11 episodes

This is Just the Beginning, a new podcast from Kickstarter featuring stories about how independent creators bring their ideas to life. Meet an engineer turning air pollution into ink, a married couple who invented a device that lets you sing like a robot, an artist touring the US in a mobile tattoo shop for women, and other creative people of all kinds. You’ll hear what inspires them, scares them, and keeps them going—and how they’ve remained true to their visions, even if mainstream culture didn't buy in.

Just the Beginning Kickstarter

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 48 Ratings

This is Just the Beginning, a new podcast from Kickstarter featuring stories about how independent creators bring their ideas to life. Meet an engineer turning air pollution into ink, a married couple who invented a device that lets you sing like a robot, an artist touring the US in a mobile tattoo shop for women, and other creative people of all kinds. You’ll hear what inspires them, scares them, and keeps them going—and how they’ve remained true to their visions, even if mainstream culture didn't buy in.

    Deconstructing the Voyager Golden Record

    Deconstructing the Voyager Golden Record

    If you had to make a playlist that represented life on Earth, what would you include?

    That’s challenge a team of artists, scientists and musicologists led by astronomer Carl Sagan set for themselves in 1977. They compiled a gold-plated record of greetings, sounds, and music representing life on this planet, and sent it into space on NASA’s Voyager probes. The intended audience was extraterrestrials who might discover these spacecraft and wonder who sent them. That’s right, it was a mix tape for aliens.

    This bonus episode of Just the Beginning features a story from our friends at the podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz, breaking down the Voyager Golden Record track by track. You’ll hear music from around the work as well as interviews with Tim Ferris and Linda Salzman Sagan, two of the folks who produced the record.

    This story was produced by Leigh McDonald and Dallas Taylor with help from Sam Schneble and was sound designed and mixed by Nick Spradlin.

    Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound, and hosted by Dallas Taylor.

    Music in this  story:


    David A Molina

    Dario Lupo

    Chad Lawson

    Additional music in this episode:


    Frank LoCrasto


    • 34 min
    Making Waves

    Making Waves

    Why are wild animals the key to making fighter jets more exciting on-screen? Who bailed out Stanley Kubrick when his epic battle sequence sounded like pots and pans? And what did Jacques Cousteau have in common with Darth Vader?

    Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound, a groundbreaking new documentary, covers all this and more as it introduces us to the often unsung heroes of Hollywood sound design.

    Liz Cook Mowe, Kickstarter’s Director of Documentary Film, presents this preview of Making Waves along with filmmakers Midge Costin, Bobette Buster, and Karen Johnson. They explain how sound is as powerful a cinematic storytelling tool as images and share some of their favorite stories about creative uses of sound in film—from King Kong to Barbra Streisand.

    Learn more about Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound  and find a screening near you.

    • 20 min
    Reconstructing the Past

    Reconstructing the Past

    In this episode, we explore creative projects that attempt to reconstruct the past—at least a version of it. Plus, we take a look back at some personal moments from the first 10 years of Kickstarter, as told by creators and backers.

    Say Something Bunny

    Interdisciplinary artist Alison S.M. Kobayashi came across a seemingly mundane audio recording of a family gathering in 1950s Long Island. It was garbled, filled with obscure references, and she set out to unlock its mysteries. Her unique one-woman show, based on six years of research on this recording, has garnered rave reviews and played to sold-out audiences since 2017.

    Roger Peltzman

    Norbert Stern’s career as one of the most promising concert pianists in 1930s Europe was cut short when he and his family were captured by the Nazis, along with other Jews, and sent to Auschwitz, where they ultimately perished. His nephew Roger Peltzman, an acclaimed pianist himself, decided to travel to Brussels to record a program of the Chopin pieces that were Norbert’s speciality in the concert hall where he regularly performed.

    10 Years of Kickstarter

    To help us celebrate our 10th birthday, we asked some other creators who have brought ideas to life with Kickstarter to share some memories—snapshots from different points in their Journeys. Here’s who we heard from:

    Emmely Elgersma—creator of the world’s largest papier-mache sculpture

    Hank Willis Thomas & Eric Gottesman—creators of The For Freedoms 50 State Initiative

    Zoe Mendelson—cocreator of Pussypedia

    Paul Saisset—screenwriter of Paris Est à Nous

    Alice Oseman—creator of Heartstopper

    Eu-wen Ding—cofounder and CEO of Lumos

    Taneka Stotts—cocreator of The Beyond and ELEMENTS Anthologies

    Lucien Zayan—founder and director of The Invisible Dog Art Center

    Raja Feather Kelly + the feath3r theory

    Ema Ryan Yamazaki—director of Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George's Creators

    Joel Hodgson—creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mst3k/bringbackmst3k)

    Simone Giertz—creator of The Everyday Calendar

    Tom Putnam—cofounder of Beeline

    Stevie Ronnie—creator of 'and for you (love)'

    Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari, and Alyssa Stonoha—the comedy trio Three Busy Debras

    Gifts From the Grave

    Peter Hicks tells the story of what happened when he introduced Kickstarter to his father, Ray Hicks.

    Goodbye, Zakiya—we love you!

    Sadly, this is the last episode of Just the Beginning featuring producer and cohost Zakiya Gibbons. She’s off to work with WNYC’s wonderful podcast Nancy. She'll also continue her work building a directory of people of color working in the audio industry(site coming soon!).

    Find a full transcript with photos here.

    • 42 min
    The New News

    The New News

    Oriana Leckert, Kickstarter’s Journalism Outreach Lead, joins us to explore creative new approaches to reporting the news.


    Founded by industry veterans who have previously helped run The Wall Street Journal and the BBC, Tortoise aims to create a new kind of newsroom—one that takes a slower, deeper approach to covering stories. With an eye toward staying financially independent, they’ve pursued a participatory, membership-based model. And they invite members to directly contribute to their coverage through in-person events called ThinkIns.

    Cabina en Malos Pasos

    Alejandra Sánchez Inzunza and José Luis Pardo Veiras have been reporting on corruption and violence throughout Latin America since 2012, working with traditional news outlets like The New York Times and Univision. With Cabina en Malos Pasos, an interactive video booth that features firsthand accounts of survivors, activists, and perpetrators, they aim to inspire empathy and make the often amorphous issue of violence in Latin America feel more personal.

    Music in this episode

    Jake Armerding

    Jeremy Arndt

    ensemble, et al.


    Find a full transcript with photos here.

    • 30 min
    Listening Party!

    Listening Party!

    Join us to listen to some podcasts made by Kickstarter creators.

    Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls: Frida Kahlo read by Pamela Adlon

    The bestselling Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls books tell stories of extraordinary women from the past and present in the form of lushly illustrated fairy tales. For their podcast, they invite notable contemporary women to read these stories. We’ll hear an excerpt from an episode featuring actress and comedian Pamela Adlon telling the story of painter Frida Kahlo.

    Radio Diaries: The Working Tapes of Studs Terkel

    In the early 1970’s, author Studs Terkel went around the country with a tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs for his book Working. Working with Project& and the Studs Terkel Radio Archive, the Radio Diaries team took those source tapes and turned them into radio pieces, allowing us to hear the voices of many of Terkel’s interview subjects for the first time. We’ll hear stories from a private investigator, a police officer, and an advertising executive.

    Racist Sandwich: Erasing Black Barbeque

    Racist Sandwich explores food through the lenses of race, gender, and class. We’ll hear an excerpt from their James Beard Award-nominated episode Erasing Black Barbeque. Producer Stephanie Kuo takes listeners to Texas to explore barbeque’s Black roots — and how food journalists have largely ignored them.

    Music in this episode


    ensemble, et al


    Find a full transcript with photos here.

    • 44 min
    Science Fiction Gets Real

    Science Fiction Gets Real

    Science Fiction Gets Real

    Meet creators making work that explores the gap between science fiction and reality.

    Inspired by science-fiction movies from the ʼ80s and ʼ90s, Shawn Frayne, the founder of Looking Glass Factory, dreams of making a holograms a part of everyday life.

    In his comic BLACK, set in a world where only Black people have superpowers, Kwanza Osajyefo uses science fiction to highlight some important truths about race in America. His follow up, WHITE is currently live on Kickstarter.

    Music in this episode




    Find a full transcript with photos here.

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
48 Ratings

48 Ratings

judbs ,

Really refreshing and new material

Zakiya and Nick are really awesome! This is a cool new podcast with content you don’t get from any other podcast I listen to. Zakiya’s got a lot of personality and the stories can be really inspirational. Definitely recommend to anyone looking for a new podcast that everyone in the world hasn’t listened to already.

Clementine9877 ,

a fan

thoughtful, enjoyable, easy listening. love how you feature local kickstarter artists from the projects you’re featuring! thinking big, acting small ❤️

fjkhjkda ,

Amazing for all creatives

I’m not even done with the first episode and I love it. The stories of creatives making something artistic out of what they’re going or been through is inspiring for everyone, especially other creatives. If you’re looking for inspiration or want to learn how others decide to make what they make, Just the Beginning is for you.

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