Coming soon to Kickstarter:
A campaign for my new multi-platform gonzo journalism project: I Hear America Singing, which will take me coast to coast in search of the song that resides at the heart of contemporary America.
Since Election Day, I have been visiting karaoke bars in New York City to hear people sing and speak about their hopes, dreams and fears in the aftermath of the recent presidential election.
Why karaoke bars? Because they are the new Town Square, that friendly place where people gather after work to connect, relax and express themselves through song.
At a time when words are being used as weapons in our newly-divided nation, the power of song is great and profound. It heals rifts. It unites. It expresses what cannot be conveyed through words alone.
It is said that a person's name is their destiny. My name is Shira, which means song in Hebrew, and my life has been influenced and enhanced by the sheer joy of singing...solo or in a group, in school, synagogue and summer camp, in times of joy and sadness alike.
Inspired by my love of singing, I am now continuing the journey I began in local karaoke bars and taking it on the road, coast to coast.
Built around that great American tradition -- the road trip -- I Hear America Singing is journalism of the people. It is unvarnished, gritty and real. It is democratic. It is journalism of the here and now, capturing this epic moment in our nation's history, documenting it and striving to make sense of it all.
Featuring interviews with regular Americans in a variety of cities and towns across this great nation, my intention is to head out on the road over the course of several cross-country trips within the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency.
While on each leg of my I Hear America Singing road trip, I will be visiting places with current social and political resonance, changing up the landscape, seeking to capture the widest possible sampling of incomes, professions, backgrounds, faiths and political leanings by visiting local karaoke bars, getting to know their patrons and documenting the local mood.
It is my hope to zigzag from "red" to "blue" America, making my journey as diverse as possible. Among locations I hope to visit are Charleston, SC; Flint, MI; Ferguson, MO; Indianapolis, IN; Atlantic City, NJ; San Bernadino, CA; Orlando, FL; Whitefish, MT and dozens of others cities marked by tragedy or fame; popular or forgotten.
The purpose of my Kickstarter campaign is to launch the pilot phase of the project.
How do I envision I Hear America Singing?
The essence of my project is an up-close-and-personal invitation to YOU to join me on my journey, which will be documented in real time. By reading my daily blog and Facebook page where compelling videos and photographs will be posted, you will be able to follow me as I leave the bubble of New York City in search of America.
As additional funds are raised, a website and podcast will be added to the suite of products documenting my adventures.
Details on how you can support I Hear America Singing will be available on the Kickstarter page.
Now is the time to document America's hopes, dreams and fears through the songs of its soul in this uniquely 21st Century journalism.
I hope you can help put me on the road in quest of America's resonant song, that which rises above the divisive rhetoric of our nation. I hope you can become a supporter of my multi-platform storytelling project, I Hear America Singing.