The audio/visual set-up at ArtServe, an "arts incubator" in Fort Lauderdale, could use an upgrade. To get there, the organization needs equipment like XLR cables and a 12-channel mixer, plus permits and the manpower to install the gear. In total, it's expected to require nearly $7,500 in funds.
Instead of folding the project into a traditional fundraising campaign for the organization, ArtServe is doing something that's becoming more common for arts groups of their size: online crowd-sourcing. They're making a pitch using Power2Give.org, an online fundraising site that's similar to Kickstarter but is focused on arts, science and history projects.
The online fundraising site is active in seven states, with Broward and Miami-Dade the only two counties represented in Florida. Business for the Arts of Broward handles power2give.org/broward, highlighting a selection of local projects, like ArtServe's plea for new equipment.
"This is one part of the future of fundraising," said Julia Andrews, program manager for ArtServe. "It's getting the project in front of people."
Andrews said the site helps connect donors with projects that most closely align with their own passions, as well as making it easy for "younger leaders" to be a part of the process by offering a range of donation levels. That's not the only aspect of the process that is appealing to a newer generation of patrons of the arts. Power2give projects require a complete breakdown of each campaign's goals, budget, and mission. The profiles outline donor benefits and illustrate campaign progression.
"The projects are all required to be very transparent," Andrews said. "It's clear what we're asking for."
ArtServe's active project on power2give is dubbed "Play Your Stuff" in reference to a new, "in development" music initiative that would benefit from the proposed audio overhaul at the Fort Lauderdale venue. Andrews said Play Your Stuff is an invitation to Broward musicians of all varieties to "come and play their stuff" in front of a new and broader audience. It's just one of many music-based ventures at the space, which also plays host to the Gold Coast Jazz Society's Jazz Jams, the popular annual Red Eye Event, and a variety of community-led events.
"There are a lot of musical things that go on in the building. We want to make it better for everyone in the community," Andrews said. "Our facility is not an expensive venue in which to perform. It's designed for emerging artists."
To see the budgetary breakdown of the Play Your Stuff project or to make a donation, visit the power2give ArtServe page, here. Note that for every dollar donated to the project, the Knight Foundation will make a matching donation. Find a full list of active and completed Broward County power2give projects here.