Blog Post

Kickstarting Discussion on Kickstart Campaigns

Hi All!

I'd like to open this thread to a) begin a discussion on Kickstart campaigns on the HASTAC site and b) to draw your attention to an example of one currently underway at Vanderbilt. 

My friend and colleague Rebecca Bernard, Vanderbilt's new Creative Writing Fellow at the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy, has been working alongside Elizabeth Lingo, Director of the Curb Scholars program, to design and implement a Kickstarter campaign to support a collective public art project. Please read Rebecca's note below to learn more; and please, feel free to ask questions!


The project we developed is in partnership with New York Times best-selling author and Vanderbilt professor, Alice Randall, whose latest novel, Ada’s Rules, is the fictional story of one woman’s effort to reimagine and reinterpret her own life story and sense of self, beauty, and health.  With a quarter of the population of African-American women caught in the battle against obesity and diabetes, Alice decided to tackle this public health issue in a “novel” way, with words.

The goal of the “I Am an Ada Artist” Kickstarter is to catalyze a collective art project that invites women to add their own creativity and story to the existing novel and that culminates in a public art performance at the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, Alabama, on March 3, 2013

HOW DOES IT WORK?   We seek to purchase and ship art supplies and 3,000 copies of the novel, Ada’s Rules, to book clubs at African-American churches and beauty salons—places where conversations about beauty, identity, and self-expression are already taking place.  As book club members engage with the text, they will be asked to step into the role of artist—perhaps for the first time—by adding sketches, personal artifacts, recipes, inspiring images, prayers, playlists to the books, reinterpreting and adding layers and depth to the original text of the story. After 8 weeks, these book clubs will then pass the books onto another church or beauty salon in their region. That’s 6,000 women who will have the opportunity to imagine and express themselves as one of Ada's Artists—each of whose story and artistry will be added to one of those 3,000 books. In early March, the books—now mixed media art works—will be summoned to Selma, where they will be carried in the arms of Ada's Artists for the annual Selma bridge crossing.

Please spread the word and feel free to contact me ( or Rebecca ( with any questions!



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