Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

HITTING A WALL: Last year, muralist Ian Wilkinson raised $5,417 to purchase supplies for Burners and BBQ, a community event that draws dozens of mural artists to the River Arts District for a multi-day pubic art initiative. This year, his fundraising goal is $8,500. Photo from Burners and BBQ'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.

Burners and BBQ mural event

In addition to promoting the River Arts District as a cultural destination, the fourth annual Burners and BBQ event will “celebrate grafitti, street art and muralism by giving our community the gift of public art,” according to organizer and muralist Ian Wilkinson. From Friday to Sunday, May 19-21, he’ll welcome 30-50 unpaid artists from across the country to collaborate on one mural located on Foundy Street — a spot Wilkinson says should help unite the area’s existing paintings. “By bringing these artists together and executing a project of this scope and quality, we hope to provide our city with art that inspires others to do the same and specifically gives Asheville’s youth something ambitious they can aspire to,” Wilkinson says. “As always, we welcome our community to come watch the muralists in action.” The Wedge Brewery and 12 Bones will have their new locations on Foundy Street open throughout the weekend, selling food and drinks to spectators. The brewery will also host an artist meet and greet with a DJ on Friday, May 19, at 7 p.m., and The Grail Movie House will screen graffitti documentary Can’t Be Stopped on Saturday, May 20, at 9:30 p.m., in conjunction with the event. Wilkinson aims to raise $8,500 to supply contributing artists with equipment and materials.


BRIGHTEN THE DAY: Last year, muralist Ian Wilkinson raised $5,417 to purchase supplies for Burners and BBQ, a community event that draws dozens of mural artists to the River Arts District for a multi-day pubic art initiative. This year, his goal is $8,500.
Photo from the Burners and BBQ campaign page

Better Dads Festival

On Saturday, June 17 (Father’s Day weekend), from noon to 9:30 p.m., the ManKind Project USA will host Asheville’s inaugural Better Dads Festival at Pack Square Park. “We recognize the need, in today’s world, for mature, responsible and constructive male behavior,” reads a description of the event. “By creating safe and supportive spaces to look at our deeper selves, we enable each other to make better choices and become better partners, husbands, fathers and sons. … The Better Dads Festival welcomes men, women and children from Asheville’s diverse communities to come explore and celebrate.” Musical acts, including Lyric (whose father is her backing bassist), David LaMotte and Billy Jonas will perform at the event, as will storytellers and speakers. Additional activities include dancing, games, costumes, drumming, crafts, poetry and a “dress your dad” photo booth. Sharing circles will facilitate deeper discussions. Since all of the festival’s staff are volunteers, event founder Alan Kay aims to raise $10,000 to cover the cost of entertainment and activities at the park.

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.