Despite its super-smart concept for crowdfunding creative projects, Kickstarter doesn’t always inspire. Donate twenty bucks to get that girl from high school’s ska band a new amp? Nah. Support your roommate’s boyfriend’s recreation of Jackass II in his studio apartment? No can do. But here are six Brooklyn Kickstarter projects we can get behind, starting with a brand new campaign to send the Atlantic Yards documentary Battle for Brooklyn to the Oscars. The film is one of 14 films shortlisted for the best doco category, and filmmakers Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley have turned to the funding platform for an extra push to get their movie in front of nominators (at least $9K). If you haven’t seen Battle, check it on Dec. 13 at the IFC Film Centre in the West Village, and donate here. That’s not the only worthwhile Brooklyn project on Kickstarter, where 1,000 of the 15,000 campaigns funded since 2009 were hatched here in Kings County. (Or maybe more, since some people list their location as NYC.) Here are five more we’re rooting for:
PROJECT 2: FIND RUBULAD A HOME
Even if you haven’t been to a Rubulad bash, you’ve definitely heard about them. My first exposure came from a friend’s 3 AM drunken text (mistypes corrected for the sake of clarity): “Wearing fairy wings in a warehouse filled with stuffed animals. I don’t think there’s a ceiling?” The trippy theme-party powerhouse throws regular installation art-infused dance parties in shifting and undisclosed spaces around the borough, and they go hard. The problem? They need a dedicated space, and they can’t afford it. If you’re willing to help “keep the party alive,” Rubulad will show its appreciation with a limited edition tee or original artwork.
PROJECT 3: SEED A GROOVY DANISH LIGHT FIXTURE
Apartment feeling a little dim lately? The creators of Loomi have invented a self-described “modular, makeable, paintable, recyclable light” to set the mood while remaining eco-conscious. Inspired by an expired patent from the ’70s, these glowing orbs are made from SBS card stock instead of the original plastic. The best part? You get to customize the products to suit your every ornamental whim. A $45 donation gets you not just the light but also the electrical fixture and free shipping.
PROJECT 4: HELP OTHERS AVOID UNNECESSARY GRAD SCHOOL DEGREES
You may know Kio Stark’s name from the Brooklyn buzz around her debut novel, Follow Me Down, from the NYC-local publishing community Red Lemonade. Her new project, Don’t Go Back to School, instructs users in the best ways to achieve career goals without paying NYU instructors a cent to listen to their advice in a lecture hall. The grad school dropout schools readers with this handbook on the art of self-teaching with expert insight on everything from coding to neurology. Backers receive a learn-o-gram or copy of the book and are spared thousands in misspent tuition fees.
PROJECT 5: HELP GET THE NEWS OUT
The brains (and formidable brains they are) behind Newsmotion are dedicated to building a better news model so that important stories around the world get told and read regardless of how far they are outside CNN’s coverage areas. In addition to creating and distributing content on under-reported topics, the folks at Newsmotion are building open-source storytelling technology that will enable citizen journalists anywhere to report the news reliably and accurately. In addition to creating the news interface, funds from this Kickstarter project will also go toward media training for at-risk youth, low-wage workers, and immigrants. Help the team of tech scholars, writers, and producers raise $35,000 and help reinvent the future of journalism.
PROJECT 6: GROW VEGETABLES IN YOUR WINDOWSILL
In a slew of urban agriculture DIY projects, only a handful are truly practical, and even fewer are affordable (compost boxes in the bedroom, anyone?). Developed by a team of “ordinary people,” Windowfarms are a solution to growing your own vegetables using readily available resources. All you need to do is snap the column together, set it in your windowsill, and start nurturing your baby plants with the included nutrients. This project with a $200,000 goal provides the feel-good benefit of creating more local green jobs. Purchase a windowfarm through Kickstarter by Wednesday, December 7 to get the discounted rate of $99 per column.