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.
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.
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.
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.
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 @GeniusOfMarianLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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