Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

A POSITIVE NOTE: A forthcoming album by Tina & Her Pony is dedicated to Tina Collins' deceased father and titled Champion. "He was a champion to many, including us," reads the duo's crowdfunding page. "He would be super proud, because this will be our first big, legit studio album undertaking." Photo from Tina & Her Pony'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.

A new album by Tina and Her Pony

With a sound that’s warm and earthy but effortlessly polished, Tina & Her Pony draws the listener in. And from there, the act’s two musicians — Tina Collins and Quetzal Jordan — offer a stream of restorative, roots-inspired songs, which feel like an antidote to the daily race. For their forthcoming album Champion, Collins and Jordan have recruited guest musicians from Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Rising Appalachia, Cicada Rhythm and more, to contribute parts at Echo Mountain Recording. “This album is a pearl for us,” Jordan says in a crowdfunding video. “It’s come out of a lot of pain, from death, our subconscious, rebirth, our dreams. It’s been a really awesome process to take those feelings and those concepts and turn it into something really beautiful.” Tina & Her Pony aims to raise $15,000 by Monday, May 1, to cover expenses associated with recording, mixing, production, duplication and promotion of the work.

Tribe body movement studio

Created by co-founders Lucy Howard and Leslie Rogers — who also launched Pole Dance Fitness and Trillium Dance Company, respectively — Tribe is a new addition to Asheville’s body movement scene. “At Tribe, we believe everyone is a dancer,” reads a crowdfunding page for the studio. “We believe music and dance speak beyond language and that everyone has something to say. To walk into Tribe is to be welcomed home.” The recently opened business prides itself on inclusivity and offers a wide variety of classes like adult ballet, kids expressive movement, Quoya, Zumba, flexibility, “liquid hip-hop” and multiple pole dancing options. Tribe aims to raise $12,000 by Monday, May 1, to fund studio upfitting and equipment like specialized flooring, atmospheric lighting, safety mats and a sound system.

Eliada’s garden

Instead of seeking monetary donations, Eliada is looking for votes in support of its current crowdsourcing initiative. The local nonprofit, which provides residential treatment and other services for children, is hoping to revive what was once a part of its campus: a functional garden. This time, however, the growing will occur indoors, hydroponically. “It will all begin with a geodesic grow dome, where we can begin production of leafy greens and other produce that we can use in our kitchen,” reads a newsletter from the organization. “The dome will be a multifunctional space where the kids can also grow plants, learn about earth science and get active.” Eliada is campaigning for votes here in a contest run by USA Today‘s A Community Thrives program, which would provide up to $100,000 for the winning project. Funds would be used to prepare the space and manage the garden program, including hiring a farmer.

Still frame from Eliada's campaign video
Still frame from Eliada’s campaign video

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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