Monday, February 27, 2012

Kickstarter expects to pass the NEA in arts funding

Depending on how you look at it, this is either a really good sign of grass roots, creative funding or a grim look at how little we value arts at the federal level,although the federal government also funds the arts through the NEH, educational grants and a wide range of other programs.

Personally, I'm mostly in the camp that sees this as totally great! The NEA while a core funder of some major institutions, has failed completely at supporting a dynamic and creative ecosystem. Most likely, one can't expect it to do so.

From The Huffington Post

In general, Kickstarter projects follow a looser definition than the NEA's, described as "creative" projects rather than solely artistic ones. The NEA's recent grantees include Magic City Smooth Jazz, supporting their Jazz in the Park series, and the Puppetry Arts Theater, Inc. in Brooklyn, NY, to support a production of a new musical, "Antropomorphic" (see a list of recent grant recipients here), and are often meant to promote arts education as much as specific projects.

Strickler added that the company views the implication of the $150 million number "in both a good and a bad way."

It's best described as the National Endowment For Certain Famous and Connected Institutions, Artists and Curators. (the folks who likely need that kind of funding-the least)

Hopefully this is just the start of a trend, both online and off to better fund creativity at all levels. Remember also that Kickstarter supports seed funding for projects rather than continuing support for institutions.

(P.S. In spite of the term "endowment", the NEA, has no funds set aside or invested and is funded on annual basis out of the general Federal budget)

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