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Kickstarter expects to fund more arts projects than the National Endowment of the Arts this year

From TPM:

Kickstarter is having an amazing year, even by the standards of other white hot Web startup companies, and more is yet to come.

One of the company’s three co-founders, Yancey Strickler, said that Kickstarter is on track to distribue over $150 million dollars to its users’ projects in 2012, or more than entire fiscal year 2012 budget for the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), which was $146 million.

“It is probable Kickstarter will distribute more money this year than the NEA,” said Stricker in an exclusive phone interview with TPM. “We view that number and our relationship to it in both a good and bad way.”

As Strickler explained, the milestone is “good” in the sense that it means that Kickstarter may now reach a point where it will funnel as much money to the arts as the federal agency primarily responsible for supporting them, effectively doubling the amount of art that can get funded in the country.

“But maybe it shouldn’t be that way,” Strickler said, “Maybe there’s a reason for the state to strongly support the arts.”

It’s worth pointing out that Kickstarter is quite different from the NEA. The 3-year-old website allows users to post their own random ideas for projects — everything from iPod Nano watches to children’s books on reproduction — and solicit donations from the rest of the Internet to turn them into reality.

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