Operating a non-profit business in the arts is rewarding in its own right, but production and promotional costs have caused many organizations to shut their doors. For Sarah Leversee, artistic director of Art as Action, the arts are a way of life. The organization allows creative artists and performers of many varieties to collaborate and share their gifts in a cohesive show. Art as Action also offers classes and workshops to spread art through the community and ignite the next generation of “artivists.” To produce these shows, the organization relies heavily on crowdsource funding campaigns.
(Photo credit: Annabelle Denmark Photography)
While Art as Action has been in business for over a decade, its first crowdsourcing campaign was in 2011. Leversee said, “Crowdsourcing is the best resource to give artists a tool in which to support the show. We are successful because artists disseminate information through their own personal channels, such as social media. It provides the opportunity for fellow artists to give their support.”
Donation levels for each campaign range from $5-$250, and Leversee notes that Art as Action has many donors at all levels. As with other crowdsource funded businesses, donors are offered different incentives at different levels. According to Leversee, “Our most popular donor incentives include the t-shirt, which is available at the $50 level, and a customized canvas print, which is given to donors at the $250 level.” The canvas prints allow donors to be part of the organization as well, featuring still prints from the show printed on canvas. It not only provides an outlet for the artisans who create the canvas, but it also lets donors share in the show for years to come.
Crowdsource funding is a buzz topic in the world of finance these days. It isn’t always successful, but if you have a dedicated and loyal customer base, you can share your success with them and make them a part of the business. Art as Action was able to achieve this due to its network of artists and their supporters. Its successful use of crowdsource funding has allowed the organization to connect artists of various types and bring art to people throughout the community.
Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.