Got a few extra dollars to spare? Check out three special crowdfunding campaigns worthy of a dollar or $50. We've got a few highlights from a soul music fan's dream to a bread pudding challenge that has Oprah Winfrey's name all over it to an arts community project rooted in today with an eye to the future.
Daughters of Soul
It's a family affair for the Daughters of Soul project founded by singer/songwriter, Sandra St. Victor. The former lead singer of The Family Stand is parlaying her Daughters of Soul European concert series--which she founded in 2004--into a Daughters of Soul documentary, soundtrack and tour experience. Included in the lineup are the offspring of six soul icons and legends: Lalah Hathaway (Donny Hathaway), Syleena Johnson (Syl Johnson), Lisa Simone (Nina Simone), Indira Khan (Chaka Khan), Kori Withers (Bill Withers) and Sylvette "Phunne" Stone (The Family Stone's Sly Stone and Cynthia Robinson).
As the conversation about the state of R&B and soul music continues to circle around issues of race, access and commercial viability, projects like these allow the public to make an impact with their dollars and not just their tweets. Plus the perks sound awesome too from a double-date with Syleena Johnson and husband Kiwane Garris to playing pool with Indira Khan to a day in the studio as the daughters record their soundtrack.
The Oprah Bread Pudding Challenge
"You get a bread pudding! You get a bread pudding! And you all get a bread pudding!" Those are the words that Nadege Fleurimond is hoping to hear someday soon. Fleurimond knows that an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey's lips can transform a product into a worldwide must-have item. That's why the caterer, author and event planner wants to get her bread pudding into the mouth of Winfrey, literally. Fleurimond describes her bread pudding as a palate pleasing mix of Challah bread and Kremas (a Haitian coconut rum sauce).
The twist is that Fleurimond is also using the crowdfunding platform as a social experiment to test whether or not the theory of six degrees of separation can bring her bread pudding to Winfrey. The concept is simple but ambitious. Fleurimond is encouraging supporters to purchase two or more bread puddings and gift the dessert to well-connected individuals who will eventually pay it forward to Winfrey. Here is one campaign so out of leftfield that it just might work.
The Center for Afrofuturist Studies
Is $4,000 all it takes to realize a future of social justice for marginalized populations? Well, not really but that's the amount of money that will get those involved in The Center for Afrofuturist Studies (CAS) one step closer. The Iowa City based two-year initiative aims to provide a residency for artists of color combined with extensive interdisciplinary public programming (e.g. lectures, forums, exhibitions) and youth arts engagement. True to its Afrofuturism source of inspiration CAS positions itself as addressing issues of inequity through the lens of race, art and technology. In a time of #BlackLivesMatter, that's one road to the future wholly needed today.
The weekly column, On the "A" w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture entertainment and philanthropy in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of event/media content production company Souleo Enterprises LLC.