Starting in 2009, Kickstarter is an innovative and latest way to fund creative projects. Venturing into a diverse array of endeavors, Kickstarter crowd funds for all projects from artists, filmmakers, and musicians to designers, writers, illustrators to explorers, curators, and performers to anyone else, who wants to bring dreams and projects to life.
A kind of Internet appeal for funds, Kickstarter was initiated with an aim to pay all the artists and make their dream come true.
This appeal was noble and reasonable. As many times, raising cash becomes impossible for performers, but with Kickstarter that dream can come true.
One of the most prominent “crowd funding” websites, Kickstarter has enabled artists to make nearly 30,000 documentaries, albums, smartphone apps, and other projects till now.
And of lately, the firm has incorporated dance performances among its services.
Artists and performers of Kickstarter have also started using social media such as Twitter, Tumbler, and Facebook Connect, which offers them a chance to raise funds.
For dance enthusiasts, Kickstarter has very big news indeed. Dance continues to stay the most successful Kickstarter category till now, out of theater, music, film, design, and technology.
As a result, Kickstarter has reported to accumulate around $2.36 million into the dance world.
Let’s take a look at how the entire project works:
Artists submit their ideas for a project to the website’s staff.
After few days, once the project is approved, artists can launch “campaign” on the site with a project page. This may include posting some information about the project with listing rewards that artists will offer donors, and perhaps a short video clip full of passion and character.
Yancey Strickler, one of the co-founder, says that it is important for artists to add the human touch, as that makes donors feel more connected to artists and their projects.
Artists can also state their fundraising goal and a deadline on the site.
Now what’s the catch in that? Either raise the full sum by the date set, else they lose every penny that was pledged.
Kickstarter just takes a 5 percent cut, and Amazon, which processes the payments, takes 3 to 5 percent.
But the fact that is less publicized is about the odds that are against artists on Kickstarter. It is reported that less than half of Kickstarter campaigns succeed.
More than 60 percent of film and video campaigns at Kickstarter fail.
And here’s where dance comes in as different, in fact greatly different. More than 70 percent of dance campaigns on Kickstarter thrive.
All of a sudden, Kickstarter got lot of attention from traditional funders and dance advocates.
This spring, the NEA responded to Strickler’s boast by bringing him to Washington to meet with its program directors. Two weeks ago, DanceNYC, a branch of the Dance/USA service organization, hosted a town hall meeting with several dozen dance artists and a Kickstarter staffer to glean moneymaking tips.
As per Lane Harwell, director of Kickstarter the desire for immediate resources is getting strapped dancers hooked on to Kickstarter, which can get them quick funds.
Another reason for dance category to be a success can be the modest amount of money that these performers seek.
It also depends up on how vast the community is. Dance troupe usually have a dozen members, so they get lot of support around them.
Kickstarter and the sites like it such as Indiegogo, ChipIn and others prove to be a gold mine for dancers.
But it can also be challenging for them. They have to put up with a certain amount of stress and virtual pavement-pounding to make it work.
Miguel Gutierrez, a Brooklyn choreographer, project-based artist, typically sets forth a yearly letter-writing campaign to help pay for his works.
According to him, the most he had ever made in was $5,000. When he started working on a piece he calls “And lose the name of action,” which has its premiere next month at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center and includes a video installation and original sound design, he realized that he needed more money than he had budgeted.
Gutierrez, 41, said, “I’m trying to run a really professional company.” “To rehearse six or eight people with a composer and a video artist is at least $1,000 a day.” So he launched a $20,000 Kickstarter campaign, and an anxiety attack along with it.
“Are we out of our minds?” he remembers thinking. But the breathlessness of possibly blowing it, he realized, is critical. Both the artist and the donors can get swept up in the drama as they watch the donated amount creep up on the site. The time crunch makes arts funding feel like sweating through an eBay auction.
Raising funds can be taxing and demanding for many artists. “Oh my gosh, it was so stressful!” recalls Holly Bass, D.C.-based dancer and poet, who this month managed to raise $2,292 on Kickstarter.
The money was to help fund a showing of new work at Dance Place with Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, who is a Philadelphia artist.
Many artists feel that the entire idea of asking for exactly what is wanted on Kickstarter is tedious.
Dancers on Kickstarter are made to answer questions, including- consider the universe of possibility for their project? How many dancers would be truly perfect? What costumes would make it just right? — and then make a case for why they deserve those things.
But these questions by Kickstarter also seem to be helping dancers as they can now successfully speak up for themselves on their project pages. This also suggests that the dance field may now be on the verge of development.