4 Startups Bringing Art into the 21st Century

February 24, 2015

7:00 am

It’s easy to skip over the arts when you’re considering starting up in your local tech ecosystem. But the art community is ripe for technological advancements, and they actually tend to mirror entrepreneurs in the sense that they’re always looking to build a better brand, reach a bigger audience, and make sure their audience is satisfied.

Fractured Atlas is dedicated to supporting a new generation of artists and art organizations that are finding answers to some of the industry’s most persistent problems. In fact, they launched a program in 2014, The Arts Entrepreneurship Awards, in line with their dedication and today they unveiled the four winners of this year’s program.

“Whether artists are solving challenges like fundraising and distribution or developing new ways to reach and connect with audiences, each of the honorees is creating a model that can inspire further innovation and be replicated across disciplines to bring the arts into the 21st century,” says Adam Huttler, founder and Executive Director of Fractured Atlas.

Specifically the Arts Entrepreneurship Awards aim to inspire risks and disruption in the arts field by honoring innovators from across the US. Each of the honorees receive a lifetime membership to Fractured Atlas, which provides artists with access to affordable insurance, fiscal sponsorship, professional development resources, discounted business vendor services, and a specially-commissioned award designed by Brooklyn-based artist Jillian Rose.

The 2015 Arts Entrepreneurship Awards went to:

  • Ontheboards.tv (Seattle, Washington): One of the biggest challenges facing small- and mid-size arts groups is how to reach a larger audience beyond the confines of their typically small theaters and performances spaces. OntheBoards.tv is the first platform to create a model for delivering full-length, high quality contemporary performance films to desktops, mobile devices, and TVs. Working with partners like Performance Space 122 in New York, the Fusebox Festival in Texas; and the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, OntheBoards.tv films work by top caliber artists with multiple high-definition cameras and collaboratively edits the films with the artists to create and offer “library of gorgeously shot films,” according to the New York Times.
  • Groupmuse (Boston, Massachusetts): Providing a new model for connecting young classical musicians to local audiences, Groupmuse enables anyone to either host, perform, or attend a “chamber music house party” at homes around the world. Donations are collected at each event and go directly to the musicians, who earn $150 to $500 on an average night. Groupmuse currently averages about 10-20 shows a week and has expanded to 15 cities around the world.
  • The Laundromat Project: (New York, NY): The Laundromat Project brings socially relevant and socially engaged art, artists, and arts programming into laundromats and other everyday spaces, offering residents and artists a chance to learn and make art together and strengthen their communities in the process. Projects, which have been presented in neighborhoods across New York City, have included renaming streets based on personal and social history, transforming laundromats into yoga studios or English classrooms, and creating community mix tapes.
  • BURN (Los Angeles, CA): BURN, a documentary by TBVE Films about Detroit firefighters, broke records for self-distribution and is one of the largest films ever funded entirely by charitable donations, sponsors and “in-kind” support of goods, gear, and services. When BURN premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, it took home the Audience Award and enjoyed rave reviews, but still could not procure a commercial distributor. BURN’s producers decided to distribute the film themselves, screening the film in over 170 cities.

Image credit: On the Boards TV, Newyorkland by Temporary Distortion

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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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