Our first urgent goal: $5,000 by Monday


Mondatv 5000

Friends of the Alphabets, one and all, it’s time to get serious. We’ve been dawdling along until now, but not at a rate that would get us to our goal. So let’s set our first immediate, short-term goal: $5,000 in backing by Monday.

That would take us to the point where the first two weeks of the campaign are done and we’ll need $10,000 in the next two–double the rate up till now, but not impossible.

So please step in. If you’ve been thinking of supporting us but felt we would reach our goal calmly without you, please reconsider.

If you’d like to back us but can’t afford one of the higher-level rewards, we can still get there with plenty of small contributions.

If you’ve already backed us, you’re the perfect spokesperson to convince others to follow your lead.

One way or the other, please recognize the increasing urgency of the campaign and do whatever you can to help. At the Endangered Alphabets, what we’ve achieved has largely been made possible by our Kickstarter friends. Please keep that tradition going HERE.



Another new Kickstarter reward, and other news

Original sacred spaceWow. Our last new Kickstarter reward, the Balinese “Om and shanti” carving, was on offer for barely 15 minutes before it was snapped up.
Still slightly breathless from the experience, I went into the vaults and brought up just one more carving, also from my Balinese Period.
There’s nothing like this in English: it’s not, strictly speaking, even a letter. It signifies that the piece of text that follows is sacred or spiritual writing, and as such it advises the reader to adopt a particular openness of heart when reading. It says something about our culture that we don’t understand the need for such a written device.
It struck me that carving this character, and thus converting it from two dimensions to three, implies a metaphorical change: especially if hung on a door, perhaps, it might mean “You are entering a sacred space.”
Carved in an unknown wood with pockets of burl, between and around which the lines flow like grace.
Again, just the one is available, at the $375 level. Go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/the-right-to-read-the-right-to-write to back us and earn it as your reward.

Continuing thanks to Artemis Walsh, the fine documentary filmmaker Helen Donnelly, and Charles Pryor for backing the Kickstarter.

In other news, a wonderful segment on Everwideningcircles.com was devoted to the Alphabets. Check it out HERE.
Please share this post. And please give whatever you can to this campaign, which is vital for our continuing work.


A small flurry, but a big flurry needed

Our new $5 donation level proved to be instantly popular, with donations coming in right away from Darren Cameron, Tev, Mark Turner, Kris Williams, Molly Allison and Cindy Womack. Thanks so much to all of you, and I’m looking forward to sending you your Endangered Postcards…

…but of course that will happen only if we meet our goal. And right now, even though we’ve broken $3,500, we are steadily falling behind the daily donation rate we need. We haven’t quite got to the point of needing to hold up a series of gas stations, but neither are we coasting along happily.

Please, please reach out to your friends and anyone you think might be interested in this unique combination of artwork, language and social justice, send them to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1496420787/the-right-to-read-the-right-to-write/ and ask them to join you in supporting the Alphabets.



P.S. A wonderful web magazine article on the Endangered Alphabets just came out. Check out the homepage at EverWideningCircles.com.



The Coolest Kickstarter Reward Ever?

The Endangered Alphabets Guitar
The Endangered Alphabets Guitar

Hold on to your hats. We’re launching what is surely the coolest Kickstarter reward ever: The Endangered Alphabets Guitar.

This beautiful instrument, this work of art, is a custom electric guitar, hand-made by Alec Julien. The woods are mahogany, walnut, and wenge. The pickups are Seymour Duncans, there’s copper shielding in the electronics cavity, the electronics are all high-grade. Comes with a Gator hardshell case.

Whoever pledges at this reward level gets to commission me to carve a monogram in the upper half of the body. This design could be their initial(s), or a word, or a symbol, in an endangered alphabet.

I’d even stretch my usual definition of an endangered alphabet and carve in Elvish or Klingon.


Is that cool or what?

Only one is available. Act now! Rock over to HERE.

Please share this post, and feel free to gush, rave, the whole shebang.

Beyond my ken

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 12.00.42 PMThis is why I love what I do. Early this morning Jerson Partible contacted me asking me if I want to carve something in Tagbanwa. I had never even heard of Tagbanwa. Within a couple of hours he had sent me this. It’s the phrase “mother tongue,” and it will be part of my exhibition for International Mother Language Day 2017 IF AND ONLY IF our current Kickstarter campaign is successful. Did you get that hint?



Thanks to recent generous contributions from Mono Lely, Jill Chase, Michael Dutton, Nancy Nancy E. Randolph and Dutton, we are now one-sixth of the way to our goal, and it has taken us one-sixth of our campaign time to get there. Remember: IF WE DO NOT REACH OUR GOAL, WE GET NOTHING.
The optimist in me cheers and points out that, mathematically, we are on track.
The pessimist points out that the first few days of any Kickstarter tend to be followed by a droop, a slump, a echoing silence.
In other words, we are only on track if we keep working steadily and eagerly. Please donate HERE, if you have not done so. Please keep spreading the word and encourage others to support us. And by all means send me ideas for reaching out and incentives to draw more supporters into the Endangered Alphabets fold.
Thank you. So much.

The Good Birthday News, the Bad Birthday News

Birthday greetings in Malayalam
Birthday greetings in Malayalam

The good news is that I have never received more numerous, more colorful or more multilingual birthday greetings in my life. Rahul Upadhyay created this beautiful pictured item in Malayalam; Naoki Watanabe wrote a birthday greeting in no fewer than 18 languages, several of which he is probably the only speaker on Earth. Many, many others wrote, especially through Facebook, and I thank you all.

The bad news is that we need to raise at least $600 in pledges in the next 24 hours or we’ll be seriously falling behind. If you were waiting to see whether others would back our campaign, please wait no longer. If you were not sure about the value or the impact of the Endangered Alphabets–well, that cascade of birthday wishes from all over the world is the evidence you need. Please support us now by clicking HERE.

The Times That Try Men’s Souls

Save these hands!
Save these hands!

These are the times that try men’s souls.

There was barely any movement all day on our Kickstarter and I felt like giving up carving endangered alphabets and trying something different, like maybe becoming a window cleaner.

Then Janice Perry, Justin Varney, Bob Robert Malesky, Carol Bick, Jesse Williams and Darren Lee Cameron came through, and my blood pressure and pulse began to return to normal.
Please don’t let that happen again. Imagining a future cleaning windows–not a nice way to go. Please zoom over to Kickstarter and help secure the future of the Alphabets.

Now live: our most ambitious Kickstarter campaign yet!


Since the Endangered Alphabets began in 2010, by far the most significant source of funding has been our crowdfunding Kickstarter campaigns. We have just launched our most ambitious yet–to support the creation of a major exhibition of carvings saying “mother tongue” in endangered languages, to be launched on International Mother Language Day in February 2017.

We cannot do this without your support. Please check out the video HERE,  and support our campaign. And please recommend your friends do likewise: we are going to need all the help we can get!



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