Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

BANDMADE CRAFTS: For the first time, Asheville band Whym is hiring and working alongside industry professionals to complete the quartet's next five-song album. Rewards for financial backers range from early access to songs and attendance at a rehearsal to handmade scarves and wallets from the musicians. Image from Whym's campaign page

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.

Whym’s debut EP

Though they previously wrote and performed lovely piano-driven tunes as The Friendly Beasts, Asheville musicians Sarah McCoy, Nathan Culberson, Andrew Little and Joshua Linhart are starting anew as Whym. The band’s crowdfunding page explains the transition, which took place over several months of writing and recording: “When we began working on new ideas, we realized that our sound was being redefined. With this new sound, we felt a name change was necessary to compliment our new identity. We were attracted to a way of making music that challenged our creativity and explored complex sides of faith. As a result, these songs took on a new character, crafted from a more collaborative effort.” Five of those songs have already been recorded by Nashville-based engineer Nolan Rossi, but Whym aims to raise $5,000 by Thursday, March 3, to complete the EP’s production and pay for distribution and promotion.

Creative Writing Studies Organization’s launch

A writer and educator at Warren Wilson College, Rachel Haley Himmelheber is creating an organization to promote the scholarly study of creative writing. This discipline, she explains, involves writing theory, history, pedagogy, activism and the impact of emerging media and technologies, among other topics. It’s a relatively undeveloped field in North America, according to Himmelheber, whose Creative Writing Studies Organization will increase the visibility of academic progress in addition to being “an inclusive, diverse space that fosters open conversation about topics pertaining to the field. CWSO will do this through two primary means: its peer-reviewed, open-access publication the Journal of Creative Writing Studies and through an annual Creative Writing Studies Conference, the first of which will be held this fall.” Himmelheber’s team aims to raise $6,000 by Saturday, March 5, to cover the cost of forming and running a nonprofit entity, completing a Web membership platform, recouping previous start-up expenses and producing the journal and conference. Any additional funds will be used for marketing and furthering scholars’ creative writing pursuits through awards and stipends.

Image from campaign page
Image from Creative Writing Studies Organization’s 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.

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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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