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The Genius of Caring: an interactive documentary's video poster
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Has your life been touched by Alzheimer's? Portraits of caregivers and a community connected through compassion. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on October 7.

Has your life been touched by Alzheimer's? Portraits of caregivers and a community connected through compassion.

About this project

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Why should you help us?

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's can be a humbling and isolating process at a time when support is needed the most. The Genius of Caring aims to both deepen our understanding of the caregiving experience and provide a safe space for for users to share their stories and create important connections and community. 

Today 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and 15 million people are acting as caregivers. As these numbers rise, so does the burden on families and on our already fragile health care system. But despite the numbers of people dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, shame and stigma still prevent us from talking openly about its impact. I believe The Genius of Caring can help change that.

Because of the deeply personal nature of this site and the nontraditional way we’ve chosen to share our story and others, The Genius of Caring has the potential to shift the way we talk about illness and loss and to start a conversation about these issues on a large scale.

Whether or not you are directly affected by Alzheimer’s disease, your contribution to The Genius of Caring will ensure we reach our goals and bring this site dedicated to the stories of family caregivers and individuals with Alzheimer's and other related dementias to the widest possible audience.

How you can help?

A Beta version of the site will be live on September 8th. We reached an important milestone when we received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, but we still have five additional caregiver portraits to produce — and we need your help. We’re launching this Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the production of those films.  

We have put together some very special rewards, including The Genius of Marian DVD signed by the filmmakers, custom-made greeting cards and original artwork by renowned artist Marian Williams Steele.

Reward Images

2 1/2 year old artist protégé Dylan Tilly White in action on her masterwork "KubbleU X Y Z Happy Birthday Spider"
2 1/2 year old artist protégé Dylan Tilly White in action on her masterwork "KubbleU X Y Z Happy Birthday Spider"

 The Genius of Caring is a web based interactive story sharing project that features documentary portraits of family caregivers of those living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and allows users to contribute to a community story archive. The project offers a uniquely intimate glimpse into the caregiving experience and creates a powerful portrait of a community connected through compassion.  

Our objectives for the project are:

Catalyze meaningful conversations about Alzheimer’s and caregiving within families, caregiving teams and communities.

Promote interpersonal connection and a deepened understanding of caregiving and Alzheimer’s through arts and storytelling.

Broaden the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and family caregiving outside a clinical context for medical students, healthcare professionals and other service providers.

The Genius of Caring story-sharing project captures the complex emotional experience of caring for loved ones and offers visitors a place to share stories and connect with others. Visitors to the website can navigate curated media and user generated stories that address important themes within and stages of the disease process. 

Visitors will also be invited to share their own experiences and to learn from and connect with others. As the project grows, thousands of diverse stories will come together to create a portrait of a community connected through compassion.

More about the project

This project is part of a robust community engagement campaign and public art project that grew out of the documentary film The Genius of Marian, a documentary film about the tragedy of Alzheimer’s disease, the power of art and the meaning of family. 

 Alzheimer’s is often a long and isolating disease process. And for the more than 15 million caregivers who support loved ones with the disease, the isolation can be debilitating. The Genius of Caring is designed to support caregivers and to provide students, healthcare professionals and others with a glimpse into the caregiving experience.

Marian Williams Steele, Along the Riviera, Giclée print of oil on canvas
Marian Williams Steele, Along the Riviera, Giclée print of oil on canvas
Greeting Cards of paintings by Marian Williams Steele
Greeting Cards of paintings by Marian Williams Steele
Marian Williams steele, "Young Ballerina", Giclée print of oil on canvas 18x25
Marian Williams steele, "Young Ballerina", Giclée print of oil on canvas 18x25
Marian Williams Steele "Days End", oil on canvas 16x20
Marian Williams Steele "Days End", oil on canvas 16x20
Gloucester St, Jamaica 24x20 oil on canvas
Gloucester St, Jamaica 24x20 oil on canvas
Quilt Front 70"x44"
Quilt Front 70"x44"
Quilt Back 70"x44"
Quilt Back 70"x44"

We want to thank everyone who has already generously donated to this project!

The National Endowment for the Arts, The Dolby Family, The Sundance Institute, The Fledgling Fund, Home Instead Senior Care and San Francisco Film Society.

FAQ

What if I prefer to donate without using Amazon Payments? 

Amazon Payments is the only payment option on Kickstarter. You can donate to us directly on our website, although it won't go towards our fundraising goal on Kickstarter. Click below to make a donation.

http://geniusofmarian.com/get-involved

When will I receive my reward(s)? 

It depends on which award and we have written estimated delivery next to each award. We will send you updates on our progress as we go. Thank you so much for your support and patience!

What else can I do? 

Please share this project far and wide! Tell others that you support it, and ask them to do the same. Our social media is the same as The Genius of Marian:

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGeniusOfMarian

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GeniusOfMarian

Risks and challenges

After five years of working on the project, it is time to expand the reach of our story and you are already a part of this process. Please continue to spread the word. Encourage your friends and family to donate. This support will help get us to this next step, and your participation in getting the word out is just as valuable as your individual pledges.

You can spread the word by linking to our Kickstarter campaign on your Facebook page and Twitter feed. This is a word-of-mouth campaign, and its success relies on people being aware of it.

Tweet about our Kickstarter campaign with hashtag #kickstartgenius and tweet at us via @GeniusOfMarian

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    15 backers

    Be part of the team! To show our gratitude, we'll post a personalized shout-out on Facebook and Twitter.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    20 backers

    Let's Build a Community! At this level you will receive a greeting card featuring a painting by Marian Williams Steele. (cards pictured at left)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    11 backers

    Genius! At this level you will receive a greeting card featuring a painting by Marian Williams Steele and 3 postcards featuring Dylan Tilly White's masterwork 'Kubble XYZ Happy Birthday Spider'. (cards pictured at left)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    18 backers

    Support the Arts! At this level you will receive three greeting cards which feature paintings by Marian Williams Steele.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    31 backers

    Movie Night DVD! We'll send you a signed DVD of The Genius of Marian directed by Banker White and Anna Fitch.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    24 backers

    Get the Care Package! In addition to receiving a signed DVD of The Genius of Marian, we'll send you a package of five blank greeting cards, each featuring an original painting by the magical Marian Williams Steele.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    17 backers

    Four Generations of Artists Greeting Cards!

    Includes eight blank greeting cards featuring original artwork by Marian Williams Steele, Pam Steele White, Banker White and 2 1/2 year protégé miss Dylan Tilly White. You will also receive a signed copy The Genius of Marian DVD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    7 backers Limited (3 left of 10)

    Care with Confidence! Thanks to our long time partner Home Instead Senior Care, you will receive the phenomenal book "Confidence to Care" by Molly Carpenter. This resource is filled with great tips and approaches to caregiving for loved ones with Alzheimer's and other dementias.

    In addition, you will receive the "care package": a signed DVD and five blank greeting cards featuring the artwork of Marian Williams Steele.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    Own a piece of Marian's art! A limited edition run 11X17 Giclée print of a Marian Williams Steele oil painting, 'On the Riviera'. Marian had these prints made in the early 1980s at the height of her career and there are a limited number of prints remaining. The prints are unframed, but we can help arrange framing. (pictured at left). You will also receive a signed copy The Genius of Marian DVD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    9 backers Limited (3 left of 12)

    An original run 18X24 Giclée print of a Marian Williams Steele oil painting, 'On the Riviera'. Marian had these prints made in the early 1980s at the height of her career and there are a limited number of prints remaining. The prints are unframed, but we can help arrange framing. (pictured at left). You will also receive a signed copy The Genius of Marian DVD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    9 backers

    Roll credits! We'll thank you as a major donor on the website for The Genius of Caring. You will also receive The Genius of Marian DVD, Four Generations of Artists family pack of 8 cards and Marian Williams Steele 5 pack of cards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $295 or more

    4 backers

    Bring The Genius of Marian to your community!
    You will receive a DVD and public screening license for your event. Please reach out to us directly at info@geniusofmarian.com and we can help you make your event as successful as possible. We have a screening tool kit that contains a discussion guide and promotional materials.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    4 backers

    Grow your DVD collection! In addition to the above rewards, we'll send you a 4-DVD Director's Box Set including The Genius of Marian, Banker White’s feature documentary, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, and two award-winning films by co-director Anna Fitch: ScrapHouse and The Burning Wigs of Sedition. You will also receive all art cards (Four Generations of Artists & Marian Williams Steele paintings).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $450 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    Hurry one left! 'Young Ballerina' is a 18X24 Giclée print of a Marian Williams Steele oil painting. We only own two of these and are making one available here on KICKSTARTER. Marian had these prints made in the early 1980s at the height of her career. The print is unframed, but we can help arrange framing. (pictured at left). You will also receive a signed DVD of The Genius of Marian.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Bring the film to your people! Host a public screening of The Genius of Marian for your friends or as a fundraiser for any charity. This level includes a full screening kit, discussion guide, popcorn, chocolate, party favors, as well as a special Skype Q&A by director, Banker White!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,200 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    One of a kind! This is a beautiful handmade quilt created by Anna's mother (Banker's mother in law). This 70 x 44in cotton quilt is vibrant, cozy machine washable, and of course stitched together with love. You will also receive a full set of the art cards and a Genius of Marian DVD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    Bring the film AND the director to your people! Host a public screening of The Genius of Marian for your friends or as a fundraiser for any charity. This level includes a full screening kit, discussion guide, popcorn, chocolate, party favors, as well as a special appearance by director, Banker White! He will do a Q&A via Skype or in person in San Francisco Bay Area (possibly Boston area, if schedule permits).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Be a patron of the ARTS!

    You will receive a producer credit on all documentary profiles on The Genius of Caring. In addition to the ability to host a screening of The Genius of Marian for your friends or as a fundraiser for any charity. This level includes a full screening kit, discussion guide, popcorn, chocolate, party favors, as well as a special appearance by director, Banker White! He will do a Q&A via Skype or in person in San Francisco Bay Area (possibly Boston area, if schedule permits). Plus DVD and cards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    Own a beautiful original oil painting by Marian Williams Steele. "Days End" is an original oil on canvas depicting commercial fishing boats in Gloucester harbor close to Marian's home and studio of over fifty years (Pictured at left). You will also receive all art cards (Four Generations of Artists & Marian Williams Steele paintings) and a signed DVD of The Genius of Marian. Price does not include shipping, but we will arrange for you.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $6,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Own a beautiful original oil painting by Marian Williams Steele. "Gloucester St Jamaica" is an original oil on canvas (24x20) of a street scene that Marian painted while traveling in Jamaica in the late 1950's.(Pictured at left). You will also receive all art cards (Four Generations of Artists & Marian Williams Steele paintings) and a signed DVD of The Genius of Marian. Price does not include shipping, but we will arrange for you.

    Estimated delivery: Dec 2014

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $7,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Your own portrait painted by yours truly, Banker White. I have painted my entire life and Marian was a true mentor to me in the arts so it is an honor to offer this reward in support of such a personally important project. Shipping cost will vary by location so we can discuss after the campaign.
    Please reach out to me directly with any questions at banker@geniusofmarian.com

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (32 days)