We’re always either on the river doing fieldwork or preparing for next year’s expedition. So your help is always appreciated. There are lots of ways to support the project.
Rooted in the DIY and art worlds, by any real world standards, the Secret History project has a humble budget of around $20K. That seems like a lot until you consider that another modest project on this scale might easily top $100K.
Always looming are the costs of transportation, supplies, gas, food, and paying the artists so they have a home to come back to. Each year we’ve raised thousands of dollars with our Kickstarter campaigns, thanks to our backers and supporters! These funds cover many of the basic travel expenses for our trip, helps pay for final outfitting of the shantyboat, and makes sure we have decent audio-video and digital equipment to record our interviews in the river communities we visit.
Donate to the Project
We are in the midst of our annual spring Kickstarter campaign. This is our big crowdsourcing effort. We have five years of successful fundraisers behind us thanks to your help!
Your one-time contribution can help us get over the temporary hurdles, motor repairs, auto troubles, and inevitable travel expenses. This is a good option if you want to help when we are not doing our spring fundraiser.
While we focus on fieldwork during the summer, the project is year-round. When we are not on the river, we are busy doing production, writing books, exhibiting the project, maintaining the boat, and planning the next exhibition. Therefore your continuing monthly support is extremely helpful.
We Need Your River Connections
I am particularly interested in people who have stories or research about working-class or displaced people living on or adjacent to the river. We’ve visited the Upper Mississippi and the Tennessee River and are headed to the Sacramento River. What critical resources or collections around shantyboat or bottomland communities do you know about? Do you have connections to people whose voice is not typically heard in the dominant narrative of history.
We Need Help Outfitting the Shantyboat
We’re still looking for specific supplies, and have a Secret History Wishlist stocked with everything up to and including a kitchen sink. This is your chance to vicariously float along with us! Each item off of our wishlist gets delivered to our door, and labelled with the name of the generous donor (that’s you!). Check out the Secret History Wishlist and see if there is anything that you would like to send us.
See who helps make this project possible: Our acknowledgments.