I would be willing to wager that few followers of this blog, or
anyone else for that matter, is familiar with the name Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton. Likewise with Henry Lovin. Yet both men made contributions that forever changed the world. Wriothesley was one of William Shakespeare’s principal patrons. Lovin was the patron who provided the $16.00 grubstake to Jose Jerez, the man who launched the last gold rush in Arizona with his discovery in the Black Mountains, the event that led to the establishment of Gold Road.
For centuries patronage served as an the primary mechanism for the funding of the arts, music, and the work of playwrights and authors. In a nutshell, the rich and famous in a society acted as sponsors. A variation of the concept took hold in the late 19th century when patrons grub staked a prospector. A primary difference was that the reward for patrons of the arts was recognition and the enrichment of society, and the patron who grub staked a prospector hoped for a return on investment.
In the case of Henry Lovin, legend has it that he pocketed something like $50,000 as a return on hist $16 investment. For Wriothesley the return on his investment in Shakespeare was timeless plays and sonnets that resonate with audiences to this very day.
In what seems like a never ending quest to find funds to support my promotional endeavors, writing projects, video development, and related endeavors I recently discovered that the ancient practice of patronage is alive and well. As with so many things, however, it has been wedded to modern technologies. Let me introduce you to Patreon.
I derive tremendous satisfaction from my various projects, such as the weekly Facebook live program. I gladly provide this as a community service, likewise with a few other endeavors such as this blog. The challenge, however, comes from balancing community service projects with those that provide income, and the enormous amount of time required to develop them that is multiplied by the never ending search for funds. For just a moment consider this – one blog post a week requires one to two hours, the podcast about three hours, and the Facebook live program about two hours.
Steve LeSueur of the Promote Route 66 initiative and I have recently learned that video development is a huge time sink. Episode one of Jim Hinckley’s America: A Trek Along Route 66, a video developed in part to promote Kingman (available for order at http://www.promotekingman.com) required in excess of 450 hours to complete.
Recently, as I was meditating on some of the current projects, how I could expand on them, and other projects I would like to develop such as educational programs, my thoughts turned toward the ancient practice of patronage. To further develop current or future projects I needed more time and as I am powerless to add two, three, or even four hours to each day that left but one option, find more time in the existent day.
As much of my week is consumed with the quest for financial funding to support the various endeavors, this looked like a place to begin the streamlining process. Those thoughts led to patronage and that led me to Patreon. This in turn led to establishment of a Patreon page, a place where I could market my community service projects, my promotional initiatives, and related endeavors to those who saw value in them. And that explains the red button in the upper right corner, which will take you to the new Patreon page where you can become a Jim Hinckley’s America patron.
To add further value to the service provided, I have devised a plan to provide patrons with a little something extra. Okay, with that as an introduction, what are your thoughts? What value do you place on Jim Hinckley’s America?