You’re probably familiar with Kickstarter, a website that helps people with plans get the funding they need to make their dreams come true. Kickstarter is a testament to the Internet’s capacity for good—complete strangers can donate money to the projects they believe in, and many of the artists, filmmakers, musicians, startup charities, roller derby teams, and various other visionaries can contribute to culture. It’s kind of like Ebay meets Pay It Forward, minus the part where the precocious kid from The Sixth Sense gets stabbed (spoiler alert) and with a lot more urban farming. But if you’re something of a broke-ass yourself and your aspirations of entrepreneurship are hindered by a limited cash flow, it can be hard to decide who to help. There are a ton of promising projects out there, and some of them just need a little push for a big reward. Whether you want to donate a few bucks or make a serious investment, here are some Kickstarter projects that showed up on our radar this week and got our attention.
Brooklyn-based artist Laura McMillian creates crazy puppets and costumes for avant-garde burlesque performances, and this year she wants to bring her biggest and best spectacle yet to the Mardi Gras Carnival in New Orleans. Her “monsters” are as gorgeous as they are grotesque, and her work pushes the boundaries of performative sexuality in a way that’s totally exciting (puppets, you guys!). McMillian creates all of her costumes, puppets, and wigs herself, and it’s a tremendous undertaking— browse her work on Kickstarter and you’ll want to get sucked into her creepysexycool world. Plus, she offers some really cool bonuses for your donation, like a handmade voodoo doll. -BM
OK, these are super-cool and totally female-friendly. The premise: 14 feminist artists are collaborating to produce a deck of playing cards illustrated with pictures of hard-rocking female musicians (plus John Lennon). I totally want a set of cards with the faces of Sinead O’Connor, Alison Mosshart, Joan Baez, and Ani DiFranco on them, and you know you do too. This kickstarter is only at 1/6 of its target amount with about 2 months to go, so help get them there!-SB
Stuart Murdoch of the band Belle & Sebastian came up with the idea for a musical while jogging one day seven years ago. The story revolved around a troubled young girl who embarks on a mission of self-discovery along with two other musicians in similar circumstances. That musical became God Help the Girl, and the filmmakers (including Murdoch) need your help to fund it. Producer Barry Mendel (known for his work on movies like The Royal Tenenbaums and Bridesmaids) says, “If we can reach the Kickstarter goal, this movie will get made. If we can’t, it won’t.” Watch the intro video for more details (at least as much as you can glean from the filmmakers’ slightly abstract conversation). You might get sucked in by Murdoch’s amazing Scottish accent alone. Trust me, I did. -SB
Okay, this one doesn't come from Kickstarter (it's through IndieGoGo), but BUST's Kristina Uriegas-Reyes recommended it, and she has great taste in pretty much everything. After over a year of radio silence, Agent Ribbons are about to release some spankin'-new tunes! Trouble is, they need money to pay for the studio where they’ll record the music and the van they’ll use to tour around the country. They already have a little more than half of their $4000 goal raised, but with less than 2 weeks left until they hit the studio, the rest of the money is needed, stat. So help a girl out, BUSTies, or rather, two girls, and make their recording dreams come true. -SB
Dune Club will follow 150 teams of women from around the world as they embark on a race across the Moroccan desert, hoping to break records-- and stereotypes-- along the way. Producer Dahlia Devkota says the film will have all the adventure of Indiana Jones with the added inspiration of women working together, pushing themselves physically and emotionally toward a goal.There's no cash prize for completing the race-- the money raised will fund humanitarian efforts, such as getting gynecological care and work outreach services to women in remote desert villages. If you're a fan of The Amazing Race-- or even female road-trip movies (maybe it will be like Crossroads! Probably not, though), this should be up your alley. -BM
By interns Sarah Bastien and Bridgette Miller