With the record-breaking and news-worthy success of Seth Godin’s recent kickstarter campaign, which I donated to, I decided that I wanted to write a piece about crowdfunding in classical music. Yesterday I published that work over at Ovation Press String Visions.
In an ever-present search for funding in the modern world of classical music, musicians, managers, executives, and entrepreneurs look towards new models of raising capital to see if any of these methods can be appropriated to benefit the arts. One of these models iscrowdfunding.
Crowdfunding (also known as crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, or hyper funding) refers to a method of gathering financial resources via a distributed network of people who pool their money. This has traditionally be done via the Internet (for example: websites such as Kickstarter).
The question is: does crowdfunding actually work? History shows that it can.
About a month back I had a chance to speak with prolific and critically acclaimed violinist Colin Jacobsen – co-founder of The Knights and Brooklyn Rider – about a variety of topics in classical music. Jacobsen shared some of his experience in building classical ensembles, including the logistics behind making such groups work in today’s world.
With Brooklyn Rider we’ve had to raise money ourselves and actually did a Kickstarter campaign for our last album Seven Steps, which enabled us to fully fund it.
And Colin Jacobsen’s success story certainly isn’t the only one. In fact, Mashable recently ran a story on Seth Godin’s Kickstarter project for his new book The Icarus Deception, which was funded (perhaps in record time) in under 3 hours for a goal of $40,000.
Obviously, Mr. Godin has a huge following which few people can match. But, crowdfunding doesn’t necessarily discriminate against us “regular” people, and in fact these resources can be very valuable when proper and creative planning is put behind them. Maya Jensen, the daughter of Ovation Press co-founder Hans Jensen, recently launched her own fundraising campaign on indiegogo and successfully met and exceeded her goal of $10,000. These funds are being used in final touches and mass production of her completed documentary Solidarity in Saya, which explores how Afro-Bolivian Saya music is used as a form of socio-economic struggle.
While Colin Jacobsen admits that this might not be a fully-sustainable model for funding in all cases, it does highlight one of the important ways in which passion can be harnessed for productive ends. Crowdfunding often relies on the willingness of friends, friends of friends, etc. to band together and pool their efforts to make something work. In the case of Brooklyn Rider, a Kickstarter project was enough to accomplish their funding goals. And with the Knights, a large portion of their support (especially initially) has been private funding through friends and their networks.
Read the complete article – Crowdfunding Classical Music, at String Visions