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Tarrytown Groups Use Kickstarter to Raise Money

Tarrytown dance company Evolve Dance Inc. needed money. They had spent the past eight months on a new piece, “Out of Our Hands,” and wanted to premiere it at their 2011 Evolve Dance Festival at the Tarrytown Music Hall.

To raise the money to pay artist fees, choreography fees and costume costs for the piece, Evolve decided to take a novel approach: they would use the online website Kickstarter.com .

“This Kickstarter campaign will help bring our hard work to fruition by taking this dance from the studio to the stage,” they wrote on the project page .

Evolve Dance met their $2,000 goal on March 25, about 45 days after they had started. More than 50 backers pledged $2,120.

“We were very excited to learn that we actually raised an extra $120 for a total of $2,120,” Evolve Dance Inc. Artistic Director Julie B. Johnson said. “We were also excited to see that we were able to reach new donors. “

Kickstarter launched in 2009. Using the website, individuals or groups create a project page. A fundraising goal is set, including a deadline. Backers, usually family or friends but anyone can donate, pledge money to the project. Projects must be fully funded by the deadline or else the backers aren’t charged for their pledges.

Evolve Dance isn’t the only Tarrytown-based project that has been funded through Kickstarter. Hazard , a film by Tarrytown-native Nick Perlman, also raised money through the website .

Hazard was shot around the Tarrytown area and depicts a scared man who takes refuge in an abandoned car on a road in rural New York. New York Times article. The man is eventually consumed by the inferno he’s been running from. Cinematographer Alex Nelson joined Kickstarter to raise $1,500 for insurance and camera rental.

To help promote the Kickstarter fundraiser, Nelson said they shot some test footage and spread the word through Facebook and email.

“We actually were scheduled to begin production before our fund-raising period finished, but we spent our own money on the assumption that we would meet our goal,” he said. “Thankfully, we did.”

Kickstarter, Nelson said, is a valuable platform for artists and filmmakers who don’t or can’t rely on grants and investors.

“Short-form films are becoming far more popular than ever before, and something like Kickstarter allows those micro-projects to find funding without having to prove profitable,” he said.

Johnson said the Kickstarter experience was very positive.

“Having a Kickstarter page made it much easier (for me, personally) to approach people for money,” she said. “Being able to direct people toward a website page for a specific project helped me overcome the awkwardness of asking for money, explaining what the money was for and why we needed that money from the public."

Have you used Kickstarter to raise money? Would you donate money through Kickstarter? Tell us in the comments.

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