HERB & DOROTHY 50X50 - Follow-up to Award-Winning Documentary Launches Fundraising Campaign With Unique Incentives

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The award-winning documentary team of HERB & DOROTHY (2008), a film loved by art enthusiasts worldwide featuring unlikely art collector couple Herb (a postal clerk) and Dorothy (a librarian) Vogel, is creating a follow-up film, HERB & DOROTHY 50X50. In order to complete the film, the team has launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign supported by notable artists from the Vogel collection including Lawrence Weiner and Lynda Benglis, who have donated their unique works.

"I'd like to design a cover for the sketchbook that shows both my appreciation & enormous affection for both Herb & Dorothy." -Lawrence Weiner, Artist

The new film, HERB & DOROTHY 50X50 chronicles the Vogels’ continuing commitment to art as philanthropists and provides an inside look at their collection, further exploring their belief that art be accessible to everyone.

Director/Producer Megumi Sasaki began production of the follow-up film in 2008, when a surprise announcement was made by the National Gallery of Art: a historic gift project whereby 50 of the Vogels’ works would be “gifted” to one museum in each of the 50 states—a total of 2500 works. In the sixteen years since Herb & Dorothy first transferred their entire collection to the National Gallery, the couple continued to collect, increasing the total number of works to over 4000. This was more than the Gallery, one of the biggest museums in the country, could handle. The national gift project, Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: 50 Works For 50 States, was launched as a solution.

In order to complete the film, Sasaki has launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to raise $55,000 in 60 days. In support of the campaign, notable artists from the Vogel collection including Lawrence Weiner and Lynda Benglis have donated their unique works.

Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website allowing creative projects a platform to raise funds, and in exchange, offer rewards to backers based upon their amount of donation. An all-or-nothing challenge, the project must meet its financial goal within a specified time frame or all donations are refunded. 30% of the goal amount has been raised as of September 27th, 2011. The campaign ends November 6th, 2011.

“The spirit of Kickstarter is art being supported by the people for the people, which speaks exactly to Herb & Dorothy’s gift project and this new film,” says Director/Producer Megumi Sasaki. “What makes this campaign unique are the amazing incentives, one of-a-kind artwork by notable artists that are not available anywhere else. You can start collecting like Herb & Dorothy by supporting the project.”

Depending on the pledge level, the works offered as rewards are: a sketchbook designed by Lawrence Weiner ($200 pledge for a non-signed copy, $750 pledge for a signed copy), limited edition prints by Charles Clough ($400 pledge per print), an original wax painting by Lynda Benglis ($7500 pledge - will be introduced Oct. 4), and a sculpture of the Vogels’ cat Archie by young artist Kaylyn Gerenz ($2500 pledge). (See images on page 3.)

Megumi Sasaki is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. Beginning her career as a print journalist, Sasaki later joined NHK, Japanese public broadcaster, as a reporter, anchor and news director. In 2008, Sasaki’s directorial debut, HERB & DOROTHY, received a worldwide theatrical release and won numerous festival awards: Golden Starfish Best Documentary Award and Audience award at 2008 Hamptons International Film Festival, Audience Award at 2008 SILVERDOCS Film Festival, Audience Award – 2009 Philadelphia CineFest, and Best Documentary Award at 2009 Provincetown Film Festival.

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