Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

FATHER/FIGURE: "Bob Moog the icon, and my father, the cool, geeky inventor, are two different people in my mind," says Michelle Moog-Koussa, right. She'll soon begin traveling and conducting interviews to unearth more information and perspectives on her dad's life for a documentary. Photo from the Electronic Voyager 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.

Electronic Voyager documentary

Bob Moog’s professional achievements and the far-reaching use of his Moog synthesizers have been well documented, but less has been said about the man himself. That’s one reason why his daughter, Michelle Moog-Koussa, is helping to create a feature-length documentary — in partnership with Robert Fantinatto and Jason Amm, who directed and produced the documentary I Dream of Wires — that provides a fuller picture of Moog’s life. “I will be taking a journey, retracing my father’s footsteps from his childhood home in Queens, N.Y., all the way through to his eventual settlement in Asheville,” Moog-Koussa says in the Kickstarter campaign video. “I want people to see not only Bob Moog the icon, but more importantly, the man behind the legend.” The team behind Electronic Voyager has begun reaching out to confirm interview subjects and hopes to raise $98,951 by Wednesday, May 25, to fund travel costs, crew payment and licensing of archival media.

 

A collective jazz concert

Jazz musician and conductor Russ Wilson is planning a concert to premiere the original works of six local colleagues: Richard ShulmanMichael Jefry StevensAlan TheisenHank WestBen Hovey and Steve Alford. He’ll serve as conductor for the hand-selected 40-person orchestra that performs their songs, plus two classic pieces (Victor Herbert’s “Suite of Serenades” and George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue”). “This event promises to be a cultural watershed in our Asheville area, a region already blessed with an abundance of great music,” reads the fundraising page. “The presentation of six world premiers for a jazz orchestra by internationally known composers living right here is a feat not normally attempted in communities of our size.” The artists aim to raise $5,000 to rent Diana Wortham Theatre for the November event and to cover promotional costs.

 

Image from Wilson's campaign page
Image from Wilson’s campaign page

Ride the Divide

Local couple Shona Jason-Miller and Steven Mchone are heading to Banff, Canada in early June to start a challenging 2,774-mile off-pavement cycling path called The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. “The entire route is basically dirt road and mountain pass riding every day. In total, it has over 200,000 feet of elevation gain — the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest seven times,” they write online. By swapping a cozy life in Asheville for that terrain, the fitness professionals “hope to unplug and reconnect with nature, and experience the freedom of the uncertainty of the unknown path,” but they recognize that not everyone has the means to take a similar break. So, the two aim to raise $6,000 for nonprofit Homeward Bound, which combats homelessness by “moving people into permanent housing and providing the support that they need to stay there.” Any funds above $6,000 will repay debt incurred to buy the biking gear. Film by Doug Davis Photography

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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