It has been a hell of a year. The Coronavirus Pandemic has upended every aspect of our lives in unimaginable ways. We have lost livelihoods, dreams, our way of being in the world and, for many of us, family and friends. We are only now starting to catch a glimpse of the way forward into our new normal, and we are keenly, achingly aware of how much we have lost.
I realize this is a rather somber and peculiar way to begin a fundraising letter but then again we are living in a rather somber and peculiar time. I feel I need to fully acknowledge our context as from within this overwhelming reality I am planning a new album. And I need your help.
I will assume that you have found your way to this page because you are familiar with my music and have heard that I am seeking the resources to produce a new album. For the time being I am simply referring to it as Album Project 5. What you may not be aware of is that I pay for the production of all my albums and they all began this exact same way - with me reaching out to my community for your financial support.
My albums have gotten out into the world because a community of women and allies have found resonance in my work and believe it to be an important contribution to building a more just and diverse, peaceful world where lesbians and all women are seen and heard and valued. Music is one of our shared centers of connection.
The projected budget for Album Project 5 is $29,990. In the past when I maintained a USPS mailing list of many thousands I would break this figure into an easily relatable ask by saying If everyone on my list could donate $10 that’s all it would take! That list has long gone obsolete and as I have absolutely no idea how many will ever see this appeal, the math has too many unknown variables.
What I do know, and this has been true for every project, is that it all adds up. $10 here. $25, $100, or $300 there. A note with nothing more than a few kind words wishing and hoping for my success. All of this sustains me. All of it matters to me. All of it has always added up.
Given the dynamic nature of the current crisis I do not have a release timeframe. In a very general sense I would like Album Project 5 to be out by 2022 when live shows and touring are back on the table. Rest assured this album will be made when the funding has been secured and it’s safe to travel and safe for musicians to work together in the sealed confines of a recording studio.
GoFundMe is a great site and service but it does have its limitations. I can’t quite figure out how to offer pre-sales through them which was a useful fundraising option with Playing For Keeps. I’m sure fundraising wizzes will be shaking their heads, but for those of you who would like to pre-order an actual CD I have provided a link below for a physical CD preorder form PDF that you can print out and mail to me. This form can also be used by those of you who would prefer to contribute to the project by check instead of using GoFundMe credit/debit processing.
Album Project 5 CD PreOrder or Mail In Donation Form
A quick story about of the power of community. After the Michigan Women’s Music Festival’s Shigella Summer the CDC did a follow-up investigation and sent out a survey to a sample of attendees. The story could be apocryphal but I heard the CDC had to totally rejigger their data algorithms because they got back more surveys than they sent out. Damn if those unstoppable lesbians hadn’t made copies of the survey and pestered their friends to submit it!
In a similar spirit I could really use your help spreading the word about Album Project 5. Please post and repost about it on your Facebook page and any other social media site you frequent. If you have friends you think would be interested but aren’t on social media please send them an email or text with a link to the Deidre McCalla - Album Project 5 GoFundMe page.
I will keep you updated on the progress. Once the funding campaign ends I will keep all contributors informed through my email newsletter so I will add all donor email addresses to my MailChimp list. If you prefer I not add yours please let me know.
Perhaps the most profound lesson of this Pandemic is how much we need each other. How important community and connection are and how we can only move forward if we move together. Album Project 5 is my promise to be there with you as our journey continues.
- Smitty Smith
- Ronald Waite
- Thomas Jacobson
- Tamara Martin
- Kathy M Buller
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