Comic Hannah Hart doubled her crowd-sourcing goal of raising $50,000 in just 24 hours. One of the secrets to her success will be that she’s really funny. A second is that her online community, formed initially around videos of ‘My Drunk Kitchen’ that Hart was making for a friend, was seeking live shows and interaction – which is exactly the project Hart has crowd-sourced to put on.
On Indiegogo (fundraising site nominated for making 2012’s “Biggest Social Impact”), Hart’s sixty second video ‘I Swear to Drunk I’m Not Cooking’ tells the story of the origins of what will become ‘Hello, Harto’ The Tour. With viewers support, and requests to visit their cities and towns, the tour will begin. Hannah Hart speaks to the questions Platform has been raising around ethical funding for arts projects and organisations when she says:
“Now the reason I’m doing this tour via (Indiegogo) is that I’m not particularly interested in doing a tour presented by a corporation, I’m much more interested in doing a tour presented by you. That way also, we retain creative control, and I can say f*** as many times as I want. That being said if any corporations would like to contribute, I’m willing to deck myself out like a human nascar.”
The satire in her closing line smoothes out any strong reactions to the sincerity in the opening line here. Hart’s entire project is built around a form of participatory audience experience, that also involves financing the project – and it has clearly been a big hit. Today, the tour budget sits at three times its original target – who knows how much support and engagement it will get over the next 25 days of its campaign period on Indiegogo.
This style of building community engagement is constructed by Indiegogo as well as the specifics of ‘Hello, Harto’ The Tour. For each sum of money a crowd-funder donates, fundraisers are encouraged to give back some mark of involvement in the project, be it merchandise based or more abstract. Hart’s list of *What You Get* includes for $1, a Wistful Sigh, or for $25 a certificate of E-Polygamous-Marriage. That’s certainly some tightly networked community building. And its raising funds for a young comedian to do a tour how they want to and according to their own ethics.