Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Kira Bursky's short film We're Okay has seen great success at youth film festivals, including recent awards for best overall film at All American High School Film Fest and first place among high school films at the Mosaic Film Experience. Film still from Tree Hugger's Kickstarter campaign video.

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.


Burgeoning Asheville filmmaker Kira Bursky, whose work has been screened and awarded at film festivals across the nation, tackles topics of sexual assault and abusive relationships in her upcoming dark fantasy short film entitled Tree Hugger. The young artist, founder of All Around Artsy film company, says the project’s purpose is to dissuade individuals of all ages and demographics from accepting anything less than love and respect in a relationship. Such is the lesson that leading lady Clara learns as she sheds an abusive partner in favor of a more genuine suitor. Bursky’s team aims to raise $4,000 by Wednesday, Dec. 17, to cover costs of film creation (including some special effects), on-set food and festival fees.


Founded by North Carolina therapist Paul Fugelsang in 2012 and run by an all-volunteer staff, Open Path Psychotherapy Collective has already recruited some 1,000 therapists in 42 states and served more than 800 low- to middle-income individuals by providing a listing network for affordable online mental health services. The web platform invites licensed and peer reviewed therapists to create Open Path profiles, which registered health-seeking members can utilize to search for reduced-cost services. A $49 membership fee grants lifetime access to listings, with in-office sessions running $30-$50 per visit. Open Path aims to raise $10,000 by Wednesday, Dec. 17, to recruit and screen 500 more clinicians and conduct outreach to 1200-1500 new client members in 2015.

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.


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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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