It feels like spring here on the west coast, time to emerge for more gatherings and collaborative projects! This week, I found funding campaigns that channel this collective creativity: An art show for kids and their families, a tiny Arduino compatible that can level up a project, a line of fragrances that make any RPG experience more authentic, and a new makerspace devoted to cosplay!
ARTtv: A Creative Art Show for Kids
I don’t have enough room in this post to wax on about how important the arts are. Experience and exposure to the arts is a foundation in critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and more. As a constructivist teacher, I actually start drawing lessons before I even begin math and letters. It is essential. This project is, frankly, fun. It is intelligent and attractive. It feels like my favorite parts of Yo Gabba Gabba without the awkward (to me) puppets combined with an art class to make a community that exudes support and acceptance for whatever kind of art excites each kid watching. This is the kind of screen time programming we need more of.
This little gem was designed by a 14-year-old maker named Quinn, who continues to impress me, not just because of his skills (though boy does he have them!), but because of his innovative spirit and perseverance. I like that he knows what he loves and he goes for it. Now, this little device is a tiny Arduino compatible that has a battery connector and charger built in, as well as a fuel gauge that can tell you when to charge the battery! It is also inexpensive, available with a minimum pledge of $25. Since he is teaming up with SparkFun for manufacturing, I am going to bet that, should this be successful, you will be able to buy more on their website. I can think of five projects right now I would use this on, and I bet the kids I mentor could take it even further!
This might be one of the more unusual campaigns I have covered, but hear me out. So much of our human experience is connected to our sense of smell. Now, why wouldn’t we want to gamify this?! Adventure Scents is a line of 20 fragrances to match 20 common fantasy adventure locations, from Healing Sanctuary to Smoky Campfire to Rowdy Tavern to Moldy Crypt. Beyond their use in RPGs, you could totally set up a scene or enhance accessories or a costume with these. Since I am working on a Sky Captain cosplay, I might need to get my hands on the Flying Airship scent.
I tend to be careful about posting funding campaigns that are local to a region, but this one really got me excited. The talent and genius of what costumers are capable of when they have the resources and community to pull off their vision blows me away. I loved the idea of tailoring a makerspace to this end. To take it even further, I have seen both children and adults be drawn into making and hacking through the catalyst of projects inspired by their favorite fandom. I love that Studio Cosplay included rewards for those of us who share their passion, but are not local to the Washington, DC area, and I am glad they plan on creating a sustainable model that can be replicated. Cosplay is a specific kind of making and needs a specific kind of space. By building it and creating community around it, I can’t wait to see the next level of cosplay emerge.