Art Basel and Kickstarter Team Up to Crowd-Fund for Non-Profits

Potential crowd-funders at Art Basel in Basel.
Photo: MCH Messe Schweiz (Basel) AG.

Art Basel is partnering with crowd-sourced funding giant Kickstarter to promote non-commercial projects by non-profit art organizations around the world. Over the past five years, the all-or-nothing Kickstarter model, which requires users to reach their fundraising goals in order to receive any money, has funded more than 69,000 projects, with more than $1.3 billion in pledges from nearly 7 million backers.

The fair will have its own curated page on Kickstarter, which will host a series of projects selected by jurors Hammad Nasar of Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Glenn Phillips of Los Angeles’s Getty Research Institute; and Mari Spirito of Protocinema. The initiative, which will highlight campaigns seeking to fund exhibitions, public art installation, books, films, artist residencies, educational programming, and other art events and projects,  hopes to harness crowd-funding in support of art non-profits, combating dwindling funding for the arts.

“Our crowd-funding initiative will bring new support and visibility to one of the areas where it is most needed in today’s artworld—those non-profit arts organizations worldwide that serve as the foundation and testing ground for so many important cultural projects,” said Art Basel director Marc Spiegler in a press release.

“Incredible art has come to life via Kickstarter—everything from giant murals to interactive performances to new studio spaces for young talent,” added Kickstarter CEO and co-founder Yancey Strickler. “We’re thrilled that world-class art projects from top non-profits will have the chance to find support on Kickstarter, and to be bolstered by the Art Basel community.”

The initial round of projects are from Australia’s 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (the Chinese art collective Yangjiang Group is looking to host a multimedia art event in Sydney’s Chinatown), London’s Gasworks (which hopes to add studios for its residency program for international and local artists), Los Angeles’s Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (the group hopes to host a public sound art happening), and New York’s SculptureCenter (which intends to host Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s first US museum survey).

The jurors will select new projects on an ongoing basis, searching amid Kickstarter’s vast range of projects for high quality proposals that are innovative, creative, and viable.

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