Paper – Final Draft
After a frantic Christmas the ‘Research in Practice’ paper on Crowdfunding and Public Art has finally come together. I’ve completed a final draft with time left to refine it before handing in on the 14th January.
Information technology has not only radically transformed the way we communicate, but also the way we consume culture. Web based platforms have enabled artists to bypass traditional routes to both fund and sell their work. The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which digital crowdfunding platforms have enabled the delivery of small scale, community-based public art in the UK. A literature review found limited academic research on crowdfunding and the arts, however several papers on crowdfunding and findings from an Arts Council England funded pilot study have informed this paper. A variety of research methods were utilised including literature review, primary source analysis, survey and interview. Statistical analysis presents an overview of the 400 successfully funded public art projects found on Kickstarter.com and Crowdfunder.co.uk, a success rate of 59% across both platforms. It also outlines the type, scale and geography of work funded. The results showed that 54% of projects sampled for this paper were ‘artist led’ and that any artform can be financed through crowdfunding, as the perceived sociological values of the project are more relevant to successful backing than specific artform. Conclusions indicate crowdfunding provides an alternative source of finance to individual artists and organisations looking to fund small scale work and/or match traditional sources of funding. Furthermore, that rewards based crowdfunding platforms can support elements of community engagement activity, through the design of rewards and utilisation of integral tools for marketing.