Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

"The Fox & Beggar Theater is Asheville's answer to Cirque du Soleil, but with a much heavier focus on narrative, poetics and the incredible power of a locally-minded circus theater,” explains Nat Allister, the organization's founder and artistic director. Tarocco: A Soldier's Tale, the theater's forthcoming production, will be performed at the Orange Peel on four weekend nights. Tarocco artwork courtesy of the Fox and Beggar Theater

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise startup 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.


The Fox and Beggar Theater’s forthcoming production Tarocco: A Soldier’s Tale draws on a hand-picked crew of local artists, performers and designers, making it “a fusion of a dozen different art forms,” like circus arts, dance, mask-and-puppet theater, music, sculpture, video art, spoken word and more, according to theater founder and artistic director Nat Allister. Tarocco follows two fatally wounded Italian soldiers who seek shelter behind enemy lines. “To escape the dark hell of war, they create a beautiful, surreal fantasy based around a deck of [tarot cards] they find in a deserted cottage,” Allister explains. His team aims to raise $10,000 by Sunday April 26, to pay performers and crew who have been volunteering, create more elaborate costumes and visual elements for the production and purchase merchandise to sell during showings. Tarocco will be performed at The Orange Peel on Friday and Saturday, May 29-30, and Friday and Saturday, June 5-6.


“I’m here to do one thing.” says singer/songwriter Noah Proudfoot Stockdale, “To be love.” Love, he says, is the reason for his existence as well as the driving force behind his music. “Now, more than ever, there’s a desperate need for humanity to remember these truths [about love],” he says. “The soil, water, plants and animals — they’re all relying on us to remember that all life is sacred … I know that we have it within us to create a new world … in which each and every one is treated with respect and kindness simply because they exist.” Stockdale, who says his life’s mission is to bring this message to the masses through music, aims to raise $3,000 by Thursday, April 30, to record, press, publicize and duplicate his first album and eventually take the movement on the road.


“The Drum Heads Podcast is more than just drums,” says host Daniel Stevens. “It’s a community — a community of drummers, musicians, music lovers, hobbyists… Everyone is welcome!” Stevens’ segments, available free on iTunes, explore all things percussion, from news and interviews to product reviews and sound engineering concepts. Stevens, however, wants to create more content and increase the dialogue surrounding his project. He aims to raise $3,000 by Monday, April 20, to build an interactive website featuring more fan submissions (reviews, videos, etc.) and upgrade his studio’s audio and video equipment.


Although brothers Tom and Jesse Flowers shared a surname and a passion for visual art, the two led disparate lives. Tom, who taught art at Furman University for 30 years and continues to create today, is an industry insider, while Jesse created in solitude until his death. In order to capture and explore the brothers’ dynamic and bodies of work, Mark Flowers (Tom’s son) and his wife, Kristy Higby, created a documentary, entitled The Other Brother: The Art of Jesse and Tom Flowers. The project, which was successfully funded by fans online, garnered enough positive feedback to inspire a spin-off venture. Now, Mark and Higby aim to raise $8,953 by Thursday, April 30, to send the existing documentary on the road for a series of art exhibits alongside a curated display of the siblings’ art pieces. “We would like to share the brothers’ original artwork with museums, galleries, and art institutions that choose to screen the documentary and/or host the exhibition. With your help we can make it happen.” says Mark.

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

  1. Mark Flowers

    We need a small favor. The Kickstarter for Jesse and Tom’s traveling art exhibition was designed in part to meet the target goal through booking the exhibit. (Although all support is welcome!) In theory, museum creators could pay for the exhibit through bookings.There is no profit here. The budget only includes the cost to provide the show. We would like to reach as many art curators as possible and we only have 19 days to go. If each one of you would send an email to an art museum where you live or in your home town that would be extremely helpful and it would get the word to the right people.

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