I've been hesitant to start the conversation on a banjo all-stars series 2 because I'm not sure about the response, but for a variety of reasons as I will explain below, I want to start planning out what it's going to take to do this properly and I need your input.
Feel free to continue to read about my plans below but this is really the most important detail I wanted to share: in short, what I am about to explain is that I cannot fund a second series on my own and I will be reaching out to the community for financial support in the form of a crowdfunding campaign. Look out for another email in the coming weeks for the official campaign announcement.
Why a Series 2?
I spent more money and time on this than I first imagined I was capable of doing. Series 1 was self-funded through personal savings and credit cards and I likely will not see a profit. It would be nice but I never really did expect that from the beginning. The connections I have made and my conversations I have had with world-famous banjo all-stars, is priceless. I am truly blessed to have been given this opportunity of a lifetime.
You may be wondering, why a series 2? One of the obvious facts that was brought to my attention working on Series 1, was the fact that 42 players barely scratched the surface (see list of series 1 players). I've heard from so many of you, I cannot count, urging me, with great zeal, to include other players, most I have heard of and some I have not. Though, I wish I would have had time (and the money) to include all these others in Series 1, that's when it struck me that a Series 2 is a must.
With that said, to fund a Series 2, I want to be transparent about the cost of a project like this. Here is a breakdown of what Series 1 cost me:
- Printing: $12K
- Portraits: $21K ($500 per painting on average for 42 paintings)
That's almost 35K and doesn't include all the merchandising costs for the other items like t-shirts and prints. It also doesn't include my time putting all of this together, selecting artists, all the graphic design, working with the printers, contacting players, website development, etc. I did not start out thinking I would spend that much time and money but as the level of interest in this project increased, so did my commitment to getting it completed.
So, for Series 2, I am seeking $35K from the community, folks like you who have believed in this and have encouraged me to keep going. With your help, I am committed to bringing at least another 42 players into the fold. Depending on how funding goes, I could do more.
Funding will be safe and secure and will be handled through Indiegogo. Campaigns typically run for 60 days, if after that time, my goal was not reached, then Indiegogo will refund all supporters. To put some gas on this, I am also looking for larger organizational sponsorships.
Funding perks and community voting:
Here's where it gets really interesting. I don't have it all completely planned out, but there will be many funding tiers you will be able to choose from. With each tier a reward will be offered, like stickers, posters, t-shirts and of course packs of cards as well as full-sets. For the large sponsorships, I have bigger plans. Most interestingly, at a to be determined tier, supporters will be given the option to vote on the series 2 players. I have a growing list of 75 nominees so far that I will be reviewing with a handful of Series 1 players and other experts. Once the project funding goal is reached, anyone who has contributed to the project at the right support tier, will receive a link to start voting on the nominees. Once voting is completed, I will be contacting each of the winners (or their families) to get their consent and to work with them on selecting an artist to complete their portrait and getting them included in the series.
If this sounds interesting to you, please do me a huge favor. Send me an email (or simply respond to this email) with a "yes" and let me know what you would be comfortable contributing to the project (in USD) and what kind of "perk" you'd like to see in return. The perk can be anything from stickers to full sets of cards (either series 1 or series 2), posters, framed prints, etc. Specifically, if you're interested in voting, please let me know. Your response will make it easier for me to tailor the tiers and related perks. Every little bit helps, so if you can contribute $5, let me know. Respond with any dollar amount. Also, if you represent a larger organization that would be interested in sponsoring this project, let's talk!
That's it for now. In the next few weeks, granted I receive a positive response from this, I will be officially announcing the crowdfunding campaign with all the funding and perk details, as well as details on exactly how the voting process will work. Please spread the word since the campaign can only be successful with your help, either through monetary contributions or sharing this with your friends.