111 3Arts supporters
$8,050 raised of $5,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on March 05, 2016
    • 161% contributed

Fielding is an educational program geared to empowering young women and gender variant youth (ages 14-18) with design and build skills. Working in collaboration with a team of other skilled artists, I am raising funds to organize two week long camps this June that will lead students through the design of objects and structures and teach them how to use power tools competently and confidently. My collaborators include Amber Ginsburg, Billy Dee, Miriam Stevens and Donesha Thompson. Our choice to work with girls, young women, and gender variant youth is born of our experience as women or gender queer builders in both art and trade contexts. There is a persistent misalignment between the confidence in our capacity to develop building skills and complete large-scale projects, and the pejorative attitudes we encounter when doing so. Our name, Fielding, encompasses both the experience of deflecting unwelcome assumptions and a new direction for the field of building. With your contributions toward this campaign, we will be able to cover considerable costs of equipping and hosting these camps, as well as offer scholarships for student participation. 

About This Project

For over a decade, I have worked as a sculptor, carpenter, and educator in numerous contexts. Within this work, I have been consistently drawn to collaboration and embodied/experiential learning, where inter-subjectivity, or the awareness of others, is highlighted and results in a deep engagement with one’s own context. I believe that art is a means of comprehending, reflecting, and influencing our world through collectivity and civic engagement; that as artists and educators, we have a unique responsibility to help envision worlds that are more just. 

These principles and practices, juxtaposed with the persistent limitations that I witness towards young women and gender nonconforming youth, have led me to this project and to three skilled collaborators: Amber Ginsburg, Billy Dee Miriam Stevens and Donesha Thompson. Catalyzing our collective expertise, we’ve created the Fielding project which takes on persistent gender inequality through the practice of carpentry and embodied learning. This work not only benefits the young people learning these skills directly, but aims to break down gender biases more broadly and help change the social pattern of who is safely wielding tools and constructing the built environment.

This June, we plan to launch the project with two week-long tooling camps that will take place at the Experimental Station, a Southside arts and cultural organization. We have seed funding from a grant from the Propeller Fund to initiate the development of our teaching collaborative and project website. Through this online campaign, we are seeking funding to cover many things, including building materials and hardware, space rental, insurance, student lunches, recruitment costs, and much-needed power and hand tools and safety gear. Our bottom-line goal is to raise $5,000. In the event that we successfully raise that amount prior to our deadline, we will push for an additional $3,000 to cover seven full-tuition scholarships of $425 each. We plan to generate income from student tuition, but our goal is to offer these camps on a sliding scale to ensure that we do not have to turn any young person away.

As seasoned artists, teachers and builders, we are honored to share our skills with a growing generation of young people. For the Fielding teachers, this work is more than a project, but an ongoing practice. We invite you, our supporters, to join us in making this ongoing practice possible. 

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $10
    Personal thank-you on the “Fielding” Facebook page ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Donor listing on our website (plus the above) ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    Set of handmade thank you cards with a tool motif (plus all of the above) ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $350
    Hand silk-screened handkerchief with a tool motif (plus all of the above) ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    A handmade “Fielding” tool belt (plus all of the above) ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000
    A dinner with “Fielding” teachers at the Experimental Station at the end of camp to view and celebrate student work (plus all of the above) ($0.00 is tax deductible.)

Sara Black

Chandler Family Awardee

Statement and Bio:

I hold commitments as a visual artist, researcher, pedagogue, homeschooling parent, greenskeeper and environmental justice activist. My artwork uses durational processes of building, horticultural practices, and material transformation as a time-based method and diseased wood, ecosystem-specific trees/plants, …

View Sara Black's profile
  • Update 1: Thank you! We're already at 25%!!!
    Posted on January 25, 2016


    Amber, Billy, Sara and Donesha want to offer a huge, reverberating THANK YOU to all of our early contributors! We've already reached 25% of our goal in under a week! This work couldn't be done this summer without you. Your support is deeply and truly appreciated. 

    I (Sara) posted in an FB post yesterday that we are so honored to have the opportunity to reach out to our network for support like this through this unique 3Arts program, because they are also an investor in this project. 3Arts funds work by women artists, artists of color, and artists with disability, and fulfil a deep commitment to supporting the lives and careers of local artists. Amazingly, they invest in 3AP projects as well. As soon as we raise the first 1/3 of our goal $1667, then 3Arts will match that amount, automatically bringing us up to 2/3 funded. 

    We are getting so close to that important number! 
    So happy you're a part of this new work.

    Thanks again!

    Sara, Donesha, Billy and Amber 

    Update 2: Our 3Arts Match! We're getting close to goal #1!
    Posted on January 31, 2016


    What a week its been! As we approached our 1/3 mark, our supporters really stepped up!!! We've received our 3Arts match, lifting us to 2/3s of our goal (thank you so much 3Arts) and in just a few days times we've pushed on to 90% of our initial goal of $5,000.00. Amber, Billy, Donesha and I are stunned and grateful. 

    BUT, we can't lose momentum. As mentioned in our initial call, the original goal of $5,000.00 is our baseline to cover all basic operating costs of the camps along with necessities like teacher travel costs, student lunches, space rental, materials and tools. Once we hit that goal, we will push for an additional $3000.00 to cover at least seven student scholarships. This is less than 1/4 of our expected student participants. It's so important to us that all students who wish to participate are able, regardless of their ability to pay. 

    THANK YOU to our supporters! Please continue to spread the word.

    Sara, Donesha, Billy and Amber

    Update 3: Another matching grant offer! We're so close!
    Posted on February 22, 2016


    Dear Supporters!

    Fielding has just received some incredible, unexpected news. An anonymous donor has offered to give us a matching grant up to $1000! What does this mean? If our supporters donate $20, they match it and it becomes $40. If supporters give $100, they match it and we get $200. If we can raise $1000 more dollars, the campaign receives $2000. The campaign ends in just under two weeks - March 4th! 

    Please continue to spread the word and nudge anyone you think might want to support such a project! We need to reach our stretch goal of $8000.00 to fund 7 scholarships, and would LOVE to offer these to our needier potential campers! This matching amount would get us there!

    Thank you for helping us make this a successful campaign!
    Amber, Billy, Donesha, Miriam and Sara

    Update 4: Our newest teacher and the last $1200 needed.
    Posted on February 24, 2016


    Dear supporters. 

    Excellent news! We've been so fortunate to solidify the committment of a fifth teacher for our summer camps this summer. We'd like to introduce you to Miriam Stevens! Please follow this link for bio information about Miriam.  We're very excited to bring her experience, skills and energy to the camps. 

    Also, it's been a few days since we posted about our matching grant, and we've raised $170.00 toward the $1000.00 matching grant. We can't stop now and we only have 10 days left! In fact, we need to raise $1200 dollars more to cover our scholarship fund. If there is anyone you know that might be interested in supporting this project, please do send our link their way! It would be a darn shame not to maximize that $1000.00 matching grant to its full capacity!

    Thanks again for all your support!

    Sara and the Fielding Crew

    Update 5: Thank you again! Help us recruit participants!
    Posted on April 25, 2016


    Dear Fielding Supporters,

    We want to thank you again for your support of Fielding! As you have seen, we successfully reached both our baseline operations goal, as well as our scholarship goal! We are only a couple of months away from hosting our summer Tooling Camps.

    At this stage, we are looking for campers. We've been getting out the word but still have plenty of room for campers. If you know of any young person who might be interested in participating, please let us know. You can visit our website for complete information about the camps and to register. We have sliding scale and full scholarship options available for those who would benefit.

    If you are set to receive a set of handmade thank you cards, know that they are on their way! We've hit a slow down period this past six weeks because I had a baby in March! (August Wendell Roderick, born March 14th). 

    Thanks for your patience and continued support!

    Sara and the Fielding Crew

    Update 6: New Evening Camps!
    Posted on June 09, 2016


    Dear Generous Donors,

    The Fielding crew is writing to update you on some necessary changes to our summer camps. As you are aware, we began our recruiting campaign in March, just following our successful fundraiser with 3Arts (and you!) that allowed us to move forward. We've since recognized that a March through May recruiting campaign was not adequate to fill both camps with campers aged 14 to 18!

    However, we have received remarkable interest in the project and have responded in three ways: 1. We've shifted our day camps to evening camps to make the time frame as accessible as possible. 2. In response to public interest, we have opened our camps to female-identified and gender nonconforming folks ages 14 to 100! 3. We're offering two shorter camps between the 20th and the 24th of June, as opposed to a full five day camp. Full details can be found below! If you know of anyone who may be interested in participating, please send them our way via email or our website!

    Our plan longer term plan is to begin recruiting for our 2017 week long Tooling Camps as early as October 2017. We'll be sure to keep you in the loop on our 2016 camps as they unfold this June and let you know when we've begun recruiting for next summer.

    Thanks again for your support of Fielding,

    Our best,
    Sara, Amber, Billy, Donesha and Miriam

    Camp details:
    Tooling Camp #1: Monday, June 20th and Wednesday, June 22nd from 6-9pm and open shop Friday, June 24th from 6-9pm at the Experimental Station.

    Tooling Camp #2: Tuesday, June 21st and Thursday, June 23rd from 6-9pm and open shop Friday, June 24th from 6-9pm at the Experimental Station.

    To register please visit:


    Update 7: Upcoming Field-Build Project
    Posted on January 19, 2017


    Dear Tooling Camp Alumni and Friends of Project Fielding,

    We are writing to update you on our latest plans and invite to you our first Field-Build, a design and build project. Field-Build Projects are building workshops designed for female identified and gender fluid youth and adults. Participants join experienced teachers to build specific functional structures using essential tools of the woodshop.


    Project Fielding is pleased to be invited by the Oak Park Arts League (OPAL) to present a work for an outdoor exhibition in May 2017 to coincide with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth. Since the 1930’s, Frank Lloyd Wright’s students at Taliesin West School (now the FLW School of Architecture), have built small survival structures, called “survival dorms”. For this upcoming Field-Build, we will build occupation architecture in response to our current political context and with a reflective eye to the survival dorms of Taliesin West.

    This past year we witnessed the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, South Dakota occupy and protect sacred land from oil pipeline development. Project Fielding teachers were inspired by the building efforts of groups like the Dakota Youth Council, who designed, built and assembled winter-ready shelters in collaboration with tribal members. We have reached out to Oceti Sakowin Camp and to Chicago based activists who have spent time at Standing Rock and we plan to create shelters or other needed structures for Water Protectors who have remained on site through these frigid winter months. In the design and delivery of the shelters, we will be responsive to the direct request of those currently at Standing Rock.

    Join us from Thursday February 9th through Sunday February 11th for the Field-Build!

    We would love for you to join us in responding to the current realities of protest and gatherings of people to express political by building these structures -- one for exhibition at the Oak Park Arts League in May and the others for use as protest shelters. If you cannot make all four days, let us know and we can make arrangements.

    Where is the Field-Build?

    The Field-Build will be held at the Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S. Cornell Avenue, Chicago, IL 60615) in the Jackman Goldwasser Residency Studio

    What is the schedule for the Field-Build?
    Field-Builders will meet from 9am to 3pm Thursday through Sunday. We will have a one-hour lunch break and two 10 minute snack breaks each day.

    How many participants will there be?
    We can accommodate up to 20 total participants. This will include five Project Fielding teachers and up to 15 builders of any skill level.

    What is the cost?
    $105.00 on a sliding scale. All contributions go toward material costs!

    To find out more and to register please visit: and click the tab "Registration".  We'll see you there!

    The Fielding Teachers
    (Sara, Amber, Donesha, Billy, Caroline, Lia and Miriam)


    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

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 Additional support provided by: 

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