Crowdfunding for staying Independent

Crowdfunding by Zoe Boekbinder

There are many artists managing recording or part of their daily costs via crowdfunding. Zoë Boekbinder with her Prison Music Project is just one of them.

Prison Music Project

Zoë Boekbinder has a rich back catalog on Bandcamp. Nevertheless, for her newest project, the Prison Music Project, she still needs funding. Instead of using a platform like Kickstarter or Indiegogo for it, she does the crowdfunding on her own webpage.

The Prison Music Project is an album of songs, poems, and raps by nine incarcerated (currently or previously) artists at New Folsom Prison. It is being produced by Ani DiFranco and Zoë Boekbinder. The performers on the album will be a broadcast of musicians and songwriters, including some recordings that were made inside the prison of the writers themselves. The objective is to bring the stories out into the community even if some of the people they belong to remain locked up. The profits from album sales will benefit arts in prisons and reentry programs for people being released from jail.


For years now it is quite common to pay the bills for recording studios and vinyl/cd pressing via crowdfunding. Actually, this is not wholly new. For example, I know of the band Breeches, the predecessor of Los Angeles’ Paddy’s Pig, who collected money through bake sales in front of concert venues in the early 2000s.

Also not new in culture is the principle of patronage. On the other hand, that it is used for popular music, is a fresh trend. Not only websites like Bandcamp or Kickstarter support it now, but there also exists at least one particular site for it. It is called Patreon, and our former artist of the week, Baba Brinkman, uses it.

Zoë Boekbinder is also looking for patronage but does it on her own. At the moment, she has found 44 people who fund almost $700 a month. Pretty impressing!


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