Doug Fox: Skip the Funders–and go direct to the Internet [revised, Friday night]

This just in from Doug Fox, who’s hard at work on his web site, greatdance.com, figuring out alternative ways to fund dance. He suggests many nifty alternatives there.
Hi Apollinaire,
I enjoyed the posts about the Nothing Festival. I’m going to Dance Theater Workshop [in New York] tomorrow night for talk and performance.
Why does everybody assume there are no alternatives to financing new dance works besides seeking the blessing of funders? If funders impose too many burdensome requirements on choreographers and dancers, I say, forget the funders!
The Internet offers some wonderful tools for seeking small donations from large numbers of people. Through viral marketing, fundraising badges, innovative uses of online videos and other tools and software applications, I’m very confident that many dancers can bypass the burdensome process of writing grant applications and reach out to online dance enthusiasts. There’s no longer any reason for dance people to compromise their approach to the creative process in order to package their work in ways that funders deem appropriate.
Best,
Doug Fox
doug@greatdance.com
Apollinaire responds:
Thanks for your intervention, Doug, and I hope you offer up some of these alternatives at the round table tomorrow at DTW.
Out of sheer self-interest, I want to know why newspaper Web sites aren’t doing everything possible to increase revenue from arts audiences–and pass on the bucks to us. Every time a reader clicked on a dance review, ads keyed to dance events in the reader’s area (the Internet knows where you are!) could pop up along the screen’s margins: that’s how Google works. Even impoverished dance presenters would pay to alert such an already-curious audience!
Doug, I know you’ve already discussed on your blog how dance writers might get more media savvy, and I’m with you. But first we need to get the papers to devote resources to such improvements. The Newsday Web site, for example, isn’t even capable of italics. And the papers won’t use money on technology for the Web edition of dance articles until dance proves fiscally self-sustaining.
That’s why the first priority, I think, should be generating revenue on the arts pages. Then maybe just maybe the papers will improve lay out and embedding possibilities and, if they don’t, dance editors will at least be in a better position to request these crucial improvements.

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