At BackerKit, it’s important for us to do anything we can to support and encourage all creators. A part of that work is making sure that projects by people from communities that are underrepresented in crowdfunding don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Last year, we decided to refocus The Creative Fund — our commitment to redistribute the crowdfunding wealth and make space for creators. In addition to the $1 pledge that we make to all Kickstarter projects through this initiative, we now make larger pledges to Black-led campaigns and projects about Black and African culture. We feel that crowdfunding can only benefit from more diversity — it makes us a stronger and more vibrant community and introduces a wider range of creative ideas into the world.
One of the pleasures of backing all of these projects is the rewards and “thank you” cards that we receive. Not only is it exciting to get so many wonderful books, comics, and pieces of art in the mail, but it’s also inspiring to see all of these creators succeed. Each project is a reflection of its creator’s unique voice. And all of these voices enrich the crowdfunding community.
February is Black History Month, and we thought now would be the perfect time to share a few of the rewards that we’ve received in the past year. We invite you to check out the campaign pages below to learn more about the creators and the work they’re doing.
Mermaid Mayhem is a card-based adventure game for ages 8 and up, where players team up to punish their foes and hunt for treasure. One really cool thing about the game is that when you flip through the deck, you’ll find a diverse line-up of mermaids. On his campaign page, creator Daniel Hooker says, “it’s been a goal of mine to reinforce representation across races, body types, and genders. Doing that with mermaids has been an exciting challenge to tackle.” You can learn more about the game here.
Written by Shawna Wells and illustrated by Kellie Marsh, B is for Black Brilliance is a children’s ABC book that showcases an eclectic group of notable Black figures from the past and present and from all different fields. Here you’ll find that “F” is for Frederick Douglass and “I” is for Issa Rae. When describing the motivation behind the book, Wells says the goal is to create “a world where Black brilliance is acknowledged, cultivated, and celebrated in every household in the world. We believe our work, our movement, and our products will change the way we support, educate, and inspire Black children.”
Arleana’s Restaurant: Caribbean Soul in Kirkland, WANamed after creator Theo Martin’s late mother, Arleana’s is a Black-owned restaurant based in Kirkland, WA that will be serving Caribbean-inspired southern dishes. When the restaurant opens, it will have a rotating menu that will “forge new pathways into Caribbean cuisines.” For backing the project, we received recipe cards with two of Arleana’s signature dishes, and can’t wait to try them out.
Cece Learns the School RulesThe campaign page for Cece Learns the School Rules states that when it comes to children’s books, only 11.9 percent of main characters are Black. This rhyming picture book written by Shamia Wilcox and illustrated by Ana Stretcu is a reaction to that unfortunate statistic. As Cece navigates her first day at a new school, young readers are presented with a story that celebrates diversity and inclusion. Our copy of Cece Learns the School Rules was signed by the author and came with a button, pencil, and bookmark.
Loas of KravenSet in the 1680s, Loas is a comic book about a powerful African society led by women. After thousands of years of prosperity, their kingdom is threatened by English colonists. Creators Fernando Velez and Marifer Bohorquez drew inspiration from African folk music, food, and religions when developing the story. We received this gorgeous, all-ages coloring book for backing the project.
Twice a month we feature projects like the ones above in our Black Creators Newsletter. If you would like to be featured in BackerKit’s Black Creators Newsletter or know someone who would be a good fit, you can reach out to us at [email protected]. To subscribe to the bi-monthly newsletter, sign up at the link below.