Monday, June 10, 2013

Do You Have an Idea for a Great Project and No Funding?

100 Prints For Hunger

In the past - like the 70's, 80's and maybe a few years after that - artists could often count on having the financial support of local, state or national agencies to fund or partially projects such as say a large installation, travel for some special educational experience or maybe even a stay in at an artists retreat, but those days are largely gone.  There are a few exceptions but overall the money has dried up or been  cut so drastically that it's almost impossible to get even a small grant.

Necessity is the Mother of invention and I'd like to tell you about a new funding sources.  One is named Kickstarter and the second is USA Projects.   Possibly you have received  request from a friend who has registered a project on one of these sites or other similar sites.  I have had several requests and two of the projects did meet their goals and the projects have been fulfilled.  Both were very worthy and well received.

Basically, you are going grassroots and asking for the support of your friends, family, acquaintances on Facebook or anyone who might have an interest in your project to step in and "give a little" to help you fulfill your idea.  The originator of the project establishes a set goal, chooses levels of giving and often some type of gift or incentive is offered for contributing if the project goes forward.  When you visit the home page of Kickstarter there is a scrolling selection at the bottom of the page which tells you about projects in your area which may interest you.  The projects are not limited to art, there are a number of categories.

I think the idea of this type of funding is very interesting.  It requires that you have a solid plan and are willing to put yourself out into the public for a very real kind of evaluation.  You have to be prepared to accept the disappointment if you don't make your goal, in which case any support that was promised is reimbursed.   You also have to be prepared to follow through if you successfully raise the required funds.  I salute my friends who have stepped forward and put themselves in this position.

So.  Do you have a great idea that needs funding?  Do you have a research project or exhibition that you can't fund yourself?  Then this organization might be a place to secure the financial support you need.


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