By Molly Moser
On June 20, Northeast Iowa RC&D announced the launch of Iowa’s first crowdfunding website for the arts. The website, www.IowaART.org, began accepting donations for three projects on July 1. Each project is requesting $5,000 and contributions may be tax deductible as a charitable donation.
Guttenberg’s Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center applied for and was chosen as one of the projects that will benefit from the crowdfunding campaign. Projects for the site were selected through a competitive process by the Northeast Iowa Arts Funding Council, which is a multi-county group of volunteers that includes artists and community leaders. Their goal is to encourage, support and strengthen the arts in Northeast Iowa.
Crowdfunding is the collection of financing from backers (the ‘crowd’) to fund an initiative. Today, this is most often accomplished using a web-based platform like Indiegogo, Kickstarter, or Go Fund Me. Crowdfunding is used in limitless ways, raising funds for nonprofits, start-ups, charities, and emergency causes.
"The Creativity Center is thrilled and honored to have been chosen for this great opportunity. Myself, and all our volunteers and supporters are very excited to see what kinds of funds this will provide us!" said Shepherd Gallery and Creativity Center director Cindy Olsen, who plans to designate funds raised through the crowdfunding campaign to long-term sustainability for the organization through the opening of the Artisan Café and Courtyard.