Kickstarter Expects to Provide More Funding Than the National Endowment for the Arts This Year

kickstarterNY.jpg

Kickstarter is off to a running start this year. As Alexis Madrigal reported, the crowdfunding platform saw its first two million-dollar projects in one day, within four hours of each other, and a third reached that benchmark this past Monday. Earlier this month, people on the site pledged more than $1.6 million in a 24-hour period, more than doubling the previous record, which had been set the day before. Now, Carl Franzen of Talking Points Memo is putting that cash flow in perspective. He reports that the company is expecting to bring in $150 million in funding total this year -- more than the $146 million provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the federal agency charged with supporting the arts (many Kickstarter initiatives are art projects of one kind or another). Franzen writes:

"It is probable Kickstarter will distribute more money this year than the NEA," said [Kickstarter co-founder Yancey] Stricker in an exclusive phone interview with TPM. "We view that number and our relationship to it in both a good and bad way."

As Strickler explained, the milestone is "good" in the sense that it means that Kickstarter may now reach a point where it will funnel as much money to the arts as the federal agency primarily responsible for supporting them, effectively doubling the amount of art that can get funded in the country.

"But maybe it shouldn't be that way," Strickler said, "Maybe there's a reason for the state to strongly support the arts."

There's room for both Kickstarter and the NEA; Kickstarter's projects tend to be of a different vein than NEA's grant recipients -- a little scrappier, a little more experimental. Kickstarter has filled a real need in bringing people together to fund the projects they want, and the results have been -- and continue to be -- wonderful.




Image: Kickstarter.

The crowdfunding platform is having a blockbuster year and may bring in as much as $150 million for the small projects on its site.

Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Technology

Just In