Arts advocacy is often about funding for the arts - public funding, in particular. As public funding for the arts becomes increasingly reduced and threatened, it is imperative to consider alternate models. The October 20, 2011 blog post, Crowdfunding and the Arts, on University of California Institute for Research in the Arts’ State of the Arts blog, addresses crowd funding and alternate funding models in a lively Q & A format.
Comments from artists with crowdfunding experience who participated in the blog discussion:
“I haven’t come across any proof that crowdfunding sites are contributing in any way to the decrease of institutional grant giving. And even if they were, it completely ignores the intention of the people contributing to crowdsourcing sites. Rather than wasting energy blaming well-meaning people for contributing money to art projects that inspire them, wouldn’t it be better to think about how individuals and institutions can work together to find some model that allows both kinds of giving?”
“I think that what UCIRA and Creative Capital are up to addresses the issue of sustainability much more than social media micro-funding. I see the latter as one very small – and very positive -piece of the puzzle, but not one that can or should be relied on in an ongoing way. I think that the model of combining non-monetary support with funding does a much better job.”
Technology in the Arts ran a December 2, 2011 post analyzing the pros and cons of various crowdfunding sites such as IndieGoGo, RocketHub, and Kickstarter for arts projects and tips for crowdfunding.
See a related article/debate in Seattle's indie weekly, The Stranger, "Could Kickstarter be Evil?".
The Guardian UK also has a blog post on crowdfunding for the arts, specifically about the new cultural crowdfunding website, WeDidThis.org.uk. Factoid from the post: while 58% of adults shop online, only 7% give online.
More on Kickstarter and the arts from March 2012.