10,000 Art Projects Funded on Kickstarter

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Thousands of artists and arts organizations have used Kickstarter to connect with a global community and create some incredible projects, from major museum exhibitions to bold public art installations and collectible limited editions. Today we're pleased to announce that there have been over 10,000 successfully funded projects in the Art category. Here are a few numbers behind that milestone:

  • To date, over $70 million has been pledged to Art projects on Kickstarter.
  • More than 600,000 people have backed at least one successful Art project, and over 90,000 have supported two or more.
  • The largest Art project, by the Amplifier Foundation, raised over $1.3 million from more than 20,000 backers across the globe to distribute art at the Women’s March on Washington and beyond.
  • Over 700 creators have launched multiple successful Art projects. The Invisible Dog, an arts space in Brooklyn, has launched five, while artist Jose Pulido has launched 30.
  • Today, more than 600 pledges are made to Art projects on Kickstarter each day, compared to just 17 pledges per day in Kickstarter’s first year.
  • Of the 10,000+ successful Art projects, over 1,400 have been public art.
New Orleans Airlift, The Music Box Village, 2016. Photo by Bryan Tarnowski. Courtesy of New Orleans Airlift.
New Orleans Airlift, The Music Box Village, 2016. Photo by Bryan Tarnowski. Courtesy of New Orleans Airlift.

Here are some of the notable trends we’ve seen emerge over the last eight years:

Museums and cultural spaces

Leading arts organizations have used Kickstarter to interact with audiences and bring them closer to the creative process. With the support of the Kickstarter community, Ai Weiwei’s Tree sculptures were displayed in the public courtyard of London’s Royal Academy of Arts — the largest gathering of the sculptures to date. Robert Irwin realized his first and only permanent architectural work at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa. Andrew Kuo worked with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit to enliven their façade with a dynamic public mural. And the Jewish Museum in New York City opened an exhibition where visitors could take home art objects by Yoko Ono, Félix González-Torres, Lawrence Weiner, Andrea Bowers, and Rirkrit Tiravanija — for free.

Robert Irwin, "untitled (dawn to dusk)," 2016. Photo by Alex Marks. Courtesy of the Chinati Foundation and Robert Irwin.
Robert Irwin, "untitled (dawn to dusk)," 2016. Photo by Alex Marks. Courtesy of the Chinati Foundation and Robert Irwin.

Collective action

Kickstarter has served as a platform for artists and arts nonprofits to galvanize action and spark dialogue around important issues. In the months leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Cause Collective toured their “Truth Booth” around the United States, inviting members of the public to step inside the speech-bubble-shaped inflatable video-recording booth and share their perspectives on the truth. Pedro Reyes teamed up with Creative Time to bring his worst political nightmares to life as Doomocracy — an immersive, site-specific haunted house. And the Amplifier Foundation collaborated with Shepard Fairey, Jessica Sabogal, and Ernesto Yerena to place powerful symbols of hope and inclusivity in major U.S. newspapers during the 2017 inauguration. Over two million copies of the art were distributed across all 50 U.S. states, appearing in the Women’s March on Washington and in marches around the world.

Shepard Fairey, "Greater than Fear," 2017. Photo by Jessica He. Courtesy of Amplifier Foundation.
Shepard Fairey, "Greater than Fear," 2017. Photo by Jessica He. Courtesy of Amplifier Foundation.

Working with communities

Many artists have used Kickstarter to create work with and for their local communities. Alec Soth started an art school on wheels inside an old Winnebago, then led a group of high-school students on an unforgettable, art-filled road trip across the country. In Braddock, Pennsylvania, Swoon founded a ceramics workshop that employs young adults from the local community and teaches them to make colorful tiles in a variety of designs — which are being used to turn an abandoned church into a communal work of art. An installation by Wafaa Bilal helped rebuild the College of Fine Arts library at the University of Baghdad. In South Central L.A., Lauren Halsey is constructing a public sculpture that will document and share the stories of her quickly changing neighborhood. And Tania Bruguera established the first institute for art and activism in Cuba.

Alec Soth, The Winnebago Workshop, 2016. Photo courtesy of Little Brown Mushroom.
Alec Soth, The Winnebago Workshop, 2016. Photo courtesy of Little Brown Mushroom.

Moments of wonder

Other creators have found support on Kickstarter for awe-inspiring works that excite the imagination. Ugo Rondinone, Art Production Fund, and the Nevada Museum of Art joined forces to create Seven Magic Mountains, a series of 30-foot-tall, fluorescent rainbow towers in the Nevada desert. In London, Lucy Sparrow restocked a corner store with objects made entirely of felt — she then came back to Kickstarter to fund a second project and bring her shop to New York City. Elsewhere, Fallen Fruit invited the public to help plant a sustainable orchard, Breanne Trammell crossed America in a canned-ham trailer painting the nails of strangers, and S. Louise Neal baked and delivered a birthday cake to a different person in New Orleans every day for an entire month.

Ugo Rondinone, "Seven Magic Mountains," Las Vegas, Nevada, 2016. Photo by Gianfranco Gorgoni. Courtesy of Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art.
Ugo Rondinone, "Seven Magic Mountains," Las Vegas, Nevada, 2016. Photo by Gianfranco Gorgoni. Courtesy of Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art.

Boundary-pushing technology

Finally, Kickstarter has been home to projects that combine art and cutting-edge technologies to expand the possibilities of creative practice. With Little Sun Charge, Olafur Eliasson and the Little Sun team put solar power and light into the hands of many without access to reliable electricity. Electric Objects created customized digital artworks for backers based on their survey responses. The Wabash Lights will allow anyone to control a LED light display beneath an elevated rail line in Chicago using a smartphone. New York City’s Lowline is transforming an abandoned subway station into an underground park with solar technology. And Mat Collishaw is working to recreate one of the world’s first photography exhibitions in virtual reality, allowing the public to travel back to the dawn of the medium.

Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun Charge, 2016. Photo courtesy of Little Sun.
Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun Charge, 2016. Photo courtesy of Little Sun.

You can learn more about art on Kickstarter at kickstarter.art — and stay in the loop by signing up for Arts & Culture News and following @KickstarterArts on Twitter.

To all of you art creators and supporters out there, thank you for being such a crucial part of the arts community on Kickstarter. We can’t wait to see what the next 10,000 projects have in store!

— The Kickstarter Arts team (Jessica, Shane, Victoria, and Willa)

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