I am a big believer in the saying “you can’t be what you can’t see.” And I have spent a lot of time and energy finding ways for young people to see careers in science, technology, and innovation so that they can put themselves on a course to have one themselves.
I came across a series of books for kids called The Steamchasers on Kickstarter today. These are books about a group of kids, The Steamchasers, who take a scavenger hunt through town finding the contributions Black Americans have had to our everyday lives in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The first and second books in the series are available on Amazon.
The third edition is being funded on Kickstarter right now and I backed it this morning.
For those of you reading on the web, here is the video. If you are reading on email, you can watch the video here.
This animated short film project showed up in my Kickstarter feed this week and I backed it right away. It’s about kids learning to love who they are. It is a message that we all need to hear right now.
Ameelio is a nonprofit tech company seeking to break the prison communications monopolies and provide free communication solutions for prisoners and their friends and families. They have a Kickstarter project up right now and I backed it today.
I am a big fan of pairing solar panels on the roof with a battery system in the garage. The battery allows you to use the solar power at night when there is no sun. It also provides resilience for power outages and the like.
The premise is simple enough. Find a battery pack out of a wrecked hybrid or EV vehicle at a junkyard and using simple off the shelf tools and materials convert it into a battery system capable of being charged from a variety of sources (solar, wind, grid, water, etc) and power a house’s basic necessities during the midst of a crisis or during times when power is more expensive (during the day) while replenishing when power is either abundant or cheaper, like at night. While this information is available currently, most of whats out there is long, wordy, confusing and in some cases conflicting.
So many of our favorite community anchors have shuttered in the wake of the pandemic. And reopening them won’t be easy.
Music venues, movie theaters, art galleries, restaurants, performance spaces, maker spaces, conferences, festivals, and bookshops are the places we hang out in, enjoy each other, and and connect to art and culture.
But these spaces also have communities of people connected to them, rooting for them, and eager to help them.
Enter Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform for bringing creative projects to life (and a USV portfolio company).
Kickstarter is not charity, although there is certainly a need for charity in this moment. Kickstarter is a platform to engage your community, reward them, and encourage them to support your work.
A few weeks ago, Kickstarter launched Lights On, a call for projects that “sustain your cultural space, event series, creative organization, or independent business”.
If you own or operate a cultural space, a local beloved business, an event series, or some other community treasure and want to engage your community in your reopening plan, Kickstarter Lights On is for you.
Yesterday, Gabrielle Hamilton, the chef/owner/creator of Prune, a tiny twenty-year-old restaurant in the east village that The Gotham Gal and I and our family have always loved, wrote a piece in the New York Times that really captures the sense of loss we all feel around our favorite local places, particularly for the people who made them what they are every day, day after day, year after year.
I can’t get her words and the images and emotions they convey out of my head.
So I want this Funding Friday to be for people like her, who have given a large part of who they are to serving us.
And the cause I’ve selected is ROAR, Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants. You can follow them here:
ROAR and Robin Hood, one of NYC’s leading charitable organizations, are partnering with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) to provide direct cash assistance to restaurant workers in New York City facing unprecedented economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We made a donation today and if you’d like to join us, you can do that here.
GiveDirectly is delivering cash to families enrolled in SNAP (a federal nutrition assistance program) and living in the local ZIP codes most affected by COVID-19. Most recipients are single mothers. Each will receive $1K.