A kind of literary voyeurism, in which visitors get to contemplate the reading habits of their neighbors. Who left the Brazilian travel guides, and who’s reading Camus? Who added Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, my favorite novel of the last five years? And where will my copy of The Odyssey end up when I leave it in the library for someone else? By peeking into the reading lives of fellow Little Free Library users, you get to know your block better.
Homicide Watch is a community-driven reporting project that documents every murder in Washington, D.C.
The small team of journalists behind the platform just published their 2012 year in review. Congratulations on a difficult year of important work, which also saw the capital city’s lowest death toll in nearly fifty years.
"Our Neighborhood" Mapping Project shifts the focus from census tracts and school districts to resident-defined neighborhoods. In the process, Professor Lohmann hopes to explore how our geographic and social environments affect our sense of community. This neighborly approach to community psychology is our Project of the Day.
Waverton Writes is an anthology of original writing by the residents of a tiny English town.
The project began more than ten years ago as a village-wide book club, prompting hundreds of Wavertonians to read voraciously and write reviews. Now the village is organizing contributions to form a collective book, designed to bring secret scribblers into the limelight.
Homebaked is a hot oven at the heart of Liverpool.
Two years ago, a bakery that had occupied the site for nearly a century sold its last scones and quietly shuttered its doors. In a neighborhood trapped in a decades-long battle over its own revitalization, the bakery had long been a symbol of the community and the sense of loss was profound.
Now a group of local bakers, artists, and organizers are reopening the bakery as a community-run business, bringing neighbors together to create the new Homebaked Co-operative. Sounds like the best idea since sliced bread.
This hot ‘n’ crusty approach to community building isn’t just delicious, it’s our Project of the Day.
The Nile Project is a cross-cultural initiative designed to foster community throughout the longest river in the world.
The creators turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for a pilot project, which will bring together participants from all seven countries that share the river to collaborate at a five-day gathering and share music with one another and the world.
After successfully funding the project, the duo has just announced details of the inaugural events and an open call for participants. Entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, engineers, documentarians, community organizers, and more are encouraged to apply to join in the first Nile Workshop, which will be held in January in Aswan, Egypt.
Over the course of three years, The New Orleans Community Printshop has held workshops, gallery shows, and drop-in screenprinting nights, setting up shop wherever it could find a home for at least a night. Along the way, the Printshop’s all-volunteer staff has served hundreds of local artists and students, and nurtured a small, but loyal, community of printing enthusiasts.
Then, the Printshop found a permanent home. A beautiful space with brick walls, plenty of natural light, and 2,100 square feet to work with. The only problem? Raising the funds to build it out. The crew took to Kickstarter, and ran a project to raise the bare minimum necessary to renovate.
Over the next five months, the team sanded, painted, built, and installed. They relied on the volunteer efforts put forth by printshop members, students, and artists — learning things like “how to install plumbing” as they went. Today, all that effort came to fruition with the announcement of the official grand opening.
There will be live printing, a membership drive, brass bands, lots of people, and lots of celebrating. We wish we could be there to raise a glass in our ink-stained hands.
When developer Rick Dakan took to Kickstarter this spring with the dream of completing his haunted-house game, fans came out of the Victorian woodwork to support him. With more than 1,200 backers and $28,000 pledged, it seemed all but certain that this apparition would become a reality.
Despite a promising summer filled with honest updates, the project came to a sudden halt. Both of the project’s programmers left within weeks of each other and the creators found themselves with an empty bank account and an unfinished game.
After months spent designing ghoulish frights for his fans, Dakan was faced with a terrifying prospect of his own: Break the news to more than a thousand supporters that Haunts is dead — and prepare to refund thousands of dollars that he doesn’t have.
He explained the situation to his backers via his Kickstarter project page and promised to make things right. Then something incredible happened: His backers stuck with him. “I’ve had to refund $30 so far,” Dakan told Joystiq earlier this week. Far from a professional and financial disaster, Dakan’s honesty was met with an outpouring of support — transforming a crushing blow into an opportunity without precedent.
Now the next chapter for Haunts and its community of backers is being written. “We have a plan!” Dakan writes in a new post on his blog. He’s announced that the creators are fully embracing an open source model for the game’s continued development — and roughly 30 programmers have signed on to see it through.
"We’re committed to being the follow-up story," says Dakan. "You know, the underdog who comes back from the brink of collapse and proves a resounding success."
When Kyle Scheele first launched 99 Shades of Grey, the project was a tongue-in-cheek response to the fervor over steamy bestseller 50 Shades of Grey. “As any colormetrist worth their weight will tell you,” went the project’s description, “the Greyscale range stretches from 0 to 100… 1-99 are, by definition, shades of grey.”
The project itself was to produce a simple, 99-page book, with each page representing a progressively darker shade. Scheele set the goal at a modest $600 — all he would need to self-publish a paperback copy at $10 a pop — and hit launch.
Then, the internet found out. Surprise!
Before it reached its funding end date, the project had collected nearly $10,000 from over 400 backers, many of whom backed at a slightly higher level in order to name their own shade of grey. Enthused by the response, Scheele got down to logistics almost immediately. Then came surprise number two. In a recent project update, Scheele shared a message he got from an early backer:
He chose shade number 63, saying “I have a 1963 silver Stingray Corvette that my dad and I spent 10 years restoring before he passed.” he said. “It would be fun to name the color ‘Sebring Silver Stingray’ after the car.”
The request wasn’t unique. Dozens of backers had ideas for their colors, centered on specific personal connotations. Suddenly, the scope of the project felt vastly expanded. It wasn’t just a one-off joke about shades; it was the collaborative effort of a new community.
Taking the transformation in stride, Scheele announced a fundamental shift in the project. Now, each page prominently features the contributions of his backers, creating an impromptu portrait in — you guessed it — 99 Shades of Grey.
Thanks to the Creative Audio Archive and 180 Kickstarter backers, more than 1,000 unique recordings of seminal Chicago musicians will be preserved for the next generation.
Malachi Ritscher was a musician, recording engineer and activist, who recorded countless live performances in Chicago’s experimental music scene over nearly 25 years. Ritscher committed suicide in 2006 as an act of protest against the Iraq war, leaving behind a slew of unanswered questions — and his unparalleled archive of seminal music.
As a living tribute to Ritscher’s artistic dedication, the Creative Audio Archive is preserving and sharing his phenomenal body of recordings. We’re thrilled that this unique resource will continue to inspire future generations of musicians in Chicago and beyond.