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Help us send 100+ Aquatic Art kits to local, public, and community pools and swimming organizations to encourage synchronized swimming!

Hi, Kickstarter! We are The Olivia Darlings, a dance collective from Portland, Oregon, established in 2010 specializing in synchronized swimming and dedicated to the renewal of the aquatic arts.

It started with a vision: geometric shapes gliding through the water, moving in perfect harmony, an organic machine, powered by bathing beauties. What could it be? Synchronized Swimming!  Our explorations into this unique facet of americana led us to eventually forming our own aquatic arts dance group. 

As we performed and exposed people to synchronized swimming, they wanted to know more! The most common question we heard was "Where can we see more, learn more, and participate?" Unfortunately, there were very few resources to help educate the novice synchronized swimmer or budding aquatic artisan. Well, we're proud to say that we're about to change that!

It is synchronized swimming! It is water ballet! It is ornamental swimming! It is dancing in water! It combines all the beauty and expression of dance with the joy of playing in water!

We're sending at the minimum 100 Aquatic Art Kits to local pools, community organizations, dance schools, and swim clubs to reignite interest in this overlooked facet of our nation's culture!

The kits contain:

  • 2 copies of The Olivia Darlings Guide to the Aquatic Arts, a softcover booklet we've written that combines a training guide, history book, and love letter to synchronized swimming! It's chock-full of illustrations, drills, and activities to help encourage the exploration of the aquatic arts at the pool or in the living room!
  • Digital copies, for reproduction for entire swim classes or budding aquatic artisans!
  • Patches and buttons galore!
  • A series of posters designed to spark the imagination, and reignite interest in synchronized swimming.

Tell us more about The Olivia Darlings Guide to the Aquatic Arts!

It's a softcover booklet that will be printed here, in Portland Oregon and will help you:

  • Learn about legends, the Mothers & Fathers of the Aquatic Arts
  • Learn the basic + stunt swimming moves!
  • Learn to sew your own swim cap and costumes
  • Learn how to propellor scull!
  • Learn the muskrat and impress all your friends!
  • Learn about synchronized swimming pageants and fractal geometry!

Kids have never had as many reasons to stay indoors as they do now... we'd like to give them a few reasons to go out! Swimming is fun, cheap, and easy to learn! Synchronized Swimming is all of the above and more! We envision hundreds of kids' synchro teams all across the world, frolicking in the water, and helping to kindle a new passion for Aquatic Art.

Your support will help us send posters and starter kits to community pools! The more support, the more kits we can send. If we exceed our goal then we can send even more goodies like swim caps, nose clips, and team patches! But, one thing at a time; we need to walk before we can...swim!

Additionally, we are partnering with bands to make short films to showcasing synchronized swimming in nature! Our first, a music video for Y la Bamba that was shot on 16mm and is near completion, features a variety aquatic artistry in and around the Redwoods and Northern California beaches.

One, because it is mind-blowingly beautiful!  But it more than that... we hope it will remind people where their inspiration comes from. Where things begin! 

By showcasing synchronized swimming in nature we hope it will make people think twice the next time they drive past a river.  We hope it leads to intense daydreams... that inspire and spawn more-and-more amazing aquatic artists! 

To play tribute to Esther William's era and legendary aquatic performer (Olympic medalist) Beulah Gundling! Our heroes... they, too captured her work on 16mm.

And what about Kay Curtis or Billy Rose's Aquacade? We want to make cinematic magic just like they did. We sharing their spirit, grace, love for animals and nature with as many people as possible! 

Here's to making the world dreamier than you found it - here's to enchantment! Here's to pageantry! Here's to The Aquatic Arts!

The Olivia Darlings
The Olivia Darlings

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Once we're funded, it's as simple as printing, packing, and mailing! We have a crack one-man design team ready to handle any printing hiccups and bevy of pals well-versed in packaging and shipping kung-fu, so you can rest assured that we will dot every 'i' and cross every 't' to make sure that anything that comes to you from our kickstarter will arrive both in a timely manner and undamaged!

All posters and postcards and fragile items will be protectively shipped (hence the shipping costs) and we will keep you up to date the process.

FAQ

  • If we make it to $15000, both the posters and postcards that you receive will be two-color and letterpress. The poster will have variations, and you can choose your favorite! Additionally, we'll be able to send a further 200 kits to pools, as the more we print, the cheaper it gets! If we make it to $20000, we'll be sending 500!

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    -=The Mermaid's Kiss=- You'll receive an ebook version of "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts", which is a training guide, history book, and love letter to synchronized swimming chock-full of illustrations, drills, and activities to help enable the exploration of the aquatic arts in your living room! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\o\~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Specifics» • One copy of "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook in .azw, .epub or .mobi format •

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    13 backers Limited (387 left of 400)

    -=Ceto's Delight=- In addition to an ebook version of "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts", you'll receive a 3-button pack of 1¼" synchronized swimming positions, "The Reverse Catalina", "The Dolphin Bent Knee," & the "Rocket Split." AND an mp3 download (courtesy of Tender Loving Empire) of Y la Bamba's "Ponce Pilato," the music video of which is going to help expose and further inspire a new generation of aquatic artisans! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\o/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Specifics» • One (1) copy of "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook • "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook • 3-button pack of 1¼" synchronized swimming positions •

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    13 backers Limited (7 left of 20)

    -=EARLY BIRD Hippocampi's Grin=- In addition to everything in Ceto's Delight, you'll enjoy any one of three different sets of synchronized swimming postcards, printed on thick cardstock, perfect for dazzling your friends and impressing your relatives AND a woven 2" full-color patch, displaying the synchronized swimming pattern known as "Hippocampi's Grin." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/o/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Specifics» • One set of three different sets of three different postcards, screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper • "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook • 3-button pack of 1¼" synchronized swimming positions • An mp3 download of Y la Bamba's "Ponce Pilato • Full-Color 2" patch •

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    -=Hippocampi's Grin=- In addition to everything in Ceto's Delight, you'll enjoy any one of three different sets of synchronized swimming postcards, printed on thick cardstock, perfect for dazzling your friends and impressing your relatives AND a woven 2" full-color patch, displaying the synchronized swimming pattern known as "Hippocampi's Grin." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/o/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Specifics» • One set of three different sets of three different postcards, screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper • "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook • 3-button pack of 1¼" synchronized swimming positions • An mp3 download of Y la Bamba's "Ponce Pilato • Full-Color 2" patch •

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    14 backers Limited (1 left of 15)

    -=EARLY BIRD Neptune's Beard=- Designed especially for the Olivia Darling's, at the Neptune's Beard level of support, you'll receive a screenprinted synchronized swimming BANDANA, in your choice of two colors: Coral or Aqua. A mesmerizing array of paisley and classical synchro patterns. Naturally, everything in Hippocampi's Grin is also included. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~/o\~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Specifics» • one 24" x 24" synchro bandana • One set of three different sets of three different postcards, screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper • "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook • 3-button pack of 1¼" synchronized swimming positions • An mp3 download of Y la Bamba's "Ponce Pilato • Full-Color 2" patch •

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    10 backers Limited (290 left of 300)

    -=Neptune's Beard=- Designed especially for the Olivia Darling's, at the Neptune's Beard level of support, you'll receive a screenprinted synchronized swimming BANDANA, in your choice of two colors: Coral or Aqua. A mesmerizing array of paisley and classical synchro patterns. Naturally, everything in Hippocampi's Grin is also included. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~/o\~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Specifics» • one 24" x 24" synchro bandana • One set of three different sets of three different postcards, screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper • "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook • 3-button pack of 1¼" synchronized swimming positions • An mp3 download of Y la Bamba's "Ponce Pilato • Full-Color 2" patch •

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    1 backer Limited (19 left of 20)

    -= EARLY BIRD Merman=- All three sets of screenprinted synchronized swimming formation postcards, showing kaleidoscopic synchro patterns in one luscious color! Not to mention a copy of the same poster and a printed version of the booklet we'll be sending to 100+ pools! Additionally, everything in Hippocampi's Grin is included. EVEN MORE: we'll send a kit to a pool or swimming organization of your choice with a nice note letting them know the kit came courtesy of YOU (if you'd like. Within the continental US). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\o/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Specifics» • All three sets of postcards (nine, total), screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper • An 11" x 17" poster screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper showing your support of the aquatic arts • "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook & printed version • 3-button pack of 1¼" synchronized swimming positions • An mp3 download of Y la Bamba's "Ponce Pilato • Full-Color 2" patch • We'll mail one of our kits to the pool or swimming organization of your choice, with a note letting them know it came from you (if you like)

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    3 backers Limited (97 left of 100)

    -=The Merman=- All three sets of screenprinted synchronized swimming formation postcards, showing kaleidoscopic synchro patterns in one luscious color! Not to mention a copy of the same poster and a printed version of the booklet we'll be sending to 100+ pools! Additionally, everything in Hippocampi's Grin is included. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\o/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Specifics» • All three sets of postcards (nine, total), screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper • An 11" x 17" poster screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper showing your support of the aquatic arts • "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook & printed version • 3-button pack of 1¼" synchronized swimming positions • An mp3 download of Y la Bamba's "Ponce Pilato • Full-Color 2" patch • We'll mail one of our kits to the pool or swimming organization of your choice, with a note letting them know it came from you (if you like) •

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    -=EARLY BIRD Triton's Trident=- Everything in the previous two tiers, EXCEPT you get your choice of TWO bandannas instead of only one! One of each color? Two in coral? Two in Aqua? Your choice! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\o\~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Specifics» • Two 24" x 24" synchro bandanas • All three sets of postcards (nine, total), screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper • An 11" x 17" poster screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper showing your support of the aquatic arts • "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook & printed version • 3-button pack of 1¼" synchronized swimming positions • An mp3 download of Y la Bamba's "Ponce Pilato • Full-Color 2" patch • We'll mail one of our kits to the pool or swimming organization of your choice, with a note letting them know it came from you (if you like) •

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    -=Triton's Trident=- Everything in the previous two tiers, EXCEPT you get your choice of TWO bandannas instead of only one! One of each color? Two in coral? Two in Aqua? Your choice! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\o\~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Specifics» • Two 24" x 24" synchro bandanas • All three sets of postcards (nine, total), screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper • An 11" x 17" poster screenprinted on 100# French Paper Company paper showing your support of the aquatic arts • "The Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts" ebook & printed version • 3-button pack of 1¼" synchronized swimming positions • An mp3 download of Y la Bamba's "Ponce Pilato" • Full-Color 2" patch • We'll mail one of our kits to the pool or swimming organization of your choice, with a note letting them know it came from you (if you like) •

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    -=Esther's Legacy=- Four of everything from the above tiers! Four full sets of postcards! Four sets of buttons! Four Posters! Four patches! Four Bandanas! Four booklets! Four kits mailed to your local pools! An acknowledgement of thanks in the initial run of Olivia Darling's Guide to the Aquatic Arts AND one of only 15 posters signed by the graphic designer and printer.

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    -=The Full Beulah=- Luzelena Mendoza of Y la Bamba will sing you a lullabye, via phone or skype if far away and in person at a barbeque if you are near Portland and willing to meet all of us and enjoy complimentary beers and well-cooked foods. You will receive a signed Y la Bamba CD or lp of your choosing, provided it's available. ALSO: Everything in Esther's Legacy.

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Funding period

- (32 days)