LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A project billed as the first micro-philanthropy website dedicated to U.S. filmmakers, writers, musicians and visual artists was launched on Tuesday, aimed at attracting small public donations to bring artistic projects to life.
USA Projects on the www.unitedstatesartists.org website hopes to connect people with artists and raise tax deductible contributions for original works.
Current projects seeking contributions, starting from as little as $1, include a documentary about gay marriage by photographer Catherine Opie and filmmaker Lisa Udelson, and a theater performance about homeless people in the California beach city of Santa Monica.
"USA Projects is both a fund-raising engine and a robust social network that gives artists the ability to raise money for dream projects and gives the rest of us a way to connect with them and participate in the creative process," said Samuel Hoi, a United States Artists board member.
Each project has a stated fund-raising goal and a deadline. If the project does not meet its goal by the deadline, public donations are returned.
All have been approved by experts in each artistic discipline before being posted for public contribution.
The site features projects in eight categories, ranging from architecture and design to theater. They currently include a sculpture and sound installation inspired by jazz legend Charlie Parker, a large quilt focusing on the plight of Hurricane Katrina victims, and a new dance performance featuring the music of Stevie Wonder.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte