Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

NO FUNK LEFT BEHIND: Supatight's crowdfunding efforts will support the mixing and mastering of eight already-recorded tracks. Image from the band's Kickstarter 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.

Supatight’s new album

The members of Supatight get personal on their Kickstarter campaign and not just when they’re sharing aspirations of completing a second studio album titled Does This Work? Their crowdfunding video captures the intimate moments of a cohabiting band: shaving while reflecting on recent musical progress; explaining the feasibility of touring during a shower; and using a deep metaphor to liken the recording process to cooking scrambled eggs. Even if they’re unabashedly staged, these scenes are reflective of Supatight’s actual approach to music-making: Keep it fun, amply funky, and in the case of the shower footage, fresh and clean. The local band aims to raise $3,500 by Monday, June 13, to mix and master eight tracks that have already been recorded.

Kai Elijah Hamilton’s invitation to New York

Local writer and director (and theater reviewer for Mountain XpressKai Elijah Hamilton’s play, Blackberry Winter, was recently selected for inclusion in the Strawberry One-Act Festival, where actors like Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino have previously performed.  “Needless to say, I am excited,” Hamilton writes online. “I have cast the play with wonderful local actors, and we are traveling the play up to New York City this July.” Set in Western North Carolina, Hamilton’s storyline follows an African American mother whose dreams and intuition prompt attempts to decode a past crime involving her son. “The play’s metaphor is racism and its intent, among other things, is to open people’s eyes to the fact that it still exists today,” Hamilton explains. “Blackberry Winter has an important message that needs to be heard. Help make that happen.”  The playwright aims to raise $4,200 in June in order to arrange travel, food, accommodations and other production items by July.

Image from Hamilton's campaign page
Image from Hamilton’s campaign page

Fundraising for the Art League of Henderson County

The Art League of Henderson County’s mission is “the promotion, development and enjoyment of the visual arts,” and the nonprofit accomplishes this in part by offering small grants through its Arts in Education program. “The Art League has been supporting the art teachers in Henderson County for [more than] 50 years,” ALHC president Sharon Carlyle says. “We hope to foster future generations of artists with supplies and opportunities that they may not get with the limited budgets our teachers work with.”  After exhausting its funds on 2016 giving, ALHC aims to raise $2,500 to rebuild the organization’s financial resources before selecting the next cycle of educational grant recipients.

From left, ALHC's most recent grant recipients include local teachers Maureen Rhodes, Kelly King, Stephen Harrison, Martina Zinn and Courtney Hoelscher.
From left, ALHC’s most recent grant recipients include local teachers Maureen Rhodes, Kelly King, Stephen Harrison, Martina Zinn and Courtney Hoelscher. Image courtesy of ALHC

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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