What's Up Wednesday

Cantata Memoria

Sir Karl Jenkins is the world’s most performed contemporary choral composer (say that nine times fast!) He wrote Cantata Memoria to commemorate the Aberfan mining disaster in Wales, but the team behind a new PledgeMe campaign want to put on a performance here in NZ, in memory of our own mining disaster at Pike River. With your help, the Wellington Youth Orchestra can bring this concert to Wellington in October of this year.

To find out more about this amazing idea, we got in touch with one of the organisers, Wim Oosterhof:

Why do you think this campaign is important?

We are passionate about making this latest work from the world’s most performed contemporary composer – Sir Karl Jenkins – accessible to New Zealanders. The music is exquisite and also very accessible for people who may not be attracted to classical music. Understanding and appreciating this music is enhanced by the fact that it “tells a story” and is accompanied by visuals. We were able to secure the rights to show a video that tells the same story as the music and includes rarely seen archive material, licensed of the BBC Wales Archives.

A group of 30 New Zealand singers went to New York earlier in the year and sang in the USA Premiere of Cantata Memoria: For the Children of Aberfan at Carnegie Hall. They experienced singing and rehearsing with a world-renowned conductor, who is a personal friend and expert interpreter of Sir Karl Jenkins’ music – Dr Jonathan Griffith. When Dr Griffith offered to come to New Zealand to conduct the New Zealand Premiere, we realised that for the singers who could not be in New York, this would be a tremendous opportunity to gain the same experience at home. The PledgeMe campaign is set up to help us pay for travel and accommodation for this esteemed American conductor. If we reach more than the target, we will use a surplus to enhance the visual backdrop by using a bigger screen and more powerful projection equipment.

After starting to organise the concert, we realised that it was extremely important for two
communities in New Zealand to see this work performed: the Welsh Community, because the music commemorates a terrible mining disaster in Aberfan, Wales; and New Zealanders, for whom it is a reminder of the mining disaster at Pike River in 2010.

Both mining disasters were preventable and caused grief and anger in the respective communities. The singers, who went to New York in January, went there “with Pike River in their minds” and dedicated their performance to the families and friends of the Pike River victims.

Included in the programme on Labour Day this year is a performance of another of Sir Karl Jenkins’ compositions – Benedictus from The Armed Man – which will be dedicated to the Pike River families. The concert will bring the two communities together, when members of the Pike River community who attend the concert will be hosted by people from the Wellington Welsh Society.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

To stage a production like this is expensive (even more so on a public holiday). We want to make sure this amazing concert is accessible to as many New Zealanders as possible, and so we have kept registration fees and ticket prices well below what would be required to cover the cost. Therefore, we considered fund-raising, because we want to reach out to a wider audience (initially via friends and family of participants) and regarded PledgeMe an excellent platform to involve a wider group.

What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

Our main goal, of course, is to allow as many people as possible to experience this music, and so our ongoing aim is to “Fill the Hall”. Therefore – via social media, word-of- mouth and other promotional activities – we want to let as many people as possible know that the concert is coming.

More information can be found here. To increase accessibility, a 20% discount on tickets prices is offered to early birds!
We are also focused on reaching out to the business community to give them the opportunity to advertise, and to be seen as culturally and socially responsible through their support for the concert. Businesses can either advertise in the concert programme or ‘adopt’ a conductor or one or more of the amazing line-up of soloists.

Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

This event has drawn international attention: 20 singers from the Mornington Peninsula Chorale in Victoria, Australia, will come to Wellington and sing with us in the choir. This concert is very much focussed on Youth: the orchestra is the Wellington Youth Orchestra, and they will not only accompany the premiere of Cantata Memoria: For the Children of Aberfan, but also showcase their talent as an orchestra playing other pieces under their conductor Simon Brew. Among the performers in the premiere is an 80-strong youth choir (with singers from Wellington Young Voices, St. Mark’s school choir and singers from Nelson). And of course the music is – in the words of the composer – a celebration of
childhood. Although it expresses a story about a specific incident, it goes much further than that and brings a message of hope, going from darkness to light.

We hope that many people can experience that on Labour Day in the Michael Fowler Centre.

To support this commemorative concert, take a look at the campaign page right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Help Renee Finish Her Book!

Renee has spent the last year travelling the length of New Zealand, talking to 110 kiwis aged between 100-110. She’s interviewed centenarians from every region, and now she wants to take those interviews and turn them into a book! Her hope is that she can preserve our New Zealand history through these stories.

But in order to write up the book, she needs your help! She’s got some great rewards on offer, so we had a chat to her about why she wants you to get on board:

Why is this campaign important?

It is massively important because without this funding I won’t be able to finish writing up the oral history/interviews of 110 people living in New Zealand that are over 100.

My goal is to preserve our New Zealand history through sharing stories and memories of our centenarians. I want all New Zealanders to value the elderly and to read and appreciate their stories and contribution to our New Zealand society; but most importantly to not be forgotten or invisible in our communities but honoured and celebrated.

There is a real sense of urgency to complete the book and get it published as fast as I can. I have sadly had four centenarians die since I interviewed them earlier on in the year. Recording our New Zealand history through the eyes of people who can remember the end of WWI, were part of WWII, survived the great depression and numerous natural and national disasters and have seen so much change in New Zealand is invaluable.

This year I have  driven 7,720km and flown 5,000km = 12,050m (The same distance from New Zealand to Brazil or Russia), travelled for 93 days, (13 weeks and 2 days) away from my home town of Nelson, visited 63 rest- homes/retirement villages, visited 25 people in their own homes, and interviewed 21 veterans from WWII.

Now I need support/finance to write up the interviews and put the book together.

This will involve dictating hours and hours and hours of interviews. Reading through memoirs, diaries, documents and military records, editing photographs and working on design and layout for the book.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

This year as I have travelled all around New Zealand I have met some amazing people along with my 110 interviews of people over 100. Whether its been the person I have sat next to on the plane, the nursing staff, children, grandchildren or neighbours -people are very intrigued in who I am interviewing and the stories that I have heard.

Many are surprised at how young I am and amazed that I am working on this book independently with my camera bag, video, tri-pod and iPhone to record the interviews.

Families and the centenarians really look forward to me coming for the interview. Often the men wear a tie. I had one lady wear a dress and high heels! Family gather around and I begin asking questions and hear stories about their lives growing up in New Zealand. People kept thanking me and become emotional at the idea of me recording their father or mother’s oral history that will be kept and treasured in a book. I thought it was worth reaching out to the crowd of people connected to the centenarians, including the RSA, Age Concern, the bowling and bridge clubs, etc.

What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

Yes, lots!

Last Friday The Project featured a follow up story about the book I am working on and promote my PledgeMe page. The story is about 2 brothers reuniting after 35 years! They both thought that each brother was dead. Until Ben was spotted on The Project as a part of my interview in April. The full interview about Ben (101 in a few days) and Joe was on The Project last Friday!

I also have other New Zealand businesses that will be sending more products as rewards for me to load up next week.

Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

A massive thank you to the people who have pledged, shared the link and told their friends about my PledgeMe page.

I have been blown away with the generosity of New Zealand businesses that have donated puffer jackets, coffee, chocolate, peanut butter and liquorice as rewards for my page.

Even Winston Peters has got behind the PledgeMe page.

He sent me this message today:

“ I am very impressed with the initiative you have shown in commencing such an endeavour and appreciate there must be a large amount of work required in collating all that you have obtained so far ”. – Rt Hon Winston Peters, MP for Northland

To support Renee’s novel and help tell the stories of our centenarians, check our her project right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Darren Watson’s First Ever Acoustic LP Project

Wellington blues artist Darren Watson is a twotime successful campaigner, and one of our favourite alumni. Now he’s back, and this time he’s looking to raise funds for his first-ever acoustic LP. He’s almost halfway there but he still needs your help to get over the line – so we had a chat to him about why you should be supporting the album.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

I’m really excited to be making my sixth album and the campaign is a huge part of making it happen. It’s amazing to have direct contact and support from the people who REALLY enjoy the music I make. With Pledge Me I feel like I am almost making friends with these folks!

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

Well, hahaha I’m a poor musician so frankly the albums probably wouldn’t happen these days without crowdfunding through Pledge Me. Once upon a time we had record companies to front the funding to get these things off the ground but more and more musicians are going straight to the audience. I think it’s fantastic.

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

I can’t say too much or it might ruin the surprises. But rest assured there will be a few nice things happening.

Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

Just a whole lot of thanks for all the pledging and sharing you guys are doing! It’s frigging amazing! I’m sure you’re all going to dig this record. I’m in a really good space, playing and singing-wise and the writing is flowing too.

What's Up Wednesday

Winter Ales Festival 2017!

When Jane and Jay heard that the annual Winter Ales Festival wasn’t going ahead, they were crestfallen. But rather than sitting round feeling sorry about it, the two beer fans put their heads together, and came up with a solution: they approached the not-for-profit Craft Beer Capital, and with their support, they’re now turning to the craft beer community to help put on the festival.

By pledging on the campaign you’ll receive a ticket to attend the festival, and there are a whole lot of other exciting package options available too. To find out more about why you should be fizzing for this festival, we got in touch with Jane and Jay:

Why do you think this campaign is important?

For us, this campaign is important as it gives the community a chance to take part in bringing the 2017 festival together. Having the pledge target is really key as it lets people see how much it really costs to put this sort of thing on. We could have gone through a traditional ticketing website, this however made us feel like others got an opportunity to be part of on of Wellington’s best beer events. We also made options for people to buy festival merchandise for those who are not able to make it on the day but are keen to show their support for this.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

We were motivated to reach out to our crowd as to have a great beer festival you need a few things, beer, volunteers, glasses and people to attend. This years Winter Ales Festival event organisation had a different outcome, as SOBA handed it over to two keen beer enthusiasts. So we had to go down a different avenue for funding… Keeping the beer community involved, being able to reach out to all beer lovers but also keep supporting local made Pledge me and excellent choice. For us it’s not just about buying a ticket, it’s about working together to keep this awesome festival an annual event.

What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We are just about to release what this years merch looks like, we have a local Wellington artist who worked on some incredible images for the event! We are really happy with them and are pretty excited for how they are looking on the range of t-shirts, long sleeve tees and jerseys!

Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

We are totally stoked with the support we have had so far! We have definitely taken this on as a challenge and the support, excitement and encouragement makes it all the more motivating. As mentioned in the campaign blurb, we are donating any money made from the festival once we have paid all our bills to Kaibosh food rescue.

To hop on board and grab your ticket for the Winter Ales Festival, head over and pledge here.

What's Up Wednesday

Gecko Press

One good book can kickstart any child into a life of reading, and Gecko Press wants to create a world where every child loves to read. And the way they plan to do this? A curiously good book club!

Their vision is a digital and real life community, where people can come together to share their favourite books, plan activities and events, and pass on creative tips and tricks to encourage kids to love to read.

But it’s going to cost them at least $50,000 to get it off the ground. They’re investing some of the money, but they need outside help for the rest. In exchange for your pledges, they’re offering everything from an invite to the launch party, to a year’s supply of books delivered to your door! We chatted to Faustine about why you should be getting on board.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

I worry that reading is a disappearing art, in the midst of all the distractions we have in our lives. We think reading needs to be more visible and active, to compete. At Gecko Press we want to activate a bit, as a publisher, and to get loud about reading, and to help parents and aunts and grandfathers and librarians and booksellers and all the people who want to encourage children to love to read. We want to create a strong and active community that are all wanting to find the next book for a child, to keep the momentum of reading.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

Gecko Press has always been a little out on a limb, and through the years Gecko Press has had a lot of support from many different people – and it really does make a difference. And if we are to build a bigger community, then the people who know and support us must be the best place to start.

We estimate it will cost at least $50,000 to get the club off the ground. We are investing $15,000 for the next phase, but setting up the digital side of the club is too expensive for us to do on our own. And $35,000 is a lot of money to be raising!

Most of this money will go to the digital side of the club, making chat and recommendations and good blog content, and asking experts to add material that helps us find the right book for the right child. We want to offer reading incentives such as tiny reading journals and badges that say: Im a curiously good reader.

It is all about the ecosystem for me. We want our booksellers to thrive, and to support libraries and schools, and we want children to rate reading high on their list of favourite things to do. That’s why we think it’s important to reach our crowd. We want people to help us make the Curiously Good Book Club great!

What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We’ll have some contests with great rewards (check our social media pages…)! We’ll also add new and very unique pledges… so keep looking!

Anything you want to say to your crowd?

We are acting strongly and with commitment to encourage New Zealand children to become lifelong readers. We understand that for books to thrive we need a healthy ecosystem of readers, writers, teachers, illustrators, librarians and booksellers. We think this ecosystem must be wider than a single publisher or individual books. HOpefully the end result will be better than we can imagine!

“Sometimes all it takes is one good book, or the right book for the right child at the right time. It doesn’t matter what that book is or where you find it – but it does matter that children love to read.” Julia Marshall, Gecko Press Publisher

To pledge now and help a child embark on a lifetime of reading, check out the Gecko Press campaign right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Bicycle Junction’s New Community Hub!

Calling all cyclists! Wellington institution Bicycle Junction is on the move, and they want their new community hub to be bigger and better than ever.

Bicycle Junction started up four years ago, in the heart of Newtown. Its name came from the hope that the shop could be “a junction point in people’s lives where they are introduced to life by bike.” The team behind the shop see it as a place where everyone, cyclist or not, can be warmly welcomed, and become part of Wellington’s vibrant cycle-culture.

And as part of their mission to make Wellington a cycle-centric city, Bicycle Junction are moving and growing – and asking for your help. They’ve always supported their community, but now they want to build a retail and cafe space that can transform into a community venue by night, to give more back to the city and support even more people doing cool stuff.

To find out more about why you should be getting into gear with this campaign, we had a chat to community activator Catarina:

How are you finding the campaign so far?

We’re very excited about our crowdfunding campaign because it gives us a chance to take community engagement a step further. We’ve been pretty involved with various events in the past but when your community actually puts money up to help you realise a dream, that’s real validation.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

We think our crowd is behind us 100%. And we don’t consider our crowd just to be cyclists. In fact, we don’t really like that word. We prefer people on bikes. But we also think pedestrians, coffee-lovers, students, families, and anyone who is in the area would love a bike shop/community hub like ours nearby.

What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We’re excited to bring on reward partners such as Garage Project, Karma Cola, and other yummy goodness. We’re also working on a few ways to remember the old shop in Newtown. And finally, Dan wants to do some crazy stuff on a bike so stay tuned for what that might be! He’s nuts so this is really going to be outrageous!

Anything else you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

We love the new spot we’ve chosen and we will sorely miss Newtown but we don’t want this to be just a shop that only serves Te Aro (although Marion and Ghuznee will be THE place to be now!). We want to be ALL of Wellington’s bike shop and serve a growing community of people who want a more liveable and vibrant city.
We know how generous the people of Wellington can be and we hope they’ll continue to share that generosity through our campaign!

To support Bicycle Junction and get their wheels spinning, get pledging right here.

What's Up Wednesday

AgWomen Global

365 days. 365 women. 365 stories of influence.

AgWomen wants to celebrate the stories of women who help to shape the primary industries. So for a whole year, they plan to share a story a day, across their Facebook, Instagram and website, all culminating in a coffee table book containing the different profiles. They’ve already got over 100 names signed up, and have written and edited 30 stories, which they’ve begun sharing!

But to progress to the next step they need your help – so we chatted to “Agvocate” Chelsea Miller about why you should be supporting this ambitious project:

Why do you think this campaign is important?

We’ve created this initiative on the premise that no longer the theory of ‘tall poppy syndrome’ is a negative one, rather creates an opportunity to celebrate success and share the stories of women who help to shape the Primary Industry. It is about celebrating these women’s contribution, encouraging the next generation to follow in their footsteps and connect a global community of like-minded people who can celebrate their successes together. So often women’s stories are forgotten and we are about bringing them to the forefront, so others are inspired to lead, make change, and understand that they are an equal in a partnership which is heading in the same direction.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

There are many organisations out there helping to educate women and bring them together in a social context, but so often their stories aren’t shared beyond their own communities. We want to change this with AgWomen Global. Not only do these organisations have rich AgWomen stories, they believe in our values and what we’re trying to achieve so wanted them to feel as though they are part of a bigger journey. This is another way they can support women and give them the confidence to excel, so that’s why we reached out to them for support through a PledgeMe campaign.

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign?

We are starting to pull together the coffee table book from around June, ready for release in March 2018. There is a plan to get some more dynamic content produced to showcase some of the AgWomen stories, but is funds dependent. Ultimately though, MORE INSPIRING STORIES 🙂

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

A huge thank you to those who have already supported us, from pledging, through to wider communications to their networks, to those who’ve given names and stories for us to share. Without our crowd we couldn’t possibly deliver inspiration to the women of the world who are involved and want to be involved in the Primary Industry. We would merely be a name with no content. 

Our team thanks you for allowing us to share your success – you all inspire us every day!

To support AgWomen and help them keep on sharing success, pledge to their campaign right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Running on Sunshine

Pakaraka Permaculture are passionate about growing real food for their community. They believe that the future of food is in small-scale local production – and they want to be a market garden of the future. But in order to get there, they need your help!

While the garden is already operating sustainably, the team want to reduce their ecological footprint even further, and get their gardens running just on sunshine. This means they need to purchase a solar power system, run a cool room, and deliver produce with an electric car. All of these steps cost money, which is why they’re reaching out to their crowd – and offering everything from sun salutations to strawberry runners in return! We had a chat to gardeners Yotam and Niva about why you should be getting on board:

Why do you think this campaign is so important?

Everyone eats, so they way our food is grown is everyone’s business. We felt that Running on Sunshine is a great model for what is possible and achievable. If we work together as a community on sustainable solutions we can change the future of food production.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

Crowdfunding allows us to engage with people, involve them in how we grow the food, and allow them to contribute by helping us become even more sustainable.

What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We have very cool rewards giveaways donated to us that we will release when we reach special milestones, so stay tuned! We will be hosting a farm tour on the 16th of April, which is a great opportunity to come and ask any questions you might have about the campaign. Registration is by email.

Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

We are so blown away by the response to the campaign!! We think the world is ready for a food production revolution, and we are blessed to take part of it with all of you.

What's Up Wednesday

A Slick New Website for the Zero Carbon Act!

The world is getting hotter. And in a global climate where world leaders are turning away from the climate change challenge, New Zealand needs to lead the way in reducing emissions. We need a new law to put NZ on track to zero carbon by 2050: a Zero Carbon Act.

This is the goal of Generation Zero, a nationwide organisation of young people who advocate for a future beyond fossil fuels. The Zero Carbon Act campaign is their biggest, boldest national effort yet – but they need your help to get it out to the public.

With your pledges, Generation Zero can build a new website for the Zero Carbon Act, and ensure that it has a public mandate for cross party support. We had a chat to Gen Zero member Rosalee about why you should be getting on board.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

Because climate change is such a big challenge! We need to reduce our CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050starting right now, which means we need to see all political parties working together. We were inspired by the UK Climate Change Act, and have taken it upon ourselves to draft a Zero Carbon Act for New Zealand – the solution we need for meaningful action on climate change. The ZCA is a framework that demands transparency, cooperation from all political parties, and intergenerational fairness through long term planning and action. We’re releasing the blueprint via a brand new website very soon!

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

We need an awesome website that can serve as the main communication tool as we spread the word about the Zero Carbon Act. We’re paying professional web developers BlueTwist (look them up – they’re awesome) to create it for us, but because we want it to be super slick and a wee bit fancy, we needed some extra cash to pay for it!

What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We’ll keep the video updates coming, and we’re looking forward to making a video shoutout for everyone who chose the social media shout out reward. In terms of the wider campaign, after we unveil the Zero Carbon Act blueprint, we’ll be doing everything we can to get the word out there and build momentum for cross-party support – perhaps even a nationwide bike tour! So stay tuned for that!

Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?

Thanks so much for getting us this close to our goal! You all rock and we couldn’t do this without your support – just a little bit further to go. As well as sharing our PledgeMe page, you can also check out ways to get involved and stay in the loop with the wider ZCA campaign at www.generationzero.org/zca

To get involved and help get our emissions down to zero, check out Generation Zero’s campaign page right here.

What's Up Wednesday

Dash Rail – Canterbury Commuter Trains

Finding commuting into Christchurch impossible? Having a tricky time travelling around Canterbury? Dash Rail wants to end all of this, with the first community-owned commuter rail operation in the country. And they want you to help them get there.

Dash Rail is noticeable right off the bat, because its campaign target is huge – $1.8 million, to be precise. But for the team behind the project, they have high goals because those are the ones worth reaching for. The Dash Rail team aren’t doing this by halves – they already have plans drawn up for routes, services and timetables. All they need now is the money to get this plan on track.

We had a chat to Tane, who’s behind the project, to hear more about his ambitious plans.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

The stresses of a daily commute in a car during peak hour are unneccessary. And Cantabrians are stressed. The suicide rate has doubled. When I left for Melbourne the city was vibrant and happy, when I arrived home is was dismal to say the very least.  The experience of living overseas gave me a better appreciation for public rail and the difference between commuting with stress and commuting with social media instead and relaxing. Which is a net loss of 10 hours (ish) stress a week.

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

The motivation to reach out is multifaceted.  As the generations are changing and the youth are more well travelled than their predecessors, I’m continually bumping into people that have used trains overseas while on OE’s and have wondered why they aren’t being used in Christchurch as everything is built next to the railway lines!!! They need a voice.  And as the rollingstock for such a service is available in Auckland and so cheaply. This has become a race between us (Cantabrians) and Mozambique.

Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

We’ll keep getting out there and spreading the message. Thank you all for the great support so far and please keep sharing and spreading the good word.

To help this campaign keep chugging along, head over and pledge right here.