Bank Austria Art Prize "goes crowdfunding"

  • As part of EUR 218,000 funding for the Austrian cultural scene, Bank Austria is donating EUR 110,000 for cultural crowdfunding projects from 2015, in addition to the nomination prizes for important cultural institutions and cultural journalism

Bank Austria is a fixture on the Austrian cultural landscape and one of the largest promoters of culture in the country; since 2010 it has awarded the largest private funding of culture in the country every year with the Bank Austria Art Prize. After five successful years the Art Prize has been redesigned, principally to meet the funding needs of creative artists even more efficiently. In the future, Bank Austria will maintain its total funding of EUR 218,000 but this will be broken down as follows:

• Crowdfunding campaign for roughly 36 smaller, regional projects (EUR 110,000)
• Grand Jury Appreciation Prize for outstanding Austrian projects (EUR 100,000)
• Jury Prize for Cultural Journalism (EUR 8,000)

Willibald Cernko, Bank Austria CEO: “With this Art Prize we address established institutions of international repute as well as the artistic newcomers. To strengthen the Austrian creative scene in line with current requirements, particularly in the regions, this year we are taking a different and innovative path with funding culture for the first time by making roughly half of the Bank Austria Art Prize available for crowdfunding campaigns. With private financiers on board, the Bank Austria Art Prize is thus becoming an active “catalyst” for innovative, regional art projects.”

Bank Austria has teamed up with wemakeit, one of the largest and most successful crowdfunding platforms in Europe. The expertise and services of wemakeit complement the art promotion of Bank Austria, turning it into a complete package for the Austrian art scene.

In addition, existing institutions are recognised for their merits in Austrian art and culture. This takes the form of a nomination process triggered by crowdfunding with a jury of prominent members. The cultural journalism prize is given by the same jury.

Art Prize crowdfunding campaign in Austria
Applications for the Bank Austria Art Prize can be submitted from 1 June to 31 July 2015 on the Bank Austria Art Prize site of wemakeit.at. A board of experts then chooses the projects to be supported within the framework of the Bank Austria Art Prize – making sure in particular that there are projects from all federal provinces. The board comprises Andrea Ecker, head of the Arts Division of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture and Media, Günther Friesinger, media artist, festival organiser and Art Prize winner (Paraflows Festival) as well as Bank Austria CEO Willibald Cernko.

Smaller projects with funding requirements of a few thousand euros can apply. The crowdfunding process is split into three phases: as soon as a project has reached the first third of its funding requirement after a successful start with at least 20 sponsors (for example EUR 3,000), Bank Austria will make up the second third of the crowdfunding campaign. The last third must then be crowdfunded again. The entire amount is paid out once the funding campaign is successfully completed. In August the team from wemakeit.at will provide coaching for the selected Art Prize projects in preparation for the start of the crowdfunding campaign on 10 September 2015.

“Together with our partner wemakeit we are treading new ground in funding culture and we can raise the entire sum of sponsoring significantly by bringing private financiers on board. This is why we can distribute up to EUR 330,000 for Austrian cultural initiatives”, emphasised Cernko, before adding: “The new Bank Austria Art Prize is not just a significant lever for financing art projects, it is also a sign of quality for all those interested in art who actively want to promote art projects themselves. The financiers involved in the reward-based crowdfunding of the Art Prize will be offered different considerations in return depending on the amount pledged. This will create a broad base of interested parties involved directly in the given project. The multiplication effect is certainly much stronger here than with mere donations as people can identify more strongly with the projects supported in this way and therefore promote them more effectively in their personal environment.”

More information on how to participate and on the competition details can be found at http://www.kunstpreis.bankaustria.at

Information events on the Bank Austria Art Prize
Tips and tricks on crowdfunding and detailed information on the new Bank Austria Art Prize initiative can be learned at the information events to be held between 11 June and 7 July 2015, and which representatives of the media are warmly welcome to attend:

Thursday, 11 June 2015, Salzburg
5.00pm to 8.00pm
Bank Austria, Rainerstraße 2, 1st floor, 5020 Salzburg

Monday, 15 June 2015, Vienna
5.00pm to 8.00pm
Bank Austria Kunstforum tresor, Freyung 8, 1010 Wien

Monday, 22 June 2015, Eisenstadt
5.00pm to 8.00pm
Bank Austria, Pfarrgasse 28, 7000 Eisenstadt

Wednesday, 24 June 2015, Linz
5.00pm to 8.00pm
Bank Austria, Hauptplatz 27, 4020 Linz

Monday, 29 June 2015, St. Pölten
5.00pm to 8.00pm
Bank Austria, Rathausplatz 2, 3100 St. Pölten

Tuesday, 30 June 2015, Klagenfurt
5.00pm to 8.00pm
Seeparkhotel, Universitätsstraße 104, 9020 Klagenfurt

Wednesday, 1 July 2015, Graz
5.00pm to 8.00pm
Bank Austria, Herrengasse 15, Erzherzog-Johann Saal, 8010 Graz

Thursday, 2 July, Vienna
5.00pm to 8.00pm
Bank Austria Kunstforum tresor, Freyung 8, 1010 Vienna

Monday, 6 July 2015, Bregenz
5.00pm to 8.00pm
Brauereigasthof Reiner, Hofriedenstrasse 1, 6911 Lochau

Tuesday, 7 July 2015, Innsbruck
5.00pm to 8.00pm
Hotel Grauer Bär, Universitätsstrasse 6-7, 6020 Innsbruck


Bank Austria Events & Sponsorship Bank Austria Media Relations Austria
Katja Erlach, Tel. +43 (0) 50505-56839 Martin Kammerer, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52803
E-mail: katja.erlach@unicreditgroup.at E-mail: martin.kammerer@unicreditgroup.at