The Conversation needs funding to continue and grow. If this was renaissance Europe, we’d be scoping out powerful Italian families with a desire to immortalize themselves through the arts. The game has changed a little since then and, today, the Medici’s have been swapped out for large foundations who demand that their supplicants have nonprofit status. Of course, if you’ve ever started a nonprofit, you know that they’re a massive organizational and legal headache. The Conversation is simply too small to be a standalone nonprofit.
Thankfully, we’ve discovered fiscal sponsorship. “Fiscal sponsorship” is a misleading term—it sounds like a wealthy donor who funds projects, but it is actually a nonprofit that helps multiple independent creators raise funds and apply for grants. This model makes a lot of sense for The Conversation and we are happy to have recently partnered with Independent Arts & Media in San Francisco. This gives us a shot at continuing the project in a meaningful, long-term way.
Also, while Aengus is researching foundations, you can now make a tax-deductible donation to The Conversation via the little gold PayPal button below or, if you prefer, by check (email info at our URL for check details).
What is the next step for The Conversation? If we can line up sufficient funding, we want the project to become a vast library of interconnected discussions that, when visually represented, yield new ways of thinking about the American zeitgeist. We want to know more about who is talking to whom, who is reading what, and which ideas are on everyone’s lips. The Concept Map and reference lists could be just the beginning…