Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

OUT OF CHARACTER: In his latest work, Sam Roxas-Chua explores asemic writing. His take on the art form blends written characters with illustrative elements. Image from Roxas-Chua's campaign page

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.

Orison Books’ new release

Asemic writings hold no specific universal meaning. Instead, it’s up to each viewer to interpret collections of shapes, lines and squiggles. As Oregon-based artist Sam Roxas-Chua demonstrates, it’s a written form that can easily incorporate elements of visual art like free-form spatial layouts and selective bursts of color. He explains, “There are some words I believe we will never have words for. That’s asemic to me. A made-up script that is alive, an inner frequency.” To cover the cost of publishing Roxas-Chua’s recent asemic writings on high quality paper, local nonprofit literary press Orison Books aims to raise $4,000 by Monday, April 3.

Pierce Edens’ new album

For two years, guitaristS and vocalists Pierce Edens and Kevin Reese have been on the road, purveying a sound they describe as “boot-scuffing Appalachicana.” And for most of that time, they’ve also been working on a new album called Stripped Down Gussied Up, which will be released on Friday, June 2, under the former’s name. The tracks are already recorded and pressed, “but what we need is a bit of cash for the promotional budget to release the thing properly,” Edens says in his crowdfunding video. In the music industry, “You’ve got to either know people or pay people — and I don’t know people.” He aims to raise $7,000 by Thursday, March 30, to hire two publicists (for the U.S. and U.K.) and to pay for advertisements, music videos and other marketing materials.

Pin Jams by Chris Evans

It’s easy to deck out a jacket or canvas bag with pins galore, but Ashevillean Chris Evans wants more real estate than that. A tattoo artist and owner of Pizza Ships online shop, he’s designing a product called Pin Jam, which allows users to affix pins to any magnetic surface. Essentially, his design is a magnet that’s hollowed out and filled with cork to hold pins with a diameter up to 1.5 inches. “Think of [Pin Jams] as tiny bulletin boards that you can stick on things,” he says. Evans aims to raise $4,000 by Friday, May 5, to move from prototyping to his first production run.

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.


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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

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