Have you ever needed the money to start (or finish!) a major art project? If so, there’s a innovative online resource that could help you kick start your idea. Kickstarter is a website that facilitates crowd-sourced funding of creative ideas and ambitious endeavors in the visual arts, the performing arts, fashion, writing, food, and technology.

I knew next to nothing about this grassroots financing platform until yesterday, when a proposal from Hilary Pfeifer showed up on my Facebook wall. Hilary is using Kickstarter to raise money for her next installation project, The Beauty of Life. She created this excellent video to illustrate her plans. I feel quite lucky to hear Hilary describe her inspiration and objectives in her own voice.

If anyone is tuned in to what’s new and what’s next for artists on the web, it’s Hilary Pfeifer. Beyond making, exhibiting, and selling terrific work under two distinct personas (her given name and as Bunny with a Toolbelt), she maintains a delightful website, writes two must-read blogs, runs an Etsy shop, organizes art events in her community, and so much more. (Read a great interview with Hilary here.)

“I think Kickstarter’s just being talked about in a lot of fine art circles right now,” said Hilary, “especially here in Portland (Oregon) where we have precious little art funding but a lot of motivated creative people.”

Kickstarter financing is not a loan. In exchange for supporting The Beauty of Life, all donors above the $25 level receive an actual brooch from the installation. Higher donation levels receive larger brooches and more of them. Donors at the highest level receive a 12-brooch collection and a case in which to display them. And you’re not charged a penny until the goal is achieved! Pretty darn clever, eh? I love 21st century economics!

Please raise your virtual glass and join me in a cyber-toast to Hilary Pfeifer and all the amazing artists exploring new paths to reaching their goals.

Think Kickstarter might be a good fit for your project?

Want to read more?

Hilary Pfeifer’s Full Kickstarter Proposal

Kickstarter Success Stories

New York TimesInc.Documentary.orgWired

Hilary Pfeifer’s Blog

Bunny with a Toolbelt Blog


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