Up to $15,000 in Matching Funds
Here at New Amsterdam, we’re committed to building sustainable careers for our musical artists – from those in the beginning stages of their work like composer Finnegan Shanahan, to Grammy-Award winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. We recognize that the trajectory of an artist’s career is diverse, and we’ve embraced their diverse needs as a record company, a presenter, a producer, a curator, and an advocate for our artists’ musical ideas. Importantly, most of those ideas defy categorization, and that lack of categorization is integral to their success. This is why we are so committed to providing creators with a platform just as genre-less and forward-thinking as their own changing creative processes. And this spring, we're able to double down on artists through the launch of our two newest initiatives:
- Our first-ever summer fundraising campaign with up to $15,000 in matching funds – if we meet our goal, we can literally double the impact we make for artists in the months and year ahead.
- Our brand new, fresh-out-of-the-box label subscription series on Bandcamp, connecting our growing catalogue of more than 70 releases to a wider and more aggregated community of enthusiasts, while providing sustained income to our artists and our organization.
These are two hugely exciting new endeavors. With your help and $15,000 in matching funds, we can do a whole lot of good for artists.
Today's Landscape and New Challenges
As NewAm approaches its 10-year anniversary, there are challenges and opportunities for working musicians in today’s 2016 landscape that weren’t around 10 years ago. Streaming platforms didn’t exist. Websites like YouTube and SoundCloud were in the nascent stages of their being. Our nation had yet to experience its largest financial crisis in almost a century. Here in Brooklyn, Hurricane Sandy devastated our organization’s space, among millions of others. Startup culture wasn’t nearly as pervasive, nor with it the widespread expectation of unquestionably free content; an expectation that has come with difficult consequences for musical creators. In December 2015, Roomful of Teeth’s album streamed 7,500 times on Spotify for a profit of $0.03, and our recent profile in The Wall Street Journal shows just how hard it can be out there for artists and the organizations that serve them.
How We're Working to Overcome Obstacles
These are challenges that all of us in the arts feel every single day. We certainly do. It keeps us adaptive and agile, and is the motivating factor behind NewAm’s evolving opportunities for artists, both as a resourceful non-profit presenting and booking organization, and as a record label that leaves 80% of sales and 100% master rights with the artists.
In the face of such obstacles, we’ve still managed to create opportunities for our artists to thrive. Over the past year in particular we’ve expanded more than any other time in our existence. Last year we produced A Marvelous Order, undertaking our largest multimedia and multi-disciplinary project to date. Internally, we made two huge new hires: our organization’s first Development Manager, Erika Rush Robinson, and our first Executive Director, Emily Bookwalter. We booked over 60 shows in 14 states and 3 countries. Our partnerships at River to River and the Ecstatic Music Festival were as fruitful as ever. And our activity received critical acclaim in The New Yorker, The New York Times,The Boston Globe, Pitchfork, The Nation, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, NPR, WQXR, and more.
Why You Should Give
Our hard work over the past 12 months has paid off. Through the combined efforts of our newly expanded hardworking staff, booking, curation, fundraising, and production, we were able to provide almost $600,000 to musical artists for their performances last year; that’s 80% of 2015’s annual operating budget, and an over 100% increase from 2014.
An investment in New Amsterdam is a huge investment in the artists of our time. We know that with our new initiatives in this spring’s dual approach to serving our artists, alongside $15,000 of matching funds, and with your partnership, we can do great things for our community. We need musical artists – we need to see them, and we need to see how much we need them. Join us in doubling down for the arts this summer.