Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

BODY OF WORK: Local artist Cole Drewes printed positive messages alongside paintings of the human form in a recent art series. "I wanted to stick with all uplifting and encouraging poems," he says. Image from Drewes' 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.

Women in Rhythm prints

If colorful images of nude ladies don’t grab your attention, perhaps a Christopher Walken sound-alike reading the poems printed alongside them will. But, why choose? Cole Drewes’ crowdfunding video features both. The artist started his women-and-wisdom prints (Walken not included) by photographing local models and referencing those photos while hand-cutting stencils. He created two derivatives from each of the female forms: one using only black paint and another splattered with various colors. “To me, the most exciting part of this process is that I don’t really know what the final image will look like until I remove the paint-splattered stencil,” he says. After that, Drewes scanned the images into Photoshop, using a blank-book page as the background. He made his final manipulations digitally, adding inspirational text aside the figures. “Each poem is original, and I tailored each piece to the model specifically,” he notes. Drewes has already surpassed his $100 goal for printing and distributing the Women in Rhythm series, but he’ll continue crowdfunding until Wednesday, Aug. 24.

The Poise Project

The Alexander Technique is a day-to-day method of conscious bodily movement that “can improve the quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s [disease,]” according to Monika Gross, executive director of local nonprofit The Poise Project. In September, she and a team of Alexander Technique practitioners are traveling to Portland’s fourth World Parkinson Congress — an event aimed at furthering the dialogue and developments surrounding Parkinson’s disease — to advocate for their discipline’s place among other modes of care. There, the group will set up an informational booth, present on the subject, lead a public workshop at a nearby hotel and train local Alexander Technique teachers to adapt their classes to suit those with Parkinson’s. Gross aims to raise $25,000 by Tuesday, Aug. 23, to accomplish all of this and expand The Poise Project’s programming nationwide. The below video features Robert Davis, a member of her support team.

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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