|Photo by Denise Winters|
According to Fisher, the mere fact that someone creates a Kickstarter campaign can give weight to a creative project in the eyes of an otherwise skeptical world.
"The way Kickstarter can be most useful is if you can appeal to total strangers all over the county or even the world," he said. "With a theatre company, at least with ours, the majority of our donations were people who knew us very well. So we might have been able to raise the money without going on Kickstarter. But that's not necessarily true. By going on Kickstarter, and having to make the video and put ourselves out there, it legitimizes our efforts, even if it's your family you're hoping to raise money from."
Despite all the labor involved—both on the front end of the Kickstarter campaign and the aftermath of making good on incentives—for the theatre artists interviewed for this article, using the site proved a positive experience.
"It's a huge amount of work," said Kuhn. "You have to design your page, put a video on your page, you have to send emails, tweet about it. It's kind of a full time job. It surprised me how much work it really was. But it was worth it." Once Kuhn raised the money, record label PS Classics agreed to manufacture the album.
"I don't want to be a cynic about it," said Fisher. "But the arts are always hard to fund, and theatre happens to be harder than most. I think Kickstarter is a great platform. Unfortunately, it seems there's been a backlash against it recently. I definitely hope that the artists who truly need it as a means of support will continue to get to use it."
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