As a kid, I loved going to the public library. In fact, I first fell in love with New York City at the Wasilla Public Library, devouring books like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and the All-of-a-Kind Family series. The library was near my dad’s office, so I could ride with him to work, then walk to the library and spend my afternoon among the bookshelves. Bliss! There was just one problem: I had to cross the street at a four-way stop to get to the library.
The four-way stop was, to my 9-year-old self, a daunting intersection to navigate. I found the traffic rules intimidating, and usually just stood nervously on the sidewalk until a kindly driver waved me across, at which point I ran for my life and exhaled with relief upon reaching the other side.
All these years later, I still love New York City and the public library. I’m also happy to report that I no longer find four-way stops to be challenging. The intersection of art and commerce, on the other hand, is riddled with complicated questions: how can I make a living as a musician? How are the arts funded in the United States? How can I support the arts? How can I garner support for my own creative endeavors?
The answers to these questions have never been definitive, but KickStarter provides some interesting options. KickStarter is an online platform that offers unique ways to both support and be supported by the creative community. I’ve backed several projects on KickStarter, and I’m also smack dab in the middle of my own campaign as I prepare to make my debut solo album, The Great City.
What I like about KickStarter is that it’s a two-way street. You make a pledge to someone’s project, and you get something in return. The “something” that you get, as per KickStarter rules, has to be generated by the project you’re supporting. In my case, people who pledge toward my album will receive signed advance copies of The Great City, copies of my Christmas CD (in time for the holidays, of course!), album art, liner note credits, and in-home concerts, among other rewards.
So today, on Cyber Monday, please consider joining my KickStarter campaign and becoming a part of my album. When you visit my KickStarter page and make your pledge, you’ll be giving and receiving the gift of music; what better way to spread holiday cheer? I’ll meet you there, on the corner of art and commerce. Happy holidays!