While this page is connected to my website, it is not public. I have sent this link to a total of around twenty people. If you are receiving this letter, it is because you have been a gracious supporter of my musical endeavors at one point or another over the years. I want to start by giving you my sincerest thanks. Your contributions to the fundraising campaigns of The Show Ponies, the band of which I am a part, have been vital in allowing me to pursue music full time. I can never fully repay you for that generosity.
With that, the most important part of this letter is over. If you only wish to be thanked for your contributions, feel free to stop reading now and to feel no obligation to read further. If your curiosity compels you, however, please read on!
While I have every intention of remaining a member of The Show Ponies and have a deep desire to continue our upward trajectory, I also have a desire to put out some of my own music. As a member of TSP, I have occasionally contributed to the song writing process, but only in an assisting/editing capacity to Clay and Andi, whose song-writing ‘voice’ is very different from my own. During my time with the Show Ponies I have written some 100 songs myself, and the main purpose of this letter is to ask for your support in helping me raise a small amount of money to record the first project under my own name, Jason Hawk Harris.
I am very fortunate to have Andy Freeman offering his services as a producer free of charge in exchange for putting the record out on his new label, Free Man Records. While this does take care of what would be my biggest expense, I still have other expenses to cover in order to make this happen, a few of which I’ve listed below:
- Musicians ($3,300.00)
- Rehearsal Studio ($225.00)
- Recording Studio time ($1,800.00)
- Mastering ($500.00)
- Per Diems ($600.00)
- Airfare ($700.00)
- CD Replication and Packaging ($1,285.00)
That all works out to a grand total of $8,410.00, which I am hoping to raise in 35 days (Oct. 10 - Nov 15). (I will keep rigorous, detailed accounting of how I am spending the money that I will make available to each benefactor.)
This is a lot of money, and I’m going to do the best I can to raise that amount. I’m confident that with this amount I’ll be able to put out a product that will enable me to have my own upward trajectory, and of which I can be proud.
While I could try to raise money via popular crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, I have grown to prefer a more personal method. For this reason, I’ll be reaching out to fewer people for larger donations. What I’m asking for are donations ranging from $100 to $1000. That’s not to say I won’t accept donations below $100 or over $1,000 (every bit helps), I only mean those amounts as guidelines and a way to keep the benefactor group small so that I can maximize my engagement with each particular benefactor.
As one of my benefactors you can expect personal phone calls from me updating you on my progress, copies of everything I ever create, free admission to any show I play, access to exclusive “benefactors only” video and blog content, and free guitar or songwriting lessons via Skype (up to three). Lastly, each benefactor will get access to demo versions of all the songs I'll be recording on this upcoming project. Upon contributing, you will immediately receive a demo version of one of the songs I'll be recording. The rest will be sent to you as I record them.
There was once a time in history when composers were funded by benefactors whose financial donations enriched the world with music and beauty. This model still exists in the visual art world, where many painters are given grants or awards to create. My hope is that this model can once again exist in the music world too.
I hope you’ll consider contributing to my first release as a solo artist. Below you'll find a button that will allow you to contribute. Should you decide not to contribute at this time, I am more than okay with that. This letter is going out to my closest friends, family and most generous supporters. However, your value to me is not wrapped up in how much money you have or how much money you give me. I love all of you, and could not be more grateful for the support you've given me over the years, and your continued support in the future, whether that be of the monetary or emotional sort, or just a bed to sleep in when I'm on the road.
Jason Hawk Harris