I’ve become a patron of the arts. I have been for years, actually, as a monthly Sustaining Member of KERA, my local PBS station. But now I’m supporting a musician, Tim Easton, who impressed me mightily with his recent WoodyFest presentation on Folk Collusion, his book with a companion album of songs detailing his folk-music journey through Russia. I’m giving Tim a few bucks a month through Patreon.com.
To quote Wikipedia: “Patreon is a membership platform based in the United States that … allows creators and artists to earn a monthly income by providing exclusive rewards and perks to their subscribers, or ‘patrons.’” Writers are getting a monthly income through Patreon, too. Novelist N. K. Jemisin is shown as receiving a not-too-shabby $5,986 a month.
I’m disinclined to sign up right now, since I’m doing OK financially and would prefer that people give their philanthropic dollars to folks who are struggling during the Covid crisis. (Feeding America is one good option.) But modern-day, crowd-sourced patronage is an interesting idea, one that I knew nothing about until hearing Tim Easton speak at WoodyFest 2020. If you’re a writer or creator, you might want to check out Patreon.