Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Photo from the Magnetic Theatre's webpage

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 WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.


“Will you make a record with me?” Holiday Childress inquires in his Kickstarter video just before segueing into a song-by-song album tour, complete with Thom Yorke-inspired dance moves. Childress is recording his 11-song album “Mind the Gap” at Echo Mountain Studios, and according to the eclectic musician, tunes venture from “a sweet little song I wrote for my kids” to a granddad singing hardcore rap. Childress performs with rock band The Goodies, but “Mind the Gap” is his first solo project. He aims to raise $10,000 by Oct. 20, to cover recording, studio musicians, art and design, mixing, mastering and printing his album.


“The Magnetic Theatre has a new lease on life—a 10-year lease!” announces a recent update to the theater’s website. The nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to producing original performances by “the great talents who live and work in this special city,” is crossing the street and settling into a long-term rental agreement at 375 Depot Street in the River Arts District. The theatre is accepting tax-deductible donations “of any size” (mailed checks or PayPal payments) to cover moving and renovation costs at the new location. Visit themagnetictheatre.org for more information or to make a donation.

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.


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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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9 thoughts on “Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

    • Jason W.

      These are local cultural arts projects, not business ventures. Mountain Xpress has always as as much interest in local arts as local news.

      • Is it appropriate for a news organization to promote fundraising for local cultural arts projects which will gain financially from the promotion?

        • Jason W.

          Yes. These artists and organizations are enriching the cultural fabric of our city. No less newsworthy than reporting on a crowd-funding of a public work of art, or new playground equipment. Also the gains in these enterprises are meager and furthermore a large percentage of those gains will go back into creating more art. Mr Childress or the group behind the Magnetic Theatre are probably not lighting cigars with the mountains of money they’re making off their ventures.

          • Cultural fabric? Pretentious egoist who are looking for a buck? I don’t go to The Theatre. I’m not very frabricky. But I have been to the Dress Barn. Let’s give them some money.

        • Big Al

          Tim, while I generally agree with you on such matters, I think you have jumped the shark on this one. When does reporting become promoting? If you can identify where that line is, then maybe we can discuss whether “news organizations” (assuming that a free paper that is un-apologetically focused on arts, entertainment and liberal politics meets such a definition) have crossed it.

          You know what MtnX is, and that it is NOT the AC-T or the N&O, so enough with the false outrage, already.

  1. Steven Samuels

    Please note that The Magnetic Theatre, Inc., is a fully tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. Tax-deductible ontributions of any size will be a huge help in securing the next 10 years of world premieres! Thanks, Mountain Xpress!

  2. Kat McReynolds

    Timothy and Jason — Thanks for the comments. Crowdfunding campaigns are a relatively new form of grassroots effort — a subject Mountain Xpress has always covered. We would be remiss not to follow these local campaigns, especially since most of the projects are cultural contributions, as Jason pointed out.

    Steven — Thanks for the clarification. Best of luck with your project!

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