Kickstarter Launches New Digital Resource for Emerging and Student Artists

Visual and performing artists are the cultural backbone of the United States, helping us rethink our past and imagine a better future. With the addition of self-taught and outsider artists, college-educated artists who hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree are launching projects (on or off Kickstarter) every day.

Kickstarter has worked to elevate student work and partnered with programs like RISD and MICA, helping artists tackle all sorts of projects from their thesis exhibition to executing their first print run or product. Even seven artists featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial launched Kickstarter campaigns to fund their work, many of which ran during or immediately following their Master in Fine Arts programs.

Naima Green, Zoe Black, and Tt the Artist (former students of art & Kickstarter alums)
Naima Green, Zoe Black, and Tt the Artist (former students of art & Kickstarter alums)

But here on Kickstarter’s Arts team, we’re all too familiar with the challenges that come along with pursuing an art degree. The top 10 MFA programs in the U.S. on average cost $ 71,133 in total, and since 2010, nearly 17,500 students complete their Master’s degree in fine arts annually, adding to 2019’s $ 1.5 billion dollar student debt crisis. Exacerbating this financial burden is the reality that programs simply do not set students up for financial stability or give them the professional tools to help them navigate their career as an artist after graduation. The Creative Independent’s recent survey found that a majority of artists believe their MFA or other art-related programs did not help them become financially stable.

From workshopping grant applications to calculating artist stipends to crafting public art proposals, there is so much territory to cover. This is why we want to take Kickstarter’s 10 years of experience helping artists fund and realize projects and create a resource center for new and emerging artists and better guide them toward financial stability.

With this in mind, we’re excited to announce the launch of Students of Art, where we’re opening up a new space to share:

  • Resources for how to best write grants, work with galleries, and balance creative work with jobs—from The Creative Independent or elsewhere. 
  • Free or low-cost workshops in the U.S. that hone artists’ budgeting, collaboration, and networking skills.
  • Best practices for launching Kickstarter campaigns, no matter how small, weird, or as “you” as you want. It can be the way you announce your project tackling the climate emergency or a way to get your collaborators paid
  • How Kickstarter is measuring success by how we help artists, especially those at the beginning of their career, become a little more financially stable.

But like we’ve said over the years, Kickstarter will never be a replacement for city-level grants, the National Endowment for the Arts, or private support from institutions and galleries. Our platform is one option to build an artist’s audience and fund their projects. With our Students of Art page, we’re doubling-down on this belief to better help artists stay committed to their creative work.

If you’re a student of art yourself, head to our Students of Art page to find resources and get inspired. And if you’re a BFA or MFA program director, let’s plan a talk for your students on getting their projects funded by getting in touch here.

The Kickstarter Blog