Art Basel Lends a Hand to Arts Crowdfunding Efforts

artbaselLORI HOLCOMB-HOLLAND | NY Times | SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 – One of the world’s most prominent art fairs is hoping to garner support for nonprofit art organizations by lending them some street cred.

Art Basel, which stages modern and contemporary art fairs in Basel, Hong Kong and Miami Beach, announced on Friday that it will work with the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to garner support for projects by nonprofit art groups.

Called the Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative, the ongoing effort will feature a diverse range of projects selected by an independent jury for their quality, innovation, creativity and viability. Marc Spiegler, director of Art Basel, said the idea is to create a bridge between worthy projects and Art Basel’s expansive network of supporters. And while there is no direct commercial gain for Art Basel, he said these types of organizations contribute to the quality of their fairs in the long run.

“Often the first chance an artist will get will be with a nonprofit,” Mr. Spiegler said. “If you look at the kind of art world that Art Basel wants to exist in 10 or 20 years down the road, and needs to exist for its galleries and other artists to be in a strong position, these people are key parts of the equation.”

Campaigns have already began for the first four projects, which range widely in purpose and financial need. They include the 4A Center for Contemporary Asian Art in Sydney, with a goal of raising 20,000 Australian dollars (about $18,000) to support an art project by the Yangjiang Group of China; Gasworks in London, which has a goal of raising 40,000 British pounds (about $65,000) to build two new studios for emerging artists; Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound, which needs $5,000 to stage a series of free public concerts in Los Angeles; and SculptureCenter in New York, which is looking to raise $12,000 for an exhibition of work by the Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook.



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