Artist Crowdfunding Resources: USA Projects and Artspire

I attended the Alliance of Artist Communities Annual Conference earlier this month.  Residency administrators, artists, and supportive communities congregated  in Kansas City for a few days of discussion and tours. I was able organize an open house at my Urban Culture Project studio for the conference attendees, and network with organizations that provide innovative models for supporting artists.I wanted to share the details about two programs available to students seeking funds.


Katherine DeShaw, Executive Director for United States Artists, Los Angeles, CA, spoke about USA Projects. United States Artists provides an annual unrestricted cash grant of $50k to 50 artists every year. A new addition to their program includes Crowdfunding, specifically for artists projects. Here are the details of why it’s different from KickStarter and other Crowdfunding models.

USA Projects, Not for Profit, Funds artist projects only, STUDENTS QUALIFY!

  • No rewards required
  • Offers Fiscal Sponsorship: Your donors receive a tax write off!
  • Higher rates of pledges by donors because of the Fiscal Sponsorship: Most donations are at the $120 level.
  • USA Projects will match up to 5% of the funds raised!
  • Offers online guidance with your project!
  • Must submit a final report before you can create another project.

Eleanor Whitney from the New York Foundation for the Arts introduced conference attendees to Artspire, NYFA’s Crowdfunding site. Eleanor was scheduled to give a similar presentation at KCAI, but was unable to make it to Kansas City because of Super Storm Sandy. She was however, able to give her presentation at the conference via Skype! If you are not familiar with NYFA YOU SHOULD VISIT THEIR SITE. NYFA provides professional development guidance, national opportunities and job listings for artists as well as grants for artists living in New York. Artspire is geared towards large artist projects and art organizations.

Artspire, Not for Profit, Funds artist projects only, STUDENTS QUALIFY!

  • Offers Fiscal Sponsorship: You donors receive a tax write off!
  • Deadlines to apply: June 30, September 30, December 31, and March 31
  • Artist projects and emerging organizations must have a minimum budget of $15,000
  • If accepted, Artspire charges an 8% administrative fee, $100 contract fee, and a $50 annual renewal fee
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