Crowdfunding eco art: United States Artists

Funding the arts seem like something a bit out of your reach? Sure, you can purchase a membership to the local art museum, but beyond that, the real funding comes from wealthy individuals, foundations, and other non-profits… right? Not so fast… a new crowdfunding site by the four-year-old arts advocacy organization United States Artists aims to bring patronage to the masses.

While it won’t officially launch until early next week, the site is up and taking donations. Based on a model similar to Kickstarter, United States Artists allows for donation as little as $1, and sets time limits on the funding period for each project. It’s also already showing a penchant for green-themed art: Jeff Kart at Planet Green takes note of Molly Sturges’ COAL, a “multi-lingual musical fable,” but there are a number of other project proposals for environmental art. Among them:

  • Wind Screen: A temporary outdoor installation at MIT by artist J. Meejin Yoon that harnesses wind energy to power 400 LED lanterns in interesting and interactive ways.
  • Greenhouse: Artist Charles Gaines wants to modify his 2004 work “…that addresses landscape and Nature as a political subject — specifically, the politics of Nature’s conservation. You can watch his pitch/explanation above…
  • red, black and GREEN: a blues: Rockefeller Fellow Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s multimedia theatre work “…lands at the intersection of green economics and black psychology…”

These are just a few of the many works available for funding through the site… and all seem to focus on social, cultural and political issues.

Can this kind of microfunding work in a niche space like this? See any particular projects that really catch your eye (and motivate your desire to give)? Let us know what you think…