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How to Support More Asian American Artists

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtmdD-KHmZ8[/youtube]

If you liked that trailer, would you support its completion for a world premiere? Would you be surprised to know that you could help fund it with as little as $10?

I found this project on www.kickstarter.com, a crazy cool website that works as a funding platform for artists with projects in varying stages. “Beijing Taxi” is just one of hundreds that you can support.

Using Kickstarter is as simple as signing up, making a pledge, choosing your thank-you gift then spreading the word to ensure that the project meets its goal by a set date.

If the project does not raise the funds to meet its goal by the deadline, you – as a funder – are no longer on the hook for your pledge, and the artist is not obligated to deliver on a project with only a portion of the funds raised. Win-win for both parties.

It’s a smart way to help give small projects visibility and attract new funders with as little as $10 in their wallet who want to be part of the creative community.

How cool would it be to tell your friends that you just provided backing for a documentary?

Project types are wide-ranging: journalism, performance art, design, film, music, illustration, invention and more. The ability to post your own project is by invitation only at this time, and that has proven to be a smart move by its staff of eight. Their entry selection is an interesting mix of quality ideas – some in the incubation stage and others nearing completion. You can learn more and browse projects all day at their website.

Sound exciting? I think so, and I think there is room for community-specific Kickstarter sites. Imagine building off the existing platform to create a site that features only Asian American-oriented projects. It’s a savvy application of technology that helps level the playing field for art forms and community voices that otherwise are drowned out in favor of louder, larger and more popular ones.

Funding for the arts from traditional sources continues to shrink in the current economy, yet the desire among individuals to connect and be part of a community while also doing something good is growing in the age of Obama.

Just think, we all could help seed more Korean American artists that results in more original work, like “Maria the Korean Bride.”

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