5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Inspired by History

The women featured in our latest crowdfunding column are pursuing wildly different passion projects that all peer into the past.

Riva Richmond By Riva Richmond

A common fascination with history, whether of the food we eat or the windows we see the world through, has captivated these five women — and inspired them to launch crowdfunding campaigns to realize varied creative and entrepreneurial projects.

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. Celebrating the History of Food (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Emelyn Rude, a chicken historian, food writer and cookbook-recipe tester, is  adding editor of REPAST to her professional credits. Responding to a surge of interest in culinary history and historical gastronomy, REPAST will be “the first ever food history magazine written for a popular audience,” she says, and will make “delicious history come to life.” The debut issue is themed “The Food of the Gods” and will include an article on ancient Tibetan butter carving and another titled “What Did Jesus Eat?” Rude plans to print a richly illustrated, elegantly designed magazine quarterly, priced at $13-$15 an issue, and to build an online presence later.
The Money: With 8 days still to go, funders have pledged $18,406 — tantalizingly close to Rude’s goal of $20,000. The funds will be used for printing and to pay her team of contributors — culinary historians, food writers, historical gastronomes, photographers and illustrators.

2. A Refugee’s Recent Past (via Indiegogo)

The Business: For 6 years, Marie Ogawa, a Japanese film and TV director, documented the life of Tibetan Lhamo Tso, as she and her family sought asylum and struggled to survive in India and, later, in the U.S. They fled Tibet after the arrest and imprisonment of Lhamo Tso’s husband, documentary filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, by Chinese authorities for “political crimes.” Now Ogawa wants to bring global exposure to her resulting film, “The Diary of a Tibetan Women,” which incorporates Lhamo Tso’s own video diary recordings.
The Money: Ogawa, who has 2 months left to her campaign, has raised $760 of her $10,000 goal. She plans to use the money for expenses related to translation and subtitles, distribution, promotion and film festival entries, and will receive whatever funds she raises, thanks to Indiegogo’s flexible funding option. She is also raising money on Japanese site MotionGallery.

3. A Second Life for Old Windows (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Independent hair stylist Emma Potik is dreaming of what might seem an unlikely second career rehabbing old wood windows. “Working with my hands gives me life! Historic city scapes do, too,” she explains in her campaign. Potik wants to take a course being offered by a consortium of two non-profits and a community college championing the preservation of historic wood windows. Polk says they can be made energy efficient and can last longer than vinyl replacement windows. “I’m really looking forward to the new skill, new way to contribute to my community, and additional income stream.”
The Money: Potick has raised $1,076 of the $1,500 she’s seeking to cover her hands-on training in the traditional trade of historic window rehabilitation as well as the books and tools required. She has 6 days left in her campaign, and will keep whatever amount she raises.

4. Conceiving Histories (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Anna Burel, a London-based French artist, has been busy completing new artwork that explores the history of early pregnancy diagnosis — a time of waiting, uncertainty and difficulty for women across time who don’t yet know if they are pregnant or not. “My work is a visceral, emotional but also a playful reflection on modern reproductive failure and disappointment,” she says. Burel is slated to show the works in her first solo exhibition, to be held at the Peltz Gallery in London in November 2017, and she is seeking help to finish the pieces.
The Money: Burel is seeking $1,162 to pay for additional artist materials and to take a 3-day course in screen printing on textiles so she can make some large textile pieces. She has already raised $1,375 and has 15 days left to go.

5. Bringing New Life to Old Texts (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Ingrid Haunold, a freelance journalist and writer based in Vienna, has a dream project she calls “Forgotten Words.” She wants to curate a selection of old German-language texts from the 1500s to 1800s, translate them into English and self-publish the translations in a book. She has begun to research texts, which are in the public domain but newly available online, for the envisioned 250-page book. Though the selections are still to be determined, they “will give insight into a world that no longer exists — the everyday lives of men and women, gender roles, travel, health, politics & worldviews,” she says.
The Money: Haunold is seeking $3,279 and has 53 days to reach her goal. The funds will allow her to forgo paying assignments and dedicate herself to the book.

Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at info@thestoryexchange.org.

Posted: May 3, 2017

Riva Richmond5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Inspired by History