Kickstarter and the NEA Are Completely Different Things

This is a pretty good column, but it’s shame that it takes five paragraphs to make the  important point that Kickstarter and the NEA are fundamentally different kinds of entities, so to compare how much they respectively “raise” doesn’t make a lot of sense. The NEA is not concerned with raising money from individual donors at all.

The reason this matters is because people unfamiliar with Kickstarter and/or how government arts funding works might read Issacson’s comment and assume, considering the source, (this was at an “ideas festival” after all), that this is a case where a smart young entrepreneur is beating the government at it’s own game. But as Boyle explains (without actually calling out Issacson for making a not-very-well-thought-out comparison), that’s not actually what’s going on here.