In 2014, Art Basel and Kickstarter partnered to catalyze much-needed support for outstanding non-commercial art projects worldwide. This initiative presents jury-selected art projects to a massive group of potential benefactors, which include Art Basel’s audience and the vibrant Kickstarter community, who have already pledged over $2 million to the selected creative projects.

The Crowdfunding Initiative is a unique platform for non-profit visual arts projects to share their stories, generate contributions, and reach out to new audiences for support at a time when public funding for the arts has been dwindling.

Argentine Projects

During Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires, Art Basel's Crowdfunding Initiative will be activated to support artists and non-profit institutions in Buenos Aires in realizing a wide variety of non-commercial artistic projects. Projects by Móvil, MAMBA and La Ira De Dios have been chosen by the independent jury to be part of the first selection of campaigns in Buenos Aires.


​The Jewish Museum

An art museum and a hub for art and Jewish culture for people of all backgrounds. They are giving away 40,000 artworks as part of the 'Take Me (I’m Yours)' exhibition, which allows visitors to interact with, touch and take home works of art by 40 contemporary artists.

​Creative Time

A non-profit public arts organization committed to working with artists on the dialogues, debates and dreams of our time. With Pedro Reyes’ Doomocracy, Creative Time converts the power of the artist’s ideas into work that inspires social change and stimulates public dialogue on timely issues.


A multidisciplinary non-profit organization with a mission to reactivate Rome's Tiber River. Internationally acclaimed artist William Kentridge creates a multidisciplinary cultural project for Tevereterno called Triumphs and Laments: A Project for Rome. The 550–meter frieze along the banks of the river tells the history of the Eternal City and is open to the public.

​Wafaa Bilal

Wafaa Bilal’s 168:01 at the Art Gallery of Windsor is an installation featuring a library of a 1,000 blank books representing loss and rebirth. Over the course of the project, these books are replaced by textbooks donated to the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad, which will aid their rebuilding efforts after the library lost its entire contents in a fire set by looters during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Ballroom Marfa

The cultural arts foundation of Marfa, Texas produces an experimental site-specific and site-inspired chamber opera about Pancho Villa. Ballroom Marfa is known for enabling profound cultural happenings and sharing the unique landscape of Marfa with a diversity of artists. The opera brings together artistic collaborators from both sides of the border to engage in a borderless conversation about the shared history between Mexico and the United States.


The Myanmar Art Resource Center and Archive is translating a book on Myanmar contemporary art and its history into English and adding chapters that had previously been censored.

Jury Members

​Hammad Nasar

Hammad Nasar is a London-based curator, writer, and researcher. He is a co-founder of the non-profit arts organization Green Cardamom and served as Head of Research and Programmes at Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong from 2012 to 2016. In 2017, Nasar will curate the UAE’s national pavilion at the 57th Venice Art Biennale. 

Glenn Phillips

Glenn Phillips is Curator and Head of Modern & Contemporary Collections at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.

​Mari Spirito

Mari Spirito is the Director and Curator of Protocinema, an itinerant site-aware nonprofit based in Istanbul and New York since 2011, as well as Founding Director and Curator of Alt Art Space, Istanbul.

Benefits for Backers

People support Kickstarter projects because they want to realize an idea. A Kickstarter project offers insight into the creative process, while also giving backers the opportunity to sustain the artworld, and help projects come to life. In addition, project creators often offer tangible rewards to people who back their Kickstarter projects, which vary from project to project, but can range from an edition of what is being produced to a special experience.

Photo: Barbara Kruger: Untitled (Stamps) (1990/2013), project reward. Courtesy: East of Borneo.

How to Qualify

Application Process

Art Basel accepts applications for inclusion in our Crowdfunding Initiative from non-profit organizations with planned or currently running Kickstarter campaigns, or artists with projects that have non-commercial intent.

In addition, if you have an idea for a Kickstarter campaign and need assistance crafting it, please contact crowdfunding@artbasel.com with your project idea and include information about your organization, plus images. You will receive a reply within two-to-three weeks. Please be ready to share a sample outreach and communications plan.

Please follow these steps to submit your application:

1. Review the selection criteria.

2. Create a project draft on Kickstarter, including a complete story, rewards and imagery that represent the visual language of your campaign. When your draft is complete, generate a preview link from your project’s preview pane. (We will ask for this link in the application form online)

3. Apply to be included on Art Basel's curated page on Kickstarter using our online submission form.

If your project draft meets the selection criteria, it will be submitted to the jury as a Crowdfunding Initiative candidate. You will be contacted to begin the coaching process with a member of Kickstarter’s team.

When your campaign is ready for launch, Art Basel will submit it to the jury for final approval to be included in our Crowdfunding Initiative and notify you of the jury's decision.

Accepted projects will be added to Art Basel's curated page on Kickstarter once they have launched.

All projects on Kickstarter must be a creative project. Please review Kickstarter's rules and eligibility requirements before you begin. Kickstarter also recommends that you view their community guidelines for their policy on online etiquette for project creators and backers.

Selection Criteria

While recognizing the difficulties in defining 'visual art' we generally mean: painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, installation, film, video, or performance that is advanced as a work of art and presented in a museum, through an online platform, or other public venue that specializes in presenting art.

The project must either be endorsed by an institution or non-profit presenting entity that agrees to organize or exhibit the project if it is funded (such as a museum, contemporary art space, art school, or digital platform), or the project may be initiated by an artist or collective that intends the project for non-commercial purposes. Art Basel seeks to garner support for projects that will be seen by a broad public, or which aim to increase awareness for the project or the organization. 

Through the Crowdfunding Initiative, Art Basel aims to strengthen discourse around contemporary art. Projects must intend to improve the broader ecology around contemporary art and their primary intent must not be sales-related. Therefore, if the project results in exhibited artworks, these cannot be offered for sale for six months after their initial presentation. If the works are then sold, the total funds raised through the Crowdfunding Initiative must be donated to the non-profit organization that initially agreed to exhibit the works.

In addition to the forms and materials requested for all Kickstarter projects, we strongly suggest that you submit published reviews, photographs, web links, and other documentation attesting to the quality and potential impact of the proposed project.

If your project meets the criteria outlined above, please apply now for the chance to be a part of the Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative.

Best Practice

There are various elements that contribute to a successful crowdfunding campaign, including a clear goal, strong communication, desirable rewards, and a broad community of potential backers.

Creator Handbook
Kickstarter’s Creator Handbook is a useful, step-by-step guide for project creators that includes tips for creating a successful campaign. For specific information about optimizing your campaign on Kickstarter, please send an email via kickstarter.com/contact.

Read more about how Kickstarter supports artists and arts organizations here.

Supporting Documentation
The jury will look for applications with strong supporting documentation, such as published reviews, photographs, drawings, web links and other materials that attest to the quality and potential impact of the proposed projects when making their decision.

Activating Network
Once a project is included on the Art Basel curated page on Kickstarter, it is important for creators to announce their project within their own network to spread the word and ensure financial support. While inclusion as a part of Art Basel’s Crowdfunding Initiative will offer increased visibility, it does not guarantee that the funding goal will be met. Successfully funded projects receive support from many people including friends, family, fans, local community members, Kickstarter community members, and Art Basel’s larger international network.

Photo: Daniel Arsham: Welcome to the Future (2014), installation view. Courtesy: Locust Projects.

Find FAQs about the Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative

Apply Now

Art Basel reviews all applications to ensure projects meet our selection criteria. All eligible projects will then be reviewed by the jury.

For further information, please contact crowdfunding@artbasel.com.