The age old expression ‘money makes the world go round’ sounds trite and insincere – and it is. However, it does also ring true and that is because no matter how deeply unfair, disempowering and disenfranchising this notion is, it seems to be the one that the human race has irreparably bound itself up with.
So there is money and those who make money (I mean lots). For clarity’s sake we’ll put some names in this group: Corporations, Businesses, Governments, Rich People. There are also workers who labour under capitalism and earn wages, but that is a whole other story.
In another group there are those who can’t rely on getting paid for what they do, because the labour market doesn’t inherently value their work. People in this category include artists, performers, people with a social conscious but limited capital, people with awesome entrepreneurial ideas but limited capital, people with artistic integrity and vision but limited capital. You get the idea. People whose ideas are not inherently valued by the market have to rely other means to make money to do their jobs.
One approach in particular has proven popular and is known by the deceptively optimistic term FUNDRAISING. Essentially fundraising is the practise of asking People with (lots of) Money to give YOU money so that you can do your work. This issue of Artwolfe is devoted to how fundraising works (or doesn’t work) in Namibia.
If you have ever tried to raise money for an arts project in Namibia you may well share the sentiments expressed by our contributors. Read on! Fabulous theatre person Sandy Rudd, a person who has battled the beast of Fundraising many times, wastes no time in titling her article ‘Money – The Starting Point of All Dreams.’ Ah, we can talk of love and wild flowers and sunsets and pretend to forget about money but frankly this won’t make theatre productions or art exhibitions ever happen. On a similarly dry note, we interview Joel Haikali of Joe Vision Productions who delves into fundraising issues in Namibia’s small but exciting film-making industry. He points some fingers, true, but he sure has some points.
On the other side of the fence we have the invaluable insight of corporate wage worker (and arts lover) Suta Kavari who tells it like it is from the somewhat cynical, undeniably self-serving perspective of the people who make the arts-funding handouts that artists need to make their dreams come true. And lastly, for the sweet souls who haven’t tried fundraising yet (and have had their heads all mixed up by the sheer intensity of this topic) Nicky Marais writes a handy ‘How to Zula for Project Money’
The Artwolfe Team