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Crowdfunding: do the famous and talented deserve our financial support?

Spike Lee and Zach Braff are amongst those who are raising funds on sites such as Kickstarter. But aren’t there other more pressing charity cases to give to? You could be forgiven for thinking that artists are society’s most pressing charity cases. Film-makers, musicians, performers and other creatives have rushed to embrace crowd funding on US-based websites Kickstarter, Indiegogo and their Australian equivalent, Pozible. On Twitter and Facebook, they hassle friends and fans to donate to their latest enterprise in return for token rewards such as postcards and stickers. And those soliciting money aren’t just bohemians starving in garrets – many of them are well-known names. In the US, film director Spike Lee has so far raised nearly $1m on Kickstarter to make a new movie, while James Franco recently raised $320,000 on Indiegogo to produce a trilogy of films based on his book. Marina Abramović has attracted over $280,000 in pledges to fund her eponymous institute for performance art (with a little help from Lady Gaga, who contributed a promotional video of herself cavorting naked with a giant crystal). Last year, singer Amanda Palmer famously raised $1.2m to fund her solo album. Their efforts pale beside the $3.1m raised by Zach Braff to make a follow-up to Garden State. […]

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