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Help the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library create an exhibition highlighting the legacy of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse-Five.
364 backers pledged $42,000 to help bring this project to life.
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$42,000

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The Legacy of Slaughterhouse-Five

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library (KVML) is dedicated to championing the legacy of writer Kurt Vonnegut and the principles of free expression and common decency. “Unstuck in Time: Slaughterhouse-Five Then and Now” will be a new, permanent exhibition for KVML exploring Vonnegut’s most-read novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. The funds raised through the generosity of backers like you will go towards this exhibition and towards programming that upholds the legacy of Slaughterhouse-Five and builds understanding about the importance of storytelling for personal meaning-making.

An early book cover of Slaughterhouse-Five

Written in part to process Vonnegut’s experience as a prisoner-of-war in WWII, Slaughterhouse-Five tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, a soldier who becomes “unstuck in time.” The book explores an emotional and crucial time in history and acts as a catalyst for conversation about peace, trauma, and relationships.

Help KVML create and install “Unstuck in Time,” KVML’s first exhibition to focus on a Vonnegut text. Though KVML has been operating a museum since 2011, we've never had an exhibit that offered a deep-dive into a Vonnegut text. Kurt used Slaughterhouse-Five as a way to examine his own experience in war, as well as a way to prompt readers to think more broadly about the effects of violence. KVML wanted to bring this book to life for visitors and allow all museum-goers--whether they've read Slaughterhouse-Five or not--to have the opportunity to think about the connections between personal trauma, societal well-being, and personal narrative. 

Some of Vonnegut's personal items that will be featured in KVML's new museum space.

The “Unstuck in Time” exhibition will include a walk-through tunnel of the firebombing of Dresden, art by Kurt Vonnegut and other veterans, and biographical information about Kurt Vonnegut’s experience as a Prisoner of War during WWII. Every part of “Unstuck in Time: Slaughterhouse-Five Then and Now” will emphasize that literature, including Slaughterhouse-Five, is an important societal tool for understanding complex human experiences.

As part of the exhibition, visitors will also have the opportunity to share how personal narrative writing has helped them process their own stories. In one section, visitors will be invited to journal about their experiences with trauma. The “Unstuck in Time” exhibition will also feature a Call-to-Action area, where visitors will be presented with challenges and solutions to which they can contribute.

This project will also help KVML offer programming for veterans, students, and the general public about the power of the arts and humanities to help us heal as individuals and as a society. In the past, KVML has offered book discussion groups for veterans, personal writing workshops for female veterans and the incarcerated population, and a Slaughterhouse-Five personal narrative curriculum for eighth grade students. The programming connected with the “Unstuck in Time” exhibition will build on KVML’s tradition of offering these programs, but also provide participants with a unique and thought-provoking space to explore as part of the programs.

KVML is currently planning “Unstuck in Time: Slaughterhouse-Five Then and Now” for its new building that it is in the process of renovating. KVML is very excited to finally have a permanent home in which to honor Kurt's legacy. We have  enlisted some of the brightest minds to help us shape the space into the best possible museum in which to honor Kurt. Those helping us include Kurt’s nephew, Scott Vonnegut, who is graciously donating his architectural services. KVML will be opening its new building on a rolling basis, beginning with a grand opening on November 9, 2019 and concluding by December 30, 2020.

A mock-up of the entrance to the "Unstuck in Time" Exhibit

Why Kurt Vonnegut?

Few writers are as beloved as Kurt Vonnegut and few speak to the mess of being human with such candor, wit, truth, and encouragement. A World War II veteran, pacifist, satirist, humanist, environmentalist, visual artist, and internationally acclaimed writer, Kurt Vonnegut is one of the most influential American writers and thinkers of the 20th century.

Kurt was born and raised in Indianapolis, and the city of his birth had a profound impact on him. He said, “All my jokes are Indianapolis. All my attitudes are Indianapolis. My adenoids are Indianapolis. If I ever severed myself from Indianapolis, I would be out of business. What people like about me is Indianapolis.” It is fitting then, that Vonnegut’s legacy continue in Indianapolis through the work of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library.

A replica of Kurt's writing space.

Kurt’s words, art, and ideas continue to be highly influential. People visit his museum from all over the world because of how his work has shaped who they are and how they live. He wrote fourteen books, three collections of short fiction, plays, television adaptations, and numerous essays. Vonnegut’s main publisher, Random House, estimates that there are more than 11 million copies of Vonnegut’s books currently in print.

Today, more than ever, we believe it is important to have a space dedicated to upholding Kurt Vonnegut’s legacy and spurring discussions about topics that mattered to him: how to be kind, creative, and connected.

A portrait of Kurt Vonnegut in the "Unstuck in Time" Exhibition

About the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library:

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library (KVML) is a 501c(3) nonprofit in Indianapolis, Indiana. We champion Vonnegut and the principles he believed in by operating a museum, by hosting arts and humanities programming, and by conducting outreach to audiences in Indianapolis and beyond. In 2018, we reached 165,738 people with the words and messages of Vonnegut through key initiatives, including:

●  Operating tours of Vonnegut memorabilia and artifacts for visitors to the museum (when museum space is open);

● Hosting arts and humanities events for the veterans’ community, students, teachers, and the general public; and

● Conducting programming to raise awareness about censorship, including celebrating Freedom to Read Week every year.

A group of teachers discussing how to effectively teach Vonnegut.

Risks and challenges

Renovating space inherently involves risks and challenges. The largest of these would be not raising enough funds to renovate the building and create the Slaughterhouse-Five exhibition. However, KVML is committed to creating a Slaughterhouse-Five exhibition, and the support raised through this Kickstarter project will go to an exhibition and to programming for the veterans’ community and the general public. The risk is only that it would take longer than KVML anticipates at this time. We have a history of success on Kickstarter, successfully fundraising for and implementing three projects.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    THANKS TO YOU

    A warm thank you and your name will be posted on the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library’s website. Plus, you’ll receive Slaughterhouse-Five digital stickers featuring the world of Trafalmadore, Billy Pilgrim, and more. You’ll also receive KVML’s monthly e-newsletter with updates about KVML’s new exhibitions, including “Unstuck in Time.”

    Includes:
    • Digital stickers
    • Name on KVML website
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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    WELL WISHES

    Receive a gracious and humorous digital note from a member of Vonnegut’s family expressing gratitude and best wishes for you and the library. You’ll also receive one free ticket for museum admission and the $10 incentives.

    Includes:
    • Digital stickers
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
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    77 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    FRIEND OF THE LIBRARY

    Visit KVML’s NEW museum and library for free for a year, plus receive other benefits including:
    • 10% discount on online and in-Library gift shop purchases
    • Recognition in KVML’s Annual Report
    • Ability to check out books from Kurt’s Study
    • Special pricing on most events and programs
    • Invitation to members-only events
    • The $10 and $25 incentives

    Includes:
    • Digital stickers
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
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    53 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Slaughterhouse-Five Latrine Sign

    Receive this replica sign of Billy Pilgrim's fellow British POWs which reads, "Please leave this latrine as tidy as you found it," plus receive other benefits including:
    • Visit KVML’s NEW museum and library for free for a year
    • 10% discount on online and in-Library gift shop purchases
    • Recognition in KVML’s Annual Report
    • Ability to check out books from Kurt’s Study
    • Special pricing on most events and programs
    • Invitation to members-only events
    • The $10 and $25 incentives

    INCLUDES:
    Digital stickers
    Name on KVML website
    Note from Vonnegut's family
    One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 34 backers
    $

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    SNEAK PEAK

    Be one of the first to see a menu of all the foods Kurt dreamed about eating while in Germany during WWII. You’ll receive a digital copy of this menu that features Kurt’s handwriting and a doodle of his name. Plus all other incentives listed above.

    Includes:
    • Digital stickers
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Digital copy of Kurt's WWII Menu
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    26 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    YOU’RE UNSTUCK

    Be a permanent part of the “Unstuck in Time: Slaughterhouse-Five Then and Now” exhibition. Pledge $200 or more, and your name will be displayed in the exhibition in appreciation for your help creating “Unstuck in Time.” You’ll also receive the incentives from all other levels below $200.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Kurt's WWII Menu
    • Digital stickers
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Name in "Unstuck in Time" exhibition
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    39 backers
    $

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    TOTES THANKS

    Pledge at this level, and we’ll send you a Slaughterhouse-Five tote bag so you can show off your support of KVML wherever you go. Plus, we’ll send you a KVML sticker and a Slaughterhouse-Five Curse Word bookmark. You’ll also receive all of the incentives from lower levels.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Kurt's WWII Menu
    • Digital stickers
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
    • Name in "Unstuck in Time" exhibition
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Tote Bag
    • KVML Sticker
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Curse Word Bookmark
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    SO IT GOES

    Receive a copy of So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. Not only does this literary journal feature exceptional writing and artwork from writers across the country—half of whom are veterans—it also carries on the tradition of Slaughterhouse-Five’s use of personal narrative to process human experience. Plus, you’ll receive all of the incentives from lower levels.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Kurt's WWII Menu
    • Digital stickers
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
    • KVML Sticker
    • Name in "Unstuck in Time" exhibition
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Curse Word Bookmark
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Tote Bag
    • So it Goes: The Literary Journal of KVML
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    *

    Wear Kurt’s signature punctuation when you receive KVML’s Asterisk baseball t-shirt.
    You’ll also receive a set of The Greatest Note Cards Ever Assembled By Humanistic Humans!
    And you’ll get all the incentives from the lower levels.

    Includes:
    • Digital copy of Kurt's WWII Menu
    • Digital stickers
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
    • KVML Sticker
    • Name in "Unstuck in Time" exhibition
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Curse Word Bookmark
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Tote Bag
    • So it Goes: The Literary Journal of KVML
    • Asterisk Baseball T-Shirt
    • The Greatest Note Cards Ever Assembled By Humanistic Humans!
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $

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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

    Have breakfast on us at the cafe in KVML’s new home. And you won’t be dining alone! KVML staff will join you to talk all things Vonnegut and all things Slaughterhouse-Five. After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of the new museum and take home a free copy of Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions. Plus, the incentives from $5-$500. *Pledger is responsible for all travel expenses and arrangements to Indianapolis. Dates for breakfast must be arranged with KVML staff at least two weeks in advance. Please note the restaurant is currently slated to open in 2020. Two people may attend the breakfast per reward.

    Includes:
    • Asterisk Baseball T-Shirt
    • Digital copy of Kurt's WWII Menu
    • Digital stickers
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
    • KVML Sticker
    • Name in "Unstuck in Time" exhibition
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Curse Word Bookmark
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Tote Bag
    • So it Goes: The Literary Journal of KVML
    • The Greatest Note Cards Ever Assembled By Humanistic Humans!
    • Breakfast with KVML staff and Guided Tour of Museum
    • Breakfast of Champions Copy
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    BEHIND THE SCENES

    Get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Unstuck in Time.” You’ll hear from exhibition creators, Vonnegut scholars, and KVML staff as they explain the why’s and how’s of KVML’s new Slaughterhouse-Five exhibition. You’ll also receive a guided tour of the whole museum. Plus, the incentives from $5-$500. *Pledger is responsible for all travel expenses and arrangements to Indianapolis. Dates for behind-the-scenes must be arranged with KVML staff at least two weeks in advance. Two people may attend the tour per reward.

    Includes:
    • Asterisk Baseball T-Shirt
    • Digital copy of Kurt's WWII Menu
    • Digital stickers
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
    • KVML Sticker
    • Name in "Unstuck in Time" exhibition
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Curse Word Bookmark
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Tote Bag
    • So it Goes: The Literary Journal of KVML
    • The Greatest Note Cards Ever Assembled By Humanistic Humans!
    • Behind-the-scenes tour of "Unstuck in Time" and Museum Tour
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    543 VIP

    Be a VIP at KVML’s new museum. Have coffee with KMVL Founder and CEO Julia Whitehead; get a guided tour of the museum followed by a guided-tour of Vonnegut’s Indianapolis; and then have lunch on us. Plus, the incentives from $5-$500. *Pledger is responsible for all travel expenses and arrangements to Indianapolis. Two people may attend the tour per reward.

    Includes:
    • Asterisk Baseball T-Shirt
    • Digital copy of Kurt's WWII Menu
    • Digital stickers
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
    • KVML Sticker
    • Name in "Unstuck in Time" exhibition
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Curse Word Bookmark
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Tote Bag
    • So it Goes: The Literary Journal of KVML
    • The Greatest Note Cards Ever Assembled By Humanistic Humans!
    • Guided Tour of Museum and Vonnegut Sites in Indianapolis
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $

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    Pledge US$ 7,500 or more About US$ 7,500

    DINNER WITH NANNY VONNEGUT

    Have dinner with Kurt’s daughter, Nanny Vonnegut. Hear Vonnegut family stories, learn about Nanny’s writing and artwork, and find out why KVML means so much to her. You’ll also receive the incentives from $5-$500. *Pledger is responsible for all travel expenses and arrangements to the dinner location. Dates for the dinner must be arranged with KVML staff a month in advance. Two people may attend the dinner.

    Includes:
    • Asterisk Baseball T-Shirt
    • Digital copy of Kurt's WWII Menu
    • Digital stickers
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
    • KVML Sticker
    • Name in "Unstuck in Time" exhibition
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Curse Word Bookmark
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Tote Bag
    • So it Goes: The Literary Journal of KVML
    • The Greatest Note Cards Ever Assembled By Humanistic Humans!
    • Dinner with Nanny Vonnegut
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    DINNER WITH LEWIS BLACK

    Have dinner with one of Kurt Vonnegut’s funniest fans, Lewis Black. Talk Vonnegut and the comedy life and hear about why KVML means so much to Black. You’ll also receive the incentives from $5-$500. *Pledger is responsible for all travel expenses and arrangements to the dinner location. Dates for the dinner must be arranged with KVML staff a month in advance. Two people may attend the dinner.

    Includes:
    • Asterisk Baseball T-Shirt
    • Digital copy of Kurt's WWII Menu
    • Digital stickers
    • Friend of the Library Membership (free entrance for 1 year)
    • KVML Sticker
    • Name in "Unstuck in Time" exhibition
    • Name on KVML website
    • Note from Vonnegut's family
    • One free museum admission (good for one adult entrance)
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Curse Word Bookmark
    • Slaughterhouse-Five Tote Bag
    • So it Goes: The Literary Journal of KVML
    • The Greatest Note Cards Ever Assembled By Humanistic Humans!
    • Dinner with Lewis Black
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (30 days)