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Label: kickstarter

Friday 26th September 2014Crowdfunding the Arts Ramps Up

Traditionally, the art world has existed on almost the opposite of crowdfunding. At least in the European tradition, an artist would do his best (traditionally, the European masters have largely been men, as unfair as that is) to impress a single wealthy patron who would then undertake to fund all of the artist's subsequent costs - within reason, of course. This would often extend to providing food, lodging and materials in exchange for the first bite at the apple, and the right to request any sort of commission that the patron may wish to have undertaken. In modern terms, the closest analog would likely be a monthly retainer, although lawyers and the like often have many clients that pay retainers.

Recently, however, we discussed the change in this dynamic that originally begun with the impressively novel crowdfunding site named Kickstarter. For those that haven't yet heard of the site, the essential premise of the site is that people can post project proposals online, and have it funded by a large number of individuals making small contributions, as opposed to a single wealthy patron bankrolling the entire project. While the previous discussion was limited to art galleries in the UK, this time around the effort is being undertaken in cooperation with what is arguably the world's most popular art fair (another model which is dramatically shaking up the art world), Art Basel. Known for hosting wildly successful art fairs originally in Basel and then expanding to the somewhat unlikely satellite locations of Hong Kong and Miami Beach, Art Basel has started a formal partnership with Kickstarted in the hopes of encouraging viewers to support non-profit art groups using the crowdfunding site and model.

Named the Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative, the project has already begun it's first foray into the crowdfunding scene with four projects, which cover and impressively diverse spectrum of content and funding requirement. SculptureCenter, in New York, is hoping to raise $12,000; Gasworks in London is hoping to raise roughly $65,000; Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (a terrible name, it must be said) is hoping to raise $5,000 for a concert series in Los Angeles; and the 4A Center for Contemporary Asian Art in Sydney, Australia is hoping to raise $18,000. Here's to hoping that the crowdfunding model can provide the much-needed support these projects require to get off the ground!

Posted on September 26th 2014 on 12:05am
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