Art Basel, one of the world’s most prominent international contemporary art fairs with yearly events in Basel, Hong Kong and Miami Beach announced a partnership with the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, to stimulate support for nonprofit art organizations at a time when public funding has seen a tremendous decrease.
The Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative aims to bring awareness to worthy projects from the nonprofit sector by featuring a diverse range, which will be selected by an independent jury comprised of three highly engaged professionals from different parts of the world. The selection criteria are based on each project’s quality, innovation, creativity and viability. The members of the jury are Hammad Nasar, curator, writer and Head of Research and Programmes of Hong Kong’s Asia Art Archive; Glenn Phillips, Acting Head of the Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art at the Getty Research Institute; and Mari Spirito, Director/Curator of Istanbul’s Protocinema, a transitional, site-aware nonprofit entity.
Marc Spiegler, director of Art Basel, sent an invitation to the fair’s long list of visitors, art lovers, professionals and patrons to get involved with these outstanding noncommercial art projects and talked about the positive effects of this type of initiative. “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.
The first four projects of the campaign range in purpose and financial need and come from different corners of the world. Sydney’s 4A Center for Contemporary Asian Art has a goal of raising $18,000 to support an art project by the Yangjiang Group of China; the Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound needs $5,000 to stage a series of public concerts in Los Angeles; Gasworks in London is looking for $65,000 to build new studios for emerging artists; and New York’s SculptureCenter is looking to raise $12,000 for an exhibition of the work of Thai artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook.
The initiative is ongoing and these proposals have up to 60 days to reach their goal using Kickstarter. After that time, Art Basel Crowfunding will select other endeavors for sponsorship. Every project deserves commitment and support, and officials say that every contribution, no matter how big or small, will bring these organizations closer to realizing their objectives. Art Basel supporters will step up to the plate to make these cultural dreams come true because a prosperous art community is an investment that significantly increases our quality of life. ■