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Wide Awakes, Kickstarter
via Wide Awakes

Wide Awakes launches Kickstarter to aid art and communities across US

The artist-activist network is raising money for 14 integral organisations across the US which are building towards a better future while encouraging voter participation

Last week, artist-activist network Wide Awakes unveiled its cover for the Dazed’s Autumn 2020 issue, and continues to build momentum in the lead up to the 2020 US Election with the launch of a Kickstarter.

In just two days, the Kickstarter had already raised $100,000, and has widened its goal posts, looking to hit $250,000, with the promise that each dollar up to that amount will be matched. 

In short, the funds raised will go towards building art and organising communities across the US in the lead up to Election Day, on the 3 November. 

Wide Awakes will split the money equally across 14 organisations to help fund projects which encourage voter participation, artistic interventions which aim to combat voter suppression, guided meditations, amongst other initiatives. These organisations include the Incarcerations Nations Network (INN) – a think tank which “supports, instigates, and popularises innovative prison reform efforts around the world” – and Kindred Arts – an organisation which “builds and programs temporary spaces for communities to affirm cultural citizenship and express identity” – amongst others (full list here).

As with most Kickstarters, if you give, you also receive, and pledge rewards range from a thank you and newsletter updates to badges, Jenny Holzer-designed t-shirts, and artist posters and prints from Shepard Fairey. There is also the opportunity to nab a silk screen print from Hank Willis Thomas, a jacket designed by José Parlá, and much more.

But the Wide Awakes isn’t just asking for you to help it raise money, it’s asking you to show up too.

On October 3, the Wide Awakes will mark in NYC and cities across the country, as well as virtually, to celebrate 160 years since the original Wide Awakes procession in 1860.

Borrowing its name, Wide Awakes, from a group of young patriots, who, in 1860, banded together to march, sing, and rally for a then little-known presidential candidate named Abraham Lincoln. The rest is literally history.

Now, 160 years later, the Wide Awakes is asking us to choose between “chaos or community?”

On its Kickstarter page, the collective writes: “Once again, it’s time for a Wake Up, a Reset, and a Reimagining of what is possible. At this very moment – all over the world – a new Wide Awakes movement is building.”

Read our roundtable discussion with the Wide Awakes from Dazed’s Autumn 2020 issue here