Kochi-Muziris Biennale launches fundraising drive, appealing to international online following.

India’s first Biennale, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012, is turning to a fast growing online following to raise funds. Modelled after US President Obama’s digital fundraising campaign the Biennale has implemented a payment facility to donate directly on its website. Since opening the gates on 12.12.12 the exhibition in Kochi has attracted 300,000 visitors and amassed the largest online following of any Indian cultural organisation. The inaugural Biennale is now reaching out to its followers in an appeal for financial support via Facebook, Twitter and email.

In the 10 weeks since opening to the public Kochi-Muziris Biennale has attracted:

– Over 12.3 million hits on its website www.kochimuzirisbiennale.org

– An increase in the number of likes on Kochi-Muziris Biennale’s Facebook page from 1,000 to 13,400, surpassing many long-established cultural events

– An average weekly reach on Facebook of 75,000 peaking at 150,000 in December

Regularly publishing visual content, photos and videos of artwork and events has been the biggest draw for a local population largely unfamiliar with contemporary art. Daily visits from celebrities from the world of film, music and literature have also helped broadened appeal and create an audience far beyond the world of contemporary art.

Launching the crowd-funding campaign, KMB enlisted Kerala film superstar Prithviraj Sukumaran to be the first of a series of prominent personalities making online appeals on behalf of the biennale.

The Biennale has received advice on online fundraising from the likes of Rajan Anandan, Head of Google India, Chris Dercon, Director of Tate Modern in London and Sam Pitroda, Currently Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations.

In continuation of a marketing campaign featuring locals holding signs declaring ‘It’s my Biennale’, the Kochi Biennale Foundation is giving individual patrons and companies the chance to sponsor a day. Alongside a package of benefits, daily sponsors are credited with thanks emblazoned across the entrance of the main exhibition venue, Aspinwall House.

Donations are now coming in from art lovers from around India and the globe, many of whom haven’t had the opportunity to visit the biennale in Kochi.

Funds raised will go to the daily running costs of the event and taking the project forward towards 2014, contributing to the sustainability of India’s first biennale.