Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

SUSPICIOUS SPOKESMEN: Not ones to brag on camera, the three members of The Get Right Band called upon look-alike super fans (themselves) to highlight the trio's recent accomplishments. The quirky video is part of a crowdfunding campaign by the independent musicians, who hope to make their next album at Echo Mountain Recording Studio.

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.

The Get Right Band’s new album

“It’s kind of awkward to just sit here and brag about ourselves,” guitarist and vocalist Silas Durocher says in The Get Right Band’s crowdfunding video. Luckily (and thanks to advances in video editing technology), three fans who look remarkably similar to Durocher and his bandmates were available to recount some of the funk, rock and reggae group’s recent milestones. Those include praise from Relix music magazine and Home Grown Music Network, success on college and independent radio stations, inclusion on a CBS podcast and an invitation to perform on NPR’s World Café. Since recording previous album Bass Treble Angel Devil, The Get Right Band has put in significant time touring with the same lineup, which  Durocher says has helped to create “the singular mind that we have when we play together now.”  The trio aims to raise $12,000 by Friday, April 8, (in addition to the $10,000 the band has saved) to capture the new sound by recording a batch of songs at Echo Mountain Studios with chief engineer Julian Dreyer.

Tiger Lily Sweets

Armed with “an artistic side, an entrepreneurial spirit, kitchen experience, organizational tendencies, laser focus and love of raw vegan sweets,” baker and raw chocolate cookbook author Lauren Amerson is setting out to launch her own raw vegan bakery. Her plan is to take special orders and acquire wholesale accounts with restaurants and grocers before opening a brick and mortar shop. “I love making raw vegan desserts, because I am an artist. I have found that my ideal blank canvas is a cheesecake, my favorite brushes are piping bags, and the best paint out there is my own made-from-scratch caramel or plant-colored icings. It is literally art for me,” Amerson writes on her fundraising page. “Plus, there’s a yummy-ness factor.” The enterprising baker aims to raise $3,000 by Thursday, April 7, to pay for startup costs like bulk ingredients, packaging supplies, a website and equipment.

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.

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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