Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

SOUND IT OUT: Singer/songwriter duo Zoe & Cloyd recently recorded at Sound Temple Studios under the guidance of local engineer Chris Rosser. Photo from the band's crowdfunding 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.

Zoe & Cloyd’s sophomore album

Local singer-songwriters Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller have been swapping and blending mountain melodies for about a decade. (And based on their crowdfunding video, it appears they’ve also recruited their tiny daughter for intro vocals and sparse, yet surprisingly well-placed, auxiliary percussion.) In 2015, the couple released Equinox, their first album as a duo. “It was kind of a stripped down album with just two voices and two instruments,” says Weinstein. But the next album, Miller says, “is going to be more of a full band sound with bass, mandolin, dobro and banjo.” The two have already completed initial tracking at Asheville’s Sound Temple Studios alongside local engineer Chris Rosser. They aim to raise $12,000 by Friday, Sept. 30, to cover the additional costs of editing, mixing and mastering the album, compensating guest musicians, arranging marketing and publicity, holding a video shoot, launching a new website and pressing copies of the new work.

Cultivating Resilience’s video series

People don’t generally do much to mitigate threats they don’t perceive as real. If you ask Laura Lengnick and Peyton Siler Jones of eco-consulting company Cultivating Resilience, that’s one plausible explanation for Americans’ lack of cohesive effort to minimize climate change. “The massive divide in beliefs … is a critical barrier to effective political action on this issue,” reads the local organization’s crowdfunding page. “We think research in moral psychology offers some new, more effective methods for bridging these divides of belief and inspiring Americans from all political parties to join the fight against climate change.” With help from storytelling specialist Dayna Reggero of The Climate Listening Project, Lengnick and Jones plan to produce and market a series of short videos that will present research findings through the “fresh, real voices” of trusted leaders. They’ll then target individuals who are relatively dismissive of climate change, with the intent to boost support for eco-minded politicians before the 2016 elections. Cultivating Resilience aims to raise $5,000 to make and market the film clips.

Logo from Cultivating Resilience's crowdfunding page
Logo from Cultivating Resilience’s crowdfunding page

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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