Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

COMMON BONDS: “I feel music should touch people and speak to the human experience, so I find myself writing a lot about the state of the world and humanity’s place in it," local musician Jordan Okrend says in his online bio. He plans to record his next round of songs at Sound Temple Studios. Photo from Okrend's Facebook page

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise startup 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.

Jordan Okrend’s new EP

Local singer/songwriter Jordan Okrend began playing guitar at age 7, started performing for audiences in his teens and has since released three EPs. “But for this next project I want to go bigger and better,” he writes on his crowdfunding page. “My plan is  to go into a top-notch studio, which I’ve never done before, and lay down six tracks with a live band. … Many of my new songs are funky and fun, and that’s just what I want to portray on my next record.” Okrend has selected Sound Temple Studios, where he’ll be joined by a two-person rhythm section on Saturday, Nov. 12. The musician — who plays Olive or Twist on Friday, Nov. 11, and Brevard’s The Phoenix on Tuesday, Nov. 15 — aims to raise $5,000 by the end of November to pay for recording, mixing, CD pressing and marketing.

Resonant Rogues’ new full-length album

“We made our last album at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville,” says The Resonant Rogues’ guitarist and singer Keith Smith. “And we loved it so much, we’re going to do it again.” Since releasing debut Here & Gone Again nearly two years ago, the Resonant Rogues have traveled extensively, playing more than 300 shows in 10 countries. But the musicians also carved out downtime at home. “We decided to call this album Hands in the Dirt,” accordionist, banjoist and vocalist Sparrow Pants explains, “because this is the first year in four years since we started this band that I’ve gotten to have a garden.” The band aims to raise $10,000 by Tuesday, Nov. 22, to pay for recording, mixing, mastering, guest musicians, album pressing and marketing. Just before the deadline, on Friday, Nov. 18, the Rogues will host a crowdfunding wrap-up concert at the Mothlight.

Sylva Police Department’s K-9 fund

Though it’s not being framed as a traditional crowdfunding project, the Sylva Police Department is accepting donations toward the purchase of a discounted K-9. Don, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, would typically cost around $15,700, but SPD has the opportunity to acquire him for $7,725, according to an article in Smoky Mountain News. The shared crowdfunding perk, in this case, would be a police force equipped to conduct drug detection, article searches and human tracking using the dog. Visit the Police Department or Sylva Town Hall during business hours to make a contribution.

Image from SPD’s Facebook 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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