Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

DRAW IT OUT: Geneva Benton describes her third self-published art book as "showcasing a mixture of spacey, floral and colorful themes in semi-realistic portraits." "Matchstick" courtesy of the artist

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.

Tournesol, self-published art book

Though her characters are often pensive, Canton-based illustrator Geneva Benton (also known as Geneva B) brings bright tones, playful shapes and a youthful spirit into her artwork, giving each subject greater depth and staying power in the viewer’s eyes. Her forthcoming, third, self-published book is a compilation of creations from the past two years. “It is named Tournesol to mark the gradual shift of floral and nature themes that are occurring [in my work] the longer I live in Western North Carolina,” she explains. “The book will go in depth with commentary on my most-loved works — with full-page spreads and a look at how I work. It is soft cover, perfectly bound and contains 70-80 pages of art, sketches, progress photos and explanations.” Benton has already met her $2,500 goal, but will continue crowdfunding through Monday, Aug. 14. Funds will be used to print about 100 copies of Tournesol, fulfill backer perks and pay Kickstarter fees.

All About Baking blog

Baker Kristen Wilkerson says she recruited her daughter Charlotte as a kitchen assistant “almost as soon as she was able to sit up and stir the batter.” And now that Charlotte is 12 years old, the two are working toward a greater goal: documenting their culinary exploits on their own blog called All About Baking. “There are a lot of great baking blogs on the Web,” Kristen says. “But ours will go one step further than most. We’ll use cooking science to make our treats the best they can be, and in every recipe, we’ll explain the chemistry behind our approach. We’ll keep our blog up to date, posting recipes, baking lessons and more. One day soon, we hope to publish a cookbook.” The mother-daughter duo aims to raise $2,000 by Wednesday, Aug. 9, to pay for the website launch, design work, photography equipment, software, kitchen appliances, props, baking ingredients and office supplies.

Image from crowdfunding campaign page
Image from crowdfunding campaign page

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.