Monday, January 09, 2012

Leg up

The current Government is hot on philanthropy as the way forward for arts funding. Remember the Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce of 2010? (well, maybe not). In all the talk of capability building and mentors, there was not a mention of what is turning out to be a low-investment, high community winner: crowdsourcing. There are now a few crowdsourcing platforms for fundraising but the basic idea is the same. Announce your project, ask for contributions (how much is up to the giver) and spread the word.

Does it work? Can do if Melbourne-based Leg of Lamb's efforts on behalf of Yvonne Todd are anything to go by. Using Pozible (Kickstarter is another crowdsourcer and it has raised over $74 million for 10,626 “creative projects” in only two years) Leg of Lamb put up a few pics from Todd’s next exhibition and asked for funding for a catalogue. As the pledges were made (one each of $A20 and $A40, six of $A60, three of $A80, eight of $A100 and three of $A200 and $A500 ) the Leg made sure participants got regular progress reports. LoL (sorry it just came out that way) also sweetened the deal with signed catalogues and the chance to win a print. A few days before the deadline the project reached the $A4500, plus a little more.

So how about the public institutions? Forever complaining about having no money to buy works for their collections, this feels like a perfect opportunity. Can they convince the public of the benefits of having great art on tap for the community? OTN will put up $200 for the first one to give it a go.