Cultivating Generosity, The Big Idea

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550163_622320477797619_339771608_nI want to start this post by plugging The Big Idea Show, an experimental web series by Adora Wilson-Eye. She’s 4 days from her fundraising deadline and has a little time to put a buffer on her budget. Please take some time to visit her Kickstarter page, shot partly by me. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Kickstarter or crowd-funding, here’s a little more about it.

Crowd-funding is a way for artists to finance ideas with the help of friends, family and strangers on the internet. Diana used Kickstarter to fill a gap in her budget earlier this year but there are a variety of other platforms like Rocketdog and IndieGoGo that people use to raise money online. We chose Kickstarter because they’re one of the earliest adopters, they’re partnered with Amazon and many filmmakers are already comfortable with the Kickstarter brand.

In the beginning, Kickstarter seemed primarily like a venue for upstart bands or small theater companies to raise a few thousand dollars to get projects off the ground. Over the past year, though, Kickstarter has played a surprising role in gathering increasingly astonishing amounts of money for increasingly well-known artists. – Rob Trump, NY Times

Inocente – Best Documentary Short 2013

Inocente, Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Short, raised $52,527 from 294 Backers and became the first crowd-funded film to win an Oscar this year. That’s 294 die hard fans that couldn’t wait to see the film, felt pride when it was nominated and had a personal connection to Hollywood when their champions, Sean and Andrea Fine, took the stage to accept their award. That’s the power of crowd funding, it’s an investment with an emotional return instead of a financial one.

It’s a way for anyone to connect with the creative world, to join a collective and support someone that’s taking a chance. It’s a way to make a little money have a big impact and to give to someone in need. It’s also a way to build up karma and get neat little gifts.

Crowd-funding is a way for artists to take control of our own creative destinies. Instead of waiting for funding to fall from the sky, sustainable art depends on cultivating a culture of generosity around us. That means sharing links to your friend’s campaigns and throwing money in the hat early if it comes around when you’re lucky enough to have a steady income. The golden rule, do unto others…, is at the core of our collective future in the Arts. Help out when you can and people will be there to help when you come calling.

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