The Peabody Award-winning Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, from PRI and WNYC, is public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Each week, Kurt Andersen introduces you to the people who are creating and shaping our culture. Life is busy – so let Studio 360 steer you to the must-see movie this weekend, the next book for your nightstand, or the song that will change your life.
May 19th, 2015
Episode 56 of 201 episodes
If your creative concept is original, quirky, and crazy enough, it will kill on Kickstarter. There was the Robocop statue, the potato salad, and now the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum. Best friends and comedy writers Matt Harkinsand Viviana Olen were six and seven years old when Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked with a baton on behalf of her arch-rival, Tonya Harding, in 1994. The following federal investigation (which would reveal Harding's then-husband helped plan the attack) was one of the biggest sports stories of the century. Harkins and Olenweren't fully aware of the scope of the story until watching the ESPN documentary,The Price of Gold, which humanizes both athletes.Then they were hooked, and surprised how little their peers remembered of the controversial events. "I made out with a 25-year-old and he had no idea what I was talking about," Olen says. "That really impressed on us the fact that there's a whole generation that doesn't remember." The twodecided to open a museum in their shared apartment -- they already had a perfect useless hallway, all they needed was money. They turned toKickstarter, asking for "$75 to print photos at Duane Reade." They raised over two thousand dollars. More impressive still, they collected dozens of artifacts and works of tribute art from Kerrigan and Harding fans. The museum has a sense of irony, but its truenature shifted to a more sincere placeonce the art and artifacts started pouring into the curators'Brooklyn apartment. Harkinsand Olen invested their Kickstarter funds into lights, paint, and various fixtures to properly present their rich collection, from dioramas and figurines to cross stitches and autographed memorabilia from the two figure skaters. The museum became a tribute to the triumphant and tragic stories of two world-class athletes. "These are people who are alive and have been haunted by this for so long," Olen says."The only thing we're making fun of is ourselves."