Yancey Strickler, a co-founder of Kickstarter, said today that the crowd-sourced funding machine is on track to distribute over $150 million in 2012--more than the National Endowment for the Arts, which has a 2012 operating budget of $146 million. That's incredibly impressive for Kickstarter, which has been on a roll lately, what with sending 31 Kickstarter-funded films to SXSW and breaking records with the new Double Fine Productions adventure game.
It also goes to show just how underfunded the NEA really is. As a comparison, the Canada Council for the Arts, the roughly equivalent organization up north, has a budget of around $181 million USD--supporting a population a tenth the size. But it's not a one-to-one comparison. Kickstarter funds all kinds of things the NEA doesn't, especially consumer items like the big-money-earning iPod Nano watch kit and this iPhone dock. Kickstarter has very little overhead cost compared to the running of a government agency, and (so far, at least) doesn't have to fight off congressional attacks every few years. And the NEA has very different responsibilities in terms of what it does and does not fund; Kickstarter, for example, is under no obligation to fund traditional or folk artists, and the NEA is unlikely to even attempt to fund your college roommate's documentary about the wild raccoons of Jackson, Mississippi. So it's not entirely fair to plant them side-by-side and shake a finger.
Still, it's great news for Kickstarter, and for us as well--it can only be a good thing to have an influential, democratic system to fund the creative projects that can't get funding through the NEA, or the major publishers of games, movies, and music.
[via Talking Points Memo]
Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Yancey Strickler's name.
Wow. Rarely does one see someone destroy their own argument so thoroughly and be so oblivious about it. The success of Kickstarter shows the utter waste of taxpayer funding for the NEA. There are no barriers to getting a project up on Kickstarter. If enough people think it a worthy project it gets funded. If not, it doesn't. Why should my tax dollars go to fund "Piss Christ"? This is why the left hates the free market and loves the government; it is so much easier to take someone else's rightfully earned money and pay for something than let it stand the test of the market. And yes, I use "left" correctly here. Since when, Popsci, did you start using articles from TPM?
Spoken like a market ideologue. Like math and science, pure art has great value beyond the money-making opportunity. "arguments" like this reveal a spectacular soullessness to your character.
I never said anything about it having to make money. I said that if it was put out to be funded by those who thought it worthy then there would be no problem. Primarily, there should be no requirement to make me pay for something I find morally offensive. I have supported many projects on Kickstarter; some with a product at the end others with artistic value that I will never see in person.
What business does the government have with deciding winners and losers in any capacity. Since when is it up to the government to decide what qualifies as "true art"? Shouldn't that be left up to those with the desire, and means, to support it?
Your lack of any counter argument and immediate ad-hominem show much about your character, or lack thereof. Why did I expect otherwise?