Officially launched!

The CROWDCUL project was officially launched on May 20th 2021, during the event “Crowdfunding for the cultural and creative industries in Norway”. From 9 AM till 1 PM the participants followed a comprehensive and thoughtful series of presentations and a panel discussion lead by scholars, experts, artists, and representatives of crowdfunding platforms.

The first session was dedicated to the Kulturcrowd project (which is a pre-project of CROWDCUL). Dr. Rotem Shneor (UiA) and PhD Candidate Anders Rykkja (UiA), both part of the CROWDCUL team, presented the main findings. Dr. Shneor presented the different models of crowdfunding and facts and figures on crowdfunding adoption in the Norwegian context. Anders Rykkja delved into the cultural crowdfunding type, also showing relevant data for the different cultural industries in Norway. Then, Dr. Shneor discussed the insightful findings from the project survey, with more than 400 respondents from the art community.

Without further ado, part of the reflection and results presented are already published in the book “Advances in Crowdfunding” available online. While looking forward to continuing the research on non-investments models (and match funding) of (cultural) crowdfunding, the need for a supportive environment for crowdfunding adoption was highlighted. Therefore, we invited the artists to talk about their success in launching (a) campaign and platform representatives to give some advice.

Karoline Hjorth, a Norwegian photographer, artist and writer, shared her experience of cultural crowdfunding for the project “Eyes as Big as Plates” launched together with her longtime collaborator Riitta Ikonen, a Norwegian-Finnish artist who currently lives in New York. Studying the personifications of nature and folkloric traditions in the Nordic countries, a duo published two books respectively in 2011 and 2017 thanks to “the collection of relatively small sums from many individuals” through a crowdfunding platform. Next, Ole Jørn Myklebust, Norwegian Jazz musician, talked about his crowdfunding campaign for the album Viser frå Eidsdal.

To offer the platform’s insights, Gaute Kokkvoll discussed his work experience from the platform (which he co-founded). While sharing the great secret of crowdfunding success – TNT, standing for “Trust/credibility, Network, Team”, – he argued that “anything can be crowdfunded”. Kokkvoll also talked about collaboration with banks, which was a good way of tackling complementarity of sources and match funding. A representative  from another platform, Andreas Brunvoll reflected on the platform’s role in facilitating public’s investment in start-up companies.

Anders Rykkja , Karoline Hjorth and Gaute Kokkvoll came back on stage to join the panel discussion about cultural crowdfunding in Norway – Future and Policy. The virtual panel also included Professor Lluís Bonet from University of Barcelona (Spain), Dr. Elisabetta Lazzaro from Business School for the Creative Industries University of the Creative Arts (UK) – both international partners of the CROWDCUL project, and honorably the Norwegian Ministry of Culture State Secretary Emma Lind. Dr. Shneor attentively moderated the conversation, which had not-always-easy-to-answer questions, insider perspectives, discussion around the artists’ adoption of crowdfunding, the effect of Covid-19 crisis, and the issues of democratization.

After such wholehearted panel discussion, Christer Falck, a well-known Norwegian artist and a Cultural Crowdfunding guru, discussed his ten-years’ experience from cultural funding in Norway. Due to his pivotal role on the Norwegian cultural crowdfunding scene, the CROWDCUL project has previously published an interview with Christer in this blog. To know more click here.

At the end of the event, Professor Natalia Maehle (HVL) and Dr. Daniel Nordgård (UiA), officially launched the CROWDCUL project. Prof. Maehle, the project coordinator, argued for the historical importance of collective financing within arts and culture and an increasing trend of crowdfunding adoption. She discussed the challenges and opportunities of crowdfunding, and its implications for culture provocatively referring to the madness or wisdom of the crowd. Dr. Maehle also presented the research questions addressed by the CROWDCUL project and project’s structure.

Finally, Dr. Nordgård, one of the project partners, further explained the implications of crowdfunding at a sector level, specifically pointing out to the question if crowdfunding can be seen as a substitution or a supplement to the traditional funding.

The findings of the Kulturcrowd research project have already brought to light many relevant facts and figures regarding the current position of crowdfunding within the culture sector, giving room for a great reflection and interesting discussions. It also opened the space to recognize the diverse opportunities to co-design future perspectives of cultural crowdfunding within the academic and art communities, as well in the public debate and cultural policies.

Are you interested? Want to know more about cultural crowdfunding? Stay tuned in the CROWDCUL project! There is a lot to come!

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