My name is Alix Smith and I am lesbian photographer and I have a gallery that shows my work in New York called Morgan Lehman.
I am currently working on a project photographing same-sex couples and families from across the United States called States of Union.
I was up in Albany for Equality and Justice Day and I realized that politicians will always vote with their constituents opinions, because they don't want to loose their jobs – so I think real change comes from starting at the bottom and changing the constituents viewpoint. The more the world is permeated with images of loving and committed same-sex couples and families, the harder it will be for same-sex relationships to be considered “other.
I need your help. I am at the last leg of the project and last week I met with a number of museums and publishers that were interested in showing and publishing the work. But since it is such a timely subject they need me to finish the project within the next 9 months. I really need your help.
To complete the project I want to photograph families from states that are not traditionally perceived as gay-friendly, such as: New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Alabama, Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Georgia, Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington etc… specifically underrepresented communities. I think having geographical diversity in my project is important not only to give these couples a voice, but also show viewers that the gay community comes in all shapes and sizes and exists in every community and is not exclusively on the east and west coasts.
I was wondering if you might consider helping me spread the word about my current fundraising campaign on Kickstarter and posting it on your blog? It is a great cause and with each each donation comes a gift. I am pretty well known and once the project is completed I have the ability to really get it out to a large audience across the country. Art Review Magazine has listed me as one of the best emerging photographers internationally and Elton John bought a number of photographs from States of Union for his collection.
If you are willing to send an email to friends and colleagues telling them about my kickstarter campaign and post about it it would go a long way. I think I am a pretty good photographer (if I do say so myself) but I am an absolutely atrocious fundraiser! So I thought I would reach out.
My Kickstarter goal is $30,000 (which is rather ambitious) and Kickstarter is all-or-nothing – so if I don't reach my goal before June 14th at 8 PM I get zilch. So far I only have $4,343…. Some of my friends have reached their $30,000 goal through small $20-$30 donations – it's all about spreading the word.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate anything you can do to help spread the word. I really think this project could be a catalyst for gaining the equality we so need and deserve. By familiarizing all Americans with an expanded visual repertoire of images that suggest "family," LGBT Americans have a greater chance of finally being granted access equal rights and, thus, the "American Dream."
To learn more about the project go to: www.statesofunion.com
The kickstarter link is: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alixsmith/states-of-union-portraits-of-same-sex-families
Thank you so much in advance for your help.