My blog has been relatively quiet over the past several weeks. As I approach the end of the semester and the end of my graduate program at American University, it has been a very busy and exciting time. In the past month or so, I have completed my comprehensive exams in arts management, had job interviews, performed in the American University Symphony Orchestra, continued my work in PR and Marketing for the Arts at AU, submitted my “nearly completed” Master’s Capstone Project, and served as Crowdfunding Project Leader for the ART CART: Saving the Legacy campaign on RocketHub. (I also got to stand as a bridesmaid in my best childhood friend’s wedding in North Carolina – it was a blast!)
I am excited to announce that we recently reached and have since surpassed our goal for the crowdfunding campaign! Reaching our goal early presents a wonderful opportunity to enhance our success further. Our project will continue to accept funds for the next two weeks, which enables the success of our second documentary, “Living the Legacy,” as well as the promotion and implementation of the ART CART 2013 exhibitions in DC and NYC in the fall. In the following RocketHub post, I reflect on my experiences in crowdfunding and the importance of the ART CART project. Enjoy! : )
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Saving the Legacy of Important Art
Catherine Starek, ART CART Project Leader, Crowdfunding Pioneer
Originally posted: April 23, 2013
We launched our 2013 RocketHub campaign to raise funds for our second documentary film, capturing this year’s ART CART: Saving the Legacy process. Getting this on film will help us to raise the profile of the ART CART project, the efforts of our artists and student fellows, and this incredible interdisciplinary, intergenerational experience.
Our first documentary (2011) was a great success and RocketHub provided the platform. Since the pilot in NYC, ART CART has expanded to Washington, DC, taking on a national voice. As a DC Fellow and now the RocketHub Project Leader for ART CART, I have developed my understanding of the artistic process and realized the importance of documenting our nation’s creative legacy. We have returned to RocketHub to raise the funds needed for our second documentary, helping us to continue the expansion of the program to six locations by 2015.
This is my first time leading a fundraising project. It has been an exciting experience for me to see the variety of people and levels of support emerging in response to the ART CART: Saving the Legacy 2013 RocketHub campaign. Funders range from friends, family, and colleagues, to arts administrators, researchers, professors, graduate students and alumni, as well as ART CART artists, their working partners, fellows, and faculty. Supporters are located on both coasts, from California, to New York, Washington DC, and North Carolina. I look forward to welcoming others into the ART CART network over the next few weeks as we carry out our project, as well as learning more about their interests in the arts.
When I was first approached to lead this crowdfunding project, I found RocketHub’s Success School materials to be very helpful in developing my understanding of RocketHub’s crowdfunding process and maintaining a strategic mindset. Joan Jeffri, the Director of the Research Center for Arts and Culture and Founder of ART CART, also made sure to introduce me to the 2011 project leader in order to learn about our first documentary campaign. My advice to others who are considering their own crowdfunding campaign would be to:
- Create a well-thought-out plan for the content and implementation of your project (if your project has a Director/Founder like ART CART, make sure s/he is an integral part of the process and aware of the project’s development throughout).
- Have someone who cares about the project proofread your project description and appeals.
- Maintain a dynamic project page with frequent status updates, a variety of media, and news related to your project. Don’t forget to share your excitement with your social media connections, too!
- This may be a personal standard of mine, but I believe in prompt “thank-you’s.” No matter the size of the gift, show your gratitude for each funder’s support. I send an individualized thank-you to every person who gives to our campaign and helps bring awareness to our project.
- Have a passion for what you’re doing. If you don’t believe in the project, why should others?
- Be creative!
Engaging in this project has been rewarding for me in many ways. I have learned a lot about the crowdfunding process and even more about the ART CART artists participating in the project. Through our project on RocketHub, I have witnessed the power of ART CART to bring people of all ages together in support of a common goal – one that will impact future generations.
- RocketHub is the world’s crowdfunding machine. RocketHub is an international, pioneering, open community that has helped thousands of artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and social leaders raise millions of dollars.