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.
Matt Townsend’s double EP project
The combination of weathered vocals, subdued guitar and just-poetic-enough lyrics make Matt Townsend’s music an instant source of comfort — as well as existential unrest. “I went up to the mountain to cleanse the poison of the world / Oh, there was no one around me / The earth was my girl,” he sings in recent release “Came Down From the Mountain.” In the same song, he muses: “On that path that winds unending, who can say just where to go / when all your thoughts are inquisitions sent to torture your hold.” But the artist has a sense of humor, too, as evidenced by the amateur acting and background karate moves in his crowdfunding video. Townsend aims to raise $12,000 by Wednesday, Dec. 14, to cover expenses already incurred while making the first of a two-part EP titled The Drifter and the Dream. The new songs, he says, “represent some of my strongest work. They explore the political, the personal and where the two meet; societal forces that shape our world; and tension between spiritual awareness and walking in the material world. I would love for you to have them.”
Jahman Brahman’s album
Jahman Brahman has experienced several lineup changes since moving to Asheville in 2010, but the quintet claims to be “rocking once again with a solid cast of characters.” Recent practices have resulted in new songs, and the musicians opted to capture their refreshed energy by recording in Colombus, Ohio, where they originally formed. The resulting 11-track work, titled Choose Your Channel, “encapsulates all the different flavors and directions brought forth by the eclectic tastes and skills of this new fluid roster.” The band aims to raise $5,000 by Sunday, Dec. 4, to pay for mastering, pressing and promoting its sophomore full-length album.
Town and Mountain Realty’s holiday benefit
For the fifth year, Town and Mountain Realty is holding its Home for the Holidays fundraiser for multiple local nonprofits: Homeward Bound, Caring for Children, Helpmate, Eliada and Western Carolina Rescue Mission. The event takes place at The Orange Peel on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 5-9:30 p.m., and includes kids activities, snacks, dinner (7-8 p.m.), music, a photo booth and silent auction — all by donation at the door. Between online crowdfunding and event proceeds, the company aims to raise $20,000 in total. Town and Mountain will match the first $10,000.
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.