These days if you've got a fun, cool or creative idea, but don't have the funds to make it happen, Kickstarter is the way to go. The crowd funding platform allows artists and entrepreneurs with big ideas and small bank accounts to bundle lots of small pledges into one fundraising goal to get the seed money needed for their projects. It's simple: tell people about your project, set a goal, offer incentives, and if you hit that goal the money's yours.
Several local projects have already come to fruition after being Kickstarted, including Gallery Z's ArtMobile, the fourth annual Providence Honk Festival, designer Nicole Lebreux's debut fashion show at StyleWeek Providence, Fertile Underground Grocery, the Providence Juice Company truck, and the queer art publication Headmaster. It seems, however, that we're approaching Kickstarter overload, as now every hairbrained scheme, stoner fantasy, fever dream and daft impulse is panhandling for your hard-earned dollars, its creator offering to personally deliver your screen-printed, individually numbered gatefold vinyl album on rollerskates or give you a Fair Trade, organic lapdance if you'll just cough up, like, $40.
So how do we separate the wheat from the chaff, other than with my new Kickstarter project to separate wheat from chaff? ($100 gets you a pound of wheat and a handwritten thank-you note!) Well, perhaps it's invevitable that a glut of low-quality imitators and bottom-feeders would dilute the pool of funding and make it that much harder for the worthwhile projects to really stand out, but at least in this case we can trust the free market to prevail. Good projects will attract donations, and bad projects will... well, apparently they'll attract donations too. But hey, if you want to bestow your largesse on a copper vase, shrieking musical instruments for an opera about fairies, science fiction novels with low self-expectations, or tracksuits inspired by a dream that Missy Elliott was president of the United States, well, that's on you.
All that being said, we still have to admit that there are some cool projects in need of funding — and that's precisely the point of Kickstarter. Take this one, for example, which just went live today. A narrative film about the history of Shepard Fairey's infamous Obey campaign that has the blessing of Fairey himself? There's something we would pay to see. Watch the trailer below and decide for yourself if it's worthy of Kickstarting: