Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

David Weintraub has already completed filming for his documentary, but all funds raised through his campaign will cover post-production costs and allow for more sophisticated features like poignant music and high quality animation. Photo from Call of the Ancient Mariner website

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.


David Weintraub’s documentary Call of the Ancient Mariner draws on expertise from marine biologists, archaeologists, native people and turtle patrollers to tell the complex story of sea turtles and humans — one he calls a 60,000-year love affair. “There are so many lessons we’ve been trying to learn from these iconic creatures since the dawn of man,” he says. “If we learn them we just might be able to save sea turtles and maybe ourselves as well.” The historic culture enthusiast recognizes turtles as a prominent and symbolic figure for countless peoples across centuries and believes the creatures will depict “man’s connection to nature” on film. Weintraub aims to raise $13,000 by Tuesday, Jan. 6, for post-production and marketing of his documentary.


If you’ve ever enjoyed an episode of Stephen Colbert’s “The Colbert Report,” John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight,” Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” or any other onscreen combination of news and entertainment, consider checking out a local hybrid plotting to fill a similar national politics niche. Matthew Hoagland, creator and anchor for The Recap, says his weekly video podcast suits socially liberal but fiscally conservative viewers who “wish the government would stay out of [their] cell phones and out of [their] gay friends’ relationships.” The libertarian satirist wants “to bring you new material and the best show [he] can in 2015,” and so aims to raise $500 by Tuesday, Jan. 6, for production equipment, props and guests’ travel expenses.


Middle school students don’t typically have a wealth of hands-on physics experience — a fact that Asheville Middle School teachers hope to change by hauling 200 seventh graders to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The theme park trip, planned for next April, will afford the kids an exciting venue for testing laws of force and motion. “Asheville Middle School is a Title I school where over half of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch,” reads the campaign page. “This is an opportunity that many will never have. We want to give them educational and memorable experiences to instill a love of science and learning.” The group aims to raise $9,583 to offset the cost of the trip.

Photo from Asheville Middle School field trip campaign page
Photo from Asheville Middle School field trip 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 WNC campaigns 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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