Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Singer/songwriter Chuck Brodsky's song "2,000 Friends" pokes fun at Facebook’s uncanny ability to convey both extremely pertinent information (i.e. his ex’s children having no resemblance to himself) as well as factoids of relatively less import (i.e. the duration of rainstorms in Sarasota, Fla.). Still frame of Brodsky performing the song 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.


Chuck Brodsky likes being a one-man operation — writing his own songs, booking gigs, driving himself on tour, self-producing and recording independently. His upcoming eleventh record, the witty singer/songwriter says, has become a little “more than one guy with a guitar can pull off,” particularly financially. Brodsky has exceeded his $16,000 goal just in time for a CD release party at The Grey Eagle on Saturday, March 7, but continues to raise funds for the recording until Sunday, March 8. “I hope [my music] has touched your heart and your funny bone,” says the local lyricist.


Local artist Michael Phillips digs owls. In fact, he’s setting off to depict each species of the animal in an original painting series over the next year. Phillips says the traditional, layered style of painting gives pictures more “light, life, glow and presence,” and that his mission is only completed when the subject seems poised to jump out of the canvas. The D.I.Y. artist hopes to display his catalog of feathered creatures at the N.C. Arboretum and other exhibition venues in a bid to raise awareness of owl diversity and endangerment. Phillips aims to raise $10,000 to cover the requisite travel and art materials.


“There are a whole lot of folks who put tons of time, energy and talent into our productions so that we can produce eclectic, high quality theater here in Asheville — none more so than our fabulous main stage directors,” says Anam Cara Theatre Company’s development director Kim Hartley. In addition to coercing the best performances from actors, Anam Cara directors partake in hours of rehearsals, production meetings, scheduling, research and other organizational tasks, according to Hartley. The theater aims to raise $1,350 by Wednesday, March 11, to pay volunteer directors a $300 stipend per play for the 2014-2015 season.


“What if other people wrote your dreams… and they weren’t very good at it?” Brevard High School graduate Dalton Lilley, along with Nathan Bach, Ben Owen and Shea Castle comprise the Atlanta-based team that’s hoping to explore this novel premise with their present-day sitcom, “Dream Writers.” The team of humorists aim to raise $75,000 by Saturday, March 7, to cover the costs of producing their pilot episode and to position the television show for network interest through festival entries, pitch competitions and other marketing outreach.

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.

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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One thought on “Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

  1. Daniel Gigante

    Love to see crowdfunding having such success. I made my platform, crowdshare, so that artists can consistently receive donations from fans for their work. No goals, no fees, just art and fans. Take a look – http://crowdshare.io

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