Go bigger and bolder with the BizBash Buzz.
The BizBash Buzz newsletter delivers inspiration, innovative ideas, and expert insight to event profs around the world.
Subscribe now!

New Arts Nonprofit Targets Wide Donor Base With 10-Day Launch, Low Ticket Prices

The Haiti arts and cultural fund-raiser during Fund Art Now's 10-day launch
The Haiti arts and cultural fund-raiser during Fund Art Now's 10-day launch
Photo: Spencer Scott/Fund Art Now

Just four months old, nonprofit Fund Art Now has big ambitions, some of which include building its own community gallery and performance space and sparking a global movement to encourage collaboration and widespread public interest in the arts. These are, however, long-term goals, and to give itself a running start in a climate that has seen more cautious donors and a drop in corporate giving, the organization launched with a series of events, rather than a single, invite-only blowout.

Looking for a way to present a multitude of artists—from photographers and painters to fashion designers and jazz musicians—and appeal to donors of all types, Fund Art Now spread the showcases over 10 days and emphasized accessibility and a grassroots mentality with affordable tickets.

"We support all gamuts of art, including the performing arts, and we don't discriminate between fine art and performing art. So we had events for hip-hop, jazz, and others—these are all fields people can relate to in one way or another," Fund Art Now C.E.O. David Zelikovsky said of the reasons behind the multi-day launch. "The idea is to make the organization a very broad-based, universal entity, and we do not want to dissuade anyone from being a part of it."

To strike the right tone with its community of artists and potential supporters, the organization held its event series at Collective Hardware, an artist-run site on the Bowery, and priced the tickets to be budget-friendly. For instance, admission to Sunday's closing-night concert with pianist Asami Tamura and reggae band Azeekweh was $10, and a minimum donation of $20 was requested for the Nouveau Haiti benefit on March 28.

The concept paid off: From the opening-night gathering on March 25 to the closing event on Easter Sunday, Fund Art Now saw some 1,350 attendees, raised approximately $27,000, and attracted enough attention to its Web site that it crashed just two days after the launch from more than 500,000 hits.