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New Crowd-Funding Site Raises More Than $1 Million For The Arts

New Crowd-Funding Site Raises More Than $1 Million For The Arts

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Apr 19, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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New Crowd-Funding Site Raises More Than $1 Million For The Arts
Ed Ruscha summed up the the experience
of the artist bluntly when he said “Most
artists are doing basically the same thing
staying off the streets.” Art isn’tsomething that’s easily quantifiable; something that’s worth nothing today could
be worth millions 2o years from now and vice versa. That brings up the question
“How do we fund the arts?” When it comes to things like art, the free market is
notoriously short-sighted and cynical while institutions like universities andmuseums can be insular and conservative. EnterUSA Projects,a new crowd- funding site that hopes to combine the best of the two models and keep artists intheir studios instead of begging for spare change on the subway.
Wait, you say, isn’t there already Kickstarter? 
Co.Design explains the difference:
Basically, it’s a bit of both worlds. There is a free market approach, as random
strangers peruse different projects and decide which ones they think are worthfunding and a institutional approach ensuring only committed peer-reviewed artistsare considered, as opposed to that dude at the health food store who paints dragonson bongs. One negative to this approach might be the rather limited number of approved partners and organizations, which could have theunintended consequence of limiting access to those in MFA programs (which costa considerable amount of money to attend).Still, it strikes a nice balance between the two approaches. The organization alsogets a good mix of donors:That, coupled with the fact that the average USA Projects donor gives about $60more than they do on Kickstarter, is a good sign for artists, writers, architects,dancers and musicians looking for a little economic security while finishing theirwork. Just like Kickstarter, each project features a little video where the artistexplains what they are doing and what they need the money for, as well asincentives like prints and invitations to performances for big donations.The founder of USA Projects points out on Co.Design that 96 percent of Americans value art but only 27 percent of Americans value artists. Thatdiscrepancy shows why inventive new ways of funding artists are needed,

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