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Can a Curator Crowdfund a Crowdsourced Exhibition of Crowdfunding Rewards?

Baltimore, MD – “Mining the Crowd” plans to launch its 30-day make-or-break fundraising campaign on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 as the sole financial source for a Kickstarter & Indiegogo based art exhibition.  Fiscal sponsorship for this project will be provided by Maryland Art Place (MAP), allowing donations to the crowdfunding campaign to be partially tax deductible.  The culminating exhibition is scheduled for early 2015 at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art).

Since its inception, Kickstarter reports that its patrons have pledged more than $300 million to successful visual and performing arts projects.  Artists, tired of stagnation as they wait for grants and gallery representation, have turned to crowdfunding as a means to finance their artistic endeavors and supplement traditional funding. In doing so, these creatives have built a community of supporters who are rewarded with tangible “perks” and unique experiences.

“Mining the Crowd”, a crowdfunded and crowdsourced project and exhibition, will present materials from artists actively engaged on websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. By building a community of supporters, the curatorial team - Steven H Silberg, Nia Burks, Peter Hayes, Nate Larson, & Erin Zerbe, will explore the crowdfunding model and all of its pitfalls as a means to create an exhibition.  This 15-month project will intentionally receive no direct financial support from the host gallery thereby relying entirely on crowdfunding. 

Through this project, social media, and the exhibition, the curatorial team aims to educate artists and facilitate critical discourse about the challenges to financially supporting one’s artistic practice. Once completed in early 2015, the exhibition and additional programming will be presented at the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Sheila & Richard Riggs and Leidy galleries located in the Graduate Studio Center in Baltimore’s Station North Arts District. All members of the curatorial team have a direct connection to MICA - Silberg (MFA 2004), Burks (MA 2006), Hayes (MFA 2005), Larson (MICA Photography Faculty), and Erin Zerbe (MFA 2011).

For more information about Mining the Crowd:

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