Melissa Savignano
MAG 409
Third Manuscript
Words: 77215696

Food trucks, customized playing cards, and porcelain dolls all in one place may seem strange.

But that’s where Kickstarter comes in. Kickstarter has launched projects ranging from the

completely innovative to the questionably useless, providing a platform for the broke but

creatively hungry to fund their ideas into fruition. Family, friends, or strangers, can donate to

whatever project catches their eye. Incentives like free downloads or the possibility of finally

getting a band out of a parent’s garage keep people entering their credit card informationthe

funds coming. There is a catch: only fully funded projects get the pledged money and if the goal

isn’t reached, Kickstarter ends up makingmakes a pretty penny. About 46 percent of projects

make their targetit. Kickstarter has funded some cool local projects — from the creation of a

legendary giant to sending a local band on a tour down the coast.

“"There's a sucker born every minute" – Re-creating the Cardiff Giant”, Ty Marshall (artist): Ty

Marshall, the current artist in residence at The Tech Garden, appreciates a good joke. The local

artist, who focuses on installation art, public space, theatrics, and semiotics, was exploring the

history of hoaxes and geography. He wanted to replicate the Cardiff Giant, a 10-foot figure from

the famous 1869 hoax in nearby Cardiff, NY. The original was similar to a carnival attraction—

people would pay money to see this discovered “giant” corpse, though it was widely speculated

that it was just a statue. Marshall raised over $3,000 in late 2011 to bring the giant back “home.”

Despite the success, he remains reluctant to continue with the website. “It’s not as easy as it

appears,” he says. “It takes a lot of work – the video, the description. As an artist, I want to spend

most of my time creating the art.” Marshall is thankful though because he knows the community

will always provide the support he needs. “CNY is a great place to create your own projects,” he

says. “I couldn’t do projects like this other places.”

Raised: $3,325 (of 3000)

“Building Bridges,” Benjamin Bogosion (musician): After discovering the first picking up the

hang drum (you know, that instrument that’s the staple of every yoga retreat), in 2007 while in

the high desert of Utah, (you know, that instrument that’s the staple of every yoga retreat ever),

Benjamin Bogosion felt inspired to create a whole album. He sent a third of his savings to a

stranger and a month later, had the instrument and was obsessed: “I offer my heart to people with

my intentions, hoping that I play in such a way where others are benefitted, whether I am aware

of it or not, or whether they are aware of it or not,“ he says. He used the Kickstarter money to

fund the recording as well as the cover art, designed by local artist Edward Tasick. He recorded

the album “Building Bridges” in More Sound Studio downtown. Because his job working for

international education programs keeps him traveling year round, he loves that Kickstarter

provides an outlet for fundraising that doesn’t interfere with his work schedule. The online

correspondence helped him stay mobile while fundraising and he received donations from all

over the world.

Raised: $1,628 (OF $1500)

Just a Memory (band): Fans of Evanescence or Shinedown can look to Just a Memory for the

same rock feel, but with a local twist. The band, originally called Augustine, needed funds for an

EP and a miniature tour in 2011. The band, fully-funded, used the $2,500 to mix and master

Augstine: The EP in Strangeland Audio in Phoenix, NY. “The moment we had the EP in our

hands, with our new name on it was a real sense of accomplishment,” says Leila Dean, the

band’s violinist. “I felt like we really did something cool.” The money also helped the band get

out of town, bringing the Syracuse flair as far as Virginia Beach. “We love getting out of town

and new audiences,” Dean says. “It gives us a more adrenaline.”

Raised: $2500 (of 2500)

The Sublet, Jamil Munoz (filmmaker): With the help of Kickstarter, Jamil Munoz, [age TK or in

graduate school, or something], has begun working hard on a new film, “The Sublet,” which will

mix improv and melodrama through the tale of a group of college roommates. Munoz first

learned about Kickstarter after using it to fund his School of Visual and Performing Arts senior

portfolio piece. “I know just about every senior film major at VPA this semester has done a

Kickstarter to make their thesis films,” he says. “You can raise anywhere from a few hundred to

a few thousand dollars.” Munoz hopes outreach and publicity from the website can continue to

spur his career as an independent filmmaker in Syracuse.

Raised: $1535 (of 1200)

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