There’s a continually growing amount of celebrities in the world who are using their voices to throw massive amounts of money behind charities and other good causes.
This has been going on a long time and isn’t anything new, but recently it seems like I see more and more people that found their success and their careers almost entirely off of their charitable efforts to make the world a better place.
My case in point are the vlogbrothers, who I only just started watching recently. Anyone even vaguely familiar with the YouTube culture will know all about them. They’ve been vlogging back and forth to each other for something like six years now.
Yes, their videos are funny. Yes, they’re entertaining. Yes, they’re occasionally educational, teaching their audience about science and the world and politics and so on.
But they started getting REALLY, REALLY BIG when they started doing annual charity drives a few years back. They create content that raises funds for their own charity pool. Then their viewers create videos promoting a variety of charitable causes. The audience votes on the charitable causes, and the top ten get an equal division of the money.
When they first started this, it was relatively small, but every video that their fans made drove more and more and more people to the channel, and this year they raised almost a million dollars from their drive.
One of the brothers also gained enough recognition from the channel to start Vidcon, which is now one of the biggest conventions for online video in the world.
Artist activists like these guys, or “artivists,” if you want to use an ugly word I just made up, have a tremendous amount of appeal. If you can be funny and entertaining and ALSO unite with people who share your same values and want to help you make the world a better place, you’ve got two ins for every potential member of your audience out there.
This is something I want to see more of. This is something I want to DO more of.
Including activism in your art and standing for issues that are important to you will not only gain you an audience, but gain the alliance and respect of other artists out there who are doing the same thing. That can snowball your career and theirs, and while you can make a living doing something you love, far more importantly, you’re all uniting to make the world a better place, as corny as that sounds.
So be an artivist.