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.
Ashley Heath’s album and tour support
There’s a certain vibrancy that follows a person’s willful left turns in life. It’s an excitement about new possibilities that comes underlined with risk, and it’s exactly the energy that comes spilling out of Marshall-based musician Ashley Heath when she discusses her recent switch to full-time musicianship. You wouldn’t know Heath was a newcomer to the professional sphere, considering her packed performance schedule and flexible voice. But she’s an open songbook who embraces vulnerabilities, both lyrically and in her Kickstarter video. The latter outlines Heath’s aspirations to orchestrate a comprehensive, professional push behind her recently released debut album A Different Stream, which showcases her aptitude for ballads and belting alike. The singer-songwriter aims to raise $10,000 by Thursday, Oct. 13, to cover the costs of hiring a publicist for print media and radio, obtaining more merchandise, advertising, distributing the physical album to more stores and offsetting tour expenses. Heath will also host a Kickstarter party and performance at Moe’s Original Bar B Que on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 6 to 9 p.m., with the restaurant donating 10 percent of its sales to the crowdfunding campaign.
Don’t Touch Me t-shirts
A short walk downtown resulted in too many catcalls for Destiney Stubbs, who later reacted on paper. “I felt enraged and grossed out. It kind of ruined a few hours of my day,” Stubbs recalls. “Later in the evening, I was reflecting on it and remembered a few of many occasions [when] I had my space violated, either verbally, visually or physically by men. Even sitting in my room in my house, I couldn’t shake the feeling that my body is public property — that I am not a human being with sentience and emotions, but that I am only flesh and thighs. I just wanted the ability to projectile-vomit acid on the faces of people who reduce me to that. I want to be ugly. I want to scare men. And that’s when I drew the illustration.” At the request of several friends, Stubbs is having the venomous character printed onto tank tops, and pre-orders are being accepted beyond the campaign’s original $200 goal. The aspiring artist hopes to create for other marginalized groups over time.
Aleeiah Sura’s debut album
“The instrument I play is called a handpan,” Aleeiah Sura writes on her crowdfunding page. “This magical gift has changed my life in so many ways and allowed me to find expression for feelings I had no language for before. It continues to unravel my heart daily, and has assisted tremendously with my own healing process. Now it is time I start sharing this medicine with others.” Sura hopes to do that by recording a debut album that blends vocal, handpan and guest instrumentals. She aims to raise $5,500 to pay for the recording process, including hiring collaborators.
Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.