Is Kickstarter the New National Endowment For the Arts?

National Endowment for the ArtsA big story that no one noticed: Last year, the crowd funding company Kickstarter distributed more money for the arts than the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This isn’t surprising. We’re living in times where every dollar government spends is getting harder to justify and funding a poetry chapbook which, regardless of its aesthetic value, will probably be read by less than 200 people is difficult to justify to the Republican Liberty Caucus.

Still, even Kickstarter’s founders don’t seem sure that this is a good thing. Kansas recently cut funding for its Arts Commission, and it is likely that many other governors will do the same. What does the decline of the NEA and the rise of crowd-funding mean for the arts?

If the NEA were to stop existing, this would hardly be surprising in and of itself….

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