Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

FIRST AND FOREMOST: You wouldn't know it from the frequent buzz about the quartet, but Sweet Claudette hasn't recorded a full-length album — until now. The group hopes to wrap up their in-progress work with the help of crowdfunding backers. Still frame from Sweet Claudette's 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.

Sweet Claudette’s first full-length album

Four giggling women on a giant pink unicorn need your help — but probably not for the reason you’re guessing. The ladies are actually professional musicians in a local country-Motown group called Sweet Claudette. Two years after releasing the EP For The Birds, the quartet has begun recording a full-length album plus a handful of classic covers (Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Crystals, and more) to entice financial backers. “Growth is evident in this new batch of soulful, powerful, electric originals,” the band writes on its campaign page. “You’ll hear old favorites that we’ve never had the chance to record. You’ll also hear exciting new material from each of us, including the songwriting debut of Amber Lyle Sims.” Sweet Claudette aims to raise $6,500 by Wednesday, March 16, to pay their recording engineer, producer, mixer, musical contributors and album art designer; to cover the costs of pressing 1,000 album copies, mailing crowdfunding rewards and promoting the work; and to stock the recording studio with snacks and La Croix.

Full Circle Farm Sanctuary’s expansion

In addition to participating in advocacy, awareness and networking efforts, Burnsville’s Full Circle Farm Sanctuary houses 47 rescued animals on its two-acre property. But because the terrain is sloped, finding space for the animals can be a challenge. Cows, for instance, currently can’t graze on the land. To remedy the situation, founder and executive director Kayla Worden hopes to buy a flatter plot in the Southeast that’s at least 20 acres in size. “Farmland with a water source (i.e. ponds or streams), barns, a simple house (which will also serve as a welcome center), a boarding [facility] for volunteers and proper fencing is what is required,” Worden writes on her campaign page. “Open pasture with some woodland would be ideal, as would level to gently rolling topography.” With the aid of hunger relief an animal advocacy organization A Well-Fed World, Full Circle has partnered with a donor, who will match campaign contributions up to the $50,000 goal. If a purchase isn’t feasible, funds may be used to improve current farm conditions.

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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