Does Kickstarter Suck? Or Does Miami Lack Patrons of the Arts?
Remember when we bitched and moaned about Miami's indie artists ignoring Kickstarter as a source of funding? Well, the micro-patronage site now has seven current projects in Miami, but it looks like we bitched a little too soon. According to the experience of one Miami team, Kickstarter is less a progressive DIY arts funding web site and more like sending yourself flowers on Valentine's Day.
Now a year old, Kickstarter differs from other sites like IndieGoGo in that the entire funding goal must be met in order for the project to keep any of the money. And this all-or-nothing rubric seemed successful. The New York Times, just last week, wrote on the Kickstarter Film Festival, a showcase of 1,500 films that the site helped finance.
When you search for Miami projects, Bots High looks like one if those success stories. Twenty-eight backers pledged over $9,000 to help filmmaker Joey Daoud
make a documentary about high school robotics teams - at least that's
what the profile stats lead you to believe. The true story behind that
9K actually involves a big slice of humble pie and a phone call to a
Even though Bots High was selected as a Kickstarter Project of the
Day, four days before the funding deadline, Daoud still hadn't raised
two-thirds of his total -- $6,000. He explains further on his blog, Coffee and
It was a few days before the deadline and aside from a miracle I didn't
see anyway that I was going to reach the goal. I didn't want to lose
all the pledges I already had. Plus I couldn't have an email going out
to everyone saying the project wasn't successful. I always said from
the start that success or not, this is happening, it just depends how
much hair I'm going to pull out and stress over.
So I called a relative and got bailed out. Not pretty. Not glorious. Not the ending I was hoping for. A few days later I wrote a check repaying this money. This is my Kickstarter experience.
This is just a snippet of Daoud's experience. He actually thinks the
web site is still a viable funding option for independent artists. He's
even made a handy graph about the behavior patterns of Kickstarter
backers and is now realistic about how the site facilitates funding.
Still, we keep reading about the success of Kickstarter projects in
other cities: a Michigan burlesque troupe raised $16,000 and a
Seattle film about gay men raised $10,000. But did these projects have to do a little self-funding to meet their goal like Bots
High? Or is the Miami arts scene just lacking in the kind of people
willing to put cash behind artsy endeavors?
At first, we considered wringing our hands about how off-line Miami is.
Yet, wasn't the Social Media Day in Miami the largest turnout in the
Southeast? Maybe they all just showed up for the free drinks.
Obviously, we have a lot of questions. So if you've used Kickstarter,
IndieGoGo, or any other DIY arts funding site, please tell us all about
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