Help Kickstart A Dream

KICKSTARTER — a new way to fund creative projects.

I seem to be a little late to this party but I’m glad I now know about it and I want to make sure you do too.  My friend Katherine sent me a link to a Kickstarter page to tell me about a new play her friend’s talented daughter Paz Pardo had written and successfully funded and is now performing in a living room in Brooklyn (she got a nice review by the way).  Everyone I’ve asked has heard about Kickstarter.com – my brother said “Of course!  It’s a terrific crowd-funding tool for small artistic ideas”;  my brother-in-law said he just read about it in Doonesbury;  my friend said “yeah, it’s good for artists and musicians”.  TIME Magazine named it one of the best inventions of 2010; Rolling Stone says “Kickstarter funds the future”; CNN says it’s “paradigm-shifting”.   Well, I hadn’t heard about it, but I think it’s brilliant.

Here’s how it works:  Artists of all kinds (film, music, theatre, designers…) create a project, set a funding goal and deadline and then describe the project through words and a short video clip on a Kickstarter page, seeking pledges of as little as $1 (although $25 seems a more common and more reasonable minimum on most of the project pages). Project artists have complete control and keep 100% ownership of their work.  Backers are supporting projects to help them come to life, not to profit financially.  Instead, artists usually offer rewards at certain pledge levels to thank backers for their support.

Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing – to receive any of the money pledged, the projects must reach 100% (or more) of their funding goal, so many of the goals are reasonably modest in scope.eb_postcard

I am now a backer of a new play — The Hotel Colors!  When I was poking around the theatre section (127 projects are currently listed there), I noticed that one of the Staff Picks was a new play written by Eliza Bent, who happens to be one of my favorite writers for American Theatre Magazine.  More often than not, when I like an article enough to turn back the pages to check out who wrote it, she did.  So, I got kind of interested.  I read about the play, I read her short bio (to make sure it was the same Eliza Bent), I watched the short video and then I pledged. It’s her “Off-Off-Broadway playwriting debut”, she’s cute in the video describing it, it’s set in Italy (which is a place I love), I know she can write, and I love supporting new works.   Win/win.

So, now TheatrePlaybyPlay.com will have its name in the world premiere program of The Hotel Colors at the Bushwick Starr in May. (Actually, the reward offered for my pledge level includes a personalized song written and performed by Eliza Bent, but since I can’t be there to see it I think I’ll let her off the hook on that.)  Even though I won’t be in New York to see the play I’m delighted to be a small part of why it happens.  –  Assuming it does!  As of this writing the project still has $1824 to raise in 10 days toward its total $5500 goal, so if you’re so inclined you can be a backer too!  Here’s the link: The Hotel Colors

Helping an artist achieve his or her vision — even in a small way — is a great feeling.  Try it.

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