Social Artist Network Kickstarter artist opportunity

Join Kickstarter and Social Art Network for a coaching programme designed for social art practice, socially-engaged art, community arts, and collaborative arts.

Who is it for?
Artists dedicated to social art practice with an ambitious project in development. Suitable for those seeking support to raise funds, connect with international audiences and bring this creative idea to life on Kickstarter. 10 places are available.

What is on offer?
You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with Gemma Seltzer, Kickstarter’s UK, lead to develop and share your project. You’ll join a cohort of 10 artists for four workshops (two in person, two online), on topics such as shaping your story and engaging an online community. You’ll launch your project in October 2019, and learn how to widen the impact and raise the profile of your work. There will be final showcasing event in London to celebrate the programme. Travel will be subsidised. Kickstarter will highlight projects through its networks.

When is it?
June to November. The first coaching session is 12 June 2019 (4-6pm, London). The other three sessions will take place between July and September. All projects will launch in October. In November, we’ll host an event.

Deadline for applications: Midnight on Friday 24 May 2019.

How to apply: Artists are encouraged to send a proposal highlighting their practice and the project they’d like to bring to Kickstarter. These should be sent via email to with the heading: ‘Kickstarter Proposal’

Proposals should include the following information:

  • Artist Biog (200 words)
  • Project title, location and description (500 words or 1 A4 page, including why you’d like to take part; the idea and why it is important to you; and preliminary plans to promote and share the project)
  • Visuals, audio, film about the project (up to 6 references)
  • Contact info (including email, mobile and website)

Guidelines for Selection: Proposals will be selected by an artist-curator panel including: Elsa James, R.M. Sánchez-Camus, and Jasmine White.

To ensure that the projects represent a selection of work dedicated to social practice, the artists’ will be reviewing against an open selection criteria. Please make sure your proposal clearly indicates:

  • Feasibility: of production within social context
  • Innovation: displaying generative thought / methodology / approach
  • Social approach: contextual social currency / agency
  • Track record: past work / experience in the sector / experience of fundraising and engaging audiences / ability to deliver

Applicants should also:

More about Kickstarter, SAN and the coaching programme:

Kickstarter PBC is the world’s largest crowdfunding platform for creative projects. As a Public Benefit Company, it is committed to the arts and to the issues affecting creators.

Through this coaching programme, SAN and Kickstarter will support a diverse cohort of social practice artists to bring new projects to life. We’re looking for projects that engage with politics and society, projects that aim to create dialogue around key societal issues and effect social change, and that matters deeply to the artist and to their communities.

Artists, activists, community groups, curators and organisations use Kickstarter to engage and build communities through collaborative, often participatory, arts projects. In the UK, many of these projects highlight urgent concerns about how we live now. Issues such as the effects of climate change, the refugee crisis, our ageing population and our relationship with Europe and the world.

Social Art Network (SAN) is collaborating with Kickstarter to highlight discussions around socially engaged practice, championing artists working in this field, supporting them to understand the opportunities that Kickstarter offers.


Is the programme free? Yes, the programme is offered free to selected artists. We will cover expenses for travel to the two in person workshops and the final event (capped at £80 per person/activity).

Who is eligible? The programme is for UK-based artists. Kickstarter is open in these countries, and you must be a permanent resident of a listed eligible country to apply.

What if my proposal is not selected but I want to learn about Kickstarter?

Kickstarter and SAN are committed to offering an information session to all artists. All artists who apply will be invited to a webinar event hosted by Kickstarter outlining how you can bring a project to life. You can also explore the Kickstarter website and Creator Handbook.

What is Social Art Practice? ‘Social Art Practice’ and ‘Socially Engaged Art’ are terms for an art medium that focuses primarily on human interaction and social discourse. These terms describe work in which engagement in social situations is not only a part of the process of the work as it develops, but also where the social interaction itself is at some level the art; an aesthetic in itself.

Artists working in this field may co-create their work with a specific audience or propose interventions within social systems that inspire debate or catalyze social exchange. Socially engaged art typically aims to create social and/or political change through collaboration with individuals, communities, organisations and institutions.

About Social Art Network

The Social Art Network (SAN) is an artist-led initiative that aims to build agency and improve peer to peer resources for socially engaged arts practitioners. SAN was born from a series of peer forum discussion in London and Sheffield that led to the first Social Art Summit in 2018. Since then SAN meetups have begun across the country and continue to grow as a movement of artists. As well as sharing practice artists in SAN identified four key factors needed to support artists and strengthen the sector:

  • A platform to showcase and discuss current work
  • Expanded critical and reflective dialogue around the work
  • A national network of artists to strengthen peer support and artists’ development
  • A database of current, past and historic projects

SAN aims to build agency for artists and communities making art through social engagement whilst developing new audiences for the work both nationally and internationally. Currently SAN is developing the model to develop the Social Art Summit on a bi-annual basis as the world’s first Social Art Biennial.

About Kickstarter

Kickstarter is where creative projects come to life — everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Since its launch in 2009, 15 million people have pledged $4 billion on Kickstarter, funding more than 160,000 projects. As a Public Benefit Company, we are committed to supporting creative communities, fighting inequality, protecting our environment, and championing arts and culture.

Explore social practice projects brought to life on Kickstarter, here. For example, in the US, Pope.L and What Pipeline’s Flint Water project to sell limited-edition bottled water sourced in Flint, MI, supported a crisis relief fund and elevated community discussions through programming. In the UK, Assemble and Granby Workshop’s Splatware project revitalised a neighbourhood in Liverpool by creating colourful plates & cups.


If you have any questions about the programme contact Social Art Network:

For any questions specifically about Kickstarter, please get in touch with Gemma Seltzer:

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Start Date

5th May 2019

Closing Date

24th May 2019