Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

PAINT THE TOWN: Dozens of artists will contribute to a collaborative mural-painting event in the River Arts District this May. Photo from event crowdfunding 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.

Burners and Barbecue Mural Event

The River Arts District is about to get a makeover at the hands of roughly 50 mural artists, including Ian Wilkinson, who is organizing the collaboration. As part of the third annual Burners and Barbecue outdoor mural event, the Asheville Waste Paper Mill building will become a 15,000-square-foot canvas. “This year, we will have almost every muralist who has ever picked up a brush [in Asheville] involved,” Wilkinson says. “I’m not even kidding around. Fifty-five artists will come together to make this project happen. With few exceptions, you can’t think of a mural in Asheville whose creator is not involved here. It’s the single biggest mural event ever proposed [in WNC].” The transformation is scheduled to take place Friday to Sunday, May 20-22, as part of a larger event called RADical Daze May, which includes a studio stroll to celebrate the River Arts District’s many makers. Before then, Wilkinson aims to raise $16,000 to purchase paint supplies, lifts (to enable multiple painters to work nearby each other at different heights) and other production costs. Funds raised above that goal would be distributed among the volunteer muralists.

Photo from Wilkinson's campaign page
Photo from Wilkinson’s campaign page

Locally Good Farm expands vinegar production

Stephanie and Patrick Poetter have big plans for their small family farm in Burnsville, which sells artisan apple cider vinegar made from organic WNC apples, among other all natural hygiene items for babies and adults. This year alone, they plan to begin raising heritage chickens and growing a new selection of produce that’s not widely available locally. The couple’s immediate plan, however, is to expand the farm’s vinegar production to keep pace with growing demand. With initial funds raised through the campaign, the two have already purchased additional glass jugs and bottles for fermentation and packaging.  Next, they’ll upgrade the operation from a cramped indoor space into a climate-controlled basement area. The Poetters aim to raise $2,000 to purchase additional product supplies plus building materials and a heater to upfit the new facility. Funds will also enable the two to become certified by the state in acidified foods manufacturing.

Locally Good
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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