, and pre-existing projects/exhibitions of their own that could present commitment challenges to this project as we continue to develop it. As working professionals we know life comes with challenges, but as thoughtful creatives dedicated to creating social good we want our backers to know that we are dedicated to making sure America is a place that values art and creative culture, and see this project as an integral part of that mission!

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank You

    A sincere heartfelt thank you from the entire MotherFather art and design team!

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    Step-by-Step PDF Instructional

    Digital instructional showing you how to make your own micro arcade cabinet. This guide includes a parts list, laser cutter templates, and detailed instructions showing you how to make your own laser cut College of Creatives Cabinet inspired micro arcade cabinet!

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    "Keep the Arts Funded" Postcard

    Each donation at this level gets you one postcard we'll send on your behalf to the White House in defense of federally funded art and culture agencies (eg the NEA, NEH, and CPB). This postcard states the importance of art and creative culture in America, and demands the current Administration reconsider any future plans to defund the NEA, NEH, and CPB!

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    "Open the Box" Postcard

    Each donation at this level gets you one postcard we'll send on your behalf to one the cabinet's planned recipients (your choice) requesting the cabinet recipient in question "Open the Box!"

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    Nominate a Cabinet Recipient

    Know a deserving creative who embodies the College of the Creatives ethos? This reward allows you to nominate a creative you think should be initiated into the College of the Creatives! At the end of this campaign we'll review every nomination submitted by backers at this reward level and choose three to add to our initial list of seven creatives and send them each a cabinet.

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    CotC Enamel Pin

    A pin worn by lettered College Members to symbolize they have passed all of the College's trials. This pin “marks" initiates as fully Lettered Members of the College of the Creatives.

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    CotC Member’s Pocket Guide

    A guide to joining the College of the Creatives. It details the College’s founding, history, traditions, and philosophy. It also holds puzzles and codes hidden in its text that initiates need to solve. All guides will be signed by the MotherFather team.

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    Order of Merlin Lodge Medallion

    A challenge style coin with an inbuilt cipher that is used by lettered Members of the Order of Merlin Lodge of the College of the Creatives. It is also used by initiates to solve and decipher the puzzles and codes hidden in the text of the Member's Pocket Guide.

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    All of the Member's Ensignia!

    A PDF, both postcards, a creative nomination, enamel pin, pocket guide, and medallion!

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    Invitation to Join the College!

    A PDF, both postcards, a creative nomination, enamel pin, pocket guide, medallion AND a personalized letter on College of the Creatives Letterhead inviting you to join the College!

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    MDF Micro Arcade Cabinet

    Get 1 of only 250 limited edition pre-cut MDF cabinets (based on the final cabinet design). This version of the cabinet will only play games, and will omit the puzzles included in the final cabinet design we're sending to a select group of nerdy, influential and socially conscientious creatives!

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    Meet the Team

    Meet the MotherFather art and design team. We'll set up a time and place where we can meet so you can share, get advice, and potentially collaborate with us on one of your ideas to help protect art and culture in America! Who knows what we'll be able to do together, let's create some good!

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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    College of the Creatives Cabinet

    Only 10 of the total 20 College of the Creatives' Cabinet edition will be available to the general public. Don't miss your chance to own a handmade and limited edition cabinet being created and sent to a select group of nerdy, influential and socially conscientious creatives! This reward level includes: a fully functional College of the Creatives Cabinet, a personalized video game, member's pocket guide, medallion, key, enamel pin, several personalized letters, and a plywood crate that it all gets shipped in to you!

    *Plus your name added to the to the College of the Creative's Member Charter included in cabinets we send to targeted creatives!

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