Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding campaigns

Dulci Ellenberger, far right, performs regularly with her country motown quartet Sweet Claudette, but she's also ready to go solo with a brand new album in 2015. Photo courtesy of the band Courtesy of Sweet Claudette

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.


“I’ve got the songs, the producer and the time,” says Dulci Ellenberger. “Now all I need is the money!” The vocalist and guitarist, who is also an active member of country Motown band Sweet Claudette, says that eight years of full-time musicianship alongside talented bandmates and friends have finally prepared her to venture into new territory. “I feel like I’m finally ready to record my first solo album,” she says. “All the ingredients are there. It’s just going to cost a little more than I have.” Ellenberger, who plans to partner with producer Seth Kauffman on the debut, aims to raise $4,000 by Saturday, Feb. 28, to cover recording, mastering, marketing and at least 100 physical copies of her new album.


Born in 2013 and comprised of Mars Hill University graduates Corey Denham, Emory Hensley and Justin Mabry, 10-can percussion is “committed to the performance of new and classic works for percussion.” The musicians, who revel in ditching the status-quo, perform Afro-Brazilian-inspired tunes often in WNC and are currently enjoying coaching other ensembles during their residency at MHU. An upcoming undertaking by the trio, however, will see the percussionists returning to the role of students. They hope to employ the expertise of composer and long-time mentor Andy Smith, who specializes in Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music, in creating a new song tailored to the 10-Can style. The tapping troupe aims to raise $550 by Monday, March 2, to cover the costs of the collaboration, including recording and filming the song.

Image from 10-can percussion campaign page
Image from 10-can percussion campaign page


“This kit could be the simple solution to the most dreaded complaint parents hear during the summer — ‘I’m bored,’” reads the campaign page for DuinoKit Jr. Creator Dan Alich says the user-friendly system is designed to get youths with no knowledge of programming interested in the many applications of a simple do-it-yourself electronic device. The stripped-down prototype — whose uses are only limited to user creativity, according to Alich — was created in response to feedback from educators and parents. They’re advice? Make it smaller and simpler. Alich has already surpassed his $13,500 goal for manufacturing a batch of DuinoKits and was also featured as a Kickstarter Staff Pick. His campaign will be funded on Sunday, March 1.

Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to kmcreynolds@mountainx.com. A limited number of campaigns will be highlighted each week, at Xpress‘ discretion. Campaigns must be locally based and should represent a current project with an achievable goal. Conditions are subject to change. Read about more Western North Carolina projects here.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.