Kickstarter Trumps the NEA

March 3, 2012 | 5

Kickstarter is expecting to raise more than $150 million for its users’ projects in 2012. That’s $4 million more than the “entire fiscal year 2012 budget for the National Endowment of the Arts.” Maybe it’s because the NEA is wasting all of its money on that $1.3 billion poem

works on special projects for The Millions. He lives in Baltimore and he frequents dive bars. His interests can be followed on his Tumblr, Nick Recommends and Twitter, @nemoran3.


  1. I think this is a good thing that KickStarter is raising this kind of money, but a bad thing that the government is not.

    What amazes me most is that people freak out over the NEA getting that small amount of money while we waste that much on weapons systems the military doesn’t want.

  2. I’ve seen this tweeted a lot lately, and it’s a great sentiment, but it’s misleading. Look, I love Kickstarter, but the notion that its funding goes to artists exclusively is kind of missing the point. It’s just as often a tech incubator, a means of securing cash for things that might be creative in a sense (apps, iPhone cases, etc.), but don’t exactly qualify as art. Sure, it helps people publish books (and write them) and make films and do all sorts of wonderful artistic things, but the Kickstarter model is just as much DIY venture capital as it is DIY arts funding.

  3. I agree with that, too, and I was talking with a friend last night about the same sentiment. His take was that Kickstarter’s a great place to raise “a third” of the money you need, whereas the NEA — while harder to navigate and ultimately be granted funds — would assure you of more of the funding necessary for your art. There’s room for both.

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