Crusade for Art is about creating demand for art, specifically fine art photography. Last year I drove around the country in a VW bus for the Crusade for Collecting Tour - a crazy idea I had to build new audiences for photography. I gave talks in almost all of the ten cities I visited, and after I would finish, several people would always come up to me and say that no one else was talking about how to connect people to their art. Now I don't know if this is true, but it was true enough. And how could this be? We talk so much about making the art, but what about building collectors and connecting to audiences? Isn't that a huge reason we make art in the first place? As I was driving around the country (slowly, since driving above 50mph was not recommended for this particularly temperamental vehicle), I thought about how to get a lot of photographers thinking about cultivating demand for art. It's a tough nut to crack, but I thought if we could get our creative force - our artists - behind this problem, we may have a decent chance at creating real systemic change that would benefit the entire arts ecology. More art lovers, more art collectors, more thriving artists, more stable galleries, more supported museums. . . a win for everyone.
So how to get a large volume of photographers to brainstorm? Offer them a lot of money. It seemed simple enough, and hopefully it will work. We are looking for projects that focus on creating demand for photography and provide a concrete plan to create one-to-one connections between the photographer, the viewer, and the audience. So start thinking people! Ten thousand dollars is a nice chunk of change for being creative and doing something to make the art world a more viable place for everyone.