The democratization of patronage. That's what my friend, the very gifted writer, Scott Morris, calls the new kind of patronage available to anyone who wants to support the arts these days. Scott has two published novels, The Total View of Taftly and Waiting for April. But his third and most brilliant work, a novel titled Gaines Green, has had trouble getting published due to the economy and other complex issues. He needs our help, and frankly, we need to join the new order of patrons who can save art in our times.
Read all about Scott's story at Kickstarter:
"A Novel That Won't Quit Needs One More Boost." (Be sure and watch the video!)
I've already pledged $100. Not just because Scott is my friend (and mentor) but also because I believe it's time to embrace the opportunities that all of us now have to become patrons... to save art. As Scott says:
"During the 18th Century—and this was painfully embodied by Samuel Johnson—Western culture began shifting from patronage to a middle-class market for books and paintings and other art forms. Yet now the model of a market that can sustain independent artists no longer coheres. A new form of patronage has emerged. While the older form relied on aristocrats and elites, the new form of patronage could be described as the democratization of patronage. Anyone interested in an artist can support that artist."
For the past three years, Scott has served as workshop critique leader at the Yoknapatawpha Summer Writers Workshop in Oxford, Mississippi, where we first met. (He'll be leading the critique sessions again this year, and also giving a craft talk on "Voice," June 10-12.) He was also on faculty at the Seaside Writers Workshop I attended in 2009. He's been an invaluable guide for me in my own work. If you haven't read my posts about him in the past, here are a few:
"Learning to See and Write Sunsets."
"The Writer's Cross: Transcending the Existential Shorthand."
It's easy to become a patron of Scott, or other writers, musicians and artists you might want to support, on Kickstarter. If you've got an Amazon account, you can make your pledge through Amazon, which I did. It's as quick as downloading a book to your Kindle!
So, please consider making even a small pledge to help this brilliant novel find a publishing home. Just hop on over to Kickstarter and read Scott's story, and you'll want to help.
Do it for your soul. Do it for Scott. Do it for art.