Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

ROCK ON: In addition to receiving educational instruction, students of Asheville's Rock Academy play local shows, big and small. In June, they'll have the chance to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Photo from Rock Academy's 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.

Rock Academy NC’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame trip

The power of music can never arrive too early, according to Anne Coombs, the driving force behind Rock Academy NC. In partnership with Give to the Music Foundation, the program gives youths “the chance to grow and perform as musicians on real stages, playing real music for real audiences,” according to the organization’s campaign page. Coombs says that hidden beneath melodies and rhythms are lessons on communication, leadership, self-esteem and more. “Now, our students have the incredible opportunity to play on one their biggest stages yet: main stage at the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland on June 15. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime event for these talented kids, and we need your help to make it happen.” The group aims to raise $9,500 to pay for a bus, food and hotel costs for roughly 100 students and parents.

Spring Creek Community Center

Local farmers donated land and labor to construct Spring Creek School in the 1920s before it fell into disuse in the late ’80s, according to the crowdfunding page of Dave Thomas. His burger joint, Dave’s 209, opened inside the building during a recent round of restorations, and the community wants to fill the shell with more local organizations. “Ideally, the old school will become a new active community center, providing a place for all ages to learn, socialize and obtain some local employment to help preserve our rural heritage and family farms,” he writes. The newly renovated wing that houses Dave’s 209 also contains a library, community room and massage room, but upgrades are needed to use the gym, bathrooms and other areas. “So often places like this crumble and fall away into nature or are bulldozed to make way for something new. We are trying to not let that happen and to preserve a part of our history.” Thomas’ community aims to raise $250,000 for additional renovations, including fixing the heat, rotting walls and floors and other repairs.

Spring Creek

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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