Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal and friends.
After a successful conclusion of our 2014 Community Campaign yesterday, there are many positive feelings, and many things to say.
The format was an experiment. Our annual campaign, which is a significant part of our income each year, was shorter than ever before. We recognize that nature of online giving has changed since we started our appeals in 2001, and are sensitive to this now-crowded space. Inspired to innovate with our format by the success of 2009's $50,000 Web Page (which is still online, and well worth a look), we hoped that a grand finale, the 24-hour Internet Telethon, would carry us over the edge of our $20,000 goal. It did, in dramatic fashion. With just 20 minutes left, longtime Rhizomer and Telethon participant Tom Moody made the donation that carried us over the finish line.
The experience of this past six weeks, and the 24-hour marathon at its end, has filled us with gratitude and renewed energy drawn from those who contributed. Over the course of our telethon, we had live article writing, a reading of Rhizome comments (Tom Moody), a Grime DJ set (my own modest contribution), poetry reading (Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal and friends), a Rhizome Reality TV show (Ann Hirsch), livecoding (Alex McLean), a DMCA-blocked thank you sketch (Nick DeMarco, continues here and here), cooking with Rhizomes (Julia Kramer), brand criticism (Ryder Ripps), a dance party (Jeremy Bailey, continues here and here), soothing video narration (Body by Body), a floppy disk party (Daniel Rehn, continues here and here), a covers serenade (Andrew Hunt), a surf party (Jonas Lund), a planned portfolio review with Lindsay Howard, Zachary Kaplan's impeccable hosting, and more.
My vision for Rhizome is for it to be more than just a New York City non-profit, but a model for what an arts organization on the internet can be. This includes innovating our infrastructures and re-committing to the fact that our primary public is online. The telethon was a glimpse of this possibility—and, as one contributor said, a "surprisingly earnest" one, to us too—but there's much more we can do. Now that you've lent us your support, we'll continue to work towards our mission in all our programs: supporting contemporary art that creates richer and more critical digital cultures. We think that we're uniquely placed to achieve this, and you've shown us that you think so too.
Thank you to all those who helped make this telethon happen, to those who gave and helped spread the word, and to the artists, writers, and technologists whose daily efforts make our program possible.